My previous post, The Most Wasted Piece of Architecture, didn’t generate discussion here, but it was picked up by Locusts and Honey with a substantial quote, and some interesting discussion took place there.
The discussion seemed to center a good deal around the specific issue of church sanctuaries. But what I would hope we would consider would be the balance between inreach and outreach both in our personal lives and in the lives of others. Church sanctuaries are beautiful. I do appreciate them. But I have to ask whether they represent the best use of resources to build the kingdom. I’m writing this on Sunday morning. Once I hit the “publish” button I’ll be headed to church, where I’ll meet with the pastor and pray with him before he goes out to preach three services for the day. I’ll attend one in a very nice old sanctuary, and I will be spiritually fed there. All of this will do me good, but is it the best Sunday morning possible in terms of building the kingdom?
I don’t question the need for inreach. Church members must be motivated, trained, empowered, and released for ministry. That will take resources, in space, time, and money. My question, however, is just where we will find the balance. How much do we spend maintaining the machine, and how much do we spend using it? We can come to different answers on sanctuary design and value, but I think none of us can avoid asking just how well we are stewarding the resources God provides us in the church.
What I’m really asking of my fellow Christians is that we honestly evaluate our resources and our use of them, not asking what we like, but rather asking what will do kingdom work in the best way.