Window for the Price of a Church

As a Pentecostal Christian, I love the church. I love going to church, participating in church and simply being the church. It is my only true passion. I love making the church a better place. If there was a phrase “born to church,” it would define me completely. In the words of an unknown preacher, “I’m as churchy as Noah was arky.”

I love to worship with psalms, hymns, spiritual songs with all people regardless of age or ethnicity. I love singing from the old red-back hymnal, just as much as singing contemporary songs. Southern gospel pleases me, but Christian hard rock, techno or gospel rap does not scare me one bit. I cannot help but often wonder if one day Christian rock lyrics will be on the pages of the red-back hymnals.

I also love listening to the message, whether it is delivered inside or outside of the church walls. A good sermon always inspires me. Some sermons touch my soul while others simply entertain me. And I do have to admit, that some preachers bore me. I wish that I could tell them to keep their day job, for after all if you are going to be doing the work of the Lord, please do it right.

And then, there is the prayer at the alters, which I also love. I know this may sound very Pentecostal, but in our postmodern context of worship there is really no other time during service where people finally hush and allow God to speak.

But something has been bothering me lately. Every time I sing, listen to the sermon or pray at the church altar, I have to face a wall with a huge stained glass window. I know it cost as much as a brand new AMG Mercedes Benz and this disturbs me a bit. My concern arises because I am personally familiar with locations where a brand new church could be built for this same amount of money. I guess I have chosen a different value system and I cannot help but ponder, “How many souls will come to Christ because they saw the light reflected through this magnificent stained glass window?”

I know that some will say, “Well, if you don’t like the window, just turn the other way.” And I mustask, “What would happen if every time we see something wrong with our church we turn the other way?”

So next time, when you worship, listen to your pastor or pray facing that stained glass window, which costs as much as a church, please ask yourself the question, “Should a window cost as much as a church?” Just something to think about …