Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Grace City, whose leader Tim Clemens and his team, build their health and vitality through the use of their building facility and curated spaces such as this. 

Read the conversation below. 

The significance of a building for a church plant

NCLS: How has the building contributed to flourishing?

TC: So a handful of factors. First, safety and credibility; second, profile; and third, tangibilising. So, three factors.

For church plant the building adds credibility to a group. So even from an early age, so we were meeting in a film school, then we got kicked out of there, then we went to Hoyts. But once you’re here, it’s like, oh, this is an actual building. They’ve got a sign out the front. They’re probably not a cult. It adds to that safe option-ness because people like to be established, I think. They like safety. So I think it makes it easier to join a church with a building.

It adds profile in the local community. So it’s not far from impossible, but you’re not going to get a whole lot of walk-ins when you meet once a week in a back alley up a set of stairs. No one walks past and notices you. Whereas here, we’ve got 18 metres of street frontage out front of a fairly prominent bus stop that people drive past. All of that stuff helps.

Now, I think we are probably only talking here about numerical growth. None of this creates flourishing. You need to work on that once they come, but it all helps.

And third reason I think buildings are helpful, and particularly this one, is that I stole a line from a guy named Robert. He uses the language of tangibilise the intangibles.

So we cast a vision and say, hey, here’s what we’re trying to do. And when you say that, as a group of ten in my living room, you can’t set the vision too high. Otherwise, people start laughing and just go, you’re a dreamer. But if you say it in a pretty, polished building where people can start to visualise things, they go, oh, I can see this. Maybe we could do this. And so it tangibilises some of the intangibles, but I think that that relates to everything.

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