Semper Reformanda

...some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help.

[Friday, November 6, 2009]

How big is too big?

I recently read this blog about FBC Dallas' new $130 million building project.

Nobody should fault FBC Dallas or anybody else for building a building. But this isn’t a building. This, and a bunch of other stuff, i[t]s Bible Belt Disneyland. This is evangelicalism with more cowbell. This is Field of Dreams attractional church. And it stinks to high heaven...

...Not go and tell. Come and see is the “mission” of megachurchianity.

After a little research, I found they are running ~3 services with about 11 thousand people. I can't help but think to my church, Windsor Crossing and wonder if there is really much that separates us in terms of size (we run close to 10 thousand on Easter & Christmas, but that's spread over ~7-10 services and have close to 5 thousand every weekend at 2 sites now, with 5 services at one site and 2 at the other). On the flip side, Francis Chan has a radically different approach:

Convicted by the verse to "love your neighbor as yourself," Chan showed up at the next board meeting with an agenda. In the early years, Cornerstone gave away 4 percent of its budget. Chan asked them to give away 50 percent. Cuts in staff salaries and serious sacrifices in programs would have to be made, but it only took a half hour for the board to agree.

Chan's church now meets in an amphitheater in the park to accommodate their growing size (They are in SoCal, so the weather is on their side most of the time I'd guess). And they are now giving away 55% of their budget to various ministries.

If it rained, they'd get wet knowing their money was feeding the hungry.

So what do you think? I think these are vitally important questions to be discerning considering the brink of change we are on here in St. Louis and the ministry of Windsor Crossing. Would you be willing to have church in the park? Maybe not in St. Louis. :) What are your thoughts on what the modern church should look like? Should we go for a huge complex to fully meet the needs of the community? Should we get rid of as much as possible and live radically different lives culturally? Should we balance the two (which is what I think the Crossing does currently)?

How do we make sure we are in a "go and tell" mentality rather than a "come and see"?

May we not focus on our own will, works and power; but rather on the will of God, the work of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. May our church buildings be nothing more than a "place to hang our hat" so to speak, and that a large majority of what constitutes our "church" exists entirely outside its walls.


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