What do you get when you blend the qualities of
an auto showroom, a Cineplex stadium-styled theater, and a passion
for mission? You get a mission-driven enterprise called Point
of Grace Church where an adventurous spirit and entrepreneurial
ingenuity are creating a new church model.
In the western suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, Point of Grace is
planning to build a large "warehouse" ministry lab which
will contain a 700-seat theater with cushioned chairs on retractable
platforms, equipped with concert sound and lighting equipment,
complete with banks of computer-controlled lights. They've also
scheduled a sound and video production studio, and plenty of space
for children's and student ministries.
Families and guests arriving at the "warehouse" will
first enter a hospitality center -- The Point Café -- containing
a coffee and juice bar, the ChurchWorks Store, and an indoor garden
patio, complete with fireplace and lounge. The hospitality center
will be a highly efficient and socially interactive area with
generous circulation, visible steel roof decking and trusses,
open mechanical HVAC systems, suspended flat screen video monitors,
and maximum use of glass. Parking will be abundant and convenient.
The Point of Grace model reflects a transformation which is occurring
in the church. Successful churches are exploring new formulas
which embrace the idea of a mission-driven enterprise. Churches
like Point of Grace are building environments that are sometimes
secular and more familiar to people. In doing so, Point of Grace
is seeking an approach which connects its ministry to the nature
and culture of its community. It is a new-town, new-church model
inviting and challenging others. Check out their website at www.pointofgrace.org.
The unchurched and faithful are found across the American landscape.
Opportunities for mission-driven enterprises exist in downtown,
uptown, new town, and small town.
The mission-driven enterprise church is important work. It is
a journey of faith. The expanded functions of the mission-driven
enterprise church can create centers of community life where love
and faith prosper.
- Urban Church - can turn abandoned buildings into laundry
stores, restaurants, and gymnasiums by challenging business
and civic leaders and fostering partnerships.
- Uptown Church - might be part of a theater district,
or sponsor new senior housing apartments, or special family
and adult counseling services directed to the needs of city
- New Town Church - often ministers to a busy, sometimes
transposed, array of individuals looking for a place which responds
to their many needs in a manner that is friendly and inviting.
- Small Town Church - nowhere is the passion for mission
deeper than in our small towns. But old ideas and the old guard
sometimes become obstacles.
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.