“The church is the people and not the building.”
Have you heard this phrase before? It is true that the invisible church consists of believers from all places and times. However, the body of Christ still needs a building in which to gather. This can mean a stately building with a steeple and a sanctuary. But these features are not biblically necessary for a church plant to become a particular church.
In BFC church planting, God has provided a variety of buildings for the church plant to call home. Take a look at these examples of unusual church plant buildings:
When theMission Church in Townsend, Delaware was planted by the Newark, DE church, they met in a firehall. theMission graduated from Church Extension in 2016, but continues to worship in the firehall. Orchard Hills in Lower Macungie was sent out by Cedar Crest BFC. It began meeting in a fire house, although, they could only procure the firehall for three Sundays out of the month.
Recently, Orchard Hills moved into a banquet facility in Orefield at the Willow Tree Grove Event Center where they will remain when they graduate this April! But they are not the only church plant who has met in an eating place.
The Thompson, Connecticut mission church purchased a restaurant building and remodeled it. The downstairs area was used for the morning worship gatherings and the upstairs space was used for Sunday School classrooms and other small group meetings. Eventually, this work was closed, but the ministry was not unfruitful. Many people came to know the Lord through this mission and many others grew in their faith.
Northern Lehigh BFC also purchased a former restaurant building called The Terrace. It was known for its salad bar and the breathtaking view overlooking the Lehigh Valley. At first the asking price was too high, but God was at work. The asking price was significantly reduced and God supplied a bank mortgage.
Speaking of banks, the Community BFC in Red Hill purchased a former bank. The layout was a conundrum at first since the largest room is shaped like an L. They ended up putting the pulpit at the intersection of the L so no matter where you sit you can see the pastor.
It’s fun to stay at the YMCA –especially on Sunday mornings when Redeemer BFC meets in the Audubon YMCA in West Norriton, PA. They have been worshiping there for many years and the space has been sufficient for them to grow to the point that they are graduating this April! Long Neck, DE started out in the Community Center of Pot-Nets which had a view of the bay.
The Chesapeake, VA mission church met in a school. I remember the bright room with the sun streaming through the big windows and bouncing off the well-polished tile floor.
The Forks Community Church has recently moved to the auditorium of the Easton Area Middle School. They are preparing to relaunch on Palm Sunday!
Dauphin County Mission church (now Freedom BFC) used to meet in the ball room of the Holiday Inn in Grantville, PA. The location provided a unique opportunity to reach out to the workers at the nearby Penn National Racetrack and Casino in Grantville, PA. Freedom BFC now owns their own building and is a particular church.
Jesus Christ promised that He will build His church. He doesn’t always do it with bricks and belfries. But He does always do it with believers in Him who joyfully gather each week to worship the Savior.