I was lost in thought this morning, trying to capture in words a vision of our church’s future facilities that would arrest your attention. Maybe I could even help you know something about the members of our church who have been tasked with suggesting a Master Plan for development 15-20 years or more into the future, a plan that could serve us for decades. I found my thoughts inadequate. I began to explore the thoughts of great Christian writers that might provide inspiration. And then I found a metaphor by C.S. Lewis from his book “Mere Christianity.” It applies to each of us, but it should apply to our Master Plan as well.
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
So Central’s Building committee has been working for months now, in some ways suggesting knocking a thing down here, building a bigger better thing there—always keeping in mind it is God’s house and He wants to live there. Who are these people we have entrusted with so much? What qualifies them to do the job? What is their character?
Central’s committee has 11 members who are spiritual, faithful, and loyal to the vision and ministry of the church.
Research shows these are the qualities needed by church building committee members:
- Decision Makers
- Good character and well respected by the congregation
- Supportive of the vision and mission of the church
- Good listeners, humble, problem solvers not problem starters
- Accountable and Dependable
- Church involvement and a servant’s heart
Research also shows the Building committee should be small (to avoid project confusion and to come together as a team) numbering 8-12 members. So what are Central’s 11 Building Committee members like?
Below, you will find some information about each one of them. They are diverse. They reflect a definite effort to involve young adults, who are Central’s future. There are also long-term members who are devoted to Central and its mission.
These six men and five women include:
- A CPA who is a long-time member of Central and has served on Finance and Staff Parish Relations. The member has a wealth of financial knowledge.
- A member with a keen interest in the possible Sanctuary renovation who has served multiple terms on the Board of Trustees and is very active in community affairs.
- A retired regional project manager for a large Arkansas construction company, also actively involved in the life of Central.
- A representative of young people in the church, age 29, who works as a transportation manager.
- A school teacher and long-time member of Central who has worked extensively in our children’s ministry program.
- A health care professional who also served as a member of our Strategic Plan Task Force.
- Another member of our Strategic Plan Task Force, age 35, who represents the young people at Central and a very active youth leader in the student ministries program.
- A former Church Council chair that has also served on various boards and committees, member of the Strategic Plan Task Force, retired attorney, and lay leader.
- Director of Operations for a major real estate development firm and very familiar with planning and zoning regulations and the building process, who is 34 years of age.
- Another young person, age 33, who is a local insurance agent with experience in both individual and commercial insurance and has helped lead the Young Adult Advisory Council at Central.
- A member, age 29, who works for the University of Arkansas and has been very active in promoting ADA accessibility compliance at the University and at Central—has a life perspective of being in a wheelchair.
These Central members are qualified and diverse and reflective of the life of our church and its various viewpoints. They believe the heartbeat of Central’s ministry should be interwoven into the fabric of the Master Plan. They dare to dream and to work hard for our future. They are deliberate and careful and determined. They know it isn’t wrong for us to occasionally disagree so that all viewpoints can be heard. For now, the Building Committee continues to diligently perfect the Master Plan proposal. Soon though, the Building Committee will begin to prayerfully reveal their recommendations for the Master Plan of Central United Methodist Church, reflective of the future for God’s House.
Donna Pettus, Lay Leader
Brian Swain, Administrator
Jason Wilson, Committee Chair