A Church Building is NOT Your Cozy Spot

CHBC: As you know, we have been looking at possibly building a church building … and next week we will be embarking on remodeling the interior of our current church building. We will be knocking down walls, tearing down ceilings, and ripping out carpet. There will be much to do. However, we must not forget that the church building is a tool, and not an end.

Doug Wilson has some wise words for us as we embark on this process. He writes to his own church:

In the kindness and providence of God, we have come to a place where we are seriously undertaking the work of pursuing a church building. There is of course a lot to do, but one of the most important aspects of our prep work is reinforcing certain spiritual assumptions in you, the congregation.

Church buildings are a tool, an instrument. They are not an end. They are not a final destination point. They are a tool to enable us to worship God in a fitting manner, and to do so in a way that invites all the nations to join us in worshiping God in a fitting manner. The point of the church is birth and growth—the new birth, and the new life in Christ.

When Israel invaded Canaan, the perennial temptation they faced, again and again, was the temptation to carve out a space for themselves, and then to settle in that space. Churches do the same thing—they get a building, they get their market share, they have no worries about survival, and they forget the mission. The mission is the evangelization of the world, and our mission is the evangelization of the Palouse.

The great enemy of gospel intentionality is coziness. As we think about the practical side of building a church, let us think first about the spiritual side of it. Do not begin to think that brick and stone are the permanent things. We have come to a mountain that cannot be touched, and we have that privilege regardless of where we worship.

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