Don’t Hate Me Because I’m a Church Building

Think about your commute this morning. I bet that somewhere along the way you passed through a mixed neighborhood. You know the kind, where some houses are well-kept and others aren’t.

Now let’s say you had to spend your money buying one of those houses. Which would you choose? Would you pick the one with the fresh paint and a straight roof or the one the tired façade and dated carpets? The answer is pretty obvious.

But it’s probably not obvious at your church. If you were to visit your church for the first time, what would your “fresh eyes” see? How are your carpet, lighting, building smell, media equipment, bathrooms and paint?

CHURCH GOGGLES

Because we love our churches, many times we don’t see what visitors see. We have our “church goggles” on. Andy Stanley likes to say our churches can be like old couches. We love our old couches because of the wonderful memories they bring to mind. But any visitor just looks at our old couch and sees junk.

Church goggles aren’t our only problem. Churches can be caught in a never-ending battle to please everyone. Raise the prospect of spending any meaningful money on your church building and there will be those who criticize. “That money can be better spent on _______ (name any ministry or good cause)” they say. Of course it can. Who wouldn’t agree that dollars spent helping people are better used than buying carpeting?

LIKE IT OR NOT, BUILDINGS ARE A CHOICE YOUR CHURCH MADE

This is where leadership needs to step in. Fresh carpeting can help reach people. When your church bought its building, it made a commitment to a ministry model. A church building the primary tool of the attractional church model. You invite people to “God’s house” where they build relationships and grow spiritually. A building is no different than a family’s house. You don’t just purchase it once and forget about it. When you bought, you implicitly made an commitment to maintain it. My mechanic recently told me about a customer of his that bought an expensive car. He believed that because he paid a lot for it he didn’t need to change the oil. It wasn’t long before the car ceased to function. Do people in your congregation believe the same thing about your church building?

Leaders should remember that your church building is the primary tool your church has chosen to reach your local mission field. By keeping it fresh and attractive your church maintains its ability to reach people.

BUT WE REALLY WANT TO SPEND MONEY ON SOMETHING ELSE

Are you tired of spending tens of thousands of dollars on utilities, mortgage payments and maintenance? Do you want your church’s dollars to go to something more worthy? Great! You can. Get rid of your building. Or downsize. Sell your building to a growing church that really needs your space. You can rent space for meetings or meet in homes. You can use live streaming video to bring together a lot of small locations. There’s no rule that says your church needs a building. A church is not a building but a community.

Form follows function. If you want 50% of your church income to go outside the church, reduce your facilities expenses according. This way your vision and budget are aligned and your building won’t be an unnecessary point of tension/conflict.

NO MIDDLE GROUND

If you have chosen to have a building, maintain it well. Dated, dim and dingy environments won’t help Jesus. They only reinforce the negative impressions held by unchurched people. Own up to the commitment you have already made. Remind your congregation why “clean, bright and up-to-date” are important to reach people.

If you don’t have a building, don’t be too quick to get one. Renting and using technology to connect aren’t bad things. They free you from the massive distraction and expense that come with buildings. If you’re not about attractional church, don’t kill yourself committing to the main tool of attractional church.

With buildings you’re “all in.” Each year building environments are either getting better or getting worse. There is no middle ground.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rob Cizek

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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Creating a Come and See Culture

II. AN ENGAGING PRESENTATION

A. Engaging presentations are central to the success of our mission.

  1. Presenting the Gospel is a primary responsibility of the church. We are the only organization charged with that responsibility.
  2. “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” is the  unique responsibility of the church. (Matthew 28:20)

B. To engage is to secure one’s attention. In presentation, truth isn’t enough. It needs to be engaging. This is important to consider when deciding who is speaking, singing and presenting.

C. Generally speaking, it’s the presentation that makes information interesting. People usually eat either chicken, beef or fish. You determine what restaurant to eat at based on their presentation of the chicken, beef or fish. Presentation makes things interesting. Jesus made his content different than the teachers of his time. The audience attention span is determined by the quality of the presentation.

