Jump directly to the Content

Is Your Church a Good Neighbor

For the past four years, a church in our area has grown at a phenomenal growth rate-more than 20 percent a year. From a single service in a strip mall, it now offers three Sunday morning services, two Saturday evening services, and a Wednesday night service. Without question the church needs a bigger facility.

Plenty of buildings are available for rent, but here's the problem: repeatedly the city council has refused to give them the "conditional use permit" that would allow them to change locations and hold services in an industrial park, warehouse, or even the old flea market building. Today the church is trying to relocate further down the strip mall into a vacant former box store, but the city has threatened to declare the entire mall as "blighted" and just passed an ordinance whereby "there could be no church located within 25 feet of a liquor store." A liquor store happens to be adjacent to the box store. (Normally ordinances of this type are passed to protect a church not the liquor ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

The Faithful Came
The Faithful Came
How Three Churches Drew Crowds for Christmas '08.
From the Magazine
God Wanted Me When the Foster-Care System Didn’t
God Wanted Me When the Foster-Care System Didn’t
I bounced from home to home before finding the Father my heart yearned for.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.