Sunday, July 18, 2021

Building a Building

Among my favorite Bible teachers is Perry Stone. While watching one of his “Manna-Fest” programs on YouTube a few years ago, I noticed another viewer posted the following comment: “It is NOT time to build a building, it’s time for winning the souls!” This was in response to brief remarks Perry made about a building project for his ministry. No financial appeals were made while computerized graphics of his ministry center were shown.

As an evangelist, I agree it's time for winning souls. God doesn’t want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). But if the Lord continues tarrying His return, where will all the new converts be discipled…outdoors? That would be comparable to a farmer who reaped a huge harvest of wheat but had no barn to put it in. Some will argue the early Christians met in people’s homes. Churches today sometimes start off as home bible studies. But if that group grows too large, a person’s house won’t have enough room to accommodate everyone.

The above photo is part of a meme Facebook friends have posted claiming: “Back when God mattered more than the church building.” I agree what’s preached inside the church is more important than how it looks on the outside. God isn’t honored if His people meet in a luxurious facility but the spiritual needs of the congregation are neglected. Nor it is good for a church to have a debt load that cannot be paid. 

Nevertheless, abundant resources were used in building tabernacles and temples in the Old Testament. During one such building project, Moses said in Exodus 36:6, “‘Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.’ And the people were restrained from bringing.” How many pastors do you know telling their congregations not to give any more money because they have more than enough to do the work of the Lord?

Sports fans don’t think it’s wrong when millions of dollars are spent on a new stadium for their favorite team to play in. Yet critics complain if a church spends (in their opinion) too much money on a new building. Some Christians defiantly claim, “The church is not a building!” The Lord asked in Haggai 1:4 (NLT), “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?”

It’s time for the body of Christ to get rid of a poverty mentality regarding our church buildings. In his book “How God Taught Me About Prosperity”, Kenneth E. Hagin was told, “I expect My people to have the best place in town to meet in!” If we take care of God’s house, He will take care of ours.

“Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order.” - 2 Chronicles 29:35

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