"Old church" will die: Let's release those resources to create "deeper knowing" across the whole community.....

In this article at her website Pigs Will Fly, community activist Gail Plowman explores the ways the resources of the church can be applied to generate "a deeper presence to one another" across whole communities, and she explores one interesting experiment attempting to so direct those resources....

Gail writes: I would love to see ....Church....helping grassroots groups across all community sectors innovate to help with renewal, continuing what many have started, and helping governments maximise scarce resources through presencing.

1 comment:

  1. Churches, like institutions do not die easily.

    The Centripetal forces of church death are much like a dying star. Earlier in its life, a star shines bright and gives off life-giving and sustaining energy. As a star dies, it first emits massive amounts of light and heat in its final stage of life. This supernova yields both new life and old death. In the last stage of its life, the star becomes a black-hole from which no energy can escape: not even light itself.

    Having served in church closure task force work, I have seen first hand what a group of people can and will do out of desperation to save "their" building and to save all that past generations have invested to create. The pain is exquisite as centripetal forces spin ever-inwardly. Then comes the point where insolvency becomes real and the building is released. New life comes in yet unseen ways. As the Gospel message goes; if you seek to save your life, you will lose it. If you lose it for my [Christ's] sake, you will gain it.

    In traditions where the building reverts back to the denomination (via deed in trust clause), middle judicatories often sell the building at a fraction of its worth and reinvest the money into some other area of ministry. It is this reinvestment that brings the greatest challenge to the judicatories and to the future church.

    Albert Einstein once stated "you cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it". Fiscal prudence, good stewardship, and shalom-making reveals that building palatial church estates for single use occupancy over a couple of generations is not a sustainable approach.

    Rather, if money from church closure and sale of buildings is reinvested in developing, as Gail Plowman wrote,'"a deeper presence to one another" across whole communities', it follows that the church of the future will emerge and thrive. Of course, there is much more to the issue than I can state in this entry.

    I want to see the bright stars (the church) of tomorrow be sustainable and yield light for generations to come.

    Dave Cooper