One of the fathers from our church said that he felt compelled to paint the exterior of the church, and wondered if I thought that would be a good idea. His query came from inside the church, so I stepped outside to look at the exterior and nearly instantaneously said “please do.”
Three weeks is what the process took. Three weeks of scraping, sanding, priming, and caulking (I think at last count, 70 tubes of caulk were used). Then the first coat. Then a second coat. Then the trim. It was a long process, but the results are outstanding. We cannot begin to express our thankfulness for this father and his rotating crew of sons, ranging in age from 8-19.
The father made a particular point over and over again to his sons. I think it bears repeating: regardless of what the outside looks like, the most important things happen inside. Certainly true of the church, and equally true of our hearts. Though the exterior of the church building looks beautiful, it means nothing if we are not proclaiming the truth of the Scripture, the truth of the gospel, and worshiping passionately.
There was a surprising effect of all of this painting – it got the neighbors attention. Cars were slowing down to see what was happening. As we traveled up and down the North River valley, we heard from people who were astounded by what was going on. People we visited with kept remarking on the church. What we discovered is that the painting of the church was sending a message – we are here, we are active, we want to be good stewards of what has been given to us, we are filled with life. Some folks who have lived here for more than 3 decades have said they have never seen the church look so good. I paraphrased the father by saying, “if you think looks good on the outside, wait until you see what happens on the inside.”