for the Wrong Reasons
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Is your church planning to build for the wrong reasons? Here are some of the excuses we have heard.
1. “Our church can’t grow unless we build.”
2. “A new building will improve our image.”
3. “A building program will give us a purpose – something to revitalize our people and help us focus our energy.”
4. “We need to build to keep up with other churches.”
5. “It will show our __________that we really care about them.”
We have listed just a few of the wrong reasons to build. The early church survived and grew for hundreds of years before it felt the need for buildings. Church buildings should be thought of as tools for ministry, not shrines or temples where God resides. Even churches that emphasize symbolism in their facilities need to understand that these are merely tools meant to serve a ministry need. Worship, bible study, prayer, fellowship and benevolence are some of the functional needs we must meet with buildings.
The decision to build should be based on a careful evaluation of several key factors:
1. Is the church really short of space?
2. Can need be met by increasing the available time slots for various activities
3. Does the church have the necessary property to accommodate a new building and the necessary parking
4. Is there a true ministry need that cannot be met by use of existing facilities?
5. Are out of date, worn out older facilities no longer able to serve the ministries of the church?
6. Is there member support for an expansion program?
7. Does the church’s current financial condition allow for a building program?
8. Have ministry and planning experts been consulted? Have denominational leaders been asked for their input? Have professional planners and design specialists been consulted to help determine need and feasibility?
9. Is there division or strife in the church, which would hinder plans from going forward?
10. Is God at work in your church? Has the church prayed for divine direction? Is the Holy Spirit preparing the people for what needs to be done?
Every church should carefully examine its reasons for building. Are you building for the wrong reasons? Have you thought through why you are building? Proceed only if the reasons are justified.