Churches don’t use resources wisely
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 13:09
Sometime during high school, the nearby mega church erected a 170 ft. tall, 97 ton, giant white cross that probably cost half a million dollars. The first time I saw the cross, I was disappointed.
Growing up in Houston, I lived just minutes away from two of the biggest churches in the United States. The first thing I would always notice about each church was the fountains before the entry ways, the huge columns, and the unnecessarily ornate interiors.
I would always wonder if the money spent on making these churches look beautiful could be better spent elsewhere. Even from a young age, I knew the answer to that question was “yes.”
The giant cross didn’t make me cry tears of joy and I wasn’t overcome with the Holy Spirit. I was disappointed that a church felt the need to build a giant cross in the middle of Houston rather than spending that money on something more fruitful to the point of the church, like mission trips, food for starving children or one of any number of charities.
In Acts 4:32-36, believers sold their houses, fields and other possessions; they gave their money to the Apostles. The Apostles took this money and didn’t build giant crosses or a huge church with chandeliers and exquisite architecture; they gave that money to the people who needed it the most.
God wants us to prosper but he doesn’t want us to live in excess, especially not when other people have legitimate need and all we have is legitimate want. The focus on the beauty of the church, rather than the spiritual beauty of its congregation, is starting to interfere with the Word and the message that the Bible is supposed to bring to people.
Mark 4:19 says, “But the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Churches don’t need Tuscan columns or Baroque architecture to be successful and spread the Gospel. They just need to have a deep spiritual message and community to build around that message.
The sooner those certain mega churches realize this, the sooner the money will be spent on the deserving missions and charities and not on a giant cross that serves no further purpose than as a landmark used in driving directions for your visiting relatives.
Tad Walters is a history sophomore and can be reached at