By Spencer Dillard
God called every church, every member, every Christian, to be a good steward to that which God has blessed them.
When we think of stewardship we most often think about our tithes and offerings. How about our church buildings? Is building our cathedrals and having them sit empty the majority of the time using our resources for the glory of God? Is that good stewardship?
When I came to Parham Road Baptist Church six years ago as Sr. Pastor, another congregation met in our building, Grace Chinese Baptist Church. As Pastor Daniel Chu and I became friends, we looked for more opportunities for our two congregations to partner in ministry.
One of my “Top Ten” God moments came the last Sunday Grace worshiped with us before moving into their new beautiful sanctuary in Goochland County. I preached the sermon, “Bloom Where He Plants You!” and Pastor Chu translated for His congregation. I watched God work in what should have been a language barrier, but there was a sweet, sweet Spirit in that place that day.
At the end of the worship service we stood together as one, and we sang “Amazing Grace.” I heard multiple languages singing in unison and I experienced the most beautiful and melodic worship. Bob Boggs turned to me and said, “This must be what heaven is like!” Today he knows the truth in that statement.
When Grace left in January of 2012, I met a pastor starting a church at Hermitage High School. The Light Community Church soon began meeting at Parham Road Baptist Church.
We prayer-walked our community together. One year to the day they left Parham Road for a new location given to them by Stukeley Hall Baptist Church. I like to think Parham Road planted a few seeds in that Azalea Road community.
Not long after The Light left, I met a pastor whose congregation met at J.R. Tucker High School right down the street. For the past year Springfield Baptist Church has been meeting at Parham Road Baptist. We moved our worship time to 10:00a.m.– away from the sacred hour – and we actually grew!
Since January of 2014 we also partnered with a Venezuelan Church, Ministry International El Shaddai. Our building, ministries, and our community are thriving.
As I have told Pastor Beard and Pastor Morales, if our mostly white congregation along with the African-American Congregation of Springfield and the Spanish-speaking congregation of El Shaddai cannot make an impact in our community together for Jesus Christ, then we need to get out of Kingdom work. We have everything we need to grow the Kingdom!
God blessed us as we partnered in ministry with other churches. On Easter, our neighbors, Trinity Lutheran Church, experienced a devastating fire in their sanctuary. We offered them space to continue their preschool program for the remainder of the year.
I encourage everyone to find ways to work together, and utilize their space and resources for the glory of God. Let nothing sit idle and unused. Like the parable of the talents, will we invest in what we have been given and multiply it, or will we keep what we have to ourselves and not grow it?