What is church?
Good question? Well, it’s certainly one that we need to answer and understand – and judging by the discussion across the blogosphere, it’s one that is contentious at the moment.
However, there is one thing that all agree upon – a church is a gathering of people rather than a building.
So this begs another question – if that is the case, does a church need a church building in which to meet? Can they not meet in homes or in public places instead of maintaining costly buildings and property?
Another good question!
With this in mind have a read of the following two posts on the Out of Ur blog:
The first is Dan Kimball explaining how he has changed his mind about church buildings and now sees them as a valuable missional tool. As he concludes:
“Today I am incredibly thankful we have a building. It allows us meet in larger groups for worship, and it allows for training classes that equip people for mission. We also use our space all week and welcome the public into it. So, I have recanted from my earlier belief that buildings drain resources and create consumer Christians. I was wrong. Now I see them as missionary centres to impact lives for the gospel.”http://www.outofur.com/archives/2009/12/i_was_wrong_abo.html
The second is a response to Dan’s post by Ken Eastburn defending house church and rejecting the need for church buildings:
“I am writing this because the subject of the necessity of buildings is a crucial topic to discuss all across the Church. You do indeed describe good uses for buildings … but what is good, may not be best – either for your church or for the Body of Christ worldwide.”
The discussion no doubt will continue, but maybe the answer is not one or the other – church building or no church building – but both! Surely each church should discerning the need for buildings and property depending on its circumstance – how it needs to reach out to its community in the name of Jesus?
Church building or no church building – which is better?
I suppose one way to find out is to quote Harry Hill and shout “Fight!” – but is that the right way?
If not having a church building or property is right for your church then bless you – but if having a building or property is right for your church – then bless you too. Maybe we should look for fruit being borne rather than get into unnecessary arguments about whether one way it better than another.
What do you think?