I was intrigued by an article written by Janet Thompson of crosswalk.com. The eye-catching title asked, "Why Is The Church Going Dark?" She meant this literally. Her complaint was about the design of many auditoriums having dim lighting and being windowless, almost like a movie theatre or concert venue. She wondered if this was to reach a younger generation or to set a certain mood.
While I prefer a well-lit room, there is a more significant concern. Jesus taught, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Mat. 5:14-16). His words have nothing to do with church building designs, LED lighting, or window sizes.
Preaching to His disciples, Jesus wants us to know that those reflecting His light cannot be hidden, but shine in such a way that others will see our good works and glorify God.
Dark churches are situated in neighborhoods that know nothing about them.
Dark churches are so indistinct that the world can see no difference between themselves and those churches.
Dark churches have no vision or plan to fulfill God's purpose for them.
Dark churches exist to assemble, but not much more.
Dark churches focus inwardly, but neither outwardly nor upwardly.
Dark churches operate from fear and prefer the safe route, taking no risks and attempting only what they can produce.
Dark churches are disconnected from the Light of the world.
It is good for us to constantly challenge ourselves, when setting budgets, making plans, gauging our true priorities, or evaluating the leadership or the pulpit. Are we doing what will help us be "Light-Bearers" or what will cause us to be "Dark Churches"? What an important question! Our actions determine the answer.