To Build or Not to Build

No easy answers exist, but here are examples of congregations thoughtfully struggling to develop facilities without going bankrupt.

It was chaos every Sunday," said Norman Wenig. "We had people everywhere. We knocked out room partitions to have more space- that helped for about two weeks. We renovated a two-car garage by cementing the dirt floor, putting in air conditioning, and insulating it. We used the parsonage for Sunday school space. Just when we thought things were under control, we realized our adult class was short on space. We moved that to the school gym. Then we didn't have enough room for children's church. The juggling seemed endless."

Wenig, pastor of First Assembly of God Church, Burlington, Iowa, is over the worst of his hassles with church facilities. Like hundreds of others, his church found itself forced by sudden, rapid growth into makeshift solutions. In his words, "We were absolutely jammed."

A good problem, perhaps, but a problem all the same. And it's one many churches face at one time or another. What to do?

The answers, of course, depend on the particulars of each situation. The most obvious ...

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