Im reading a short history of the church we work at. It’s interesting stuff. Here is something interesting:
Can you imagine if churches across the country began opening the doors of their empty facilities and inviting the community to come in and do business, celebrate family events, hold seminars, or take advantage of a host of social services? Imagine how it would change the perception of the church in the eyes of the community. And imagine how it would force congregations to wrestle with what it means to be the church, and what it means to be Christ to the world. It could even change the way church buildings are designed. Rather than spending money on padded pews or stained glass windows, churches might install loading docks or even service bays used by an oil change business during the day and a repair service for the elderly at night. It could change the way we deal with congregations located in aging communities. We are called to feed the hungry and take care of the widows, the orphans, and the poor. But many times, just as a neighborhood begins to need the healing touch of the church, the church takes it’s money and moves to the suburbs. Imagine the resources that can be injected into an aging community when the local congregation becomes a business center, a mission point for wealthier congregations, and a gathering place for a wide range of people with a wide range of needs.
Another interesting line:
Many of you will remember our motto “We want to be the best friend this community has ever had”.
Those are amazing ideas to me. If we are called to love no matter what, then why can’t our church buildings be part of loving? How awesome is it that for a family in one of their greatest times of grief the place that served them was a church that is just a part of the community, no strings attached (well, there were some strings, they had to rent the space, but that is part of the deal, if your going to open your doors in a sustainable manner then somebody has to fund it in a sustainable way). And how awesome is it that I got to be a part of serving them. There are churches doing this kind of stuff, it’s not unique to this place. And I don’t really think every church in the world needs to do this exact same thing (if anything there is not a big enough market). But what if every church just threw away the conventions and destroyed the box…and was bold enough to take the risk to do something truly new.
why not? To scary? To uncomfortable? Will it make to many people mad?