Friday, April 3, 2009

building people, not buildings

Last night I read THIS BLOG POST from Jonathan Falwell and was moved by what he had to say.  Just wanted to let you know what I was thinking and what God was saying.  As you read, I pray that God rocks our thinking ....
 
Cathedrals of Nothingness!
by Jonathan Falwell
 
I had a conversation today with Matt Willmington and Doug Randlett about our church planting efforts in some major cities in the U.S.  As we discussed strategy, we talked about how it might be best to plant some non-traditional churches (i.e. house churches) in one specific city because of its unique nature.  I've spent a great deal of time in this particular city and I had an observation that a traditional church plant, church building, and church programs would not be successful (in my opinion) because this city is full of beautiful churches and cathedrals which do absolutely nothing.
On street corner after street corner, you can find these wonderful structures designed by some of the great American and European architects that are clearly intended to impress even the most secular individuals in society.  Yet, in almost every one of them, there hasn't been a salvation decision or, for that matter, any decision in years.  Even though I've seen many of these buildings on a number of occasions, that truth hadn't really hit me until I visited Israel a few weeks ago.
 
During my visit to Israel, we traveled to many of the holy sites where tradition holds that some of the greatest events in the Scriptures took place.  At most of the sites, you will find a church that has been built to symbolize those events.  You find these buildings in Capernaum (where Jesus spent much time during his ministry), the Mt. of Beatitudes (where Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount), the multiplication site (where Christ supposedly fed the 5,000), the Garden of Gethsemane, Bethlehem and many others.  I couldn't help but ask the question as I visited these sites..."how many decisions for Christ have been made in these churches?"  These churches serve as monuments, not movements for the Kingdom.
 
It's time that we forget about building cathedrals of nothingness and build PEOPLE who will be passionate about sharing their faith and living for Christ.  It doesn't matter what the building looks like, but it matters greatly what the heart looks like!
 
That last paragraph is what rocked me and made me stop and think even more.  We must be people, leaders and God followers willing to build people.  Nothing else.  It is the heart of the matter.
 

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