Building a new house is a lot of work. You need to dig a hole, lay the foundation, construct the frame, then there’s roofing and drywall and windows and paint. There are a lot of steps and stages.

Yet in many ways, new construction is a lot easier and more straightforward than doing a renovation of an older house. In a renovation there are all kinds of existing problems that need to be either worked around or fixed. A lot of time and energy is spent tearing down existing structures so you can get it done right.

The parallels to working in the church are striking. How much easier is it to start with new believers and disciple them rather than having to break old habits and “unteach”? It’s the same with churches. Building them from scratch, although certainly a lot of work, is easier than correcting existing structural problems.

Existing problems are messy. How much better to start over and do things properly the first time? The Apostle Paul agreed. “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” (Romans 15:20)