Sunday, December 02, 2012

Building

One of the churches where I work has a vision for growth in its Sunday School and also outreach and empowerment ministries. The problem is that there is not enough space for this growth. We have land, but need more buildings. We are engaging in a process that will hopefully generate a best way forward - which may lead to building another hall the same size as the existing one. We could probably do it. The thing is, how well will we be able to maintain it afterwards?
Churches in Mitchell's Plain have benefited from overseas funding in order to put up their buildings. This means that their experience of building is very different to what I am used to. I asked a Bible Study group from the biggest Methodist Church in Mitchell's Plain how much faith it had needed to put up their big complex. I expected them to share a sense of risk and adventure and perseverance. But actually, the money was just there because it had been donated. The local committee needed to be involved, but they never really felt the cost of the building process.
Overseas funding isn't usually called upon for building maintenance, and that is when the crunch comes for the local society. When they have to raise money themselves to do repairs to the structure. And this comes without the excitement of a new building and new possibilities.
And so we could get funding to put up another building - I doubt if we could do it without. But what about the maintenance? I think that we need to be very creative in our solutions to our problems.

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