Providing a place where God can work in our hearts, providing space where ministry can be expanded for families, those are easy to comprehend. But, how do we reconcile adding additional square footage and change in our community?
I believe there is an obvious answer to that question and a not-so-obvious.
The obvious goes like this… the church carpet in the building can be worn out by our programs that are using the space …. but also by people who would never think of going to church on a Sunday morning.
For many, Sunday morning is about golf, four wheeling, fishing and mowing the grass at home. Carpet can be worn out by people who don’t know Jesus and still come through the doors for a business seminar, a teacher training, or piano recital for the grandkids?
A friend of mine told me about a church in Tacoma, WA that used their space creatively. Tacoma is becoming a really tough town and the police do not feel safe gathering for coffee at local restaurants anymore. The church learned to connect the building with the community by creating a spot for the police to
The officers park in the back of the church, while inside they have set up an area with free coffee and goodies to minister to the men and women in blue. How about that – creating a safe space for police within a church building! Lack of creativity and organization are the only things holding us back from connecting our building to our community.
The not-so-obvious answer can be found in 1 Chronicles 22:19 where God says, “Seek me, build me a temple.” Building a space for a community to encounter God is one of the most basic statements of God working in this world. It has been this way throughout history. The Shunammite woman built a room on her house for Elisha and it attracted the favor of God, bringing her out of her barrenness. Abram built an altar, Moses put up a tent, David & Solomon built a temple, the Jews established their synagogues.
There is something about a building that points people to God and invites them to consider their way of life.
To have a structure in a community tells the world that there are people seeking God together. A physical building makes a statement and a building project tells the community that we are having impact. Jesus said that he was going to build “His Church” and the gates of hell will not prevail. We believe that this gathering at 34384 is telling our community that Jesus is real and he loves this world.