What Do You Think About Church Buildings?

by Bryant Evans on December 3, 2009

I’d like to talk for a few minutes about something that is largely in the realm of opinion. I have some thoughts myself and will post them in a separate article soon. But for the moment, I’d like to pose a question and have you offer your thoughts here on the blog. Here it is:

Do we overspend on our church buildings and what should be the relationship of bricks and mortar investment versus helping the poor?

Please post comments here – not on Facebook as more people can see it here on the blog.

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{ 13 comments }

McCabe Gayl December 3, 2009 at 10:25 am

Bryant. are you there. I was just talking to your mom and she said quickly I gotta go, and then sounded really strange,k very weak and the phone went out. I just want to make sure she is alright. It's not normal for her.. Call me back Gay 239-593-7901

Susan Gardiner December 3, 2009 at 10:33 am

Goodness Bryant…..SOOOOOO deep this early in the day..But here's my 2 cents: I think some churches do get caught up in their "appearance to the world"….that is not to say that every church with nice facilities is not doing a great job helping the needy souls in their community. Whether or not ANY church is doing enough….whose standards do we go by? And I know we are not to judge but to even form and educated opinion you have to look inside and past the actual structure at the actions of a particular church. But I guess when all is said and done….the nice facilities bring the people in and hopefully they come to know our Lord and the nice things for the youth of a church give kids an alternative. If you only think about helping the poor then all churches would be tents or just out in a clearing or in someone else's building and ALL the money would go to helping others. Bottom line it's a balancing act based on priorities of the people that make up a church.

Susan Gardiner December 3, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Tell me your mom is okay……

O.b. Christy Richardson December 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Great question! How would you define “overspending?” Is there a guideline? I don’t think it is possible to give a blanket answer. It depends upon each congregation and what they are attempting to accomplish. The building is a means (traditionally speaking) to achieve the greater good which is rescuing souls from the kingdom of darkness by the power of the gospel. If this is the primary pursuit of the congregation then the other aspects to achieve this good will be dealt with in a reasonable manner.

Bryant Evans December 3, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Sorry about that Susan – She is fine. Just needed to do something else really quick and Gayl, my special cousin was on the phone with her. She is fine. Thanks!

Scott December 3, 2009 at 10:02 am

Bryant, I will answer in bullet form with little explanation.
* Buildings serve a purpose as an expedient place for the church to gather.
* Location, location, location of the facility plays a role in visability.
* Although Christian know they are the church, the world still confuses church with buildings and are more likely to visit or seek help at a building they see as a church.
* There needs to be a balance between having only and adequate facility and having a temple.
* When building we must be good stewards of God’s blessing and build w/i our means.
* Good stewardship includes building to suit our purpose (worship, seek and save lost, etc.) and not to keep up with mega churches.
* These are my quick thoughts — more may come.
.-= Scott´s last blog ..What are You Waiting For? =-.

Bryant Evans December 3, 2009 at 10:41 am

Thanks Scott,
Exactly the sort of comments I am looking for.

Tr December 3, 2009 at 10:50 am

I will compare two Churches to get my point across
Church A50 and Church B130.
Both buildings hold max capasityof 200 people.
Both Churches help the poor.
Both give to needed.
Both are involved in mission work.
Church A50 has Sunday morning attendance of aound 50 members. Only added 4 or 5 in last year. All members are well to do financially. They think a bigger building would be great (50 people in 200 capasity building) I think building not priority. They could put more towards helping othes.
Church B130. Has average Sunday morning attendance of 130 membership in the last year has grown by 40 members and almost 20 in year before. They will probably hit max capasity (200) with in a few years. They should probably start planning for adding to or getting larger building, but they should not take away freom their work to hwelp others

Bryant Evans December 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

Good thoughts, thanks. But what about the amenities like crown moldings and inlaid paneling and such. Is there a line to be drawn somewhere?

Sharon Chandler Junco December 3, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Bryant, being a P.K myself, I have spent alot of my life in churches of all kinds, small and large. I have found that the people make the church and some of the smaller, plainer churches were the best ones. I know my dad's last church ended up being a huge one and kept expanding and building but they were also great about tithing and would pay off their bills really fast and were great about supporting all the missions fields and supporting the poor and needy.

Billy Blair December 5, 2009 at 6:57 am

I think church buildings should be inviting to members assemblying to worship, to the lost seeking a religious experience, and to those in need. The building does make a statement by itself about the assembly inside. Generally, I think the church has overdone the plainness of our construction of buildings. A loving congregation should be reaching out to the lost, the needy, and our spiritual family to include them in the assembly.

Hamilton Builders August 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm

We all know that churches are the homes of Christ and as a respect to our great god we want to make his home really look good. That’s why we often spend lot of money to make churches really look good.

Bryant Evans August 20, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for your comments.
With the emphasis Jesus placed on helping the poor and the lack of any evidence that the first century church was concerned about spacious, glorious facilities, I cannot support the idea that we ought to build fancy buildings. Let us build what we need and feed the hungry and help the downfallen with the overage. The best show of glory comes from lives that are Christ centered and are busy about aiding others.

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