Church Buildings Aligned (or not) with Mission

Many congregations with large and expensive buildings are struggling with the question of what to do with their buildings?   Do we stay and re-tool for the future in the use of the building?  Can we afford to stay in this building?  Do we sell the building?  This short quote from Brian Clark (Presbyterian Outlook[1]) was insightful and helped me re-focus on the right question to ask!

Whether the faith community is 1-year-old or has a 200-year history, the building must fit the purpose of that community today. It becomes problematic when the facility begins to dictate the mission rather than serve the mission…..

I struggle with this because the physical assets of the urban congregation I served (the building) is a huge asset for the congregation in serving the community.  This is the reason, in large part, why this congregation didn’t abandon the large and expensive church building many years ago.  The various uses of a church building can continue to be aligned with the mission of the congregation in serving the larger community.  Perhaps not!  It takes a careful discernment process to determine when or if the building ceases to be aligned with congregational mission priorities as a congregational asset.

Something to think about.  I commend this article by Brian Clark for reflection and discussion.

[1]  Mortgaging the Mission of God?, Brian Clark, Presbyterian Outlook, January 21, 2015   —

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