Wednesday, July 15, 2009

what's next

Have you noticed that churches have started popping up in shopping centers all over the place? And, I have to admit, when I see one of those I think it's really strange and wonder what kind of people go to a church located in a shopping center. I wonder what kind of things these people believe. What kind of things do these people teach about God and the Bible?

And, just so you know, yes, I am one of "those" people. The church I attend is in a shopping center of sorts. Not on the front side where you can see it from the street. No, we're more descreet than that. We're around in the middle of the complex. Even better, there's not even a sign announcing we're a church.

But the weirdest thing yet is that last week we were discussing evolution. In church. And there were visitors there. OMG!! What will they think??

10 comments:

Cocotte said...

I haven't encountered a shopping center church yet here. But we do have a movie theatre one!

FTN said...

I'm a fan of any church that is mobile and hasn't shelled out tens of millions of dollars for a huge building, quite honestly. There's plenty of unused buildings or fairly cheap places to rent. Some friends and I have actually looked at a run-down old mall nearby as a possible place to get people together for worship.

Desmond Jones said...

Our community, for the first 20+ years of our existence, met in various rented spaces - schools, church basements, etc (even, briefly, a Masonic hall).

We finally broke down and bought our own building when the church we were renting space from practically begged us to take it off their hands, for half the appraised value. And we just burned the mortgage this spring. . .

for a different kind of girl said...

In the seven years since we helped launch our church, we've met in a hotel meeting room, the huge open commons of a community college, and more school gymnasiums than I can count. We're presently renting the use of a school gym and some classrooms for Sunday school, and last year, purchased a home that has been refurbished for use as a ministry office and worship center (for meetings, small groups, prayer room events, etc.).

Over the course of that time, the ministry team has discussed purchasing farmland from a congregate who was moving away and had a BEAUTIFUL property and half-refurbished house, various warehouses, some stripmall space, and a movie theater. We're still a young church, so while the goal has always been to build a church and then eventually plant others, we don't have the income by which to meet those goals. The property values around where I live are insane!

A big part of me understands the need or desire for a home-based church, but personally (and probably because I've never, ever known it another way), I like the idea of a non-stationary church. It feels (to me, so others' mileage may vary) that I've had the opportunity to meet and connect with more people as a result of how we operate today than if we had a church base somewhere and then eventually planted others where people I may never meet but once or twice a month at all-church events attend.

I suppose this type of church so many of us attend today is proof that where two or more are gathered in His name, He'll park in some beat up old parking lot and be present, too!

Xavier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aphron said...

I think all denominations started in such a way. A group of people decided that whatever church the attended wasn't cuttin' it, so off they go to start another. Things begin to grow, because they are really there (wherever that might be) for the right reasons.

Eventually, that church becomes its own denomination with its own dogma. That dogma (or the people spousing it) rankles people, so they leave and start their own church. Thus, the circle of religion.

As far as meeting in a shopping center, I would say that is A-Ok. As long as the Spirit is there, nothing else matters. If this gets people to God, then more power to them.

After church, one can check out all of the sales.

Bogart in P Towne said...

We are in a Coffee Shop on Sunday's...located in a medical building.

It is kinda wierd, but Claire finds it freeing...she still gets excited about sipping a latte while pastor is preaching.

Xavier said...

So where are these strip mall churches? Queenie and I are out looking and visiting and have yet to cross the path of one.

Though there are two in old school buildings .... does that count?

Buttafly32681 said...

I've seen churches in a run down barber shop type building on the corner in the middle of the inner city... but not yet a shopping center. That's kind of neat!
By the way.... Hi! :)

Tulipsanticipation said...

Our church meets in an old shopping mall, they take up the entire space though and parking is a nightmare. That area was just not designed to handle hundreds of cars coming and leaving all at once! Worth it though.