Church has left the building

8 Oct

Yesterday was a big day for Faith Church.  We left our building.

About a month ago I put a message on our outdoor sign that said “This church will leave the building Oct. 7”.  I never imagined the response we would get.  In the first week one couple that is a part of our church family got a distraught phone call from the husband’s father who lives in Harrisburg, “What is going on with Faith Church, and why haven’t you told me about this?”  A friend of his, who knew his son and daughter-in-law are a part of our church, drove by, saw the sign and called him.  Then neighbors started getting in touch.  “Why are you leaving?”  “Are you closing?”  Two church groups looking for a building approached us about purchasing ours.  Some people from our own church started feeling nervous about the impression we were giving.  They started making me feel nervous.

Then a few days before Oct. 7 the Pennysaver article came out.

What was leaving the building all about?  I hope you’ll read the article linked above, but let me explain.  Yesterday Faith Church, instead of having a worship service in our sanctuary, ventured out into the community, inspired by the love of Christ, to worship the Lord by serving the community.  About 75 people worked on numerous projects.  The church came together and the impact was palpable.  We washed all the local police department‘s cruisers (thanks to Highland Car Wash for donating their self-serve bays and supplies), did childcare, made a lunch, cleaned one of the local Homes of Hope (transitional housing for homeless families), cleaned up at the local community park and the local elementary school, visited one of our shut-in ladies (holding a worship service in her home!), and those unable to work, remained behind to pray and then assembled a mailing for Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services (a great org addressing the serious issue of homelessness in our school district).  It was an amazing morning.

From the early pictures we’ve received, this is one of my favorite: a group of our elementary-age students working hard doing clean-up at their school!

We met back in our fellowship hall for a delicious lunch and a time of celebration afterward.  People shared numerous stories about their morning, and it was inspiring!

So I’d be interested in hearing from you:

Did you participate?  What stories do you have from the morning?

Or maybe you’re not part of a church family. Maybe you have serious doubts about faith and church. Does it make any difference to you that a church would give up a worship service to follow the teaching of Jesus to “love neighbor”?

For those who are a part of Faith Church, how will you worship the Lord by serving in an ongoing way?  We have a worship service 1 hour each week.  If that’s all worship amounts to, it’s a rather anemic expression of serving God, wouldn’t you agree?  So how are you going to expand worship?

Yes, Faith Church will be back in the building this coming Sunday morning, but only for a few hours.  The rest of the week, for many more hours, our worship will continue outside the building.

6 Responses to “Church has left the building”

  1. Bruce Ray October 15, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Yesterday (October 14), I preached about how the church is created and called to do good works using Ephesians 2:10. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The church–through its deeds of mercy, justice and care–makes the invisible presence of God visible to those who are in need. What Faith Church did on October 7 is exactly what the Church is made to do! And the good works results in praise to God (Matthew 5:16). God bless you and Faith Church for your willingness to go public on Sunday morning. May we all follow your example.

  2. Mona (Haneman) Strayer October 15, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Joel, What an incredible way to put feet on Jesus!!!! Keep going! God bless your heart and your ministry and do it again!!!!

  3. joelkime October 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Thanks Bruce and Mona!


  1. This Church Will Leave The Building…Again! | Joel A. Kime - October 4, 2013

    […] While we wanted to put a teaser out there to the community, we had no idea that short message would create such a stir.  Neighbors asked us what was happening.  The local police department stopped by concerned.  We even had two offers from other congregations interested in buying our building, assuming we were leaving for good.  Then an article came out in our local newspaper, and people finally got it.  We were leaving our building for a couple hours one Sunday morning.  Instead of having a worship service, we were going to worship by serving the community.  Our first Church Has Left The Building was awesome.  Read all about it here. […]

  2. Experimental Worship? – 1st Corinthians 14:26-40 | Let's Talk About Sunday - September 10, 2014

    […] out on learning a wider richness to the concept of worship.  That’s why we’ve had Church Has Left The Building Sundays, Silent Sundays, Artistic Sundays, Worship in the Park, and […]

  3. What if Christianity’s massive investment in worship is wrong? | Let's Talk About Sunday - February 17, 2017

    […] because about once per quarter we try to do something completely different.  Silent Sunday, Church has left the building, Worship in the park, worship in the Fellowship Hall around tables, artistic Sunday, change up the […]

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