Driving to work one morning, Pastor Mark Acuff was surprised to find the parking lot almost full. "I had a panicky feeling that perhaps I was supposed to be doing someone's memorial service or something," Acuff recalled.
As he hurried into the building, Acuff, pastor of Chapel Hill Bible Church in North Carolina, discovered to his relief that the gathering in the auditorium was not a funeral, but an all-day training event for a group of county service workers.
Indeed, on any given day, Chapel Hill Bible Church's seven-year-old facility might host a blood drive, a gathering of mental health professionals, local and national election polls, a home school co-op, a meeting for a teen pregnancy support center, a concert by the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, or a parachurch leadership training event. Its parking lot is a regular Park and Ride lot for a University of North Carolina campus shuttle.
Some pastors consider having a permanent facility a hindrance to missional ministry—the overhead ...1