With the fire engulfing the Cathedral of Notre Dame as Paris fades into the night, there is much cultural treasure at risk at being lost, but there is no more poignant moment for the reminder that churches are not buildings: churches are people!.
I’ve often had folks ask why some churches meet in simple meeting houses and others in ornate cathedrals. I think it’s answered in the word of Jesus, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:21).
If your church would loose its cohesiveness if your building burned tonight, then something is wrong. Would your family just “evaporate” into thin air if your family home burned down? I knew a congregation that suffered the loss of its building and almost half of the members stayed away for 18 months while the building was restored. The church didn’t stop meeting, they just used another facility less than a mile away, but so many said, “We’ll be back when the building is back”.
I once counseled a church’s leadership that they could no longer afford to stay in their building, but they could move to a new site with less overhead and be able to invest money in ministry to people instead of serving a building. They told me that too many members would simply stop participating in the life of the church if they abandoned the building they had been in for seventy years. I have also been around churches that felt like their building was too nice for “this kind” of person, “that kind” of person, these teenagers, those non-members….so, what is the point of having a building, if it is too nice to use??? Let’s not build things that are too nice to use, or furnish them so ostentatiously that we can’t afford to spill something on the carpet.
Where is your treasure? Where is your heart?
(There’s nothing wrong with a church body owning and basing ministry activities out of a building, but, when a building becomes the focal point, we’ve lost sight of #1). Levi Sisemore – Fredericksburg church of Christ
The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands” (Acts 17:24).
The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come] “Jesus replied: ‘The kingdom of God does not come visibly, nor will people say, ‘Here it is’ or ‘there it is’ because the kingdom is within you’”