Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Church at The Movies

A creative pastor at the Ridgestone Church has published a top 10 list of reasons their church is moving to it's new digs in a local movie theatre. It is cute and well worth the read. The situation here is they are a growing church who has outgrown their current location, but I think MANY churches could follow their lead.

Sell the buildings or make them a tool of evangelism. I read a quote on a church (I usually detest church signs, but this one moved me) that said, "Don't pray for rain then complain about mud." I think this is how most churches approach evangelism. I say, "sell the buuilding, or make it open everyday to all groups who can benefit, make it a part of the community." The church says, "Great, we've been praying God would help us grow!" Then people start to show up, maybe they are Hispanic, maybe they are young and have children, maybe they are just children. People show up who wear shorts and a tee on Sunday morning. People show up who would like to know their children are competently cared for. People show up who know very little of how "Church" is supposed to be and people don't want to deal with the mud. The actual prayer is "God grow and churches, and fill it with good assimiliated donors!"

I have grown up in the church, I know how church is done. I am a preacher and a very involved member and donate my tithe to the Lord's work . On the other hand, I also wear shorts and tee shirt and am the father of 2 energetic little girls. Although our family closely matches what the church "CLAIMS" they are looking for, we are OFTEN made to feel unwelcome by members of church leadership.

It is clearly a nuisance they have to staff a nursery for me on Wednesday night so I can teach the preschool-elementary age class. It is a nusicance that I have to plan meetings around a sitter for my children, or my children have to attend with me and generate the noise that children generate. (Please be clear, I am not talking about basic social ettiqutte, like taking your screaming baby out of a room, I am talking about just the noise generated by children.)

If I am a nuiscance for wanting to teach Bible class and participate in meetings, how much more of a bother is the person who just wants to listen to message of gospel as it is taught, how much more of a bother is the person who needs some items from the food pantry to help make it through the week. The blessing of rain in the form of new members is quickly forgotten in the nuiscance of the mud of people's needs.

It is amazing how quickly we complain about the mud. I think until more churches are really ready to adapt to the mud that the rain generates we need to sell the buildings and find more movie theatres th "have church"

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