Monday, January 09, 2006

Own no property?

Andrew Jones has been posting a single thought per day from Bruce Larson and Ralph Osborne's The Emerging Church at Our Daily Blog. Below is today's quote:

"Consider the possibility that a church should own no property at all"

In many ways this idea appeals to me. No mortgage, significantly lower overhead, money can be put toward other things...
What if the the local geography is dotted with white clapboard buildings and steeples? What if the local context is heavy on traditional denominations? What if a church in a school or YMCA (gasp!!) was just too non-tradtitional for a traditional area? What if a building made it easier for some one to investigate a particular church because it simply looked like a church?

What if being in a public space placed a community of faith in the middle of everyday life? What if people stopped by just because they saw a sign or flyer or poster when they dropped their kids off for an afterschool progam?

I know the issues: financial, legitimacy in the eyes of a cynical public, faith traditions of the local geography, being apart of everyday life. I don't know the answers.

Anybody else?


Alan said...

Church property is a sticky issue. I know that my personal opinion is that very few, if any, new churches should own property. Reform of existing churches which are property owners answers most of the issues raised by churches not owning property.

The new churches then can develop healthy models of church where the budgets do not go primarily to capital.

But I'm an idealist :D

wilsonian said...

And what if instead of paying off a mortgage and utilities and insurance, the tithes:
-bought a car for a single mom struggling to get to work.
-fed a village in Africa for a month.
-supported a missionary as they love in a radical way.
-provided interest-free microloans for people in third-world countries to start their own businesses.
-made the utility payments for a homeless shelter.
-helping out those in the local body who are stuggling.

Can you guess I've been thinking about this myself?