What Should I Preach Before We Break Ground?
Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 43 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, three daughters-in-law--Leah, Vanessa, and Sarah, and seven grandchildren. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2010 May 27
I received a note from a young pastor whose congregation has been waiting many years to begin a building program. The good news is, they will break ground in just a few weeks. The pastor wanted to know what he should preach on to build enthusiasm as the happy moment approaches.
Fascinating question because if the congregation has waited a long time and gone through all the hard work of raising money, making plans, finding an architect, approving the drawings and getting the permits, if they've done that successfully, I would think they are already pretty excited.
But what should you preach leading up Groundbreaking Sunday? There really isn't a wrong answer to that question. After thinking about it, here is my answer:
Congratulations on the groundbreaking. That's a huge step forward for you and for your congregation. Let me tell you the first thing that popped into my mind:
Preach about the glory of God.
Tell them about the goodness of the Lord.
Give them a mighty God to worship.
If they've been waiting this long, I wouldn't think you have to do much to inspire them. If you proclaim a great God who can be trusted to do amazing things, they will rightly see this groundbreaking as evidence of his bountiful kindness to them.
So maybe Isaiah 40.
Or Revelation 22.
Or Psalm 96.
Or Romans 11:33-36.
If you give them a great God to worship, this will move them from "Look at our new building" to "Look at our great God." And the celebration will never end.
That's what I would do.
Hope this helps.
Blessings—and enjoy this happy time.