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Building Your Worship Facility…Possessing YOUR Promised Land
By: Michael D. Barnes

So, you are ready to build your new worship facility.

But, is the building of a physical facility for the local church just about bricks and mortar? Or, does God use this passage to teach the body of Christ some important scriptural lessons regarding possessing the vision that He has for His church? 

I believe that church construction is more than just bricks and mortar. Let me explain. Another way to look at building construction within a local church body is through the eyes of Joshua as he was ready to lead the people of God into the Promised Land. The similarities between building a new church building and Joshua's preparation to possess the Promised Land are remarkably similar.

Let's take a look into the directives that God gave Joshua as he prepared the people of God to enter into their Promised Land.

But first, let's review a bit of historical context. Moses has died and Joshua has taken over as the leader of the Jewish nation. The first order of business is to accomplish what the previous generation never accomplished, possessing the land that God promised them.

The first generation appointed a type of 'building committee' to spy out the land. Then after they had looked into God's promise, they gave a bad report. Ten out of the twelve said that they could not possess the land and that there were giants in the land.

God basically said, "O.K." and waited until the entire generation had died in the wilderness. Then he used the only two from that original 'building committee' to lead the people. But first, God gave them some preliminary instructions that they were to heed prior to attempting to possess the promise. 

I would suggest to you that God uses these same spiritual instructions to His church today, prior to us possessing all that He has for us, including building a new worship facility. So, let's look into the book of Joshua and see what directives God gave Joshua prior to the entry into the Promised Land that would be applicable to us today.

1.  "Get ready" (Joshua 1:2)  
God is saying now is the time. "Get ready" suggests that there are some things we need to do to prepare our hearts for the possessing. We need to get ready for the miracles of God, and God gives Joshua several steps, as we will outline below.

2.  "I will give to you" (Joshua 1:3)    
God is bestowing blessings. God simply tells them that He will give it to them. An acknowledgment that all good and perfect gifts come from above is the first step towards understanding grace and embracing and receiving from God.

3.  "Territory will extend" (Joshua1:4)    
God is growing you. God is always extending and expanding our territory. God wants to bless us and give us the land. It is ours for the taking. But first, before we possess it, we must believe.

4.  "Be strong/courageous" (Joshua 1:6)    
Fear is always the opposite of faith and we cannot possess what we cannot see or believe. God wants us to be strong. God will give strength.

5.  "Meditate on the Word" (Joshua 1:8a)   
God wants us to grow spiritually. He is not just interested in the land. God's major concern is not the building of buildings, but in the building of the sanctuary, which is your soul that He inhabits.  Meditation comes before occupation…always.

6.  "Then…prosperous and successful" (Joshua 1:8b)    
God's wants you to be successful. He wants you to be prosperous and this follows us as we meditate on His word and align our life with His divine purpose.

7.  "I will go with you." (Joshua 1:9)     
God gives us a promise as we continue on with the journey He has mapped out for us.  We will never be alone.  God will always assist us in the journey.  So as we possess our Promised Land, whether it is a new construction project or a personal promise, we should expect to see His hand resting upon us.

8.  "Follow your leader."  (Joshua 3:3,4)  
This is a special scripture for pastors. God is reminding the people that He has appointed leaders to lead us into our Promised Land. God will show the way. The congregation should always look to their leaders for guidance and direction from God.
9.  "Consecrate yourself" (Joshua 3:5)     
God wants us to grow deep.  Yes, you will most likely use bricks and mortar to build your new sanctuary. But God is more concerned with our spiritual building and, therefore, gives the directive to consecrate yourself.  Why? He answers it in the same verse…tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things.

And He did. The water piled up miles from the people and they crossed over into the Promised Land just a Moses had crossed the Red Sea. God did this during the flood stage. Again, why? We are told in Joshua 3:15 that God did this in order that He might get the glory.

Are you getting ready to construct a new worship facility for your church? 

Are you getting ready to build?

Take heart; you are getting ready to possess a new Promised Land for you and your church. Follow the directives that God laid out for Joshua and his people and you too will cross over and possess all that God has for you and your church body. And when the people of your community see all that God has accomplished for you, only He will get the glory.

Go ahead and possess it. God is waiting to bless. That's God!

NOTE:  All scriptural references are taken from the New International Version.

Michael D. Barnes, A.I.A., is a church architect and chief executive officer of Barnes Design Group, www.BarnesDesignGroup.com.

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