Is Facilities Really a Ministry?
By Erika Shadow, Facilities Manager | May 1, 2019
If you are a homeowner or ever have been then you are familiar with the never-ending to-do-list of repairs that are required and upgrades that are wished for. You strive for curb appeal and functioning house systems. Our goals for the church campus are the same, yet commercial properties come with different regulations, parts, quantities, and a higher price tag for these differences.
St. Philip’s sits on close to ten acres of land. We have over forty-four thousand square feet of building space, thirty-two toilets, eight urinals, twenty-four AC units and heat exchangers, and three high capacity water heaters. None of these parts are found at Home Depot and the cost to repair them is generally three to five times higher than a home repair. It takes a partnership with fifteen vendors and/or service providers to maintain the property and keep the Church and Preschool running smoothly, and a team of volunteers who help with small repairs.
We have had numerous plants and trees die from excessive temperature swings and diseases. Many have not been replaced due to cost, and our irrigation system is in need of repair. Lighting systems need to be upgraded and so on. It can seem overwhelming when so many things are broken or in need of an upgrade.
However, like beautifying your home can bring you peace, joy, and a sense of pride. So can beautifying your church. Knowing that your hands held the hammer that built a wall, so we can offer more adult education classes. Your hands dug the soil for a new plant or pathway in the prayer garden. You planted flowers that bring in the migrating butterflies for the preschool children to learn about. That you tended to the house that mends the soul of the broken-hearted. That you fixed the preschool lighting systems with an LED upgrade.That you kept children safe by fixing something broken or dangerous. That you helped pay for much-needed improvements if you can not do this type of labor. Even the act of setting up tables and chairs so that we might have fellowship with each other is noble. This is the role of facilities. Too often people think of me as just a handy-person, but my job runs much deeper than that.
God called us to tend to the needy, to the sick, the widows and the orphans, but God also asked us to make him a beautiful Sanctuary so that he may dwell with us. (Exodus 25:8) There are lots of ways to serve, to connect to God, some simply require you to gets your hands into the soil, or may be covered in paint.