Have you heard of Herman Ostry of Bruno, Nebraska? If you grew up on a farm, as I did, Mr. Ostry’s story was one that gave farmers and their communities some pride. What was Herman Ostry famous for? He was famous for the Bruno Barn Move. Now stick with me… In 1988 he had problem with his barn. The floor of the barn was located in a place where the ground was always wet and muddy; this is of course a problem if you’re going to store hay and supplies in it. Determined to fix the problem he went to moving company to get a quote as to how much it would take to move this barn. Greatly dissatisfied with the quote he considered another option to move the barn.
So what did he do? He carefully determine the weight of the barn and determined that if he had three hundred and fifty people he could move the barn by man’s own strength. Critics and nay-sayers said it could not be done but this did not stop Mr. Ostry. He carefully constructed a steel grid so as to provide handles for people to lift and on July 30, 1988 the community of Bruno, consisting of 350 people, picked up that barn and moved it over one hundred feet to a new foundation.
It was estimated that the barn weighed over 16,000 pounds. There is no way that one person could have lifted that barn. Mr. Ostry by himself could not move that barn but rather it took the small community of Bruno to come together to move that barn. In some ways this should shame us and encourage us and now I am speaking of the church. Think of the town Bruno who came together and accomplished something amazing. When Christians stop trying to do things by themselves and live within community great things will happen. When Bruno Community came together and they moved a barn. We have so much more to come together for. Christ has saved us and our transformation happens within His community the church. Let us not be the nay-sayer but the example for those who are watching the church. Those who watched the Bruno Barn Move were amazed but when Christians live in community there is a “sense of awe.”