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.
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.
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.
Like any human organization, the church of the New Testament confronted problems and challenges, some from external pressures and some from within.
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.
Although the church had no legitimate status in the Roman world, it was able to evangelize and expand by means of public proclamation or preaching, especially through the medium of the synagogue.
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.
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.
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.