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:  

  1. There are dark hallways and stairwells that no one need traverse
  2. There are rooms once used for Bible classes but now stuffed with unused furniture and supplies.
  3. 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?


4 thoughts on “Facilities

  1. godschildrenorg 12/01/2013 / 12:24 pm

    I decline to respond to this question on the grounds that it might lead to me being stoned! You and I are sincere about being intentional followers of Christ. The buildings you describe are indicative of the intent of those scattered around the pews…in my opinion. But fit for the intended purpose? What was the intended purpose…really…the intended purpose of the majority of the membership?


    • Brian Casey 12/01/2013 / 1:02 pm

      Ha! (Always appreciate your responses.)


    • godschildrenorg 12/01/2013 / 2:18 pm

      Glad you appreciate my responses! You have the capacity to appreciate my sort of humor. I got to thinking after I posted this comment that “lead to being stoned” is not a proper term for me to use in today’s culture! Only someone who knows the Bible will know that “being stoned” meant that people were picking up stones and throwing them at people until they…preferably…died. That was the intent of the religious people back then.

      And…in the Crusades, “Christians” had advanced to where they used swords to kill those who did not agree with them. I wonder how many of the knights could read in that period? They just did what the religious leaders taught them to do.


    • Brian Casey 12/05/2013 / 9:43 am

      There are multiple jokes possible with the “stoned” double entendre! Although I’ve used one or two before in other conversations, I guess my lack of internal alarm when I read your comment shows my entrenchment in biblical literature/times!


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