Buildings can distract you

The church merger continues to progress. Legal documents have been signed and in the coming few days all assets, liabilities and so on will be transferred from two charities into one new one Hope Church Shrewsbury.

For the past seven years or so North Shrewsbury Community Church has been nomadic, of no permanent abode. We’ve been mostly using this school as our home but have used at least five other buildings in that time and have used two different office units. The Grange Free Church owns two buildings and it’s easy to think ‘yippee’ because we’re no longer nomadic. But we should always be careful that having a fixed address doesn’t lead to the church becoming static and motionless. We mustn’t forget that the people of God are intended to be a nomadic people (1 Pet 2:11).

But buildings are not always a total blessing. Both of the two buildings we are now responsible for have their limitations and need some investment. We’re converting one into our new offices (saving money and moving us into the heart of one of the communities) and that comes at a cost. There are access, storage, heating, security issues to deal with.

Over the past few months getting to grips with and resolving these issues have taken up considerable time and energy and if you’re not careful dominate the landscape. A greater goal needs to be kept in sight. We must increase not simply the buildings number capacity but it’s missional capacity. The buildings must become a servant to the mission of the church and not a drain.

Soon builders will begin their work and the lawyers will hopefully have finished theirs but for us the work of increasing the mission by more effective use of the buildings is just beginning.

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