For the past several years, Seoul Baptist Church, which is made up of the Korean Speaking Congregation (KSC) and the English Speaking Congregation (ESC aka New Life Fellowship), has been steadily growing both spiritually and numerically. We praise and thank God for this growth and pray that He will continue to grow our church until Christ comes for the second time.
The numerical growth, however, has created some inconvenient situations in the life of our church. For example, New Life had to move the place of our worship from the trailer house to the gym, and we have been setting up chairs and taking them down every Sunday. KSC started their third worship on Sunday at 7:45PM to reach out and cater to their young singles and also to help ease the problem of parking congestion on Sunday morning. Our youth group and children’s department has had to be very creative to fully utilize the limited space that was allotted to them. And we had to put gravel on all the green space in the back of the trailer house, where kids used to play soccer and football, turning it into extra parking space. The KSC even drew lines on certain parts of the parking lot to make double parking areas. And all the singles and the married couples without children are even encouraged to park their cars in the elementary school parking lot that is north of us and to walk to the gym. We are experiencing shortage of space as each Sunday goes by.
However, because we sense that God is growing our church, our desire is to keep up with what He is doing in our midst. We are not interested in building buildings for the sake of just building them or making our names known through our fancy expansion projects. However, if God is telling us to come up with more space because He has more people to save and grow, then I believe with all my heart that we should obey no matter what the cost. Knowing God’s will and obeying Him is the best thing that we can do for ourselves.
To take care of this “good problem” that we have, the KSC has done their part by purchasing the north land for us so we can build our own facilities there. We are very thankful for what they have done for us.
Because the space shortage and the land purchase had been witnessed and discussed for years, the Leadership Team and I just assumed that everyone understood that it was time for us to make plans to build and move out of the gym. We thought that this was the right thing to do, so I went ahead and formed the building committee based on the members’ professional expertise. It was to serve the New Life family by leading in the building process.
After talking with some people, however, I sensed that not everyone was on the same page as the Leadership Team and also realized that we were supposed to have a New Life family meeting to officially form the building committee. Here, I would like to apologize for making this innocent mistake in regards to forming the building committee without going through the family meeting. I would truly appreciate it if you could forgive me for that. After dissolving the initial building committee with the committee members’ understanding and support, I called the family meeting, through which we decided to give authority to the Leadership Team to choose the members of the official building committee.
The Leadership Team decided to ask Steve Hwang, Peter Lee, Stan Park, Walter Won and Harold Yi to serve in the committee. The Team also said that I should serve in the committee. However, I decided not to get involved in it since my role as a head pastor of New Life is to pray, teach God’s word and equip God’s people. The committee members have decided to start the Master Planning process of the purchased land through an architectural firm since it is absolutely necessary whether New Life decides to build right away or not. Through this paid Master Planning service, the firm will provide us with a professional artist’s digital rendering of the church building, a set of 30″x42″ floor plans, a site and preliminary design, and a preliminary construction cost estimate among other things. Basically, we will come to know how we can fully utilize the land and how much it will cost to build the facilities that will suit our needs.
At this point, I would be very thankful if you all could delegate this work to the building committee and pray hard for them. Satan has divided and destroyed so many of God’s precious churches over such building projects. Let’s not become one of them. Instead, let’s go through this with much prayer and positive attitude that will bring glory and honor to God.
As to the time frame, after the family meeting, we the staff discussed and came up with other reasonable possibilities that would meet JCS’ needs and would postpone building. But upon hearing about our thoughts and thinking and praying about New Life building, Pastor Chai, the senior pastor of SBC, graciously yet very firmly told me to make plans to build our own facilities and move out of the gym in two years. He reiterated that the purpose in building the gym was not for our continual use and that it would be the right thing for New Life to build and move out as soon as we are able. Moreover, the trailer house will need to be removed around next summer once the new youth center is built right behind it. Let’s praise God for this clear direction.
Please join me in prayer that New Life will be united as one solid body of Christ as we go through this building project.
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