Sunday, November 30, 2008

Amazing Church Buildings

Here is a breath-taking photo-post on some of the most architecturally interesting churches from around the world.

I often have a hard time reconciling the twin pulls I have in my heart towards churches being much more wise with God's money, but at the same time long for the symbolism of God's grandeur in our ecclesiastical architecture. Can we not spend billions of dollars on a building and yet have it move us?

How do you think about that issue?

(HT: Jared)


calledApart said...


I guess when I look at the cathedral in the picture I think less of how great God is and more of how great the Church is. What's fueling our church building projects( or any church project)? Pride, competition between churches, idol worship, or a seeking to glorify God. What is the building moving me toward?

Church board meetings can get pretty murcky on this subject.

John C said...

I remember being in Germany with the Willow team doing conferences and we had some free time. A group of us took the train and visited the historic massive cathedral in Cologne. see

Later Hybels asked me what we had done during the day and I said we had gone to see the big "church" in Cologne - upon which he snidely wisecracked back "You mean big BUILDING?" It took me a second and then I got it.

Which of course, leads me to remind, as I'm sure I don't have to, that the "church" as we all know is not the building, and should be about anything and everything BUT and BEYOND a building. At least it's suppose to be that way anyway. That said, these pictures are pretty unique. I love the one in Huntington Beach, CA, which if you don't know, is hailed as the founding place of surf culture and surfing capital of the world. Neat place - had a friend that lived there. They also have a Surfers Church there that's supposed to be pretty cool . . . . dude.

I think for me, function of the facilities that serves the body/glorifies God and an interior that points me towards God or allows for ways for that to happen is more key than how the church looks from the outside. That said, you don't want it to be an eyesore either!

D.J. Williams said...

I was just thinking about this the other day. I have to imagine that it would be best to err on the side of the simple and better use our money for the cause of Christ. The desire to have a fancy building just seems so corporate.

Anonymous said...

Some churches are battleships with warriors on board and some are cruise ships with vacationers on board. Which are you?

Anonymous said...

Church architecture is a form of outreach as is all our work done with excellence.

Christopher Lake said...

Cathedrals can definitely be awe-inspiring, but in the end, I'm a Puritan at heart on this issue-- the simpler the church building, the better, so as not to distract from the Gospel itself. I'm also a Puritan in that I think Gospel-preaching churches could actually *benefit* from *longer* sermons! Imagine that! :-)