For the past three years my church has been meeting in a local high school. Our contract expired one year ago and at that time the school board tried to raise our rent but we somehow talked them out of it and got a one year extension. Our contract was once again up for renewal at the end of August and this time there was no reasoning with the board. So we had to set out to find new facilities. It seems that there is very little available in Oakville, so we have decided to go with the only option we could find – the local AMC Theatre.
It is going to be a completely different church experience. Where before we sat in typical green, stackable chairs in a “cafetorium” (a cafeteria that doubles as an auditorium) we are now going to be sitting in typical theatre seats, seperated by hard, plastic arm rests. Where before the band and the pastor were all on the same level as we are, they will now be far below on the little “stage” area at the base of the giant screen. There is no way you can sneak out of the service without being noticed since you’ll have to walk down to the end of your row and then down a long flight of stairs to the entrance way. As I said, it’s going to be strange.
One benefit I can see, though, is that it will drive people even further into recognizing that church is not a building. God did not give his life for buildings! The church is people and they can meet anywhere and still be the church. So on Sunday we’ll be gathering at a new building that is going to seem awfully strange for a little while. But it will still be church, regardless of the room we meet in.