Friday, November 5, 2010

Church Buildings - Francis Wayland

We assemble to offer spiritual sacrifice. We meet to hear the word of God explained and brought home to our consciences and our hearts, and to bring under the sound of the gospel as many as we are able. Christ came to preach the gospel to the poor, and to the end of time, the evidence of the truth of his religion is, that "to the poor the gospel is preached." Hence we need a neat, convenient audience-room, well ventilated, well warmed, and also perfectly adapted to the wants of both speaker and hearer. We want this to be provided at as small expense as possible, for two reasons: first, we wish to bring the gospel within the reach of the poor, and of those of moderate means; and, secondly, we need a great many such houses, because, if we are faithful to Christ, we expect an abundant increase.

found in Francis Wayland, Notes on the Principles and Practices of Baptist Churches (New York: Sheldon, 1857), 155-56.

Wayland is more institutional than I am, but I think that he has the right emphasis: not on the building, not on the cult of personalities, but on the people. Would that more churches honestly look at where their efforts and finances are spent and say like Wayland: "We want this to be provided at as small expense as possible."

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