This will primarily be of interest to the CBC family, though I have no aversion to others listening in. I would appreciate your ideas, comments, refutations, donations, etc. . . .
Vision, Trends, Direction:
There is no doubt that we are in a critical time in our church. Aren't churches always at a strategic juncture?
So, what do we do?Since I'm only part--really a pretty small part--of what goes on here, all I can talk about is my part. I hope that all of you who are interested enough to read this will ask the same question--"What do I do? (If you are from another church, I hope you will apply the question to your situation.)
In future columns I'll talk about my preaching plan, our emphasis on personal evangelism and some other matters that are really more important than what I'll talk about today, but since the topic of buildings, etc. frequently comes up in conversations both within the church family and from friends in the community, I'll take a moment and speak to that issue.
Again, let me remind you that this is my thinking. It is perfectly OK to challenge me on this. In fact I need some Proverbs 27:17 conversations.
First as far as my long-term desires and goals for CBC go nothing has changed in my vision for developing our property to its maximum potential. Our recent parking lot and grounds upgrade was an important part of that overall vision. I would still like to preach in a new, larger, and more serviceable Worship Center, But:
The present reality is not that we need a new building to accomodate the people. Rather we need new people to occupy the building we have. It was obvious when we were periodically having a Sunday morning attendance well in excess of 200 that larger facilities were needed for continued growth. From where we are now it would take three years of 10%/year growth to get us to an average attendance over 200. When we are clearly headed that way (Please notice that I said "when," not "if"--not because I am so arrogant as to think that I am in charge, but because I want you to know that that is my intention) I will encourage us to once again focus on larger facilities. Our focus always needs to be reaching out to people. At present the size of our facilities is not preventing us from doing that.
Having said that, I would like to knock another way of thinking in the head. We cannot adopt the mentality that says, "We are going to eventually remodel, enlarge, or replace these facilities, therefore doing anything at the present is foolish and wasteful." If the bulldozers or the gutting-crew were in the parking lot, that would be undeniably true, but it is clear that we are a good ways from that. So, we have to constantly look around at our facilities and ask ourselves what can we do to make what we have most usable for as long as the Lord wants us to use these facilities? Our recent upgrades in the sound and projection area were wise investments of resources. We have to keep in mind that maintaining attractive, comfortable, well-functioning facilities is part of what it takes to reach out to people. One sure way of making sure that we never have to expand our facilities is to allow our present facilities to go down, reasoning that, "We are going to eventualy replace them, anyhow." With that in mind, a committee is currently looking into options to upgrade our Worship Center, our trustees are planning work on our main entrance and some other maintenance/improvement projects, and all of us need to have an attitude of making the most of what we have--realizing that sometimes that will require some carefully planned investment of resources.
Stay tuned. And in the words of an old favorite Word of Life song, "Let's go Covington Bible Church."
This post was updated 2/6