Your Church Building: A Blessing or Curse?

It was almost 5 years ago I walked into the Crosspoint Center at Scott’s Hill Baptist Church.  I had been offered an internship there, and felt lead to take it.  These were all blind decisions and completely in trust of what God had before me.  But the whole thing was just confirmed as I walked into this building.  I knew I wanted to be a part of a community that valued its youth and would raise money to build such a feat.  You walk into a gorgeous welcome area, then look to the right and a fully functional Cafe is reaming with snacks.  In the back right corner are five pool tables decked out in the thematic bright orange dawned on Detour’s logo.  The back wall is full of bright television screens, and a large circular stage that dawns 10 or so big screen TV’s.  XBox 360s and Playstation 3s accompany the tube sets, with the most recent sports games available.  There is a space that has since been filled with a very popular Inflatable Velcro Wall.  Finally the back left corner houses a single ping-pong table, for the elite of paddlers.  Walking back to the front there are bright red couches where many conversations seem to be held, if only they could tell me what I was getting into.  There is a “spot” separated by glass panels that house stations for listening to music.  But the big show happens in the caged basketball court that fits right in the middle of the room.  Sound is being racked out from an upper level DJ booth that towers of the cage.

I was blown away.

Five years later and I still love giving the occasional tour around the place to Youth Pastors or friends in the ministry that come by.  But there is this idea or phrase that has started to haunt me and only recently surfaced into my heart.  As I walk the guest around, or as there have been others that have visited or heard of the building’s resources, there seems to be an equivalent expectation that with a building like this comes numbers.  Like because we have a building like this, then this is why we have as many students.  The building is the reason we have such great staff.  The building is what brings students to church every week and in “church” terminology, the building would be the backbone to our “successful Youth Ministry.”

But you see, it’s just a building.

Last week we held our weekly Student Outreach service on Wednesday night.  We had around 300 students show up as we finished a series of messages talking about Heroes from the Bible.  We finished the night off talking about the greatest Hero of all time, of course, Jesus.  I got a front-row seat at seeing God do amazing work that night as 23 students committed their life to His will, and to following Jesus.  There were four times that much that stood for accountability in their faith as they desire to continue to grow closer to God in the relationship they already had.

But was it because of the building?

This little rant is more of an encouragement to those who are a part of churches or ministries where it seems you don’t have all the resources you need to get accomplished what you feel you need to be getting accomplished.  This little rant is more of an encouragement to those who are doing great and mighty things for God’s Kingdom, while working one or two other jobs.  This is an encouragement to those who I have personally shown around this building I sit in right now and type this out.  It has nothing to do with the building.  God is great and can move in mighty ways no matter where you are, how big your building is, or how much “cool” factor there is!  If you have a calling and you put your all into it; if you pray without ceasing and obey as God works in Your life, they will come.

Now I know this building we have helps us out a lot.  It plays to our advantage, and don’t get me wrong, we as a team and staff are thankful for it day after day!  But we also know the Truth, that God does the work, not the building.  The students come for a few weeks maybe for “the building,” but they continue to come because they want to grow and learn more about Jesus.  For it was He who did a mighty work in them, and they want to grow in that.  God is the reason behind “our numbers.”  God is the success of our ministry.

If there was one thing to take away from this, here it is be:  Be thankful for the resources God has given you, but never use them as an excuse as to why or how God is working, or is NOT working.

Much love.

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The Hollands

our life. our ideas. our struggles. our thoughts. our dreams. in words. for you.

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