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Switch to Forum Live View Observation about where we build our churches.
4 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2010 - 3:29PM #1
Xapisma
Posts: 155

Is it just me, or is it just a quirk of my Region (Virginia) that we DOCs have a gift for building our church buildings anywhere from one to three blocks from where we ought to have put them?


What I mean is that we seem to all be buried away in some off the beaten path lot where we are hidden from the main traffic patterns. Every congregation has to give directions to their place which invariably includes "Two blocks off Main Street" or some such. I can name maybe three DOC congregations in our region which are actually landmarks, all the rest are in obscure spots.


My wife and I are in the process of moving, and we looked up the nearest DOC congregation to where we are going. There is one less than a mile away. But unless you already knew it was there, you would never stumble across it. As Dwayne Cummings once said of Bethany College, "Either you were looking for it, or you are hopelessly lost. No one just 'happens by'."


Does this ring true with anyone else in Discipleland?


 


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4 years ago  ::  Oct 01, 2010 - 2:01PM #2
Vanessa86
Posts: 170

I think it's a mixed bag! My home church in Texas was three blocks from not one but two main drags. And the congregation I grew up with in North Carolina was off the beaten path too, as I recall. And don't let's talk about the ones here in Illinois, since they are all so far away from my home and seemingly sited where no one can find them.


But others I have attended have great locations -- University CC in Austin is just off the main UT campus on a busy street where you can't possibly miss it. First CC in Oklahoma City is right off I-235, and is such a huge building that you can see it for miles -- that's the building in my profile photo. And pretty much every one I attended while deployed to Iowa was in a good, visible location.


Perhaps urban migration patterns of the last half century are partly to blame? Churches in once-great locations now struggle while recently built structures in certain suburbs thrive?


 

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 01, 2010 - 11:45PM #3
Xapisma
Posts: 155

Yeah, I do think the age of the congregation is part of that. Many rural churches were built on land donated by one of the main families. Usually part of the old farm. Town churches are much the same. The one's that bought land generally seemed to be frankly cheap, buying land on side streets rather than the pricer spots on Main St.


In a time when most people walked to church on Sundays, it was important to be easily accessible on foot, and parking was not a concern. The few DOC churches I know which are "landmarks" are ones which re-located sometime after WWII after many members moved from the downtown areas to the 'Burbs.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 13, 2010 - 7:09PM #4
Xapisma
Posts: 155

I was at a district minister's meeting today for lunch, and one of the other of my clergy colleagues made this same observation. He spoke of a friend who would drive into these small towns and turn either right or left and go two blocks, and THAT is where you will find the DOC church.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 14, 2010 - 10:22AM #5
Vanessa86
Posts: 170

In your opinion, in this day and age, where are the most effective places to build a church?

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 14, 2010 - 1:48PM #6
Xapisma
Posts: 155

One rule of thumb (among many): If you have to place a directional sign to your church, the church SHOULD be where the sign is.


Once upon a time, most people walked to church. (That's why so many churches are buried in residential sections.) Since WWII and the creation of suburban sprawl, churches should be built close to the shopping areas, on visible lots.  Whatever Christian Church should be a landmark by which directions are given, not hidden away where we are unseen and unknown.

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