Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 5, 1955


Judson Woodbridge, Mulvane, Kansas

Vision is needed in the work of the Lord as well as in other fields of endeavor. It always pays off. No business ever prospered without it. But we need to be careful what we visualize in the work of the church. Let's be sure we see the work the Lord wants done.

It seems to me that some brethren are dreaming dreams and seeing visions which do not belong in the ways of God. They are building mammoth structures with junior auditoriums, fellowship hall with kitchen facilities, attractive lounges, etc. Now I am not opposed to erecting neat commodious buildings for the church to meet in. I am sure that the command to assemble includes in it provisions for the place of assembly Whatever the Lord wanted the church to do included making provisions for the church to do that work. When we begin to visualize for the church, let's keep our sight within the limits of faith.

The early disciples had fellowship in the work of the Lord. (Acts 2:42.) This is proper and right. Fellowship means: communion, partnership, a holding with, to be joined, to he a joint partaker with. The saints were partners in church work. But is it the work of the church to provide recreation? If it is, then it is proper and right for the church to provide the facilities. If it isn't then the church can no more make provisions for this, scripturally, than it can erect a garage, equip it, hire mechanics and make provisions to service the members' cars. Just as well argue that fellowship in the New Testament church included servicing cars as to argue that it included recreation. Seemingly, that is the argument that brethren are making to get the halls and kitchens built by the church.

We can and do have fellowship in work that does not come in the category of church work. Husband and wife are partners in the home; Christians may be working together in overhauling a car; and they may be joined together in a feast or a game. There is fellowship in the church and there is fellowship out of the church. All of this is another way of saying that Christian activity is not necessarily church activity. Let's make our recreational affairs Christian affairs and not church affairs.

Question, Mr. Preacher, "Did you ever eat in a church building?" Yes, and I have also slept in it; but I did neither as a part of church work. The church did not spend thousands of dollars to make provisions for me to take that nap or to eat that bite. And while I am on this, allow me to say that there could be times that the church should make provisions for a place for people to eat and sleep. For one example; needy people who are the responsibility of the congregation should be cared for; and the church building could be used in this work. This becomes the responsibility of the congregation. But are these fellowship halls built for this purpose? ? Brethren, be honest.

"You are excited," says one. I hope so. I have seen them, and I have read about them. In fact, I have just finished reading about one being built by the church at "such and such" a place.