Church, building?

I just finished reading the book “Pagan Christianity” and in it Frank Viola points out that the original Church did not have Church buildings. After reading that I, as a Pastor, spent a long drive home questioning the resources we spend every month on the building and frankly even on professional clergy.

I also had this article placed in my path this week – I am listening.

It seems to me that the building and the services it can offer is a great draw to the fellowship of faith. It really shouldn’t be primarily dedicated to the Sunday morning worship service. Worship is a primary reason for the existence of the Church. But if necessary a worship service can happen anywhere. The connection of the body of Christ is the real value a Church building. If the building isn’t building the body then it is a giant sponge sucking up the resources needed to heal the people that Jesus sent us to heal.

The real question for the Church is whether they (not just the Pastor) are making the connections necessary to build this body. Are you using this building to build the body or are you simply coming on Sunday to be a member of the “audience”? If you are among the body to attend a ‘Christian worship show’ then sell the building NOW!

The convicting question to me this week has been, How many people could be fed and clothed with the thousands of dollars we spend every year for building, grounds, and professional clergy? I am still chewing on it and praying about it. But I know that it is a little creepy to think of being part of the ‘Christian worship show’ on Sunday’s for people who are not there to participate in the body of Christ. To speak or sing for people not there to lift those who are hurting. Today I feel that I know of Churches who own buildings and those buildings are being used to build he body. But I know many who are not. I know in my heart that this is good in God’s sight. But is this for everyone.

Would some small Churches be better off to rent a space or be a home Church? If a Church is wrestling with maintaining the building and barley squeaking by to support a building that is empty 90% of the time are they really just supporting their own ego? Jesus doesn’t need a building to be worshiped. Widows and orphans do not need a building to support them, they need the body of Christ.

Is your building… Building?


About toddcbrown

The body of Christ will never grow if the Pastor is the one using his gifts to MAKE IT grow through some cool program or inspiring turn of a phrase.
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3 Responses to Church, building?

  1. sdeshong says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts. Our church has been implementing the Dave Ramsey financial peace methodology and we have started to utilize our resources (money, buildings, etc.) in a way much more comitted to the works of Jesus than the works of our church. Building the body of Christ is much more important than building.

  2. ToddCBrown says:

    @sdeshong – I had no idea there even was a Financial peace for Churches. LOLI started our Church on attempting to use his plan without a book. We started an emergency fund and budgeting for things as they will be for a whole year. I really should get that book. Thanks

  3. Anonymous says:

    I really enjoyed that book.  It certainly raises some good questions.  I think you’re right about the building.  If it’s not really serving the purpose of expanding God’s kingdom, the church is better off without it.

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