“So like….what are you hoping your church building will look like?”
I was first asked this question last summer. A well meaning lady asked me what our church would look like and I began to answer with words like- eclectic, organic growth (nothing to do with hydroponics btw), missional.. She stopped me, “No no no, what will your church look like? Will it be a little white building in the middle of the city? With things like worship hangings?” Looking her in the eyes, and with, what I hope was a gentle spirit, I replied, “Look lady if you think that is what the church looks like, we are really far from having a meaningful conversation.”
We have been on the ground running (mostly up and down stairs unloading boxes) for four weeks now. I have visited four different churches right in our area. Most with decent facilities; most with hurting, dwindling congregations; The big question seems to be, “How do we get people to come to our buildings, and yeah to Jesus too.” We have a great facility for them to serve in and to grow into what a disciple of Jesus is to look like. I truly feel for the leaders of these churches, many of which are amalgamating with other congregations (often those they wouldn’t fellowship with a few years ago), because they have to find a way to keep the doors open, the pressure is great.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that God calls different people, different congregations to do different ministry and fulfill different niches in the kingdom. It is for Him to fit and join the parts of the building, His church. Still I wonder if Urban churches and maybe even suburban churches need to have a drastic shift in thinking- instead of building buildings we have to fill- how about filling spaces within the culture with the Church of Jesus and worship – I read how Paul did this a lot when he was developing disciples of Jesus.
Just wonder how many other people will ask me this week…”So what is your church (building) going to look like?”
Just so you know- our plan for ‘space’ is to have a space in the midst of the city culture (targeting Gottingen Street) that will be used as a center to meet the needs of a hurting world, and bring value to the place we are planted- then we hope to have access to a worship space that will be a place that is familiar to the people of our city (praying for the Marquee Club).
BUT what we will look like as a church will be radically different then what our building allows us to do. While we are on it- funny how we try and program what should come naturally in an agape love relationship with each other…things like discipleship and mentoring…hmmm gotta go read Acts again see if Paul left us a discipleship program I can download?
“I keep praying for you, that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ will give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation that you may KNOW GOD!” -Eph 1:17
Pray for us too…