The first thing I will address is location. The common questions: why are we selling the church property? Where will we go once the property sells?
The answer to the first question has to do with stewardship of resources. At what point does the property cease facilitating the mission and begin to hinder the mission? From the time Day and I came to the church nearly five years ago, the main focus of resources has been on paying the mortgage and trying to maintain the property. By renting out space in the church building, we have managed to cover expenses. However, it has meant giving up usage of 75% of the space, which has seriously hampered ministry possibilities. Not only are we limited in space, we are unable to adequately maintain the property. There are multiple issues we cannot address and thus are potentially getting worse, which is poor stewardship. The bottom line is that God has not called the Church to be caretakers of real estate. He has called us to love others and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Unburdening ourselves of the property frees us us to pursue the mission.
The answer to the second question is one of logistics. We are looking at places that will facilitate the mission of spreading the light and love of God to our community. The ideal location is one that is easily accessible by car or on foot. In Christ there are no divisions, so the Church should encompass all socioeconomic levels and reflect the diversity of its community. With this in mind, we are looking for a location closer to the center of Framingham. This fills two criteria: easier access by those who don’t drive, and lower rent. Less money for rent means more resources for ministry.
It is important to remember that the Body of Christ–the Church–isn’t a building, location, or address; it is you, me, and all who believe in Him. Whether we meet in a traditional church building, storefront, or school gymnasium, we are still the church. Will we love each other less if our address changes? Will the Gospel be compromised if preached in a different location? Of course, not.
Also, it is essential to have a missional mindset as we think about location. The commission given to us by Christ is to make disciples. Obedience to Christ will stretch us and necessarily take us out of our comfort zones. We will have to decide which is more important: our own comfort or reaching the lost for Christ. The next location of the church must serve the mission, (which I will go into more detail about in upcoming installments), rather than submitting the mission to the location.
Do we know exactly where we are going? No. The spaces available now may not be available when it is time to move. The spaces that will be available then may not be available now. One thing we do know: God already has it figured out. We just have to trust Him and have faith that all will work out according to His plan. I am eager to take the next step and excited about what God will unveil. Sure, there are uncertainties, but we have faith in Him who is faithful.