Saturday, September 5, 2015
GOD SPACE--by Linden Malki
According to Google, the largest church in the world is in Ivory Coast. The largest church building, that is; renown for not only its size but its beauty. . It is the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, in Yamoussoukro. It was built by the insistence of founding President of Ivory Coast, Feliz Houphouet-Boigny, in his home town, which he named as the national capital, in 1985-1989. It was dedicated by Pope John-Paul II in 1990. This was one of the only two times the church was full; it has 7000 inside seats, each with its own airconditioning, and standing room for 11,000 more. The other time was at President Houphouet-Boigny's funeral in 1994. It is said to have an average worship attendance of about 350 people.
On the other hand, the Works and Missions Baptist Church in Abijan couldn't get all of its members under one roof if they tried--they have an estimated 250,000 members spread over not just Ivory Coast but other parts of Africa and Asia. Their core organization is the house church, and goes up through training classes. spiritual gifts classes, evangelism, worship, deliverance and more. (This is the church Pastor Paul recently visited for their 40th anniversary celebration. See NorthPoint Christian Fellowship Facebook for lots of pictures!)
We, as a church that is coming up on 90 years old this October, have experienced small spaces and big buildings; small numbers and larger numbers. We know what it is like to have the demands of a building sap our energy. Can we keep the goal of having God-honoring space and and the goal of sharing God with people, aligned properly, with each one supporting the other?