Taking a break from some Romans Chapter 10 heavy lifting and thinking about the way forward here.
- Another increase in our insurance premium on the buildings. A 42% one to be exact. That's roughly (IIRC) a 400% over the last 4 years.
- Another increase in the power bills.
- When you total it all up, upwards of 4 our of every ten dollars New Hope receives in tithes and offerings goes to the mortgage, insurance, and upkeep of the buildings, which are often empty, except when they are too full. (It happens on Sunday mornings sometimes)
We have hosted Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Junior Gardeners, and recently a home schooling collective, but ironically, they are moving because they've run out of room - too.
Maybe it's time to look across the street again at the elementary school or down the road a little bit at Lewis Middle School. At some point, I'm wondering how many churches will look at the amount they put into their buildings and at the amount they put into their mission and make the connection.
Talking to people who do "portable church" over the years has given me the sense that people who are involved in such churches have a greater sense of just why they are doing the Sunday morning gathering than others do. But I guess when you arrive at 6AM to set up everything you need to have worship, then stay after to break it all down and clean up, an amazing commitment to why you are there HAS to be everywhere, or you would not make it for long.
And small home groups have to be a focus because otherwise you have nowhere to get discipleship done. But we have the buildings now.