Thursday, May 12, 2005

Buildings for God

After a recent trip to England, visiting some of the large and small "buildings for God" (i.e. churches and cathedrals) I had to ponder "what do these buildings mean to the everyday person?"

  • Are they monuments to what people believed in the past?
  • Are they historical landmarks that make a city or town look quaint, and attract tourists?
  • Or, are they centers of empowered worship, vitally portraying the Living Triune God?

I'd like to hope and believe for the last option. But I'm not so sure.

I'm not the only one who has pondered this question. Howard Snyder, in a recent article in Christianity Today, offered his thoughts. He notes that "Jesus-centered" churches can keep their priorities straight between builidngs and ministry, between worship and outreach.

Don't get me wrong! Visiting the cathedrals at York and Canterbury, craning my neck to view the high, lofty and vaulted ceilings, marveling at the construction and artistry in carved wood and stone was a wonderful experience. Worshipping in a church where my immigrant ancestors were once members was also a spiritual highlight. But it all means nothing, in England, or in Maryland, if the people who attend services in these buildings don't take the Word out into the world.

I'm still processing what this means... and how I'll make a difference here in my zipcode...

From our home to yours,

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