Sunday, October 11, 2015

What's More Important in a Church Building -- Function or Form

Church Cross on a Cloudy Day, © B. Radisavljevic
This photo is the roof of my church, focusing on the cross at the top. It's really the only part of this building that identifies it as a church. In California, many of the churches are in buildings with more than one function. This building started as a Christian preschool, and it continued to be a preschool during the week. On Saturdays, all the small tables and chairs were stored away in other rooms and folding chairs for adults replaced them. After church on Sunday, the sanctuary was set up as a preschool again. It was the preschool that actually grew the church.

The preschool moved out a year or two ago, and now the building is just a church.  No more moving furniture around on the weekends.

Those from older cities may be used to more traditional looking churches, but those building new churches often value function above form. Many churches believe their funds should be used for ministry rather than for expensive buildings. Some churches even look like warehouses and locate in industrial parks. They are designed to be ministry hubs, not ornate places of worship. Those who build them believe that where Christians meet together to worship, God is in their midst, no matter what form the building takes.

What do you think is most important? For a church to build an impressive sanctuary or to put its money into serving people? Or do you believe both are important?