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Not About a Church Building - But About Building a Church!
Written By Sheila Schuller Coleman
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust can destroy, and where thieves can break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” -Matthew 6:20/ESV
When the news broke that the Crystal Cathedral campus had gone into escrow for sale to the Catholic church, it amazed me how many people thought that the ministry was finished. In their minds, they equated the ministry with the building and the campus. And, of course, that makes sense - after all, our ministry was named after our building!
However, I remembered where we came from. We started with $500, a rented snack-stand rooftop, and our tiny parsonage. And, look what God did with that! We started with no building. We started with a church that had no roof and no walls. We started out where all you could see was the sky, be it sunny, cloudy, or even rainy. That was the reason Dad wanted to build a “crystal” cathedral. He wanted a building that would have no gloomy corners, but be palace of worship where people could see and feel the nature of God through God’s nature - sitting “outdoors” while protected from the elements.
Our ministry has never been about buildings. In fact, you could say that we actually built an anti-building because the Crystal Cathedral was designed to go away - to be made only of windows, allowing God’s nature to be seen from every angle. Nevertheless, once the news broke that the Crystal Cathedral building and campus were in the process of being sold to the Catholic church, the reaction by many was as if our ministry had died.
So, in this process, we have learned that the cathedral is just a building. When I get to heaven, I won’t see the Crystal Cathedral. I will see, instead, the millions of lives that were saved and will continue to be saved by God through this ministry. That’s real life, that’s true ministry, and that’s a reason to celebrate!
(NOTE: This is an excerpt from Pastor Sheila's upcoming book, My Father, My Friend: A Memoir, available this coming June, 2012, through the “Hour of Power.”)