Nadia Bolz-Weber is pastoral leader of a young ministry in Denver, Colorado and writes a blog about her experience as a church planter with post-modern people of faith. A recent post asked what dying urban churches should do with their buildings and her question elicited some good discussion from readers.
Nadia pointed out that, as a new church development, her congregation needs cheap but usable space, parking, location, etc. Some declining churches have some of those things to offer, if they are willing to allow their buildings and/or ministry to be changed by hospitality to another worshiping group.
Another participant wrote in about Springhouse, an effort by three churches in the Lynndale neighborhood of Minneapolis, to share one building among three worshiping groups. I’ve interviewed some folks in Milwaukee who are working on a similar project.
All these examples beg the question: what are we willing to do to strengthen the church–our churches and other churches? Change our worship time so another church can share our sanctuary? Take out the pews so another congregation can arrange the seating differently than we would? Move to a new neighborhood?
There is some exciting partnership going on out there, experimentation and risk being taken for the sake of doing ministry into the future. But it requires everyone bending a bit to share resources. Look around. Where are the partners God is providing for you?
And be sure to check out Nadia’s posts here.