When we first walked into our church building as the new pastors we remembered thinking how terribly cold and unfriendly the facilities were. Not the people, the building. The colors were very cold, the floor in the lobby a dull, industrial, gray tile. The sanctuary had a basketball court on the carpet. That was weird but not as bad as the huge stains that greeted you as entered. All of that paled in comparison to the children’s wing…
The threadbare and overly worn carpet was held down by duct tape on all the seems. The nursery smelled horribly, a strong mildew smell and a slight vomit smell. A single tear slowly crawled down my wife’s face as she shuddered, “I can’t put my babies in here. I won’t.” She uttered firmly. I assured her we’d take care of it. First thing I did was rip up the nursery carpet and put down rubber squares.
My thought was this, “How can they have let the place run down so badly?” Don’t they see the torn baseboards, the stains in the carpet? Don’t they smell the nursery? Time had caused eyes to become blind and noses to become stuffy. It is a a scientific fact that a person looking at a crack of broken piece of a building long enough will no longer notice it. If you’ve ever sold a house you know it’s true. You didn’t realize how dingy the walls were until you painted them to sell. I encourage you church leaders to walk through the church with a new person with a critical eye.
Today we have new carpet in the sanctuary & kids wing, warmer colors, and clean fresh smells but as a pastor who has been here almost 5 years, I’m starting to not notice the broken door handle, the smell of the mop room, the chipped paint here and there. We bring in secret shoppers to check us out and report. People I know will be honest. (If you’d like a secret shopper to check out your building or church service email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Have you as a believer gotten a stuffy nose to the sin in your life that has been there for years or no longer notice the cracks in your relationships? We all need a good walk through with a friend to see what needs to be fixed. Don’t wait until someone smells the mildew in your life.