It was built for the praise of His glory.

The cathedral has stood for centuries, hinting at God’s unchangeable nature. Towering spires represent His greatness, carvings in stone and wood record His work through the ages, and stained glass reflects His brilliance and color and light. An organ shakes the air with powerful music for a powerful God.

I stand in this structure built for the Lord I love, but I am chilled and unsettled—because He is not there.

When my family visited Europe in summer of 2007, we visited many cathedrals. All ancient. All majestic. Most of them dead.

I came home struck by how a church can die if a single generation fails to reach the following generation, and impressed with the urgency and significance of the tasks God has given me.

Some of us work with children at home, on the job, or in ministry—teaching, loving, living our faith. Some of us interact with other adults, equipping them, comforting them, uplifting them to fulfill their own God-given purpose. Some of us do behind-the-scenes work necessary for the church to function. If performed with the Lord’s call and guidance and strength, all these roles keep our church breathing. All are vital. None are trivial.

“Let us not give up meeting together…but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” Hebrews 10:25 (NIV).

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