Monday, January 29, 2007

Challenging Change of Vision of Church

There have been a few blog discussions about what the Church is really supposed to be and about our knowledge of God. I ran across the link below today at John's blog. For all those interested in these discussions or wrestling with these issues, this article is a must read. It is a short article but will challenge you to think about what Church is.

We Can't Do Megachurch Anymore

I hope this spurs some discussion.

And thanks to John for bringing this article to my attention.


JMG said...

I have been thinking some about church buildings lately and how church members become very possessive of the building and its contents. Also when a church has debt, it is trying to serve two masters, which Jesus said is impossible to do.

The article is a good illustration that "if you build it they will come" isn't always true, especially when the focus is on the true gospel.

Tony Arnold said...

A very sobering, yet encouraging article. I really like your comment about church debt and serving two masters.

That would be a hard understanding to accept for many churches, the one I attend included.

Anonymous said...

The article says a lot that has needed to be said for a long time. I really miss the close relationships and special feeling that comes from a church that is considered "small" on the megachurch scale. I completely agree with the opinion that churches are serving two masters when the church takes on a large building and the mortgage and distractions it brings. For me, it has been a case of "ïf you build it, I will go elsewhere". Going to a smaller, low income church with a list of struggles that is daunting has taught me more than I have learned about the need for Jesus in my life than any other experience I have ever had. Perhaps there is a time and place for both kinds of church families, but one is definitely not better than the other.

Tony Arnold said...

I think you may have made a very good choice anonymous, and I am glad it is working well for you.

This is an area where I really struggle because I am part of the leadership (deacon, although we don't use that term, we us Ministry Coordinators) of a church that has recently moved and incurred a substantial debt.

I thought it was a good move and that we were lead to do it, our other building was very old, could not be refurbished w/o large debt due to codes upgrading and still would not serve the size we had grown due w/o any campaigning to do so. The building just did not work and God presented a way out the was fiscally attractive.

However, I think we all underestimated the challenges that the move and the debt placed on the church. It also created challenges about true ministry we probably did not fully grasp.

How do we best serve the Kingdom with our new large church and growing membership? I admit I am concerned and do not always feel we are doing it right, but it is early in the process.

Also, just because I may not agree with one or two decisions does not mean I am right. I think being concerned and cautious and constantly questioning ourselves and our motives is very healthy.

It just may prevent us from heading down the wrong path.