Home » Abundance » Building to Serve, Part 1

Building to Serve, Part 1

Lately I’ve been reflecting on the power and place of money in a Christian’s life, and the challenge the rich young man presents to all of us. “What must I do to have eternal life?” the rich man asked the Lord. And Jesus told him, “Sell all you have, and come, follow me.” That is a challenge to each of us, to examine our hearts and to understand just how deeply and completely we depend on God.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Job 1:21

Everything I have comes from God, and so when I use what I have, I examine my heart. What are my root intentions? I just added a gymnasium to my home. And I really worried over the decision. I wondered, am I getting to the point where I’m so bored that I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just build something? That truly wasn’t the reason! It isn’t as if I’ve got so much money that I can easily build a gym. This was a big deal.

I built it in part for my sons. In the winter, it gets dark at 4:00 in the afternoon, and the boys are getting so active. They bounce off the walls. They throw stuff down the stairs. Logan, who will be my middle boy, is so active trying to keep up with his brother. I mean, if his brother climbs on the couch, he climbs on the couch. If his brother dives in the pool, he jumps! I’ve got to have something to do with these kids, and in the winter, it’s cold, and it’s dark.

But there were other good reasons to build a gym. I talked this over with a pastor, who told me, “You know what? When my kids were teenagers, we built a home that was too big. It was more than we needed. But it was a home built for teenagers. I wanted all the kids to come to my house every Friday night to watch a football game and have fun. I wanted them with me, and not going out. I wanted to serve those kids. They could watch games, and they could have a little party, and I would know there was no alcohol there. I knew these kids were going home sober. I knew there was no promiscuity. Those kids felt safe. And I felt safe having them in my home. That’s why I built more than we needed.”

And that’s truly why I built the gym. I want the neighborhood kids to come and play basketball, or a little floor hockey. I want their dads to come so we can all hang out together. There’s a community of people coming together in my home, and I’m serving them.

I think I might be building a church! More on this next time. See you Saturday.

3 thoughts on “Building to Serve, Part 1

  1. That’s awesome Jeremy! We are the church and we do build it one person at a time. When our kids were young (and we didn’t have money!) our house was the place to be. Wiffle ball home run derby in the backyard was always a summer activity. (I thought the grass would never grow back, a permanant base path was the norm every summer!) We had access to a gym so we’d load up the kids’ friends and go play basketball. Even me, the mom! And a few of them attended youth group even though their parents didn’t go to church. Now that they are all grown, we miss that! But hopefully, some seeds were planted and even though all those friends have moved away we can pray that there will be a time of visitation and those seeds of God’s Word will be remembered and begin to grow and be fruitful for God’s glory!
    Cherish those times! It’s fantastic that you’ll be able to reach so many young children, it’s a wonderful ministry. God bless.

    We have our tickets for fellowship day in Sept. and are so excited. Congrats on a great series in Los Angeles!

  2. Awesome Jeremy! I love your thought process and believe JC had something to say to you on the building project as well – you listened and heard Him. We live down the peninsula in a wealthy town. Kids could hang out at other homes – billionaires who have everything – but they end up at our home quite often (and not surprisingly the homes of other Christ followers – although the kids don’t know that). We do not have all the possessions of the uber wealthy or cool 90 inch TV’s, but we offer the kids – actually teens now – a safe environment with plenty of fun stuff to do (pool, baseball pitching mound, basketball, gym), and unbeknownst to the kids, our prayers for them each – to love, grow, be happy, have fun, and get to know who God really is. Good luck with the gym, and church (looking forward to hearing your insight on your gym as a church if I am reading between the lines – or did you mean it literally?). If you are ever down in Woodside, ping me – my boys would love to know Jeremy Affeldt threw a few off our mound!!! And I agree with Natalie H, cherish the time with your young kids and their friends, it goes by quickly!

  3. It’s true, it’s difficult to find the line sometimes. I struggle with that every.single.day. But you began by asking questions, which demonstrate your heart and love from the beginning. How can that fail? You shared your thought process with your peers, benefitting everyone and staying vulnerable (not isolating only to those who will say yes). I believe “there’s only 1 right choice” thinking is a slippery slope. You prayed, you sought counsel, you followed your heart; it IS the choice God will bring glory from, regardless.

    May the choice be a pebble tossed in still water, rings expanding farther than you ever imagined.

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