Category Archives: Leadership

Your Church Building: A Blessing or Curse?

It was almost 5 years ago I walked into the Crosspoint Center at Scott’s Hill Baptist Church.  I had been offered an internship there, and felt lead to take it.  These were all blind decisions and completely in trust of what God had before me.  But the whole thing was just confirmed as I walked into this building.  I knew I wanted to be a part of a community that valued its youth and would raise money to build such a feat.  You walk into a gorgeous welcome area, then look to the right and a fully functional Cafe is reaming with snacks.  In the back right corner are five pool tables decked out in the thematic bright orange dawned on Detour’s logo.  The back wall is full of bright television screens, and a large circular stage that dawns 10 or so big screen TV’s.  XBox 360s and Playstation 3s accompany the tube sets, with the most recent sports games available.  There is a space that has since been filled with a very popular Inflatable Velcro Wall.  Finally the back left corner houses a single ping-pong table, for the elite of paddlers.  Walking back to the front there are bright red couches where many conversations seem to be held, if only they could tell me what I was getting into.  There is a “spot” separated by glass panels that house stations for listening to music.  But the big show happens in the caged basketball court that fits right in the middle of the room.  Sound is being racked out from an upper level DJ booth that towers of the cage.

I was blown away.

Five years later and I still love giving the occasional tour around the place to Youth Pastors or friends in the ministry that come by.  But there is this idea or phrase that has started to haunt me and only recently surfaced into my heart.  As I walk the guest around, or as there have been others that have visited or heard of the building’s resources, there seems to be an equivalent expectation that with a building like this comes numbers.  Like because we have a building like this, then this is why we have as many students.  The building is the reason we have such great staff.  The building is what brings students to church every week and in “church” terminology, the building would be the backbone to our “successful Youth Ministry.”

But you see, it’s just a building.

Last week we held our weekly Student Outreach service on Wednesday night.  We had around 300 students show up as we finished a series of messages talking about Heroes from the Bible.  We finished the night off talking about the greatest Hero of all time, of course, Jesus.  I got a front-row seat at seeing God do amazing work that night as 23 students committed their life to His will, and to following Jesus.  There were four times that much that stood for accountability in their faith as they desire to continue to grow closer to God in the relationship they already had.

But was it because of the building?

This little rant is more of an encouragement to those who are a part of churches or ministries where it seems you don’t have all the resources you need to get accomplished what you feel you need to be getting accomplished.  This little rant is more of an encouragement to those who are doing great and mighty things for God’s Kingdom, while working one or two other jobs.  This is an encouragement to those who I have personally shown around this building I sit in right now and type this out.  It has nothing to do with the building.  God is great and can move in mighty ways no matter where you are, how big your building is, or how much “cool” factor there is!  If you have a calling and you put your all into it; if you pray without ceasing and obey as God works in Your life, they will come.

Now I know this building we have helps us out a lot.  It plays to our advantage, and don’t get me wrong, we as a team and staff are thankful for it day after day!  But we also know the Truth, that God does the work, not the building.  The students come for a few weeks maybe for “the building,” but they continue to come because they want to grow and learn more about Jesus.  For it was He who did a mighty work in them, and they want to grow in that.  God is the reason behind “our numbers.”  God is the success of our ministry.

If there was one thing to take away from this, here it is be:  Be thankful for the resources God has given you, but never use them as an excuse as to why or how God is working, or is NOT working.

Much love.

… but then I realized

Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure.

But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong.
They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty.
These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for!
They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others.
They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth.
And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words.

“What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
Look at these wicked people—enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.

Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.

If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people.
So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is!
Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors.
When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.

Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.

I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,but God remains the strength of my heart;
He is mine forever.

Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you.

But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

Psalm 73 – wow

Detour Worship

i can not even begin to say how blessed i am to be doing what i am doing.  i have a dream job of working with some of the most awesome teenagers in the world!  i get to praise my awesome God with them every week!  i get to lead a group of super talented student musicians.  God is doing great things within that group of students.  as i sit here and prepare in hopes and dreams for the future i can’t help but be in awe of God’s work in my life for the past 3 years as well as hopes for the future.  i hope to continue to lead in direction with God’s vision for my life and Detour Worship.  that i may be obedient to Him fully and we continue to strive for His namesake, not our own.  much love.

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

The Hollands

our life. our ideas. our struggles. our thoughts. our dreams. in words. for you.