Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Land Commissioning Service

Cornerstone Bible Church, the church in which I now serve as Senior Pastor, has been around for 18 years. During this time, the church has met many different places, and currently meets at Cardinal Middle School in Middlefield, Ohio. During this time, there has been plenty of talk about building facilities for the church to meet in for itself.

Several years ago, the church purchased 40 acres of land between Burton & Middlefield that will be the location of the building eventually. Well, that eventually is become a reality. Last month, our elders officially approved a plan to start construction of a building we are calling a Ministry Center. This building will house our church offices as well as have classroom space to meet during the week. This is a much needed first step in the process.

Last Sunday night we had a ground breaking ceremony. I have never been to anything like this before, but I found myself helping plan it. We called it a "Land Commissioning Service" instead of just a ground breaking. Since our land is just about a quarter mile down the road from our church offices, I have found myself walking down to the property several times a week over the past several months. When I do I pray for our church and what will take place at this location. I took the time last week to summarize what I find myself praying as I walk on this land. There seems to be about five general prayers I have for our church.

Prayer #1: That The Name Of The Lord Would Be Glorified.

Psalm 115:1 says, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory." It is and will be my prayer that whatever we do, we do it to the glory of Jesus. The building and the land will have the name of Jesus all over it (not literally). But people will know that we teach about Him. So what we do will reflect His name. People in our community will see this building and when they do, it is my prayer that they don't think about us, but about the Lord.

It is not my intention, nor should it be the intention of any person at our church, to steal from God any glory that is due His name. This ministry is not about me, our elders, future pastors, future leaders, or any other person . . . it is all about the Lord!

Prayer #2: That We Would Always Seek Jesus & The Gospel

It is my prayer that we always keep Jesus and the gospel central in everything we do. It is my prayer that whatever we do, we always look back to the cross of Jesus and His empty tomb. I want to have the attitude of Paul when He says that he counts all things as loss to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:7-8).

Prayer #3: That Many Lives Would Be Changed

Whenever I walk on that land, I dream about what God might do in the lives of those people in our community. I think of that person who will come to church and hear the gospel for the first time and believe on Jesus, their life and eternity never being the same again. I think about those people who will be taught the Word of God and repent of that sin they have been holding onto for some time.

I think of the immoral person who stops their immorality. I think of the idolater coming to an understanding that their greatest satisfaction is found in their Creator. I think of the alcoholic becoming sober. I think of the gossiper becoming quick to hear and slow to speak. I think of marriages on the verge of divorce being healed. I think of children who disobey their parents coming under their authority with joy in their heart.

Prayer #4: That We Always Submit Ourselves To The Authority Of The Bible

It is my prayer that everything we ever do as a church falls under the submission of the Scriptures. It is our final authority today and forever. I will never have anything wiser to say than the Bible, and neither will anyone else.

Prayer #5: That We Prefer Each Other More Than Ourselves

It is my prayer that we serve each other radically. I pray that people will look to our church and think that something is really weird about us because we genuinely care for each other. I pray we can week with those that weep, that we can rejoice with those that rejoice (Romans 12).

I have hope. If we follow through with these things and the Lord blesses us with these prayers, our church is in store for some really cool things.

If you want to check out other pictures of this event, check out our church website: HERE!

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