Building a Building
Among my favorite Bible teachers is Perry Stone. Recently while watching one of Perry’s “Manna-Fest” programs on YouTube, I noticed another viewer had posted the following comment, “It is NOT time to build a building, its time for winning the souls!” This was in response to brief remarks Perry made about a building project for his ministry. No financial appeals were made while computerized graphics of his proposed ministry center were shown.
God doesn’t want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). But I don't agree with criticizing ministers who are led to build a building. If the Lord continues to tarry His return, where will all the new converts be discipled…outdoors? This would be comparable to a farmer who reaped a huge harvest of wheat but had no barn to put it in.
One might argue that the early New Testament believers met in people’s homes. Churches today often start off as home bible studies. But if that group grows too large, a person’s house won’t have enough room to accommodate all the people.
Many sports fans don’t think it’s wrong when their city spends millions of dollars to build a new arena or stadium for their favorite team to play in. Yet many of these same people get upset if a church spends (in their opinion) too much money on a new building. In response to building programs, some Christians defiantly claim, “The church is not a building!” Look what the Lord said in Haggai 1:4, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?”
In the Old Testament a lot of resources were given to build tabernacles and temples. During one of those building projects, Moses said in Exodus 36:6, “‘Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.’ And the people were restrained from bringing.” How many pastors do you know tell their congregations not to give any more money because they have more than enough to do the work of the Lord?
Of course, God isn’t honored if His people meet in a luxurious facility but the spiritual needs of the congregation are neglected and/or the church has a debt load that cannot be paid. One should count the cost before starting any new project.
“Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order.” - 2 Chronicles 29:35