Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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Stadiums or Storefronts

  • Jim Townsley
  • May 3, 2018

Finding a meeting place is one of the most difficult tasks of starting a church. Your meeting place is very important because it represents your philosophy of ministry. People want to know if this church will be organized, run properly and maintain the highest spiritual goals. Everyone would love to have a traditional church building in which to meet but that is rarely a possibility. There are many places where churches have started such as public schools, tents, community halls, barns and of course storefronts. Unfortunately, sometimes the church planter must decide on the best of poor options.  Sometimes there is only one option and the preacher must make it look the best he can.

Ultimately the goal of the new church is to buy property and build an edifice that church-going people expect but it may require many years to be accomplished. Every church planter must recognize that an actual church building is not absolutely necessary to start and build a church. The church can grow and reach the community in less than desirable facilities if necessary. A church can start in a store front type building and see souls saved and lives changed, because the work is a spiritual work not a human work. As much as everyone wants a beautiful building the people are the real church not the structure. The primary emphasis should be on growing the people not the facility.

Through years of faithful ministry God can provide an attractive, practical and permanent meeting place. Never underestimate the great results in a man of faith starting in a storefront and reaching his community. Many great things have happened outside of the beautiful walled sanctuaries. Too many young preachers set as their ideal the mega church mentality where a stadium is needed to accommodate the crowds of people. This fanciful dream is very misguided. Success is not determined in the number of people attending a contemporary rock concert but in the moving of God on the lost of a community. Is the approach of those gathering in stadiums really accomplishing more for the Lord than a humble servant starting a church in a rented location?

It has been my observation that the greatest work accomplished is in the beginning years of a new church. More souls are saved and more lives are transformed through the humble beginnings of a young couple totally dedicated to reaching their community. The perceived result of the stadium churches is merely crowds of people but not the conversion of the lost. The mega churches have weak believers and in many cases their members are not saved at all.  They are trying to be Christian like but not born again.

Never be discouraged by comparing yourself to any prominent ministry. Some of the greatest results are in the store front churches. One day when you get that beautiful building you may long for the good old days as you remember how God blessed the church in that store front meeting hall. A stadium may sound exciting but in the end it may simply be a facade while the real work is being done in the storefront.