Chapter 11 –
Today is our eleventh installment from Thom Rainer’s Autopsy of a Deceased Church – 12 ways to Keep Yours Alive. I will share his thoughts as presented in his book for our consideration.
“The Church Obsessed Over the Facilities”
That is the title of chapter eleven. He discusses a visit to one facility and walked through the church with a guide, the church had long been closed just nothing was done with the building.
The story goes his guide took him through the church and they came to one particular room called the “Lydia Room.” “The room is equivalent of a parlor or brides room in other churches. He said there was great pride in this room, it had the nicest furniture. It got the first attention before anything else in the church.”
He continued writes Rainer with his sad and typical story. The room would become the focus of dissention. Who could use the room? Who decided what furniture went in there? Could people outside the church use it? Could a normal church fellowship use it? He said the church split over one room.”
“Church fights have erupted over stained glass windows, pews, draperies, paint color, carpet color and on and on and on.” Sad but it’s true I have seen it.
“Being a good steward is one thing being obsessed is idolatry.” “And that church that has lost her eternal focus is one step closer to a dying church.
Lord, teach me the proper stewardship of all the material items You give me personally and to my church. Help me never let the stewardship evolve into obsession or idolatry, especially where I lost my perspective on what really matters.
- Explain the difference between a church being a good steward over physical things versus the church becoming obsessed and idolatrous about them. What are some examples of each?
- Why do so many churches have conflicts over “things?”
3. Look at Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:19-21 and explain how they apply to a church either thriving or dying. What are examples of how churches can be obedient to his words?