Summary: We all want our churches to grow but have we actually considered the cost?
Well it’s been a year. Hardly seems possible in some ways and yet on the other hand it seems like we’ve been here forever. Now understand that while we have only been here for a year in this church building this church body has been in existence since six of us started meeting in our living room in January of 1995, and the neat thing is that five of us are still here. Can you imagine being in Stan and Karen Wickwire or Ian and Sylvia Richardson’s shoes when I began to cast a vision for a church that only existed in my mind and my heart? And yet here they are twelve years later.
But not everyone that we cast that vision to bought into the dream, there were some who were looking for a church that was all ready up and running with a full slate of programs that we just couldn’t offer and there were still other’s who just didn’t think there was a lot of potential for a brand new church like we were envisioning. But through the years there have been those who have decided to invest themselves into the dream and help make it a reality.
When the church was in it’s infancy a gentleman told me that there are two types of people in every church, the goers and the whoaers. And I’ve met both types, you know what he meant those who when you talked about new things and changes were willing to say let’s go and others’ who would brace their feet and say whoa.
People like that have always been around. In the scripture that was read this morning we got a great glimpse into human nature. Most of us know the story. Moses has sent 12 Spies into the Promised Land with instructions to do what spies do best, spy. He wanted to know who lived there, were they strong or weak were there lots of them or just a few, did they live in little villages or big fortified cities. What was economy like was it a wealthy land or a poor land. And when he got all through giving instructions he said, “Oh by the way bring me back some fruit.” Now I don’t know why Moses wanted fruit, maybe it was so he could see what the produce was like or maybe it was because he hadn’t had a grape for a while. I don’t know
Well you now what happened right? They spied out the land, found grapes so big it took two men to carry back one cluster and they came back to report what they had found. We can read about their findings in Numbers 13:27 This was their report to Moses: “We arrived in the land you sent us to see, and it is indeed a magnificent country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is some of its fruit as proof.
From that point on the story progresses like a good news bad news joke. You know there’s an old Chinese story told about how two farmers met and the first asked the second how life was treating him and he said “Well not too bad but last week one of my horses escaped” “Oh that’s too bad” said the first man. “No actually it was good” replied the second man “Because he came back and brought another horse with him” “Why that’s great” “No not really, the horse was still wild and when my son tried to ride him he was thrown and broke his leg” “That’s terrible” came the response, “No that was great because the warlord came looking for young men to draft into his army but wouldn’t take my son because he had a broken leg.” You get the picture?
The spies start by saying “What a land, you just wouldn’t believe what a beautiful land it was. And the fruit, I mean just look at this there are grapes as big as softballs.” And everyone was excited and they were like “Wow this is great, Margaret pack your suitcase we going to the Promised Land.” Not so fast because the rest of the story comes out in the next verse Numbers 13:28 But (one of the hard and fast rules of Biblical Exegesis is that after the but comes the truth.) But the people living there are powerful, and their cities and towns are fortified and very large. We also saw the descendants of Anak who are living there!
“Wow, hey Margaret you really didn’t want to go to the Promised Land anyway did you?” Now this may have been a majority opinion but it wasn’t a unanimous opinion. You see Joshua and Caleb said “Hey if that’s the land that God wants us to have then that’s the land that God will give us.” You see that is the reality of life, some people are eternal optimists and others are eternal pessimists. In this case there were ten whoaers and two goers.