Oakgrove Hope

Advancing gospel hope and community in Derry City, N Ireland (Derry = 'Oak Grove')

Does a Church Need a Building?

The following article was written by Church-Planter Sam Quinn.

Recently, I was at a church event with a good friend of mine discussing the need of the Northwest Baptist Church in Derry, Northern Ireland regarding the finances for a church building and he asked a question I had not really considered: “Does a church need a building?” After some contemplation I decided that it would behoove us to look into why a church needs a physical building of their own.

We can look at the New Testament church and honestly say that they had most likely no permanent meeting house or building. Let us remember, that the 1st century church was the closest to a guerrilla ministry. The church services were house to house and ever moving. Times change of course and now we’re living in an age that the church in most place can have a meeting place and is advantaged by it. 

So what advantage is there for a church to have a building all there own?

1. Financial Freedom: Rent is a major cash drain on a fledgling church. It inhibits their ability to expand outreach, do special projects, and print materials. Above that, rent shortens the hand of the church in their capability to support their pastor, a major responsibility of the church (v. 1 Tim. 5:17-18; Gal. 6:6).

2. Longevity: If you watch churches you will find an interesting pattern: they start, they grow, they buy land and build a building, the church declines perhaps even to the brink of death, a new pastor comes along and new life returns to the church, and they take off growing again. This happens in churches of 50 and 5,000. But imagine if they had no building. As soon as they fell to a point they could not pay rent, they would have a dead church. Yet with a building they can soldier on and be a light of the gospel despite a fall in attendance. 

3. Community Rapport: A church has a unique opportunity in the community if they stay in one place: they can become a fixture and a landmark. If the church is evangelistic they soon become known for their outreach efforts. If they love people they get a reputation as a loving church. The testimony church is a hug aspect of how they can impact their community. It is far more difficult to garner a good testimony if a church is transient. A landmark only becomes so if it’s permanent.

I hope this answers questions you may have about needing a building. The Northwest Baptist Church in Derry, Northern Ireland is looking to purchase their very own building. Will you please help them by praying and giving to the need? 

To give, go here.

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