As you will know a few months ago we had a chance at purchasing the old Port Kembla RSL, and we were unsuccessful. That whole experience gave us a nudge to begin thinking and praying about our future here in Port Kembla, and if part of that future will include purchasing a property. While where we are right now is a blessing, the Board and the leadership team are aware of it’s long term limitations. In my prayers for us as a church I often ask God what His desires are for us as a church, and I spend time dreaming and wrestling and thinking. I have also spent some time walking Wentworth St praying with my eyes open, looking at buildings.
How do we go about following God’s will for us?
What I have learnt is that we need to follow the opportunities that present themselves to us, we need to pray, we sometimes need to knock on doors and see if they open, and we need to think about our church in 5 years time and try to imagine what we will need to be faithful and obedient to God. The swirling mix of all those things is how we move forward in following God. Alongside that we trust that God will close any doors of opportunity that are not right for us, and that He will tell us if there’s something we need to fight for (in the Spirit).
In all the time we have been here in Port Kembla, one year now (!) the building diagonally opposite the church (on the corner of Wentworth and Fitzwilliam streets) has sat empty and derelict. It is the site of the old Paul’s Shoe Warehouse, and very originally the Methodist church before they built the building we are now in! Recently it was, quietly, put up for sale. And I have been praying and wondering if it is something that God will move us to purchase. So we’re going to follow God in this and see where it leads. I have no super clear sense that the building is right for us and something God wants us to buy...but I’m leaning into the possibility and trusting that God is going to lead us as we pray and look into it.
Some of the tension for me in purchasing a building is that we very clearly felt God lead us to sell our Swan Street Building 6 years ago, and I have very much enjoyed not having the responsibility of owning and maintaining a property as a church. It has freed us to give of our money into mission and ministry rather than a building. So I’m rather cautious get back into owning a building. God would have to make it really clear to me that that is what He wants for us. On the other hand, owning a building gives you immense opportunities to use that building in any way you want without worrying about a landlord, and it gives you a long-term presence in the community. I often also think about building a church now, for the future...a future where all those kids that are in primary school now, will be in high school. What church are we creating for the next generation…
I would love it if you would be praying for our church. For the whole possibility of building purchase, praying about the building on the corner. And if you feel God say anything to you, pass it along to me and we’ll start to seek God together.