Years. Not days.
When we search the scriptures for encouragement on a building project we tend to remember the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem more than the rebuilding of the temple. Ezra and Nehemiah have the same author, but Nehemiah certainly gets more air time in most building discussions. We are drawn to this story by the pace of progress. From start to finish the wall was completed in 52 Days! That is awesome. We tend to think that every part of a project should be that quick. In our culture where fast = good and slow = bad, with tilt slab walls and rapid set concrete, we seek wisdom and encouragement on how to repeat Nehemiah’s rapid success. Quickly forgetting that the rebuilding of the wall was but a small part of God’s plan, that followed years of bureaucracy, opposition and discouragement that ground progress on rebuilding the temple and city to a halt for years. Decades came and went between Cyrus’s edict and the completion of the temple. Yet God was clearly at work through the process.
Reading Ezra alongside Nehemiah establishes healthy expectations as we negotiate with neighbours for land, plan roading changes, navigate resource consent requirements, establish building design, gather finances, start digging foundations… The building project God has given us is large. It is going to take years not days. There will come a time when progress will be visible with cranes lifting walls & beams into place, but we’re not there just yet. This project is but a part of what He has called us to do in discipling the nations and He continues to be at work through us to see his kingdom come and his will done.
Our negotiations continue with neighbouring landowners, contract conditions have been drawn up, valuers appointed and follow up meetings scheduled. The team expects to have something to report in the near future.
– The Village Church Building Team