Thursday, September 14, 2006

I can see why people get attached to church buildings

Was at a meeting the other night regarding my denomination (Church of Christ)s decision to sell our last campsite-Camp Acacia, a decision I wasn't massively impressed with, now understand a little better, but still don't think was the best idea. But thats another story for another day.

As many of you may know, for a quite a while I haven't been a massive fan of church buildings, for a number of reasons, mainly to do with the huge part that they play in determining many people's understanding of church-way way too much.

Too often we mistake the church as that building, or what we do there on a Sunday. We can view it as some special holy place where God is more present, when Jesus came and tore down the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies, and told us about God being everywhere and accessible wherever we are. Too often we can spend way too much money on a place that only serves to make us more comfortable.

But anyway, whilst I still have issues with church buildings, I can now understand a little more why people hold them so dear, because for so many people, so so many of their experiences of drawing nearer to God, of learning of his love, of experiencing the power of the community of His people, are associated with that building. And there is something special about coming to that place every week, of every week being reminded of those times of felt closeness to God.

For me, and more so the tons of kids I've lead on camps, particular campsites often hold real spiritual significance. They will look back on their times at a particular campsite, and remember them as times of intense Chistian community, and intense spiritual growth. So, for these reasons, the building, the place, are really special, and their worth can not be measured in monetary terms.

Of course, with campsites and camps, we can face the same problems as we do with churches, that people often go back home and struggle finding God in their everyday, they struggle when they don't feel as close to God as when they were on camp, and so the assumption is that camp is really the only place where God speaks to you etc.

So, although I still think we spend too much time, energy and money on church buildings, I can see where those who think those buildings are worth the time, energy and money are coming from.

2 comments:

mase said...

great and insightful reflection digs.

owl said...

yes, good one digs