Our church doesn’t have a building. Obviously, we didn’t plan on being in a situation where a growing church had no building, but here we are. Now that we have enjoyed several years of spiritual prosperity and numerical growth we are actually asking ourselves how important a building really is.
We started our church’s financial roadmap by borrowing from the financial prioritization of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary over 100 years ago. Their spending priorities were simple and in this order: 1/Brains, 2/Books, and 3/Bricks. They started with an outstanding faculty, a good library, and with just enough money to rent an old warehouse. They grew. And grew. And grew.
In the same vein, we are operating our priorities here at MSBC. We have no building, but we are now seriously considering hiring our second full-time pastor. We have borrowed another outline from some church to express the same priorities in a different way: 1/Principle, 2/People, 3/Programs, and 4/Property. I have instinctively known this prioritization, have taught it, and have been rewarded by it. Our church enjoys an almost consistent 90% return from the Sunday morning congregation each Sunday evening and 70% return for the midweek prayer meeting. Translated: There is life at MSBC! We know of many other churches that have the facilities, but are weighted down with building burdens. Kingdom-building for them has become building maintenance.
Kingdom-building for us is almost exclusively (even with our dollars) people. Let’s keep it that way.
Yet, we need a new location, a new house for our church. There’s no doubt about it. Two toilets are simply not enough for more than 100 people. In the pursuit of a new house for our church, let’s remember that our priorities have been blessed by God.
1. Brains (as in people, not to suggest that either Mark or I are particularly brainy!)
2. Books (as in ministry material, outreach, and equipment)
3. Bricks (as in a roof over our heads)
Do we think that we can grow to several hundred without any building? Why not? If some dear soul gives us a building or we are providentially granted a nice facility, will we turn it down? Of course not.
Here’s a book those of you who are members at MSBC might want to check out. When NOT to Build by Architect Ray Bowman. His ideas are interesting. I found myself celebrating to find so much of what I have tried to say already written down. With all of the reading I have you doing I’m sure you’ll be able to find a moment to read this book! Have fun!
Filed under: Things I have learned |