Thursday, October 06, 2005

Portable Church

Our church has been about as portable as you can get. We've hopped all over the place since we started. Some of that has been good and some of it has not been so good. Here are two of many things I've learned about buildings and being portable as a church plant during this time:
  1. It's important to stay planted in one place for as long as you can.(How many growing plants in the plant kingdom uproot and move around a lot?) That doesn't mean indefinitely, it just means for as long as you can. There's a certain excitement to making a move, but if it happens too often without accompanying growth, it causes a sense of instability. And I believe that the "accompanying growth" part is the key. You don't have to own it, but it helps if you're in it for a while.

  2. Being a portable church can be a great thing. For every challenge to being portable, there are a variety of advantages to being portable. For example, being portable means not having a big fat mortgage payment and monthly utilites to deal with that can sap money from other things. Being portable means t that we can plan to use financial resources to pay staff, purchase quality equipment and create compelling environments for worship and children's areas "instead" rather than "in addition to" those expenses. It isn't necessarily "if you build it, they will come," it's more "If you're meeting needs and creating welcoming environments they will come." Being portable also means in some ways it's easier to go to them... "Come and See" and "Go and Tell" are not mutually exclusive.
I know that there are probably some of my team members who are starting to get a twitch in their eye about right now, since they've been setting up and tearing down for so long... but a building can be an asset or a liability, depending on how it's viewed and used.

We may not be in a building of our own for a while, though, and I'm ok with that. It gives us an opportunity to discover and explore the best kind of building we'll need and that fits into the vision of our church when the time is right. When we do build, it will most likely be a multi-use building that benefits the community and gives us interaction with unchurched people during the week in the middle of "the marketplace." Still praying and thinking through that one, and it will have to wait for another post. (And what a post it will be!)

Much inspiration from Ben and Mark, on this.

Couple of Links
Here are a couple of web sites I'm mulling over as we're planning for the launch at the rec center:

Portable Church
Group Imaging

What do we need to create the environments we need to create in order to accomplish what we need to accomplish? What do we not need? For our area, the answers to those questions are starting to become clearer, but it's an ongoing challenge.

Portable Perspective
And finally, Church media guru Anthony Coppedge has a great post today about a "portable church" he visited in Arizona. (I like that he refers to Gary Lamb as "feisty" in this post!) Check it out here.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Portable is fun. There is so much more energy and momentum - our portable satellites are incredible. (And we use Portable Church! Great product, funny smell.)