Driving north of Houston this weekend, I noticed a number of churches whose buildings exhibited very little of what most people might consider a church exterior. Grace Church of Tomball has so stripped down their church design that the only way to know it was a church were the bold letters spelling out “GRACE.” Otherwise, the shape and form of the building, the entry and arrangement of the parking lot could be just about any industrial or retail building. Remove the lettering and this could be a bowling alley or a business office.
If our buildings remind us what is important, then I did know this was a church, the lettering on the building told me so. But that minimal gesture, which really is the only thing symbolizing church, may be very effective, yet it is very limiting.