This morning I’ve been working with some old photographs, recently excavated from storage at our church. They date from 1994-95, featuring the construction and dedication of WFPC’s first building.
One of the teams working on our 25th anniversary celebration wants to include the pictures in a slide presentation, but they are all glued to poster board. So I photographed the prints and cleaned them up a little on my computer.
You all know I can’t do anything, experience anything, read anything, look at anything, write anything… without some truth about my life as a disciple of Jesus working its way into the edges of my consciousness (By the way, God takes exception to the “edges of Derek’s consciousness” statement, but I’m trying to be honest here).
The idea of Faith & Thinkology essentially means melding my life of faith with the heart of what it means for me to be a thinking being. It’s more than “thinking about thinking,” or “the study of thinking” – what I’m really up to here is acknowledging that there is no boundary – or at least there shouldn’t be – between my reflections as an intellectual and my ponderings as a person of faith.
I guess what I’m talking about is thinking faithfully. I understand that as a created being an active spiritual and intellectual relationship to the Creator is essential to thinking clearly and creatively.
So back to the photos. The church was organized in 1991 – hence the celebration coming up next month. Wake Forest Presbyterian secured an amazing slice of prime real estate along Capital Boulevard (U.S. Hwy. 1), cleared the land in 1994, then erected the first building, dedicated in 1995.
Today our campus is significantly more developed, and has evolved into a growing center for worship, discipleship, and mission. The church has over 800 members, children all over the place, and more active youth than I’ve ever seen in a church this size.
But – and this is why I’m sharing a few of these photos today – there would be absolutely nothing going on around here if it wasn’t for the faith, the passion, and the vision of the small group of people who got things rolling back in the early 1990’s.
If you want to know one of the most compelling connections between faith and thinking, then it is this: the passion of living faith, plus thoughtfulness and imagination, equals vision. If we don’t allow God to transform our spirits via the renewing of our minds (Romans 12), then we will never move into the kind of cutting-edge ministry that defines WFPC as a bright light for Christ here in Wake Forest.
The passion of living faith, plus thoughtfulness and imagination, equals vision.
But here’s my message to all of us today – both members of WFPC and readers from all over this nation and the world – we need to embrace such vision and passion today! God has so much more for us to claim over the next five years, decade, and more! The only thing that stands between any church and the next miracle is our hesitancy, our lack of vision, and our unbelief.
I can’t help but think of this hymn by Steve Green”Find us Faithful.”:
We’re pilgrims on the journeyOf the narrow roadAnd those who’ve gone before us line the wayCheering on the faithful, encouraging the wearyTheir lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining graceSurrounded by so great a cloud of witnessesLet us run the race not only for the prizeBut as those who’ve gone before usLet us leave to those behind usThe heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly livesOh may all who come behind us find us faithfulMay the fire of our devotion light their wayMay the footprints that we leaveLead them to believeAnd the lives we live inspire them to obeyAfter all our hopes and dreams have come and goneAnd our children sift through all we’ve left behindMay the clues that they discover and the memories they uncoverBecome the light that leads them to the road we each must find…