Apparently First Baptist Dallas has chosen to spend that amount of money on a church building. Of course, had this news come out sooner I would have certainly included it in my post How To Know If Your Church Isn’t Spending Enough On Missions.
Here’s a quote from The Church Report article on this $130 million dollar church project:
DALLAS,TX– The congregation of First Baptist Church Dallas today overwhelmingly affirmed recommended plans to proceed with a $130 million capital campaign to build an expansive new 1.5 million square foot, state-of-the-art campus, making it the largest church building program in modern history, according to church fundraising experts.
The CrossTalk Blog quotes house-church pastor, Ken Eastburn who hits the proverbial nail on the head:
“If the church is to be God’s plan for the world, the vessel by which the Good News of his redemption spreads, we are going to need to learn how to reach out to culture without becoming it. Expensive buildings don’t scream ‘we have been redeemed,’ they scream, ‘we are just like you.’ And that certainly isn’t the message that Jesus was nailed to a cross for.”
Pastor Ken Eastburn also lists on his blog some of the amenities that this new church building is expecting to have:
- 1.5 million square feet
- LEED certified (its green and energy efficient)
- Glass structure
- Stone water tower topped with a luminescent cross
- Common area for downtown residents and guests
- 3,000 seat worship center (on the second story)
- 7 high-definition screens
- Choir and Orchestra pit
- Senior adult education center (under the sanctuary)
- 300-space underground parking garage
- 6-story education building for children/youth ministries
- 2 side-by-side gymnasiums
- Children’s play areas
- Outdoor concert space
- Adjacent parking garage with 500-plus parking spaces
After pondering yet another example of the staggering excess of American Christianity, this story would not be complete without directing your attention to the short video on this previous DefCon post (a video that I have not been able to bring myself to watching twice). It serves to do the above story justice by way of a necessary comparison and a much needed, sobering, priority-correcting, reality check.