Friday, August 31, 2012

The Afterlife of Churches, Part 2

Here are two more examples of what could happen if the leadership of your church congregation does not become seeker-sensitive enough, or does not remain gospel-centered enough, or if the congregants simply move away or die out.  It could be that a college campus will be built around your former place of worship, and also turns it into a college admissions office:

Such is the case with the former Bridge Street Church and the Polytechnic Institute of NYU in Brooklyn.  Yet something far worse and dastardly could happen.  Take a look at St. Ann’s Church at 120 E 12th Street in Manhattan:

It looks normal enough, right?  Now take a second look.  Coincidentally NYU is part of the larger story here; they have dorms directly behind the facade of what used to be St. Ann’s Church.  Meanwhile, according to Wikipedia’s article on the subject it also served as a theater and a factory before finally being largely destroyed altogether.

All of this seems lamentable because while it may be cheaper to simply worship in people’s homes instead of shelling out money for a dedicated church building, a case can be made for the multi-faceted usefulness of church buildings.

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