“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
As a leader I am constantly looking at maximizing my time and efforts. As someone who loves Jesus I realize that this means carefully leading my life according to the pattern He modeled because I believe this will yield eternal results. This may sound easy but it’s not. We very often get drawn into building things that won’t last.
We build houses that will eventually decay and get bulldozed.
We build bank accounts that we cannot take with us when we die.
We spend time building up our bodies only to see them break down and eventually return to dust.
We build programs and projects that eventually lose effectiveness and stop.
Realize that, in and of themselves, none of the building just mentioned is pointless activity. It could be eternal work that will bear lasting results. It could be fruitless work that yields little or no eternal reward. If the houses we build are used as tools to minister to our friends and neighbors and build a family, it becomes a tool for eternal building. If the bank accounts we build are used selflessly to advance the kingdom, they become holy tools in the hands of God. If the bodies we build are given over to serve the Lord in any way He sees fit, the building is not in vain. If the programs we build are built to love everyone they touch, the programs last beyond their finish date.
Jesus, the master builder, invested in people. Every movement he made was aimed at loving the precious lives He would eventually die to save. So I must learn to build like Him.
This means, I am learning to carefully look at what and how I’m building. One of the questions I have begun asking of everything I am involved in is, “Will this love people for the glory of my Savior?” A closely related one, but just as essential for the person who wants to build things that last: “How can this activity/meeting/assignment love people well?” Systems will eventually fail. Bank accounts will eventually dry up. Businesses that were successful in one generation will wane in another. But the truth of the matter is, there is eternity hidden inside the heart of every single human we meet. If we want to build true legacy, we have to learn how to build up people.
This is why I believe in Urban Alliance. Each component was built with people in mind. Whether it’s in the streets with some of the most hurting in our city, or with Momentum helping restore hope for employment, or with His Kingdom Housing and providing a pathway to home ownership, each part of UA is trying to love people well. And this gives me joy. This means we are learning how to build eternally.
With Love from the Streets