During the past month, I've had a very pleasant experience video-taping a ministry that is supported by a church which has no building. The name of the church is Grace Church and it's made up of two Episcopal congregations that has merged into one. It's interesting that Grace Church has no building. I'm not entirely sure where they worship. I know that the space that they currently use is "donated", at least temporarily. But after talking to two members of Grace Church, what I found interesting was the church's ability to focus on their ministries to the near-by communities. The church that I belong to has a number of active ministries too. But since my church built an expansion to its pre-existing building, a fair amount of time and energy is focused on paying off its mortgage which has been a challenge these past few years. Grace Church, as I learned, does not have this financial stress. Not having the financial burden of maintaining the costs involved with the building seems to be a freeing experience for them. (It's an experience that I wish my church congregation currently enjoyed.)
The ministry featured in this video is named "Gideon's Garden". It's an actual 2+ acre vegetable garden that is primarily farmed (in every sense of the word "farmed") by youth. It's my understanding that the actual concept of Gideon's Garden originated by the youth of the once two congregations now known as Grace Church. Gideon's Garden supplies fresh vegetables to the local food pantries where struggling individuals and families can get free fresh food for their tables. Without a doubt, this is one very important function of Gideon's Garden. Other important functions of Gideon's Garden are shared in this 6 minute video. For those interested in watching it, I hope you enjoy the message shared about Gideon's Garden as much as I enjoyed video-taping and learning about it myself. It's a ministry worth sharing and repeating.
Sometimes people forget that church is not the building, it is the body.
That is what's wonderfully demonstrated in the video. I grew up thinking/believing that the church was (is) the people, not the buildings that house the Sunday services. I am intrigued by the notion that a congregation can meet and worship together and not be bound by physical walls. Although there is something to be said about having the convenience of a dedicated building to house the "worshiping Body of Christ" (the people), the $$$$ involved in maintaining those buildings (and some of them are quite beautiful with large organs, sound systems, air conditioning, stained-glass windows, etc.) can be quite expensive which can and does weaken opportunities to do any significant missionary work. It must be a freeing feeling not to worry about such expenses, one I wish my own congregation was able to experience.