Should we gather resources – discussion

April 12, 2007

As I was thinking about finances (again, I know, I know), my creativity got the best of me, and I thought, “Why don’t we merge churches and combine finances rather than have 20-40 churches in one area?” Ludicrous, right?

Well, I thought about it more. What if we could cut building costs, utility costs, outreach costs (to affect MORE people), …? What if? Then it hit me that we’d be doing more than fixing finances, we’d be pulling together gifted people and putting truly gifted people in the right positions. Everybody wins. Yes, the idea of combining churches is a bit radical, but what if instead of 40 churches or whatever we have in State College, we had one NewSpring. Or perhaps we have 3 or 4 churches of 2000. How much more focused would we be in advancing the Kingdom?

What’s stopping us? Vision. Sometimes we let our vision override our pastor’s. Sometimes we put our own preferences and opinions in front of our focus to advance the Kingdom and in front of our desire to serve. Why does style of worship split churches? Why don’t I know the differences between Methodist, Lutheran, Protestant, etc? (Ok, ok, I actually should read more about this, but you get my point – these differences are menial)

That’s my question to the blogging public. What’s stopping us? Am I crazy? (Yeah, probably.)

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One Response to “Should we gather resources – discussion”

  1. Brian Says:

    You’re crazy!!!

    Seriously, I wrote a long reply, so eloquent you would cry, but then my hotel internet locked up and lost it. So excuse any terseness, as I’m trying to recapture my thoughts again.

    Basically, I think at first glance, it comes off as a good idea, but I think when you look further, it is deeply flawed. Different churches form (or at least should form) as responses to unfilled needs within the community. I’m going to continue to refer to my church in MD as a reference, not only because I’m biased, but also because I feel as though it is an example befitting this conversation. I currently am going to a small church, with probably only 50 members or so. Personally, I can’t imagine going to a large church measuring in the thousands, where I would feel lost and faceless in the crowd. I can shake everyone’s hand on Sunday morning; I play golf with my pastor; I recognize newcomers nearly instantly. The intimate setting not only fosters my personal spiritual growth, but also is a comfortable environment for people uncomfortable with the traditional church. As much as we’d like, we’re not a homogeneous group with identical needs which go far beyond contemporary vs traditional worship.

    However, while I do disagree pretty strongly with your theoretical exercise, I do think the root issue that you’re talking about is important. The American church is so obsessed with numbers that we’ve basically resorted to shuffling Christians around. So rather than continually trying to sell ourselves, we need to start serving each other without demanding anything in return. We can share our gifts with not only our church but with the Church as a whole. For instance, we have a high percentage of tech people at our church. One of our desires is to make a “church tech on a CD” (web site, mailing program, etc) to give out to churches without a tech community like ours. And that is humbling, which I think Jesus would be OK with. We’re not perfect by any means; the nice thing about telling people about our community is that I inadvertently can cherry pick what I say. That’s just a disclaimer and a vain attempt at humility.

    Those are my 2 cents (really more like 3). And seriously, my first post was so much better. Sorry.


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