We are preparing to break ground for a new church building. This week, our ushers handed every adult a survey to fill out so we can help choose whether we have carpet or hardwood, traditional columns or contemporary sculptures, and a whole host of things in between. This isn’t a committee decision. It’s a family consensus.
I love this for a variety of reasons. One is this: we live in an intentional community designed to help hurting people get a fresh start in life. So, probably one third of the people voicing these opinions are folks in one of the recovery centers. We represent an amazing cross-section of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. Agreeing on which light fixtures to use could be interesting.
The second thing is this: The survey reminded all of us that the building is not the church. We are.
The church buildings of my childhood were all white-sided structures set off the road in a grove of trees. They were plain on purpose. And when the old saints talked about one of those buildings, they always called it The Church House. They understood the church was made of people. And people need a house.
This particular group of people may come up with some design ideas I don’t love. But, I don’t care. Because all of us working together is what will eventually make this house our home.