By David Faust
Life’s highway contains many intersections, but it’s hard to beat the street address of New York’s Staten Island Christian Church—at the intersection of Church Avenue and Victory Boulevard. Wherever God’s people gather and his Word is preached, victories occur. Eternity intersects with everyday life when Christians interact with others in neighborhoods, classrooms, and workplaces—even in church offices.
My first “minister’s office” was a small corner room at Hickory Lane Church of Christ in Washington Court House, Ohio, whose members bravely called me to preach at age 22. My office contained a gas heater, a rotary phone, and a mimeograph machine I cranked by hand to print the weekly bulletin. One of my weekly tasks was burning trash in a barrel in the parking lot. I didn’t own many books then, but on the shelf I displayed a wedding photo of my bride. For a seminary graduation gift, Candy bought me a brand-new set of William Barclay New Testament commentaries that looked sharp on the shelf with their blue, green, and red covers.
Soon we moved to New York to lead the newly planted South Nassau Christian Church. We rented an aging facility where our church met on Sundays. Lonely but determined, on weekdays I worked in a corner of that rented building (my Office Number 2). Eventually God enabled us to purchase a church building on Long Island’s south shore where our congregation took root and grew. There in my Office Number 3, I continued using a rotary phone and wrote sermons on an IBM Selectric typewriter, but (a sign of progress) we bought our first copier.
Years later I joined the faculty at Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary and occupied my fourth office. I learned to use a desktop computer and felt sincere gratitude (and a touch of awe) when the janitorial staff removed my office trash each week.
Office Number 5 was a cubicle at Standard Publishing where I edited The Lookout magazine. Once again, I composed articles on an IBM Selectric typewriter.
When I became senior minister of East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, my sixth office included a private bathroom, and I got my first laptop computer and cell phone. During 12 years as president of Cincinnati Christian University, I occupied three different workspaces, one of which had a window with a scenic view of the city skyline.
For the last seven years I’ve been back at East 91st Street Christian Church serving as associate minister. My current workspace (my 10th office, if anyone is counting) is across the hall from the lead pastor’s office (the one with the bathroom). My wife’s wedding photo sits prominently near my desk, and those Barclay commentaries still look sharp on the shelf.
Through the years, all 10 of my offices have been places for planning and problem-solving, study and prayer, hard work and heartache, successes and failures, laughter and tears. In each office I have made decisions—good ones and not-so-good ones—and I have begged God for strength and discernment.
The Lord’s wisdom shows up “where the paths meet” (Proverbs 8:1-2), like a traffic light at a highway intersection that reveals when to slow down, stop, or move ahead. More than comforts, conveniences, or technological tools—in every place and in every role—we need the wisdom of God.
Personal Challenge: God delights in saying yes to requests for wisdom (James 1:5). In what situations do you need divine guidance right now? This week, following Daniel’s example, pray three times a day (Daniel 6:10), and each time, ask God to give you wisdom.