Groundbreaking Remarks // 2022.09.18

Comments from Pastor Nate Powell, shared at the Family Life Center Harvest groundbreaking on September 18, 2022:

The great king Solomon once wrote these famous words in Psalm 127: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stay awake in vain.” Solomon was a great man to write such a thing. It was he who oversaw the construction of a Temple in Jerusalem. It was he who oversaw the vast expansion of the great city of Jerusalem. He knew a thing or two about construction and overseeing construction. And he knew that if the Lord was the one establishing something, it would be built to last.

Today, we are here on this field, in with the dirt, looking at the beginnings of a construction project that has been more that 20 years in the making. We have dreamed, hoped, prayed, given, sometimes argued, sometimes stalled, sometimes doubted, yet we persevered so that this day could become a reality. It is the day the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it!

110 years ago, that building behind us opened so that for generations in this community, the people of God would have a place to gather in unity as Christians and the gospel of Jesus would be proclaimed in Auburn, Nebraska. Each of you have played a roll in that, as have your parents, grandparents and many others who have gone before.

Now, more than 100 years later and nearly 150 years after this church’s founding, the message and hope of Jesus Christ continue, so much so, that we continue to bring families to faith in Jesus and we continue to minister to youth so that they may know the goodness of God just as we did in our youth. We continue to value the fellowship and gathering of believers in groups large and small, for feasting and for prayer, the young and the old.

It is to those ends we gather today and we break this ground for Auburn Christian Church’s Family Life Center. I’m certain that many of you had to pinch yourself today, as I have, just to remind yourself that this is actually happening. We are doing more than talking about it! We are taking the step of faith to do it. And today we pray that we will not be building in vain, as Solomon spoke of. As I have walked with our church and these leaders thru this process, the Lord’s hand has been clearly seen and felt. He provoked the generosity and provided the gift from Zella Franz that helped initiate this project. He gave the leaders who guided us thru the process of making those funds available to use to these ends. He gave this piece of land to us at a good price. He gave our leaders vision for the type of facility that would sit on this land. He brought our current leadership team together and kept us working in unity. He held our church unified, healthy and strong thru the challenges of COVID. He provided partners from The Giving Church, Construction Team Management & Genesis Contracting to give us a floor plan, a financing plan and a contractor that will see the project thru. He provided The Solomon Foundation that would work with our church to provide the needed financing and fill the financial gap so that we could take this step of faith. It is He, the Lord, that is holding us together at this time and he that will see us thru.

I truly believe that it is the Lord that is building this building, so that he may build the true spiritual building, his church. It is because we have hearts for Jesus and hearts for our neighbors in Auburn that we build this building. It is not to make much of ourselves, but so that the name of Jesus would be glorified for another 100+ years in Auburn and Nemaha County. To those ends I have a couple of exciting announcements regarding where this project sits today.

First, we want to celebrate the fact that 47 different family units that made initial commitments to the Harvest campaign have continued to give toward their commitments. Those families have given a total of $216,000 toward the project.

As well, we have had another group of unpledged donors that have stepped up to the plate. There have been another 26 giving individuals/groups that have given another $28,000 to the project. That brings the total in both pledged and unpledged giving to $245,000! Praise the Lord for the Harvest gifts that have been given to move this project forward.

Secondly, I want to speak regarding one of our sisters in Christ, Jackie Williams. Many of you know that Jackie lost her battle with heart disease this past June. If you’d ever visited with Jackie in these past months and years, you know that she was a woman with a strong faith and a fierce love for her church. She was a tremendous encouragement to me and to so many of you. She wanted the ministry of this church to continue long after she was gone. It was after her passing that we were contacted by her family, and notified that the church would be receiving a gift from her estate. I’m pleased to report that within the next two weeks, the church will be receiving a check of more than $143,000 from Jackie’s estate! I truly believe that Jackie would be so excited by the arrival of this day. She would be so excited to see dreams becoming reality for this church family.

I say all of that to say this: Thank God for the provision and generosity of his people. We know this is not the finish line. But it is a milestone. We know that the giving is not done. There is more construction to happen. There is plenty of planning to do in how we will use this facility for ministry. I want to say to those who are here who may not have been able to partner in giving to this point … maybe you had kids in college, or medical issues, or career changes you’ve been dealing with. You couldn’t get involved in this project then, but you still can now! The Harvest campaign will continue. You can pledge with us toward making this facility a reality. For those who have questions about what all is entailed in this facility and how it fits into the future of ACC, I would love to visit with you. Please make sure that you let me know you’d like a visit, and I would be glad to do it.

Church, let’s give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever, from generation to generation. The Lord is building His house, his church, the people of God. And toward those ends, let’s strive as a church to carry the gospel of Jesus forward her and to always be for Jesus & for Auburn. Today, we break ground on this tool God has given to His church to grow His Kingdom.