Where have all the churches gone?

Here in our fair city, we have and continue to experience growth that can safely be labeled as explosive. The county hosts two of the top three fastest growing cities in the US.

Much of this development, expecially recently, is in Master Planned communities. It is a lovely thing to see developers take retail, services, and even medical needs into consideration when planning new residential communities.

Looking on the Clark County website, I came across outlines for several of the largest developments on the books. Pretty great stuff. But one thing is missing.

There are no provisions for houses of worship. There is retail space, school space, even parkland that is spelled out. But nothing set aside for churches (or mosques or temples). It has got me wondering about the future of churches. Will a building with a sanctuary, classrooms, and fellowship hall be a rarity in the future?

With land prices as they are, even I question what kind of stewardship it is to buy land for a building. I mean, church buildings are relatively self-serving. Perhaps that money is better spent elsewhere. And I am enough of a capitalist to recognize that those who own the land should be able to make a profit. Around here, that leaves most of us SOL. Unless your church has a benefactor ir is Mormon, that is.

Our church is mobile. We meet in a middle school for worship, homes for fellowship and small group, and Starbucks for team meetings. It is a lot of work. But is does work for us. We are able to do so much more as a community than if our money was tied up in mortgages.

We are a missional church, and our field is Las Vegas. This is a first for me, having been raised in a "mainline" church. Missionaries went to the third world, in my experience. At Gracepoint, we are the missionaries.

I really am beginning to believe that home churches are the future of the Church in the US. While I am not sympathetic to the emergent movement as a whole, this is something I think they may have gotten right.

Words are better eaten with mustard.


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