Creating Sustainable Beauty

I have to be honest--I kind of enjoy putting out fires. Not actual fires, but ministry fires, work fires, task fires. When something has to get done NOW I don’t have time to think, to prioritize, to second-guess. I just get it done...and it’s done! It feels satisfying, efficient, and important. 

But the more I have lived life from one fire to the next, the more I’ve realized that I need to spend less time holding the hose and more time building fire departments.

Focusing on sustainable change is hard work, but the alternative is a life of small, ephemeral blips on the radar that wear us out and ultimately don’t serve our neighbor. Life is not just about moment beauty, it’s about growing sustainable, healthy ecosystems of beauty. 

Jesus, once said, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’” (Luke 14:28-30)

Jesus was talking about what it takes to follow him. It doesn’t just take ideas. It takes sustained, thoughtful, effort. At Tapestry Church, we are following Jesus this year by creating beauty in our neighborhood. But will it be a flash in the pan? Or will it be sustainable? Will it be beauty that fades? Or beauty that outlasts us? 

I’m confident that, using sound principles of community development and counting the cost, we will see God create beauty through us in Oakland that lasts. 

Kyle Brooks