It is amazing what a difference lipstick can make. I know, it sounds odd. But sometimes just making my face look brighter has a way of making my heart feel brighter. Have you ever noticed how the way you dress can affect your mood? I mean, don’t you feel special when you dress up or wear a new or favorite outfit? Sometimes we need to make changes on the outside as a way of jumpstarting changes on the inside. It is kind of like the advice Peter Böhler gave to John Wesley (who was contemplating quiting ministry because he thought he didn’t have faith): “Preach faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.” By the way, John Wesley is the guy who began the Methodist movement. He is considered our founding father. Even he needed to have a “faith lift” every once in awhile.
Well, God is doing some new things here at the Wesley Foundation. There is a fresh Spirit blowing; and there is an invitation to step out in faith in new ways. It is time that our appearance begin to reflect the new thing God is doing. That’s why we are beginning a new ministry here at the Foundation called “The Solid Rock Café.” It is like our version of TLC’s trading spaces, except we’re not trading spaces with anyone; we are just using paint in some creative new ways. We are updating the look of our downstairs fellowship hall (formerly known as “the basement”) into a coffee house atmosphere. This is one of the ways we are fulfilling our mission to create a safe place for students to meet Jesus. Atmosphere is so important. Stark walls don’t contribute to feelings of warmth and receptiveness. It is one way that we can extend hospitality to students who really don’t get into the church thing, but really do enjoy the coffee thing. Jesus doesn’t care what the walls look like as long as He is welcome there and those who need him most feel welcome too. And while this transformation will be a gradual process (dependent upon our money supply), isn’t that the way Jesus works in our hearts too?
BUT before we begin painting, I want to invite you to share in the new heart and new spirit of our ministry, to make sure that Jesus is all over this place. Before we paint you are invited to write your prayer for this ministry on its walls. You can even choose your favorite verse of scripture that you want to see God fulfill through this ministry. It is a way of preparing the faith of the future by standing on the faith of the present. And just think, even though you may not see the words you write today, for as long as these walls stand you will know they are there. Kind of like the way God is active in our lives: while we can’t physically see Him, His presence is steadfast in our lives. So come and leave your mark, your prayers and hopes for this ministry, on our walls.
Stop by this weekend or early next week. Painting begins soon.