The mustard seed and the Church organization

Parable of Mustard bush and church organizations.....

I have started wondering about the wisdom of putting a lot of money into facilities and formal organizational structures...

I am starting to think seriously about the value of "investing" any more than is absolutely necessary for the immediate need. Why? The mustard bush is supposed to root, grows like mad, matures, sends out it's seed, and dies.

Being tied to the expensive facilities and gigantic organizational structure feels like being tied to a dead mustard bush.... Or worse - a gigantic, oversized, mutant mustard tree that is full of evil...

Our mistake is not learning that God prefers many of these institutions and organizations to be temporary things rather than big permanent edifices...

As a result - we find ourselves in a death spiral... The maintenance of this expensive organization takes all the resources away from the actual work of the church. No money/time/resources are available to do outreach, missions, and giving to the poor because it's all sucked up by maintaining the building, debt payments, and various other expenses....

My church could drop $70k into the facilities making *necessary* repairs - and that doesn't accomplish one bit of outreach, teaching, missions, visitation, etc.. All it does is make the roof stop leaking and fix some lights and the projector...

Do I want poor facilities? No... But I think we might be forgetting something....


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Staff Advisory: This topic has been brought up in past years and occasionally has been the cause of arguing. Persons on both sides of this topic are cautioned to express your views without degrading this thread. Honoring the viewpoints of others, without arguing, will produce facts and opinions of many persons and members at CFS can read these details, do additional independent research and make up their own mind as to what the proper financial behavior, on the part of church administrators, should be.

Thank you for your cooperation.

I don't want to start arguments here... And I realize situations are different for different churches.

I guess I have become sensitized to this with several churches I have attended..

I want to know your thoughts though...


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I think maybe any organization of whatever type or size is only as good & productive as the people involved. People are not perfect. The larger the organization, the more people it requires to manage it, thus more differing opinions, priorities, expenses, etc.
But size alone doesn't automatically make it inefficient, chaotic, or bad. While the larger ones may have more expenses, if they are well managed, and truly seeking to serve God, they can contribute much.
Again, the weakness seems to me, to be us...the people involved.
But don't underestimate the things that large ones can do... many of them do a really good job of reaching people through radio, television, internet, shelters, food banks, counseling, and countless other ways. All of that costs money, and usually requires the help and coordination of many people. It takes everyone working together.
Organizations are like people, some are great at getting things done, & others are not. As people, and organizations, we have to evaluate where our priorities lie, what our goals are, and what we are able and willing to do to accomplish them.
Whether we feel we can be more effective, useful, & productive being a part of a smaller group, or a larger one is simply a decision for each person to make.
Both small and large can do great things, or no things... again, it's about more than just simply the size & money.
(Personally, I tend to prefer smaller... But I have nothing against larger one's as long as they work for God)

Just my two cents :)
Your congregation should prayerfully go before the Lord and seek His guidance.

There are churches in run down second-hand church buildings that are putting their efforts and their limited resources to ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of their community rather than their building. There also run-down churches housing run-down and defeated congregations.

There are some magnificent edifices with self-obsessed attendees. There are also truly magnificent edifices where the glory of God flows from the great lions of God that worship there.

The church building is outwardly visible to the community. You want people to come in and hear the word of God. How well accommodated inside should be according to the community in which it serves. A rule of thumb may be that the House of the Lord should be at least as well maintained as your homes.

I would like to point out that in the OT cycle where people strayed away from the Lord, only to be carried into captivity, and await the Lords deliverance, the temple was often in a state of disrepair when the people were straying.

Haggai 1:7-10
7 Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!

8 Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord.

9 “You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the Lord of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.

10 Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has with held its produce.
So you have a leaky roof. Well one Of mums properties has a leaky roof and she has to get it fixed so the tenant living there doesn't drown. Also the oven broke down and the toilet backed up.

All at the same time. Thing is homes require maintainence and this needs to be factored in when you build a house. Or buy one. And sometimes you cant take trips away or in churches case go on missions because you need to look after the house. It depends your priorities. The sheep still need to be fed, yet God wants to bring in sheep from other folds. But how can you bring them in if you have no pasture worth bringing them in for?

In regards to churches and their buildings...doesnt Jesus tell us to count the cost before we build anything.
I dont agree with anyone going into debt to build a home that will take the next generations lives away simply keeping their heads above water. Which those after King Solomon found to their cost. God was happy dwelling in a tent before the temple was built, it was glorious but it also became a huge tax burden.

My thoughts are you need to seek the Lord on these matters...if you need a heat pump cos everyone is cold when meeting at church or just ask everyone to bring a blanket. In summer you could have services outside under a tree and everyone sit on the ground. Whatever you do, pray and ask Him first. Maybe people actually need to get wet and memorise their bibles instead of relying on a powerpoint!