Saturday, September 26, 2009
They built it and not enough folks came
"Here is a church, no longer with steeple, open it up and where are the people????"
The website says this church was the vision of a pastor X in 1999, and Dr. Pastor y took over in 2002 and rented a storefront. Construction of this building was done by the same local company that did the building I helped build and complete in 2002.
Doors opened in 2007 right next to our new freeway about a mile from another church at the next exit, which is very seeker sensitive, (they just finished their back to school series on great parenting), and draw several thousand a week.
My Gideon friend told me this church is closing their doors soon. They did not grow as they had hoped and could no longer make the payments. The Pastor is seeking a place back home in the Bible Belt, and if I remember the talk given to me by the banker when we signed for our loan, some banker is really worried about finding someone to pay for this building.
Did they dream too big, borrow too much, stay too traditional, try too hard, get outclassed by the super big churches all around? I have no idea. Like most things I learn in our society, I am kind of sad. I do fear those trying to reach the unreached and hoping for enough givers to make it to the next level, that we have catered to so many felt needs that we have a church hopping crowd here in the East Valley that will always be looking the the next cool thing.
The Church down the street has the same basic theology(baptist)but they did an enormous calling campaign and advertising campaign that was heavily funded by churches in a neighboring state, and they had 800 at their first service and never looked back and never built until they could dazzle with a very nice set of buildings, and 2 years ago had Jesus as the opening speaker for their state of the art worship facility with a coffee bar of course. You remember Jesus....Jim Caveziel, I am told he is a very good speaker.
Tomorrow I begin a series on wisdom, three hymns and two worships choruses, on piano and organ, and wondering whether we will look back on these recent decades as building on sand, and this poor church vision just did not dazzle with sufficient dazzle to get enough butts in the seat to keep it going. Give us wisdom, Lord.