CHURCH FACILITIES: Keep Flexible

To get the greatest benefit from this practicum, make sure you have read related training on the site. Click below to read about Body Life:

Church is People not the BuildingSo often we use terminology that equates the Church with the building where people meet to worship and learn of God. The true Church, however, is the people.

Greek Word: ekklesia – from ek, “out of” and klesis, “a calling”
… a gathering of people who are called out …

If we keep that distinction, we will find ourselves more flexible in regard to the building we call church.

  • We will not become so rigid and protective of the facilities that people cannot use them. The church building is for the people, not to become a shrine or god unto itself.
  • We will not stifle ministry among the Body and with the community because we are unwilling to make changes to accommodate the possibilities. The church facilities are for use, to accomplish ministry, not to be preserved as they are forever.
  • We will not be so stuck in tradition and the way we’ve always arranged furnishings and designated rooms that we can’t rearrange to better promote fellowship and the meeting of people’s needs. The church facilities are mere tools for ministry to and with people, not an end in themselves.
  • We will not hold on so tightly if it becomes necessary to make changes or rebuild that we allow these issues to split the church. The church building is a temporal structure, not what defines us or goes into eternity.

Inflexibility often comes in the church when we elevate something to a greater value than it deserves. When we understand that the Church is people and that people have a greater importance, we flex in regard to the church facilities.  We promote and emphasize Body life, fellowship, and the living out of the one another commands of Scripture, not the building or even the programs housed in it.

2 Replies to “CHURCH FACILITIES: Keep Flexible”

  1. hey first I want to say I love you guys ministry and you guys being unboxed in the the Lord and being led by the Spirit. I recently went through this with a church I was going to for about 5yrs watching church become more about growth of the building and manipulating the people pumping them up to give more to keep the building but the people in the building were bleeding from the real issues at heart going on that were left addressed. For me it left a sour taste. I love the people but to see so much tradition in place that service and the building policy I believe stops the Lord from leading and building leaders and the people and love is low. Before it wasn’t always like that. I forgive the people and understand it’s the tradition in structure that makes me not want to be involved and focus being more on the building and about how to get things rather than focusing on the person of Christ. Another side note – I was told in a session if I don’t pay tithes than I can’t be in ministry or in leadership to teach yet I can’t find this in gospel or where Jesus told the disciples this. My question is what advice can you give when you know these things are the reality of what’s going on?

    • Thank you, Gabriel, for your encouraging words about this ministry. And, I am glad you shared your experience. Unfortunately, I have seen similar to what you wrote. The shift usually is not intentional and subtly grows until it becomes the norm. From what you wrote, it sounds like you are seeking to maintain a Christ-like attitude in forgiving and trying to understand. That is essential because we all ultimately answer for ourselves to the Lord. The first “advice” I can give is to continue to guard your heart so your responses honor the Lord. Then, I would encourage you to sit down with the church’s leadership and express your concerns. Speak the truth but in love and full of grace (Eph. 4:15). But, I would encourage you to first spend much time about it in prayer, making sure that you are indeed being led by the Spirit. You need the fruit of the Spirit to be flowing through you in that meeting … the love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, etc. (Gal. 5:22-23) … regardless of their reactions. Avoid making it about winning people over to your side. The goal is to unify, not divide … to build up, not destroy. Keeping that focus is much easier when you remember that it is the Spirit’s job to convict, convince, and change hearts. For this reason you must keep praying. Remember the words of James 5:16 — “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

      I realize what I wrote may not sound profound but I really believe many issues escalate because we have not spent sufficient time in prayer. We have to acknowledge that this is the Lord’s Church and trust Him to do what might seem impossible … change people’s hearts, not just their ways. If your heart is where it should be and you have done what you could do, before the Lord, then you will be in a position to take a next step should one be necessary. — Of course, you can take the easy way out and silently leave the church but is that what God would really have you do? Is it really the most loving thing to do? OR, you could continue on status quo and pretend it doesn’t matter but is that what God would really have you do? How long will it be until you too lose your first love for God (Rev. 2:1-7)?

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