here is an excerpt from the first one:
Q: What can the church expect to gain from all the changes?
A: The transformation of our campus will dramatically increase First Baptist’s ability to minister to our city. It will make room for hundreds or even thousands more worshipers and Sunday School attendees and will vastly increase our capacity for weekday groups. The worship center in particular will also be an iconic presence in the city, standing boldly as a continuation of our legacy in downtown Dallas.
Q: What are the distinctive intent and features of the new campus design?
A: The design is filled with messages about our church. The glass, the water, the light and the spaciousness of the plan speak of openness, transparency and spiritual refreshment. In a way, the glass walls have an evangelistic effect: people walking by have a view in from the street and feel drawn in. The glass also unifies the architecture of the church by extending the aesthetic started by the Criswell Center, which was built in 2006, and thus capitalizes on our $50 million investment in that multi-purpose facility. As for long-term cost, modern technologies allow vast use of glass with surprising energy efficiency.
just an unbelievably huge demonstration of the attractional church mentality. They are saying that we will minister to our city by making room for hundreds or even thousands more to assemble here in an even bigger [glass-walled] room. Isn’t there a better and more direct way to “minister to the city”?
Contrast this to the second one:
Convicted by the verse to “love your neighbor as yourself,” Chan showed up at the next board meeting with an agenda. In the early years, Cornerstone gave away 4 percent of its budget. Chan asked them to give away 50 percent. Cuts in staff salaries and serious sacrifices in programs would have to be made, but it only took a half hour for the board to agree.
Rick Utley, an elder, says that decision “has produced a heart in Cornerstone unlike any church I have ever been involved with. The blessings that have come with it are hard to quantify.” Utley says it would now be hard for him to worship in a church that didn’t make the adjustments and sacrifices Cornerstone made to give at this level.
In 2008 the church will give away 55 percent of its budget to the poor and hungry through various ministries, including a $1 million annual commitment to Children’s Hunger Fund and a sizeable contribution to World Impact, which plants churches in urban America.
Chan didn’t want any part of it. “I kept thinking about all those people I’d seen in third world countries and it made me sick.”
Chan thought he knew what Jesus would do. He’d say, “Meet me at the park.” That was what Chan wanted. Just a patch of grass where the church could gather.
The solution was an outdoor amphi-theater, a simple structure enjoyed by the community during the week and used as a gathering place for worship on Sunday. The plan would save tens of millions of dollars. Even the elders got behind the idea.
If it rained, they’d get wet knowing their money was feeding the hungry.
just go read both and think for a few minutes about how we do church in this country. Do you want to be a part of something like the glass walled extravaganza or the outdoor ampitheater?