My husband had some surgery almost six weeks ago, and since then has had to go to physical therapy one morning a week. I take him, drop him off and go do a little exploring, or maybe a little shopping. A lot of the time I drive around into parts of Chattanooga that I’ve never been, parts that are not the best neighborhoods, but ones that have beautiful old homes or quaint bungalows all in need of some love. It’s good to see that some are getting that love with people brave enough to move in, remodel and rejuvenate the old areas of this beautiful town. One of those mornings I was driving down a pretty rough street. I glanced down the street to my right and all of a sudden noticed the steeple of an old abandoned church sticking out above the once well kept homes. I saw enough to notice the white paint on that steeple peeling away. That once thriving church those little homes were built around was gone. It made me wonder why. Did the world change the church like the world changed that once pretty little neighborhood? Did the members of that church become complacent, the foundation we build our Church upon crumbled, and what was once a good thing that was the center of that neighborhood just disappeared, causing the neighborhood to decay and change for the bad? Then I saw a woman standing in the middle of that street in the shadow of that decaying steeple. Her head was almost buried into the black tote she carried. She was digging in the tote searching for something. I saw all of this within a few seconds. If my husband had been driving, I would have told him to stop so that I could have taken a picture of that moment. There was a disheveled woman in the middle of a broken down street that runs through a broken down neighborhood, standing beside a broken down church, and she was digging and searching for something. That picture now imprinted in my mind, said a lot. A woman alone searching, but the doors of the church were locked and no one was there to help her find what she may spiritually need.
Our pastors and leaders in the church need to be unafraid to teach all of God’s Word without any gray area, because there is none. We as members of a church need to be brave enough to go into the world away from our church building and profess that Jesus is Lord and Savior. Be an example to others of what He has done for us and show love to one another. If we do this, maybe, just maybe, we can help remodel and rejuvenate someone who is searching and in need. If our places of worship are strong, the communities around them will be strong. We can keep them both strong by reaching out beyond those church doors and that comfortable pew we sit in on Sunday mornings. Don’t allow that steeple to peel and rot away.
The beautiful St. Luke’s Church near Marlin, Texas
They joined with the other believers in regular attendance at the apostles’ teaching sessions and at the Communion services and prayer meetings.
A deep sense of awe was on them all, and the apostles did many miracles.
And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything with each other, selling their possessions and dividing with those in need. They worshiped together regularly at the Temple each day, met in small groups in homes for Communion, and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness, praising God. The whole city was favorable to them, and each day God added to them all who were being saved.
—- Acts 2:42-47
This is Stuart Heights Baptist Church, our church we attend here in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Preaching The Truth straight from God’s Word, active in the community and beyond, and a very welcoming congregation. No peeling steeple here, but there is always more work to do to keep it that way. If you are in the area or new to the area, you are invited to attend one of the three campuses. Go to http://stuartheights.org/ for more info.