One day, I read a description of a professional conference and was amused by this line:
With an old castle, a monastery and many cobbled and twisted lanes, Hammelburg is an ideal place to hold a conference.
Hmmm. Did they read that over to themselves before e-blasting it to thousands? The features depicted, while promising a picturesque conference location, have nothing to do with the suitability of the city for this conference. The advertised features are peripheral at best.
Two churches I’ve known pretty well in Texas have facilities far too large for their current “membership.” The size differential is pretty obvious:
- There are dark hallways and stairwells that no one need traverse
- There are rooms once used for Bible classes but now stuffed with unused furniture and supplies.
- There are cavernous sanctuaries (“auditoriums”) in which there is more Doppler effect than inspiring resonance of worship sounds.
Okay, so Texas is known for doing things big. These buildings were big to begin with — perhaps a little too big. Now, they are way too big. Apart from the size factor, consider the usefulness of the particular rooms and appurtenances. Are the facilities aiding what the congregation is about?
At one of these church buildings, there exists
- a parking lot and a covered entryway (protecting churchgoers from what? there is no precipitation to speak of, and it doesn’t keep the wind off)
- a large lobby/foyer (good for Texas howdys)
- a large auditorium where no one sits near anyone else
- a couple dozen Bible class spaces, where maybe a half-dozen are being used, and 3-4 are fixed up very nicely
What can/should be done with facilities 1) to avoid waste, and 2) to serve the people? This is not an easy question to answer, but it begs to be asked.
Facilities should be fit for the intended purpose, shouldn’t they?