I was recently re-reading an article by Sam Rainer (Lead pastor of West Bradenton Baptist Church. He is also the president of Rainer Research and the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Rainer Publishing as well as the eldest son of Thom Rainer) printed in Church Executive. Sam lists out his set of 10 unexpected trends to surface in 2020. This was a very insightful article…you need to read it. I was particularly taken by one trend relating to Church facilities…obviously a topic near and dear to my heart.
Here is a quote from the article:
The church is not a building, but a building is where the church meets. And buildings are the most expensive part of discipleship. In North America people go to buildings to do things — they go to the game in an arena, to the doctor at her office, to school in the classroom, and to the movie at the theater. Part of our culture is the expectation that things happen in buildings. This cultural expectation is true of the church — people go to church to be discipled.
Not all churches have buildings, nor am I advocating that they should. But church facilities are one of the most expensive and most critical tools church leaders use in shepherding God’s people. In short, buildings are important pieces in God’s mission of building his kingdom. Many building and design firms are becoming more intentional about creating space with the purpose of making disciples. In the next ten years, this focus will continue to grow. And churches will begin to view their buildings as part of their discipleship process.
What are your thoughts on this? Is your local ministry effectively using your facilities as a discipleship tool? If so…congrats. If not…why not? Is it not part of your strategy or are the “spaces” not adequate to facilitate discipleship…or are they not maintained properly to make them an effective tool?
Utilizing facilities for discipleship is like the 3 legs of a stool…the facilities must be:
- Designed to fulfill your vision and ministry initiatives
- Made available for people to use and properly scheduled
- Well maintained and cared for so that they are safe, clean and represent your ministry values
If you ignore even one of the above, your desires to utilize your facility to further your discipleship and ministry initiatives can be greatly impacted…just like a missing leg of the 3-legged stool.