I have always hated Lincoln Logs. You spend an hour building the log cabin of your dreams or an awesome fort, and as soon as you try to play with it, the whole thing falls apart. Precious minutes of your life that you will never get back, wasted.
Yet, they are always in the stores. Always showing up in the lists of things that people think you should buy for your kids. Lincoln Logs are supposed to be good for your brain, good educational toys. They’re supposedly great for learning centers in classrooms. But, try as I might, I just don’t get the allure.
What Lincoln Logs really need to come with is a big tub of wood glue. Think of all of the permanent, play-ready dwellings that we could build with glued-together Lincoln Logs. Those forts and cabins would hold up to some serious knocking around. Big gusts of wind, little sisters, Daddy’s big feet; we wouldn’t live in fear of any of those things because the hard work we put in would be firmly held together by our trusty glue.
Sometimes ministry feels a little bit like building with Lincoln Logs. Church building. Relationship building. There’s always plenty of work to do. We can fill all of our days with projects and plans, and sometimes it’s amazing how quickly things build up. Things look good. We look good. But, when the first sign of trouble comes up, we realize that all of the work we put in was really just building a nice-looking, useless community. Unable to stand up to any kind of dissension or criticism or tough times. We built the whole thing on our own effort, patting ourselves on the back all the while, without any kind of glue to hold things, to hold us together.
Without the Holy Spirit, without the power of God, we might as well be building the church with Lincoln Logs. Weak. Rickety. Destined for destruction.
We need Him. He is the glue that holds the church together. And, when we try to do things on our own, when we forget our dependence on Christ, then we will eventually find ourselves helplessly standing by while all of our work is scattered, like Lincoln Logs across the kitchen floor. That’s not the kind of church that He called us to be.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1