7 Benefits of Being a MOBILE Church

Being mobile presents both unique challenges and opportunities.

I jokingly tell our church that we have more kitchens and bathrooms than any other church in town because so many of our people open their homes for ministry. In my experience, churches that have facility-oriented approaches to ministry have a much more difficult time starting small groups because many of the members will simply want everything to be done at the church’s facility.

Benefit #5: Strategic Partnership With Your Host

In three of the four locations where we have met over the years, we have been able to be a huge blessing to our hosts. When we were at the high school, we donated chairs (which we used on Sundays) and lots of cool stuff to the teachers whose classrooms we used for Children’s ministry.

At the YMCA, we actually painted several rooms, put new air conditioners on the roof, and regularly did grounds-keeping work for them because they didn’t have the staff or funds to do it themselves (and we wanted the place to look nice on Sundays). At our current location, we have donated equipment and resources that benefit the school and create good will toward our church (which doesn’t hurt our witness).

Benefit #6: Location, Location, Location!

Some churches discover, over time, that their location is actually a hindrance to their ministry. I have a friend who pastored a congregation in a neighborhood that dramatically changed in the decade before he arrived. The entire population around the church changed from a middle-class, English speaking demographic to a primarily Spanish speaking demographic.

The members of the church were having difficulty due to cultural and language barriers to being a good witness in the neighborhood, so they decided to witness in a different way! My friend did something radical. He (and the congregation) donated (Yes! Donated!) their building and land to a Spanish-speaking congregation and moved to a local high school.

Now they are growing and thriving as a mobile church, and since they can communicate with their neighbors, they are able to be a light in the city where they worship. The nice thing about being mobile is … if your location is not conducive to your mission, you can move if you want or need to.

Benefit #7: Creativity (Another Way of Saying You Have to Stay Flexible, and That’s a Benefit!)

In mobile churches, you have a chance to change things up quite a bit if you need to. You can move your stage around, move your chairs into different configurations, set up classes the way you need to or want to, and experiment with different approaches to space-usage. Why is this a benefit?

In some churches, if you move the organ, or if you sit in sister Alice-Faye’s pew, or you take down the mural of the golden-haired Jesus painted and donated by a founding member of the church back in 1943, you could get into serious trouble! In a mobile church, change is par for the course, and it keeps the congregation from getting too comfortable with the status quo.

Well, I could go on and on, but I’d love it if some of my other mobile church pastor friends or members of mobile churches could chime in. Again, there is a lot to complain about in every kind of church, so let’s keep it positive or inquisitive. I hope this has blessed, and I’d love to see what you have to add below.

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Kenny Burchard
Kenny Burchard, his wife, MaryJo, (married 1992), and their son, Victor, live in Virginia Beach, VA, where he works with Operation Smile. He is an ordained Foursquare pastor and has served as a worship leader, church planter, lead pastor and Bible teacher since 1994. He has a B.A. in Organizational Leadership and an M.A. in New Testament and is a regular blogger at Think Theology. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.