One of the questions that I get asked the most as a church planter is, “do you have a building yet?” One of my spiritual gifts is sarcasm; I have never said it out loud. Still, in my head, I am like, sure, we have a building, we bought 20 acres for one million dollars and built a building for another million, but we haven’t had a service yet, and we don’t even own paperclips yet.
I get it; as a church planter, believe me, we are concerned about a building. It seems like we are consumed looking for that perfect spot. I am in a rural area, and facilities are not just sitting empty on every corner, and my vision for this community is more significant than my living room. We are seven months from launch, and a building to assemble the saints is becoming an issue that we need people to pray about.
Can I take a moment to point out that the question communicates an overall mindset of the Church. We have inverted and perverted God’s intention by turning ministry inward to a building, where people have to come to receive from God, rather than an outward force that invades a community with the message of hope and restoration of the gospel. We’re not called to attend a church…we’re called to Be the Church!
The Church is a Force, not a Facility (I am not against buildings, just pointing out a mindset).
If you view church as a building only, what happens when it goes away? What I have seen is when buildings burn, flood, or are blown away in a storm, the actual church rallies and pulls together as a biblical community. When we follow a biblical model, we can see that little time was spent agonizing about where to meet and what regalia would entice the right kind of crowd. Believers met in public places and people’s homes to evangelize and fellowship with other believers. They were out in the community, forming relationships, and being the Church.
Maybe we should stop building massive facilities and build people.It is time to become the force that God has created us to be in our community.
Unless the driving force behind a church is biblical, the health and growth of the Church will never be what God intended. Strong Churches are not built with perfect buildings, excellent preaching, programs, personalities, hip worship shows, or gimmicks. They are built on the eternal purposes and the people of God!