Author: Pastor Jason Stoeber
Having a building to call “your own” is often one of the first and seemingly important goals for us as church planters; however, there are some principal factors to consider before, during, and after getting into your first building.
I am going to break this article up into those three areas and deal with each one individually—so be sure to follow all three articles!
Often, when we are in a rented/leased building all we want is to get our own place! While this is nice, I’d encourage you to ask yourself these questions before you enter your first building project.
1. Is God directing in this move?
Of course, we want God to lead in everything we do! This decision is certainly one that should be preceded by great times of prayer and fasting. This is first and foremost the most important factor—is God in this? —make sure you have a clear leading before progressing!
2. Am I ready for this level of commitment?
Now, if your church has been greatly blessed in the first few years with some staff (full or part-time) this will be easier for you; but, if not, you need to think long and hard about such a project. Many new demands (cleaning, maintenance, building usage, etc…) are all going to compete for a piece of your time. Are you at a place emotionally to handle this extra strain? Is your spiritual walk what it should be? Is your family/home situation ready and stable enough to withstand your extra demands?
3. Is my church ready for this level of commitment?
Many times, as church planters, we want to jump right in, because our faith in God is strong and we are excited about what God is going to do! However, we must consider our church people, whom God has entrusted to our care! Have the people caught the vision for the need to move into the new facility? Are the people in the church able to sustain the rigors and trials that will come with a building project? Is the church primarily composed of new Christians that get excited at first but then lose interest? Can the people sustain the increased financial commitment (more on this later)? Do I have the backing of the “key” people in the church?
4. Will this put an unnecessary financial burden on the new church?
It is so important to exercise wisdom and discernment, ensuring we don’t enter into greater financial burden than the church can really handle. Yes, we should step out in faith! Yes, we should believe in God for the impossible! However, most importantly, we are called to be light and salt in our community and share the love of God all the time. If all our financial resources will be locked up in a new building, and we can’t witness and reach out like we should…are we really accomplishing God’s mission for our church? Remember, Paul spent several years in a rented hall (Acts 19:9-10) and during that time started the seven churches mentioned in Revelation! A temporary or rented building doesn’t have to hold us back!