“Simply put, we do teens a disservice when we segregate them from the life of the church. When we build youth ministries that don’t fold students into the life of the congregation, the unintended consequence is a future of empty pews.”
It is meet and right beyond doubt that buildings set apart for Christian worship, should be worthy of the purpose for which they are used. Whatever is done for Christ ought to be well done. The house in which the Gospel is preached, and the Word of God read, and prayer offered up, ought to lack nothing that can make it comely and substantial. But let it never be forgotten that the material part of a Christian Church is by far the least important part of it. The fairest combinations of marble, and stone, and wood, and painted glass, are worthless in God’s sight, unless there is truth in the pulpit, and grace in the congregation. The dens and caves in which the early Christians used to meet, were probably far more beatufiul in the eyes of Christ, than the noblest cathedral that was ever reared by man. The temple in which the Lord Jesus delights most, is a broken and contrite heart, renewed by the Holy Ghost.
– J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke (Vol. 2), at 357.
The central problem of our age is not liberalism or modernism, nor the old Roman Catholicism or the new Roman Catholicism, nor the threat of communism, nor even the threat of rationalism and the monolithic consensus which surrounds us. All these are dangerous but not the primary threat. The real problem is this: the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, individually corporately, tending to do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh rather than of the Spirit. The central problem is always in the midst of the people of God, not in the circumstances surrounding them.
Francis Schaeffer, No Little People
An Easter pageant goes up in flames.