USA - Churches Opening Their Doors to Business

Arno Froese

Declining attendance at America’s churches—a persistent trend in recent decades—has forced some to take a novel approach to keeping their doors open: renting out otherwise empty space during the usually quiet mid-week, CBS News’ Omar Villafranca reports.

Larry Duggins heads up the Missional Wisdom Foundation, a group that helps congregations become a place for commerce. “Churches close when they can’t get beyond that, unless they have some extraordinary other way to get people to come attend,” he said.

Senior pastor Mitchell Boone admits White Rock Methodist needed a miracle to stay open.

“We were spending way too much money to keep the doors open and the lights on and the staff paid and Sunday morning going, and so it was clearly a move out of desperation,” Boone said. “We were close to death.”

Leila James, who has been a member of the church for 44 years, said other church members weren’t fully sold on the idea of renting out space. But James, the daughter of a preacher, ultimately embraced it.

“I attended the yoga class and I remember one day we got the giggles because we were just enjoying it so much and we thought, ‘Well, this is the way church should be. We should be able to have other aspects of our lives here,’” she said., 16 March 2019

Arno's commentary

Traditional denominational churches have lost members in recent decades throughout this nation, but also throughout Europe we are told. There are a number of reasons for this decline; one being the super-modern churches mimicking nightclub music for worship (entertainment). Yet in most cases the message is crystal clear: only Jesus saves, and surrendering to Him places one in the category of those who are saved.

Finances are a key issue, as in this church. Thus, renting out facilities will make up for the lack of contributions due to the diminishing numbers of members.

We take issue with the statement, “this is the way church should be”—in her case, practicing the religious yoga exercise. We fully realize that the church building is not the Church, but only members—born again of the Spirit of God—constitute the real, living Church. They assemble for the distinct purpose of proclaiming the truth of Holy Scripture, to which there is no end. Fresh, new messages and study of the Word of God is the climax of attending a church service (see Colossians 3:16).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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