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Real News of Inspiration

September 25th, 2011


Here’s this week’s Real News of Inspiration

From York Sunday News’ John Hilton

With this terrible economy, are churches able to grow?  St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran church in York has in a big way.  They recently completed a 4 million dollar expansion and renovation project.  The project included a new pipe organ, a 3 story elevator, new restrooms, new childcare and office suites and 60 additional parking spaces.  The last renovation had occurred in 1968.  The restrooms and offices specifically needed modernization.  Rev. Kevin Shively commented on the project, “It allows us to continue to reach out to the community.”



  1. Maura Jenkins
    September 27th, 2011 at 10:16 | #1

    Praise God for anything unexpected and wonderful God does in anyone’s life, in any church, that gives His voice room to grow. I must play devil’s advocate here and speak to a new wave of thinking among former mega church pastors who have walked away when they found their members trying to walk across a room and make a difference, and realized that there was no one in the ‘room’. The hurting were outside the walls. So much good can be done with 4 million dollars. Feeding the hungry and housing the homeless seems to jump out of that blog. 4 million dollars. I’m wondering if that 4 million dollars was taken outside the church walls, how many programs that would have funded. I have to admit, of course, I came from a very large church. I considered it my second home for 12 years. I was a single mom, pregnant out of wedlock, and that church is where God found me every Sunday and Wednesday night, and any other night an activity was going on. We had multi media screens, comfortable pews, state-of-the-art everything, activities regularly that would bring the members ‘into’ the church walls to get their fill of fellowship, and offer God’s word in Sunday schools, bible studies, Kids Church, etc. The Missions program was incredible…and they had a 28 million dollar bond/note/debt on the building. 28 million dollars. I left there in 2010 – a bit ‘tiffed’ at feeling after years of serving on the single parents ministry, and sitting in the same pew year after year, every Sunday, every Tuesday, every Wednesday, every Sunday night, I had few ‘friends’. I found myself jealous of the ‘choir’ click and the ‘play’ performers click and the adoptive parents clicks…I didn’t seem to fit anywhere. Couples groups guided me away from their groups and gently suggested I should be in a singles group. What started out as ‘geography’ based groups – so you could find a lifegroup close to your home – turned in to a situation where you were herded toward like inviduals. I became more secluded – but never once did God leave me. His word was still powerful. It was a bible-based church, and I found Him there every Sunday. I guess what I’m trying to say is…the last comment of your blog from the pastor, that ‘It allows us to continue to reach out to the community’ left me thinking…what if the community doesn’t felt drawn in to the church walls. Some people don’t have phones and computers to call in to the church for help, or money to see a production, or a ride in to church. I’m praying some of that renovation money was put aside for a Joshua’s fund, Food Bank, Missions within a reasonable radius of the church…shoes, blankets…I’ve been tything at my new church every Sunday since I moved and started in March. $100/week. When my roofing company was blessed and flourishing, it was the least I could do – 10% of my salary. When I had to pull the men off the roof in May, and no longer had contracts to support my salary, I continued to tythe. One Sunday, the pastor said at ‘collection’ time ‘you never know where this money is going to be needed…an electric bill someone can’t pay…’. (How did he know I walked in to church that morning knowing mine was getting shut off the next day! Oh yes, the Holy Spirit). I approached the pastor and his wife after church asking if they could pray for me, not asking for the money but letting them know my situation. It wasn’t the Lord’s will that I get that money from my church that day. I did get a call and they referred me to an outside ministry that helped the community when they were in need. I didn’t go to the outreach that morning. I felt the ministries outside the church were for those that weren’t connected to a church – didn’t have that support. I sowed my seeds in to my own church. I was hoping my tything may ‘entitle’ me to some help. I got a little lesson from the Holy Spirit that day. That money is God’s to do with what He wants. I should have no expectations. Just be obedient. 4 million dollar renovations. 28 million dollar new church additions….$600 to pay an electric bill that got months behind when a business closed. And I even offered to pay it back in two weeks. My comment? I pray when I hear monetary amounts like that that someone is ‘walking outside the church walls’ and sowing that money in to the community – not just the church structure. Upgrading may help asthetics, but people come to church to hear the Word of God. You can’t put a price on that. (thank you WJTL for a venue to speak…)

  2. Rick
    September 28th, 2011 at 23:02 | #2

    I have been into St. Matthews and the new project is awesome and they appear to be doing a great job to use their facilities to open their doors to the community. However, I’ve read similar posts about multi-million dollar expansions printed right next to stories about children dying over not being able to get medication that costs $2. Praise God for what he is doing, but also that he keeps our eyes global to all needs.

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