It was at the 2001 AGM that the church leadership of Padstow Baptist first spoke about the appointment of a building task force to investigate the feasibility of a new ministry centre on a church property in Cahors Road, Padstow.
During the course of the following year, the church leadership and the building committee met with architects Stanton and Dahl. With input from our ministry leaders and in conjunction with our architects, we set about working on a design brief. The final outcome and what we have been enjoying since June 2011 is a multipurpose facility comprising two worship auditoriums, generous space for our Youth and Children’s Ministries, and a spacious welcoming foyer along with all the other necessary essentials such as kitchens, meeting rooms, parking, office space and good storage areas. We also provided good office space for our Padstow Community Care.
We also built three shops. We conduct ministry from two of those; our ‘Renew’ clothing shop and our ‘Food and Life’ shop. These shops, along with the services our Padstow Community Care provide, are the coalface to our community.
In every way we wanted the building to be open and welcoming as well as providing us with more ways to reach our community with the message of the gospel through practical help.
I vividly recall driving home from that first meeting with the architects thinking that if this project was ever going to succeed then it would need nothing short of a miraculous intervention by God.
Author and theologian F B Meyer said, ‘Don’t measure the impossibility or difficulty of a situation against yourself, but rather measure it against God’.
Humanly speaking, what we were proposing was far beyond the congregation’s ability and resources to achieve. Nevertheless we were fully convinced this was God’s will so, relying on His grace, started out on an amazing adventure, never dreaming for one minute that the journey would take us the best part of nine years.
Once we made the decision to move forward with the project we encountered numerous challenges and seemingly impossible situations, any of which could easily have sunk us but through them we learned a great deal about prayer and faith, and about the faithfulness of God. And we learned to measure our deficiencies against God’s infinite resources and in the process caught sight of Him and experienced many miracles.
Not only would it require God to do the impossible, but it would also require astute and resilient leadership, as well as extraordinary corporate faith and unity. It also became increasingly apparent that it would require a great deal of money. To this very day I am humbled and amazed when I think that our church community sacrificially gave well in access of $1M towards what they firmly believed was God’s vision for our church, community and the City of Bankstown.
One of the most helpful and motivational quotations I have discovered about a church engaging in God’s vision for them comes from Keith Russell. He said, ‘We can become a dynamic community of believers if we can see beyond what is, to what could be’.
What an amazing thought and in my humble opinion very appropriate for the people who make up the congregation of Padstow Baptist. Through faith in God they learned to see beyond what was, to what could be, and I am confident that having learned that lesson they will take it into whatever future God has for them.