Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Jim Pace on The Good News

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

This entry is a part of an on-going blog series called The Good News, which is taking place throughout the Easter Season, from Easter to Pentecost. A full list of the contributors can be found here. Jim’s local newspaper/indi magazine is 16blocks. Here is Jim Pace on the Good News.

THE GOOD NEWS

I am looking at our terra cotta tiles. They cover the floor of this old building our church community is renovating. I know what you are probably thinking. It is cool that we have them, very retro. But they aren’t the cool retro; they are broken and have enough old sealant on them to make everything around them look dirty all the time.

We have done a lot to this terribly ugly (the architectural term is butt ugly) building. Removed torn drywall and cleaned off layers of mint green paint and exposed some great brickwork. We have strengthened the floor, taken out the white drop ceiling and opened up the trusses at the roofline. We have a great color scheme, local art on the walls and a sweet concrete island.

And those god-awful terra cotta tiles.

The renovation has taken more time and cost more money than we expected, with more hassles seemingly at every turn. But something else is happening, and I can only see it when I stand back and look for it. This project is drawing people to connect with our community in ways they hadn’t. Friendships are being made and strengthened. People that walk by on the sidewalk are asking what is going on.

And the ugliness of those tiles is slowly being blended out by the beauty of everything around it.

We are making an old building that had fallen from its original design beautiful again. We are doing it together. Not always smoothly, not always in the most straightforward way – but it is happening. That makes it more than a building; at least it better be. It is a bridge between our community of followers of Jesus and our neighbors. It is more than a building; it is an indication of what is important to us as part of the church of the New River Valley. That building has become a picture of us.

The building should remind us of why we are here: take the hurting and the ugly and the inconvenient in this world on ourselves. Then together, in the power of the risen Christ we celebrate, we help it be transformed.

The Good News to me is that we can do just that – to do what has been done for us. Take the broken and make it whole, the ugly and return it to beauty – both on a global scale and an individual one. The Good News is that we follow a Lord who has renovated us and then tapped us to partner with him to do more of the same.

And if we pull our heads up out of our everyday problems and setbacks and focus for a moment on the transcendent, we see it everywhere. The Good News to me is that we get to be a part. In the Kingdom of God, beauty has come and is slowly blending out the ugliness that surrounds it.

But, if I am honest, I still hate those tiles.

Jim Pace is the lead navigator of New Life Christian Fellowship. He has the distinction of likely being the only contributor to this series who does not have a blog. He knows he needs to have one. He has been told. His desire is to see the church (in whatever form it takes) be the means of cultural influence and hope that Jesus realizes it can be. You can go to [nlcf] and see what the community he is a part of is doing. He is just finishing his first book, Should God Be Fired? and is foolishly working on the plans for another. When not bragging on himself in the third person he absolutely loves hanging out with his amazing wife Tracy and they have three kids that are likely just a bit more awesome than yours (Noah, Seth and Emma). His local newspaper/indi magazine is 16blocks . And he didn’t really mean that about your kids. He is sure they are really awesome too.


7 Responses to Jim Pace on The Good News

  1. Nicely done, Jim.

    JR – really loving this series: The Good News. Had been away from your blog for a little while I think… and this is a really a pretty sweet tumble to crash back into. Alive with both creativity and deep truth.

  2. jrwoodward says:

    Jim,

    I love how you take the things of every day life to illustrate the truth of the Good News. Your wittiness always shines through your writing. Thanks for your contribution.

  3. jrwoodward says:

    Chris,

    I’m glad you are enjoying the series and nice to know you are back checking on the blog. I trust things are going well for you in Chicago. I hope to see you sometime in the future. The series has many good posts to come, so keep your eyes open. Peace.

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  5. Scott Olson says:

    Jim,

    what a beautiful picture you’ve painted of the church and the revolutionary, reforming, renovating good news. Thanks for sharing…

  6. Winn Collier says:

    Thank you, Jim.

    Too bad it isn’t the cool kind of terra cotta…

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