Recently I met with a group of pastors for an afternoon and during our time together I toured some of the facilities used by two of the pastors. Although I do not equate the church with the building, these pastors certainly do, but the strange part for me was that the aesthetics in the buildings were outdated and the buildings felt cold as if the buildings themselves were slowly dying along with these congregations.
As I toured the facilities, I thought to myself, “Do these churches still think that we are somewhere in the 1980’s?” And no, they are not intentionally doing it as someway to attract millennials with vintage furniture, decorations, etc. I saw things that have quite literally been in classrooms long before I was born.
The pastors themselves admitted that all three congregations represented are struggling greatly on some level, mainly to “make it.” Being much younger than these pastors I tried not to offer up too much advice other than when prompted, but it was hard not to since I have been equipping church planters and pastors for the last couple of years on how to have and sustain a healthy church.
Sadly, the physical state of these buildings and classrooms are a reflection on the body of Christ that uses these same facilities. They are on the decline; aging out, and soon will be dead if something does not put life back into them. In case you are wondering I am a guy who believes that sometimes a church just needs to die. Period. Quit holding on for life, stop waiting for the good ole days to come back, and die. But I also firmly believe in the revitalization of churches. I have been a member of a church for the past five years that this is a huge part of their story.
If you have been a reader of the blog any amount of time then you know that I do not put a big emphasis on the facility that a church uses because the church is the people, but at the same time I believe that the facilities we use should be presented in such a way to help reach the people. Buildings are just that buildings, but we should make the best use of what we have on a slightly attractional level to reach more people.