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What My Church Gained—and Lost—When We Stopped Renting

I never thought I'd miss it . . .
What My Church Gained—and Lost—When We Stopped Renting
Image: Charlie Foster / Unsplash

I never thought I’d miss it. In fact, it annoyed me most Sundays: this little sound—the shrill squeak of desktops being swung into place as our pastor said, “If you have your Bibles, open them to . . .”

Up until the fall of 2015, our church had only ever met in public school auditoriums. We used to jokingly describe ourselves as a “church-in-a-box,” since all the sound equipment, resources, signage, and sign-in systems that made up our church could be packed away in storage boxes and shoved in a closet. We owned that cliché about the church being “the people, and not a building.” We were simple, stripped-down, unpretentious. Church-in-a-box.

But we knew we wouldn’t always be like that. As renters, we had our problems. We had a great relationship with the school staff, but we knew we could be hastily evicted if they received complaints about the message from the platform, or if we left any significant evidence of our presence on ...

December
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