Religious and evangelistic act undertaken by a cong. in which a ch. home for its people and a house for God is planned and built. The bldg. program includes everything a cong. does and decides that finally leads to adequate facilities for its purposes.
Since each cong. is unique, there can be no plan that would suffice for all programs. Desire for uniformity has resulted in much mediocrity in contemporary ch. architecture. A ch. should not be built until the cong. knows how, whom, and why it worships; what its entire program of parish educ. entails; how it can best advance Christian witness; what new methods of worship and educ. can be adopted. The pastor usually guides and directs the study of these problems.
Publications to guide pastor and people include Architecture and the Church, issued by the Commission on Ch. Architecture of the LCMS (St. Louis, 1965); Church Building Manual, prepared by the Bd. of Am. Missions of the LCA 1965; Manual for the Building Enterprise, ed. E. S. Frey, pub. under auspices of the LCA Commission on Ch. Architecture (New York, 1965); C. H. Atkinson, How to Get Your Church Built (New York, 1964); A. Biéler, Architecture in Worship (London, 1965); D. J. Bruggink and C. H. Droppers, Christ and Architecture: Building Presbyterian/Reformed Churches (Grand Rapids, 1965); A. W. Christ-Janer and M. M. Foley, Modern Church Architecture (New York, 1962); V. H. Fiddes, The Architectural Requirements of Protestant Worship (Toronto, 1961); E. S. Frey, This Before Architecture (Foundation Books, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, 1963); P. Hammond, Liturgy and Architecture (New York, 1961); J. R. Scotford, When You Build Your Church, 2d ed. (Great Neck, New York, 1958); Church Buildings and Furnishings, ed. J. G. Sherman (Greenwich, Connecticut, 1958); J. F. White, Protestant Worship and Church Architecture (New York, 1964); periodicals Anno Domini, Liturgical Arts, and Your Church.
A ch. should be built from the inside out. Many congs. in hurry to have a bldg. are still pondering the problems of fitting their liturgical needs into a meaningless shell. Much time and prayerful consideration must be given to the meaning of worship before the architect can even be chosen, much less commissioned. A cong. cannot be reminded too often that what it builds is not the end, but a place of corporate and individual worship and a means of witnessing to the Truth, which is the Source of all Being. RRCj
See also Church Architecture.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
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