The Ramblings Of John Campea

Life Beyond The Movies

It’s time to re-think church

It’s time to re-think church buildings
I was thinking today about something. Do you know that in all the New Testament, money was never used to build church buildings or fund various programs? To be honest, not all that much was said to be designated for “missions” either. The vast majority of the money that Paul and others collected from the churches went directly to feed hungry people and meet people’s practical physical needs (ie the situation in Jerusalem). When you look at the church today ALL of our money goes to buildings, programs, television ministries and other unimportant things, while MAYBE 2% of churches money actually goes to helping people. Why is that? How has the church gotten itself so screwed up? What’s even worse is that most people in the North American church don’t even see this as a problem. A church will spend MILLIONS of dollars so they can have a nicer building with better sound and larger parking lot while people starve to death and have nowhere to sleep tonight just blocks away from where the glorious new building stands. Glory to God! Halleluiah! How do we sleep at nights?

One of the things that attracted me to Lakewood Baptist Church was the fact that they don’t own a building, and has no desire to. That really impressed me. We rent a local civic center that easily accommodates our 120 people, and could probably hold up to 400 if we really needed to. We rent some office space close by as well. Altogether our bills for the rentals are still only about 1/3rd of what most churches have to spend on their mortgage payments alone.

I was talking to a leader from a denomination that has a backwards approach to supporting their churches. You see, if a church in their denomination wants to build a new building, then they have money to give them to do it! However, if a church wants to be more responsible and faithful with it’s limited money and RENT facilities so it has more money free to do ministry, then the denomination WON’T help them out with that. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m certainly not trying to suggest churches that own buildings are SINFUL. Not at all. I just can’t help but wonder if its time that we re-think this whole issue of buildings and how we use the limited money God entrusts us with to make a difference in the world. And MAYBE we even need to re-evaluate how we pay pastors (GUUULLPPP, that’s a hard one for me to mention since I am a pastor!)

You should probably just ignore this post. I’m probably just missing something. I’m quite stupid you know.

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May 2, 2003 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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