I was hearing today of a Church who wanted to get a youth worker, but in the end they gave up on this idea because of the work needed to be done on repairing their local (ancient) Church building.
To me this seems like madness, unless we can reach the next generation with the good news of Christ, patching up our Churches is simply saving a job for Tesco Express -or whoever comes to take over the site once the last elderly congregant left and has turned out the lights.
The primary purpose I believe of Church is to share our faith not just with those around us, but to equip, empower and enable the next generation to follow us.
We are only here today because of the faithfulness of those who have gone before us.
Did you know that over 75% of people make a commitment to follow Christ before the age of 25, and yet nothing like 75% of our budgets are spent on our work with children, teenagers and young adults.
The great commission mentions nothing about maintaining buildings and although we are called to be good stewards of our resources, sometimes it feels like the tail wags the dog!
The Church in the book of Acts is not the building but the people, the people of God in the Old Testament were largely tabernacle people who moved around freely able to make their home where-ever God directed, it wasn’t until the reign of King Solomon that a immoveable stone building was constructed.
Yet I believe that sometimes our building have become our identity, and this has become something of an idol.
Sometimes our building speak of where our hearts are at, they talk about ‘preserving our past’ rather than of ‘seeking God for our future’.
Our work on a building, can feel ‘good and churchy’ whilst not actually building what matters, the Kingdom of God.
We may preserve a building, but if there is not a healthy, spirit-filled community reaching the next generation with the Good News of Jesus, are simply saving the share-holders of Tesco from putting their hands in their pockets, we’ve been building with what is temporary rather than with what is eternal.