Thank you so much for taking the time to read the latest post at BrandonDobson.com. My hope is that each post will help you grow in your love for Christ, His Church and His Mission. One way I plan to accomplish this is by regularly having guest writers share what God is doing in their lives. Today, we have my best friend, Pastor Robert Altman of Bethany Baptist Church in Barnwell, SC sharing what God has been teaching him through 15 months of transition.
June 29th 2014 I received a phone call that would radically alter my next fifteen months. In a panic, my secretary explained that our church building was on fire. First thing I thought, “This could not have happened at a worse time.” I was dealing with some health issues while trying to lead a building campaign (Comical right? We were in the process of building a new building and our present building caught on fire). A Saturday that I set aside for rest and family, I instead spent walking through a freshly burned building, praying about what to do next.
Thankfully, the story of Bethany Baptist Church (www.bethanybbc.com) did not end here. God would go on to do an incredible work through the people and for the people of Bethany Baptist that I never would have expected. I want to share three of them with you now.
1. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
John Maxwell once said, “Team Works Make the Dream Work.” I used this phrase to help cast vision and keep the church dreaming of the endless possibilities behind a limitless God. I taught the people that God could do incredible things through people serving on the same team – headed in the same direction. But after the fire, this phrase took on a deeper meaning. During a time when it would have been so easy for people to get discouraged, God would use this difficult situation to make for a greater story.
What I saw following the fire were men and women serving as a team, together. Throughout this season, no financial or physical need went unmet…Because of the people that call Bethany Baptist home. A fire that Satan could easily have used for the church’s destruction, God used to strengthen the church and ensured that it kept dreaming.
2. Churches are on the Same Team
What do you do when your church catches on fire on a Saturday and worship is on Sunday? (Please don’t say you cancel service!) You pray for a place to Worship. We prayed and God used Barnwell First Baptist (www.fbcbarnwell.org) to meet our need. FBC Barnwell graciously opened up room so that Bethany Baptist could continue to gather for Worship.
Through this situation, FBC Barnwell has become family to us. They have shown us a Godly example of what a church that is Kingdom minded looks like. The principle behind this is – Churches that love the same Savior and are following His same Mission- truly are on the same team.
3. God Makes All Things Beautiful in His Time
Our New church building will be completed this month. It is beautiful and will be a place in Barnwell, SC for people to hear a beautiful message about Jesus! The fire is our past but the Church moving forward is the present! Our time in transition has been a learning process for us all. However, if he has shown us one primary thing is that he can take our/your ashes of destruction and make a something beautiful with them!
Will you have patience in your trial until God makes your situation beautiful?
-Pastor Robert Altman