The church we went to visit on Sunday, while we were in California, was really cool. Not just because my friend is the tech guy over there. You could just tell that this was a church that was healthy and going somewhere. And that isn’t just because they have a well known worship leader, or a pastor who has written several books or some fancy, schmancy building. In fact, the picture of that beautiful, harvest gold carpeting from the 70’s is from the sanctuary there. And as you can see it is pretty worn on the edge of the step there. But yet, this church is busting at the seams and growing.
My friend who is the tech guy there told me that his old church had spent several million dollars on their building and the church has dwindled in size down to 120 people. But I thought that having a fancy building was the key to drawing people to your church and God? I guess it isn’t about what it looks like on the inside of the building, but what kind of people are on the inside.
Rick Warren has said, “That people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” And that right there is the key to having a healthy church. We need to stop worrying so much about the look of our facilities and care more about the look of our people and their hearts. I say all of this and I attend a church that recently underwent a building project that made our facilities much nicer. But I can tell you that I know for a fact that my SP has his priorities on caring for the people there.
Too many churches in America also think that programs are the key to success. And while programs are a necessary thing to have, because if you had no aim or direction then you would never go anywhere, the problem lies when you serve the programs instead of the programs serving the needs of your people. And there we are back again at that “P” word! People the the thing that we need to be concerned about.
Does that mean we ignore the programs or the building? NO! But when it comes to cleaning the carpets at the church because they are pretty dirty or helping someone out Saturday evening because they need the love of Christ shown into their lives. I say forget the dumb carpet. Or what about when you are in the middle of a small group and you can tell that the group you have are just not getting into the discussion. What should you do. I say ditch the lesson plan/book and ad lib. Maybe go out for some ice cream and just talk about life or whatever. But to often we don’t do this, because we serve the program or lesson.
So what would you rather have, ugly, harvest gold carpeting with stains and a building full of people, or a nice facility and a few people filling the seats? I know what the obvious answer everyone will give is, but is that really what you mean? Is that what your actions are saying? Just some food for thought.
Two more weeks until…..