2020 was an incredible year to say the least! Things in our world have changed! We get to have new conversations, we get to rethink our ministry approach, and we get to rethink the spaces we have to better serve our ministries and communities.
Our question for 2021 is this: How can our understanding of ministry space help us rediscover our purpose?
Last year at this time we would have all agreed that a church is about people and not about buildings. However, it looked different. We relied on our buildings because that’s where ministry happened. Our buildings were where people came to encounter God; where our youth gathered on Wednesday nights, where Bible studies and prayer groups would meet on weekday mornings, where our worship team rehearsed and where strategy team’s would plan the next season of ministry. Our buildings hosted people, supported leaders, providing a setting for growth and a refuge for those seeking restoration and hope.
2020 was an opportunity for many church communities to self assess, to consider how to respond in a time of crisis and how to communicate who they are through it. In terms of the shut down and the opening back up: Some churches started gathering together as soon as it was possible. Others remained exclusively online and continue to do so. Some churches began online services for the first time, while others upgraded or simply continued them.
We discovered firsthand that being the “Church” is not tied to a building. We discovered that being "the Church" is to being the light and hope of Christ to those who are seeking it. We rediscovered opportunities by learning and trying new approaches to ministry, using or not using our interior and exterior spaces. We Rediscovered, Refreshed, and Renewed our purpose to create ministry for the future.
At Station 19, we partner with churches to rediscover, refresh, and renew their purpose in their buildings. For some, that means a new building. For others, it's a remodel or a simple refresh. And still for another, it’s strategic master planning that helps a church, ministry, or school set a course for the future.
We all learned new things as we walked through 2020. We know there’s a new opportunity with online church. We learned that we can adapt. We know that church is about more than a building. Most importantly, we have seen that each church community has a unique part to play in God’s Kingdom story.
What about you? What did you learn about your church through 2020? Is your community stronger? Have you been surprised by your church’s response? What strengths have risen to the surface within your community?