Engaging presentations require engaging presenters or an engaging means of presentation. Some people write good lessons, others present in an engaging manner. Separate the two. Let the good writers write, then turn it over to the good presenters for presenation.

QUESTIONS

  1. Is your culture characterized by a relentless commitment to engaging presentation at every level of the organization?
  2. Does your system allow you to put your best presenters in your most strategic presentation environments?
  3. Are your presenters evaluated and coached?
  4. Does your system create opportunities for your best content creators to partner with your presenters?

 

III. HELPFUL

A. Helpful = Useful

B. Helpful content is content that directly addresses thinking and living. It challenges people to think different or act different.

C. Content should be age targeted and specific.

  1. Is your content helpful? Presentation, not content, determines interest. Information that does not address a felt need is perceived as irrelevant.
  2. Do your content creators and communicators understand that the goals are renewed minds and changed behaviors?
  3. Is your content age and stage-of-life specific?

CONCLUSION:

Of every environment, program and production ask:

  1. Was the context appealing? Was the setting engaging?
  2. Was the presentation engaging?
  3. Was the content helpful?

This gets everyone thinking the same way. This is a clear filter to evaluate wins at North Point.

How are you creating a come and see culture at your church?

 

Read Page 1 here.

 

Read more from Rob here.

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Environments >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rob Cizek

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Creating a Come and See Culture

Here are the notes from Andy Stanley at Catalyst One Day Seattle 2012

Creating A Come-And-See Culture : Three Essential ingredients

INTRODUCTION

The church is a bunch of environments. Staff and volunteers are from various church backgrounds. Every person that shows up to do ministry has a picture in their head of what a win should be. The problem is that if everyone doesn’t have the same “win” in mind it creates problems. You need to develop 3-5 win definitions of your own.  North Point is unapoligcially  attractional. If Andy could heal people at will like Jesus did, he would. He cannot. Instead he can do great children’s ministry and have a great band.  Highlight the word “crowd” in the book of Mark. Everywhere Jesus went he was surrounded by people who couldn’t get enough of him. Jesus was attractional.

Every single program at your church is being evaluated every week by visitors and congregation members. If everyone is evaluating, shouldn’t we be too? When we get this right you create a lot of synergy with your staff. There will be far more wins because everyone is working from the same page.

1. AN APPEALING SETTING

A. Setting – the physical environment.

B. Settings create first impressions.

C. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. Andy doesn’t want issues in the environment to distract from ministry. For example, when asking people about their environment, North Point found that men want to know how long a service will be. Now they start each service by saying how long it will be. Now there is no concern about service length to distract from the worship experience.

D. Every physical environment communicates something. There are no neutral physical environments. Time in erodes awareness of. Do you even know what is in the lobby of your church?

  • Clean. Clean says “we’re expecting you.”
  • Organized. Organized says we are serious about what we are doing. A national bank lobby is the most organized because they want people to trust the bank with their money. “A business that looks orderly says to your customer that your people know what they are doing.” – Michael Gerber
  • Safe. Safe says we value your kids as if they were our own. Anything that communicates safety is an invitation for parents to leave their children with you.

E. Design, decor and attention to detail communicate what and who you value most. Don’t miss an opportunity to reach culture because you are afraid you are appealing to their consumer instincts.

F. Design, decor and attention to detail communicate whether or not you are expecting guests and whether your organization is insider- or outsider- focused.

G. Periodically, we all need fresh eyes on our ministry environments. If you ever had a babysitter you know what this is about. You arrive home and see everything that has happened, even if the sitter does not.

QUESTIONS

  1. Are your ministry settings appealing to your target audience?
  2. Does the design, deor and attention to detail of your environments reflect what and who is most important to you?
  3. What’s starting to look tired? Address it… unless you just want to keep the people you have.

 

Page 2

 

 

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Tags: , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Environments >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rob Cizek

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.