Everyone knows “Extreme Makeover.” It’s about a rich person helping a poor family that is going through a very tough time by building them an extremely fancy house. The show was quite sensational because there were tear jerking stories, exciting demolitions, fun-filled vacations and thrilling surprises in the end. However, I have always wondered how those families with their brand new homes are doing after three, five or ten years. Assuming that the houses are completely paid for, are the families able to pay their taxes and utilities, which must have gone up significantly due to the increase in value and size of their homes? Are their houses clean and nicely maintained? I am curious to find out answers to these questions.
My gut feeling is that many of these homeowners are struggling to maintain their brand new homes. Not only are the homes too big for them, they don’t have the discipline to take care of them. And if they don’t have the discipline, then it is just a matter of time that these amazingly beautiful homes will get ruined and trashed. Only those families who were struggling and living in small and dilapidated homes, yet had enough pride and discipline to clean, organize and maintain their homes before their extreme makeover are probably still doing well. Extreme Makeover works only when it happens inside out.
I want us to do the same thing with our building. Our church building is not fancy or luxurious but functional and spacious. And we must use it well by cleaning, organizing and maintaining it properly. This, too, is what it means to honor and glorify God. We are already doing a great job of taking care of our building especially when I look at our fellowship area on Monday morning or our church campus on my way to my morning run in the neighborhood.
However, I would like for us to do even better especially with those areas that are not visible or frequently used in our church. If we don’t do a good job of taking care of these areas regularly, then soon they will become messy and chaotic. The key is to organize them well first and then use them well by putting things away right away. In fact, we must discipline ourselves so that we will always leave the place that we used better than and cleaner than we found it. If we live our lives this way, we will bring joy to those who come after us to use the place. And this is called love because love is not self-seeking but selfless. On the other hand, if we don’t discipline ourselves to live this way, we will create a big mess that we eventually need to clean up. This takes a lot of time and energy and we will frustrate others who come after us because of the mess we created. Taking just five or ten seconds to put things away and clean up after ourselves will do wonders in our interpersonal relationships and community life whether it be marriage, family, house church or work.
In order to help us do this better, I will have our admin staff (Lisa and Lang) go through the entire facility every Monday to see how things are. And if there is anything that needs to be organized or cleaned up, they will inform the team leaders who are responsible for those particular areas. Then, the team leaders with their members will take some time to clean up those areas on the following Sunday. I hope we will soon develop this good habit of appreciating and respecting our facility by using it well so that we don’t get too many notices from our admin staff.
Let’s not neglect these seemingly small matters because it is these seemingly small matters that either make or break our family and church.
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