. . . posts on faith and life
…and confesses to being ‘that guy’ who was advocating that local churches be able to own their property. And while the conversation on the issue of homosexuality has been EXTREMELY engaging I thought I would bring his killer comments to light. I am sure there is much more to come on the other discussion. So, here is Travis’ response to property ownership:
Man, I’m late to the party here. I guess I might be “the guy” that Jon was originally talking about. Here are my thoughts why it would be good for a local church to own their property:
-it forces us to lead relationally. If we don’t, we are in jeopardy of losing churches. Unfortunately, we diminish the relational aspects of leadership and instead lead by control. Our house can be more like a prison instead of a home. That’s unfortunate.
-it opens the door to more churches that would like to only affiliate with us for the purposes of mission and networking. Obviously, accountability may suffer since, if someone didn’t like a disciplinary decision, they potentially could walk from the denomination and still lead their church.
WOULD THERE BE ABUSES?
Yes. On the day, that churches are given back their properties, unless there is some sort of controlling element, some churches would run/not walk out the door.
WOULD THERE BE BENEFITS?
Absolutely. It would be a clarifying moment for us. It would help us to refocus on mission instead of the ledger and total denominational assets.
It would end the business of state offices liquidating property. This is a massive massive issue…bigger than you may realize.
I’ve seen two churches negatively impacted by denominational real estate decisions:
1. a viable church (West Miami COG) being sold out from under the church without their knowledge because a low ball offer came into the state office and they needed the money. In the end, promises were made by state denominational leaders and those promises were subsequently broken. I was personally in those meetings and was lied to.
What happened? The church was devastated, closed (with no building and no heart to go on), and irreparable damage was done to trust.
2. a church in Homestead mismanaged a property and was going to lose it altogether. I offered to purchase the indebtedness to keep the property in Homestead but was told the state “wanted to make something off of it.” (1.3 million in profits to be exact). Our offer fell flat and did not receive a counter offer or any comments further.
A property purchased by people in my town whom I know wil lnow disappear and the money will likely go into the denominational abyss like dozens and dozens of previous properties.
DENOMINATIONAL PROPERTY OWNERSHIP IS A CONTROL ISSUE NOT AN ACCOUNTABILITY ISSUE
I personally trust a local church to handle their business more than I do a state entity that has little to no local investment or history, a leadership structure that will be here this year and gone next.
I think we need to get rid of as many of our controls as possible. They’re are helpful. But, they are also destructive. I think I’d like to get in the business of trusting our people to do the right thing. And, if they can’t handle it, its their own fault and we move on denominationally poorer but with more relational leadership capital in our pockets, more credible for the future, and less dependent on controlling intimidation tactics.