My 1.2 Million Reasons Why Churches Suck

Yet another perfect illustration of a church that just doesn't get it....

There's a church close to where I grew up that I've driven by numerous times. This particular church is a single building on a very busy road. I'm not sure how big or small they may be but by the amount of time the church looks deserted, I think it's a pretty safe bet to say it's not the most active place on the block.

So after many years of new construction and higher traffic numbers all around the church, the day has come that the road the church sits on needs to be widened. The only problem is to do this, the state must tear down the church to make room for the new road. So like most instances like this, the state offered this church a nice sum of money to move elsewhere. The amount offered: 1.2 million dollars. Over a million bucks to a church that uses this building no more than and average of 4 hours a week and has probably an average attendance of 120 people. Their answer to the state's offer, no thanks. They countered by asking for 2.5 million claiming that is how much it would take to but them back in the same position in a prime location elsewhere. Not that they're using their prime location for any good now. Two and a half million for what?? So that 120 "Christians" who have sat on the spiritual butts for the past 30 years can have a nice, new, over-sized, and over-priced church to do the same for the next 30 years?

I wonder if I am the only one that sees the stupidity in this. Instead of taking a very generous offer from the state, build a nice 250 seat sanctuary with a few class rooms and nurseries for about $700,000 then taking the remaining $500,000 and using it to create life changing ministries like a children's home, battered women's shelter, local and foreign missions, a safe house for people battling various addictions, or anything else that might actually be (gasp) used by God more then a 2.5 million dollar new sanctuary.

This story really made me mad. I pastor a church that struggles each month to pay our bills (rent, utilities, etc). Not because we don't have enough coming in, but because we take some much of it out to send kids to camp, send adults on mission trips, support local families in need, and supporting local ministries / organizations that are reaching and helping more people then 90% of the churches I know about. By no means am I saying we're perfect in how we conduct ourselves as a church, but I promise you the day we care more about getting a nice piece of property by a busy street and stop caring for the folks on the streets is the day we will close our doors.

Churches suck and it's no wonder people are so hesitant to go to one anymore.


Emeriol said…
Don't hold back Mike, tell us how you really feel.
This is a perfect example of why people are cynical and very dis-illusioned with churches. And it does not matter if there are 10 good churches for every one of these... it is still a stain... and one hard to fix.
And of course this doesn't begin to address the conflicting messages that hundreds of different Christian denominations put out. Possibly that is the greater of the problems. I think people can accept corruption and greed as long as it is consistent. But when you have churches sending out messages of anti-abortion and pro-war at the same time, the hypocracy is mind boggling. It's as if they are saying that you can't kill something in the womb, but once they leave, they are fair game - kill, electrocute, imprison, starve, torture... whatever.

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