.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

BUILDING THE CHURCH – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        growth, church planting
SCRIPTURE:    Ps.127:1;  Pv.18:10;  Is. 28:16;
.             Amos7:7-8;  Mt.7:24, 16:18;
.             1Cor.3:9-14;  Eph.2:19-22;  1Tim.3:15
Style:        drama/conversation:  church planters
.             hold a planning discussion on how
.             they are going to build a church
Cast:         PERSON 1-3 (or more, reassign dialogue
.               and/or divide lines appropriately)
Set & Props:  table, paper, pen/s, Bible, plumb line


(PERSON 1-3 stand around a table, leaning in, keen
on developing the blueprints of their church building.)

P.1   I am so keen on getting this new church built.

P.2   Me, too.  And I do want to do this right
.     so that it stays standing.

P.3   God does promise to look after the Church.
.     As God told Peter in Matthew 16:18,
.     “upon this rock I will BUILD My church;
.     and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”   (NAS)

P.1   That is reassuring, indeed.  But – how do we begin?
.     The architect is meeting with us tomorrow.

P.3   We do want the most stable foundation possible.

P.1   I’m pretty sure the architect would know that.

P.3   This is the foundation I am talking about.
.     Matthew 7:24 says “Therefore everyone who hears
.     these words of Mine and acts on them,
.     may be compared to a wise man
.     who BUILT his house on the ROCK.” (NAS)

P.2   Of course.  That means we need to be reading the Bible
.     and being obedient to God’s commandments.

P.1   So now, can we move on with the actual building plans?
.                                                          2
P.2   I hear it is important to have
.     the perfect cornerstone, because - it is
.     the first stone set in the construction process,
.     and then all other stones
.     are set in reference to that.

P.3   That would be Jesus, as God explains in Isaiah 28:16,
.     “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
.     a costly CORNERSTONE for the FOUNDATION -
.     firmly placed.  He who believes in it
.     will not be disturbed.”                          (NAS)

P.1   I see.  So we build out, all based on who Jesus is
.     and everything He has done for us.

P.3   Exactly, Ephesians 2:19 to 22 gives us more detail.
.     “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners
.     and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people
.     and also members of His household, BUILT ON
.     the FOUNDATION of the apostles and prophets,
.     with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief CORNERSTONE.
.     and RISES to become a holy TEMPLE in the Lord.
.     And in Him you too are being BUILT TOGETHER
.     to become a DWELLING in which God lives
.     by his Spirit.”                                  (NIV)

P.2   We definitely need to be led by the Holy Spirit
.     in everything we do.

P.1   And while building up, the walls should be plumb.

(PERSON 1 picks up a plumb and lets the end dangle down.)

P.3   Amos 7:7 to 8 says “...Behold, the Lord was standing
.     by a vertical WALL with a PLUMB LINE in His hand.
.     The Lord said to me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’
.     And I said, ‘A plumb line.’ Then the Lord said,
.     ‘Behold I am about to put a PLUMB LINE
.     In the midst of My people Israel.’”              (NAS)

P.2   That means, Jesus is also our building instrument
.     to KEEP us aligned with God.

P.1   And to support the roof?

P.3   In 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul say “I write so that         3
.     you will know how one ought to conduct himself
.     in the household of God, which is the church
.     of the living God, the PILLAR
.     and SUPPORT of the truth.”  (NAS)

P.2   Cool.  So the roof won’t come crashing down.
.     And... will we have a steeple?

P.3   Proverbs 18:10 says that, “The name of the Lord
.     is a STRONG TOWER.  The righteous runs into it
.     and is safe.”

P.1   So we’re back to how God protects us.

P.2   I suppose construction kind of always continues
.     until we get to heaven.

P.3   In 1 Corinthians 3:9 to 14 Paul lays it out,
.     “For we are CO-WORKERS in God’s service;
.     you are God’s field, God’s BUILDING.
.     By the grace God has given me, I laid a FOUNDATION
.     as a WISE BUILDER, and someone else is BUILDING ON IT.
.     But each one should BUILD with care.
.     For no one can lay any foundation other than
.     the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
.     If anyone BUILDS on this FOUNDATION using
.     gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
.     their WORK will be shown for what it is,
.     because the Day will bring it to light.
.     It will be revealed with fire, and the fire
.     will test the QUALITY of each person’s work.
.     If what has been BUILT survives,
.     the BUILDER will receive a reward.”              (NIV)

P.1   So we know WHAT all the building materials should be,
.     now HOW do we go about building it?

P.3   Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless THE LORD BUILDS the house,
.     They labor in vain who build it.”                (NAS)

P.1   That settles it.  I want to build the best I can
.     ALL in God’s strength.
.     AND encourage others to do the same.

P.2   Nothing quite like having the Master Creator
.     of the universe - as your own personal architect.