The Process of Building and Renovating a Church

The article illustrates the importance of identifying a process for making decisions in building and renovation projects. The final product will satisfy the community’s needs only in proportion to the time spent in soliciting opinions, educating the members, and consulting experts.

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The Church Building as a Setting for Liturgical Action

The following comments discuss the relationship of the design of the worship space to the actions that take place there. The function and significance of these actions provide the needed guidelines for liturgical architecture.

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The Church as Community

In the exodus event, God created a people and brought them into a covenant relationship. The covenant specified that Israelite worshipers display loyalty and faithfulness both to Yahweh, the King of the covenant, and to their fellow Israelites covenanted to that same King. In a corresponding way, God has created a people through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; these people are bound together with him and with one another in a new covenant community. Jesus’ commandment for this community, or church, is that they love him with their entire being, and their covenant brothers as themselves. It is out of this relationship with God and one’s fellow believers that worship arises. Biblical worship is intended as a corporate expression of the covenant relationship.

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Internal Life of the Worshiping New Testament Community

A glimpse of the church’s life in the earliest stages is provided in Acts 2:42, which states that the Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” These categories in general continue to characterize the church’s activities throughout the New Testament period.

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Organization and Discipline of the Worshiping New Testament Community

The organization of the church was relatively fluid throughout the New Testament period. Various offices are mentioned, but their duties and interrelationships are not always clearly defined. General patterns emerge, however, permitting some description of the leadership and discipline of the church as an institution.

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Characteristics of the New Testament Church

The church is the assembly of the “saints,” or holy ones, a people called out of the world by God. The early church was an urban movement. It held a world view that differed from that of the prevailing culture, yet it came to include people of all social classes in its radical fellowship.

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Arts in Evangelism … It won’t happen fast without Non-Artist-Advocates

Most Christians have some sense that artistic methods, and artists themselves, could be and should be powerful sources of evangelistic efforts. But most artists and musicians will confirm that they feel most conventionally trained and serving church leadership doesn’t have the foggiest idea or vision of how to envision artists to be used; nor even possess the simple conviction to give artists and musicians permission to come up with ideas on how to engage the community around them for the sake of the Gospel. In fact, often musicians and artists will tell you that they feel that church leadership doesn’t really trust that they will get the “content” of the Gospel right, or communicate it well.

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