Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Big Church

Today at HTB our vicar, Nicky Gumbel, launched a new building plan for our church. All of our 4 contemporary services are full to overflowing. I don't doubt that our church needs more space. Yet, I'm not very excited about idea of building a bigger space.

A large part of our church's success is due to Alpha. About 1 in 30 people in the UK have been on an Alpha course. Many of those that complete the course stay at the church where they did the course. HTB has been running Alpha courses for over two decades.

Alpha has gotten so big that they've launched a cinema ad campaign prior to movies here in the UK. Another 2 1/2 million people will see the 30 sec ads. Certainly not all of them will come to an Alpha course and even fewer will attend one at HTB, but Nicky's vision does make it clear that he expects continued growth in numbers.

I know that mega-churches are probably the way forward for the urban British church. It is an easy way to self-segregate in an increasingly diverse and unfriendly world, but I can't say I'm excited about it. This building fund sets the course and powers the church for the next 2-5 years. It fundamentally changes the physical church and the Body of Christ. I rather like HTB as it is and don't wanna see it change. I don't think HTB is broke, so I don't see why we need to fix it. That is probably the reason I'm not on board with the new building fund and plans.

In the grand scheme of things my concerns don't matter, I don't have any say and the plans will be going forward. I'm just a guy in the pew (although we have nice comfy chairs).

Has anyone else gone through this? Does anyone else feel this way? Am I over-reacting or being silly? Any advice?