Today, many churches are pursuing a wide range of ministries
that respond to the spiritual, physical, and emotional health
of individuals and families. The economic challenges are real.
The church needs to grow organically, within the realities of
economic and operational constraints. And we need to project a
vision that stirs the hearts and minds of its members.It is a
process that requires creativity, collective energy, teamwork,
sharpened management skills, faith, and determination. To do it
right, the church will have to step out of the box it sometimes
inhabits so as to better understand the community around it.
What does "community" mean to the church? People, families,
and individuals are on the go. Many of us have very fast-paced
lifestyles. Whether we are at work or play, the historic institutions
that fostered community are not there now as they once were. The
"Mom & Pop" corner store, the friendly bank, the
small school, the local gas station, and the safe street have
disappeared. As a result, a sense of community is what people
want. Many churches are responding by embracing a powerful and
broad range of ministries. They are reaching out to the unchurched,
addressing issues that affect people's real lives, and offering
a wide range of relevant services provided in a friendly environment.
In doing so, churches are building facilities that are more familiar
to secular people. Such places as malls, specialty stores, food
courts, themed restaurants, coffee houses, theaters, and sports
parks not only provide expanded ministry opportunities, but suggest
special environments that may be appropriately utilized in a church
ChurchWorks is a design firm that designs church buildings
that embrace creative ideas for expanded mission and foster friendlier
and more inviting environments. If you have any ideas or questions
you wish addressed in this column, contact David Price at (714)
832-1722, by fax at (714) 832-0738, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.