At PCI our belief is that portability for churches is not going away any time soon. In fact, portability is one of the most important strategies for new churches, multisite churches, and even existing churches. Pastor Carey Nieuwhof said it this way, “Portable church should be a permanent part of the future” and we completely agree. It is not a “temporary solution” until your church finds a building, rather it is a tool to help your church be all that it is called to be.
With that said, we know a lot of pastors have questions about portability and about the pros and cons of it. That is why we wrote this blog, to help address some of the FAQ’s we hear. So here it is, 10 reasons why we think portability is the way to go.
1. Reduce costs
The major advantage of setting up your church in a portable venue is the cost factor. No ridiculously high construction or mortgage costs to deal with. No roof and air-conditioning repairs to worry about. And, no monthly cleaning and security services to shell out money for!
Launching in a temporary facility lets your church make full use of the space without breaking your bank! The only cost you really have to bother about is the monthly rent check.
A permanent church building may not be eternal, but it’s certainly long-term! Portability, on the other hand, lets your church enjoy unparalleled flexibility. For example, you might find that you need more seating space to accommodate adults. Or, that you no longer require multiple children’s areas.
Well, here’s the good news – a portable, flexible church means that you can upsize or downsize to suit your needs, anytime!
3. Channel more money for ministry
Less money spent on your building = more money for ministry! Isn’t that a holy equation?
Don’t let the cost of a building choke your church. A mobile church can operate on a fraction of the income needed for a permanent facility. The money saved can then be channeled towards various mission trips, outreach programs and ministry efforts. After all, buildings don’t grow your church, effective ministry does!
4. Welcome the unchurched
Do you know how many unchurched people are in your community right now? And did you know that an increasing majority of this population is wary of the traditional church setting? That’s where mobile churches come in!
Churches in casual, everyday spaces like a school, theater, bowling alley, and even a pizza parlor are way more inviting and welcoming than stained-glass windows and pews. In other words, portable churches offer a huge advantage in equipping you to fulfill the Great Commission!
5. Foster better engagement with community
Moving your church into everyday spaces like a casino or a movie theater, compels you to break the “holy huddle” and engage the community. Moreover, launching in community spaces helps your church “go to the people” instead of asking them to “come to church.”
That’s exactly why the Rolling Hills Baptist Church in Georgia sold their 20-acre campus and moved to a movie theater – to be better embedded in the community.
Is your church looking to make an impact outside of its four walls?
6. Shape church identity
We have heard it a million times – The church is not the building. The church is the people. However, this fundamental fact is often forgotten by church folks.
What does identity have to do with a church “with wheels” and ready to go, go, go? A lot, actually! A temporary location for your church means that people cannot identify the church with a building. A mobile church has to put the people first.
Do you want a building to define your church? That’s a question this dynamic model solves.
7. Keep vision independent of the building
Why should the vision of your church be limited to what the church building can, and cannot, accommodate? Unfortunately, the building often guides the vision of the church. Worse still, the building sometimes becomes the vision of the church.
Is your church focused on the building upkeep rather than on outreach?
8. Encourage thriving relationships
A mobile church is based on relationships. It is not centered around a venue. People who attend a portable church do so because of its mission, and their relationships with other members.
A portable church fosters a better sense of community within the church. A thriving community culture is a sign of a healthy church, isn’t it?
9. Mobilize volunteers
One of the lifelines of a church on wheels is a team of dedicated volunteers, who set up and tear down church equipment every week. People are brought together as they serve alongside, and a healthy core team of contributors emerges.
Pastor, you know that every church needs a core team to move forward. Launching in a temporary facility can be the ideal space to build this much-needed core. After all, isn’t mobilizing and building people crucial for the growth of any church?
10. Unleash creativity
Move your church into a zoo or fire station, and watch those creative juices flow! A church that is not tied down to a specific venue offers endless opportunities for experimentation.
For example, transforming a theater into a fun and safe space for kids, or setting up a stage in a bowling alley can really stir up your creativity! Creativity is a reflection of God’s plan. So, is there a better candidate to display this creativity than the church? Probably not!
Are you looking to launch a church? A decision to move into a unique, church on wheels venue versus a permanent tied-down building might be the best one you take today!
We have been helping churches successfully launch in all kinds of venues for the last few decades. Give us a call today at 800.939.7722 and we’ll help you find the perfect church location for your weekend services!
In the meantime, Download our FREE E-book today for all the tips you need to choose the right facility for your church! Find the Right Venue For My Portable Church