With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #25.
I praised this church for not having a building; instead they rented space on Sunday for their services. That meant the money they’d normally spend on a mortgage and building maintenance could instead be used for community outreach and service.
Shortly after our visit, this church announced a merger of sorts with another nearby congregation from the same denomination. The other church, small and struggling, did have a building, but their dwindling membership made it impossible for them to continue. However, as the melding of their two congregations progressed, both churches shut down for several months, before re-emerging as a new entity in the second church’s building.
During this in between time, some members grew weary of the delay and scattered to find other churches, while others gave up and stopped going to church altogether.
I lament the loss of people, and I lament they now have a large building to maintain. I wonder if their focus on the surrounding community will suffer as a result.