Church plants are continually finding creative meeting spaces for themselves – warehouses, nightclubs, schools – and movie theaters. Think about it – it’s a great use of space with alot of good features built in. But what about the opposite?
Here is a church in Buffalo that has repurposed its space in order to bring a theater in. From the article:
In 2001, Frieden’s United Church of Christ gifted Starry Night Theatre Inc. with their former church, on the corner of Schenck and Vandervoort streets in North Tonawanda, after they couldn’t find a buyer. The congregation moved to Amherst in 2000 because of declining membership.
Don Swartz, executive director, said it cost $100,000 in renovations to convert the church into Ghostlight Theatre. Swartz emphasized the importance of keeping the theatre “church-like” and preserving the original architecture amidst ongoing renovations.
Granted, in this particular situation, it seems like the choice was made in order to support a shrinking congregation in need of funds, but what about the principle?
You could argue that this is a complete sell out and in a very visible way the epitome of a church allowing itself to be infiltrated by the culture. Or you could argue that it’s a brilliant move that expands the church’s influence into areas of culture and a potential evangelistic gold mine.
What do you think?