I’ve never been a huge fan of church buildings. I have most often viewed them as a sometimes necessary waste of resources that could be better spent on helping actual people. I know the early disciples met in the temple, but I don’t see them spending lots of resources on maintaining that temple or building new, bigger, and better ones. Historically, it looks like the concept of church buildings didn’t really take off until after Jesus was long gone.
Here in Romania, I’ve noticed a big tendency among believers to relegate spirituality to the church building itself, where following Jesus is defined as what building you go to and how often. For many I’ve met, the idea of having a spiritual life outside the building–where Jesus is just as present at home or at work or at the club–is just plain foreign.
Add to all this the reality that Bucharest is full of big empty church buildings–whether Orthodox, Baptist, or Pentecostal–while people suffer for lack of clean water and warm clothes. Just about every day I see a priest or two standing at Unirii with signs begging for donations to construct the new multi-million-dollar church building/hotel/cinema/mall as if we needed another. (Not to mention the nearly $100 million dollars of taxpayer money that’s allocated for priests’ salaries while roads fall apart and dogs run rampant.) All this focus of the church on the transient is, frankly, really distasteful…
But, with all that said…
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged children, church building, church-plant, evangelism, gypsies, gypsy, home church, letter, open-air, poverty, prayer, prayer letter, preaching, testimonies
I’d been thinking about giving an update on our Thursday night church meeting, but why write my own when I can “steal” my brother’s? Besides, he said it better than I would, anyhow.
It Doesn't Matter Where
Thursday nights, we invite English speakers to our home for worship, prayer, and Bible teaching. It’s one of the meetings I’m most excited about, but it’s also been the slowest to get going.
Why am I most excited about this meeting? Well, honestly, I’ve got a lot of selfish reasons – I get to speak in my native language, without a translator, and worship God in English, using songs that I like, with people who speak and understand the language really well. Plus, I get really ministered to during the meetings, no matter how many other people show up. The presence of God has been really strong at our little meetings, so I always leave encouraged and strengthened.
But beyond the selfish reasons, having a meeting in English should, by nature, draw young people who have a desire to change the world. From what we’ve learned about Romania, if you…
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Posted in Bucharest
Tagged barbulesti, church-plant, evangelism, gypsies, gypsy, home church, letter, miracles, missionary, prayer, prayer letter, preaching, testimonies