In the church world, there are a bunch of things that shouldn’t matter, but they often do.
I’ll start with some disclaimers:
- Our goal is always to communicate Jesus and point people to Him.
- Our goal is never to become worldly to reach people.
- Occasionally we must adopt our ways to to communicate Jesus in the world. (The message doesn’t change, but the method has to change.)
Let’s start with the environment of our churches. Environment shouldn’t matter, but it often does.
Here are some observations:
- Old and rundown shopping strips struggle. New (or updated) shopping strips draw customers.
- Starbucks thinks environment matters.
- I prefer the new theater with the big screen and comfortable seats to the old theater with the small screen and uncomfortable seats.
- To me, a restaurant’s environment is (almost) as important as the quality of the food.
In churches, environment shouldn’t matter. We shouldn’t care. But some people do. (Note: This is NOT an issue in many parts of our country and certainly not around the world.)
No, I don’t think a good environment will change anyone’s life. No, I don’t think it is necessary for a church to be successful. But I do think people are being conditioned to expect quality. As churches, we should do our best with what we have to create spiritually welcoming atmospheres.