At our annual meeting on April 27th, I presented 5 questions that I believe The Grove’s response to will determine the level of influence we have for Jesus in our city and in our world. Part 1!
Question 3: What are the next steps to be made regarding property and/or buildings?
It probably took an entire year after The Grove started for people to stop asking when we were going to get a building, maybe 4. It was the most awkward thing. It was pretty much only churched people who asked too. People whose first thought of a church had four walls, a steep sanctuary roof and a sign out front for horrible puns that they hope will get pagan people to hate them less. A couple times I pushed back and asked them if they had sold their building yet so they could focus on being a great church… but only with close friends. It’s a telling thing that the dominant view of the western church – by Christians – is a building. I keep reading through the Bible and I can’t seem to find where Jesus told his followers that having buildings was the trick to making this thing happen.
Being building free has helped The Grove to grow an identity and curate a culture that is focused on mission, impact and being a generative presence in our city. It has helped our definition of church grow past stained glass and steeples – to a Christ centered network of relationships that is the body (not the building) of Christ.
God has given everything we need to become who He dreams of us being.
At the same time, we would also love to have a building. A building would be an amazing gift that we could give to our community. It would be great to make a decently tricked out auditorium for school concerts, political events, community meetings, or Glass Tiger concerts (one of these might be a joke). We could create outdoor play spaces, with a park or sports fields for our neighborhoods. Gym time is always at a premium, and it could be a great tool for ministry and for the betterment of our town. When you travel across the bridge into North Albany, these kinds of spaces are at a premium.
What kind of a gift could we give our city through a building?
This would be the driving question for The Grove if we were to pursue a building.
Yet, because we believe in the provision of God for what He wants to do, we are in no rush.
So, in the interest of preparedness and following God’s leading our leadership council and (mostly) our Trustees will soon be tackling these questions and making decisions (yes, no, wait, etc.) that will affect The Grove’s use of buildings and property to live for Jesus, to love our city and to see lives transformed by God!
In the meantime, those leadership groups would love your prayers and you can check out some possible church building designs below and vote on your favorites!