Why we do not have a building…
People ask us more often than you would think, “When is Declaration Church going to get their own building?”
Being in a western church culture, there are many reasons people could be asking that question…How much money does your church have? Is your church growing? Is your church plant going to make it? Some people might have even asked the question wondering when we’re going to get air conditioning that works, because they’re tired of sweating on Sunday nights. Some may have asked, hoping for less noise floating into service from the nursery each week. Or some may be asking, hoping for more room for DC Kids one day… The reasoning behind the question might depend on who’s asking, but we get asked often.
None of those thoughts are bad to have, and none of those solutions that a church building could offer, are wrong to hope for. We would love a building here in Bryan. We would love a building further north, and some day a building way way further south in College Station. Having a facility is not evil at all. Being a church with the building is just not the goal, or really a goal, of Declaration Church.
To clarify, here are a few thoughts on why working towards a building is not high on the priority list.
Kingdom Minded Stewardship
At this point in our church story, getting a building is not a financial reality. Without going into massive debt or doing a big long building campaign, we couldn’t acquire a building if we wanted to given our current resources. Instead of paying interest on a “nicer” building space, we would rather fight to be a people, that is appropriately grateful for what has been provided, trusting that the Lord will meet our needs as they come. Second, driving into the poorer parts of our town, make it hard to want to do a fund raising campaign to allocate money for Sunday evening air condition, when hundreds of people don’t have AC year round, or food, homes, or even family. Instead, we long to pray, wait, and move resources towards the people God wants to reach with His Gospel. Luke says it in chapter 12 of his Gospel, “from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Every dollar (really every cent) is God’s money, entrusted to us for His mission of advancing His Kingdom. We want to make every dollar entrusted to us, stretch and count towards the Kingdom of God. Someday a church building might be the right direction for our resources, but for now we’re trying to reach the city through acquiring a laundry mat.
The Church is a People, not a Building
We don’t need a building to be the church, we need only to be gathered under His headship and in His name. Of course, the early church met in the temple (daily in Acts 2), but they were also more know as family than an audience (Acts 4). Their knowing and meeting of one another’s needs, the sharing of food around their tables, their worship and prayer, their oneness, brought a powerful sense of awe to everyone who saw it. It was like this Gospel Gravity, that everyone in surrounding communities wanted to be a part of. The lost were saved, because the people of God were united and empowered by the Spirit of God, not because of the space they claimed as their own and used once a week. Not since Solomon’s temple in the Old Testament, do you hear of the beauty or functionality of a building having an essential role in corporate worship. It was in the deep and rich relationships, lived out everyday, that made the church, The Church. We are the same. We need only be together.
Again, a building would be nice, but it’s not the goal. Just as much, may be lost, as gained, when we shift our resources and focus from our living rooms to a physical church address. Paul’s first letter to Corinth started like this, “to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” How much different would Paul’s greeting have been, if it had been to a specific address?
Let’s share our tables with those in need; let’s be the church in every building we walk into; and when God gives us a building to put our name on someday, let’s pray it will have it’s own Gospel Gravity too.