INFRASTRUCTURE AND SYSTEMS WITHIN AN INTERNATIONAL CHURCH
By David Santiago
It’s never been more necessary to ask God for the wisdom to carry forth the International Church’s three-fold purpose: surrender the worship services to God, build each other up in the faith and proclaim the Gospel, without becoming a purely business-focused organization, with the end goal of surviving.
This task becomes very difficult in many aspects, of which we find three main causes: (a) high turnover of members, which makes it scarce for finding workers and volunteers at church; (b) many different cultures, which makes having to look for a midpoint in the same culture of the church; (c) small proportion of tithes and offerings, due to many motives but perhaps the most relevant one is the culture itself.
We have to be very creative without losing focus of our three-fold purpose in order to solve these points. The success will be inasmuch as knowing how to balance three areas: infrastructure, systems and sustainability. We will now focus on the first two.
We see the infrastructure as the building where the International Church is located, its internal, spatial distribution/capacity and all its equipment. Infrastructure is important from the very beginning, since it is the first impression with which a worshipper has; its capacity and distribution should make them feel safe and comfortable and the equipment (technology, video and sound) must be adequate. Upon their exit, they should carry with them a sense of finding a home away from their home. So, what is the goal if this is so clear? Since this point of view is wrong, upon entering the IC, from the first moment, the worshipper must feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, no matter how luxurious or frugal the church is or the technology that it uses.
Points to consider: localization, capacity, technological infrastructure, space for childcare, places for the church administration and to carry out other activities; but we must remember that the church is not the infrastructure but rather the people, the community, the unity and the love that we have to have for our neighbor. When more unity and faith are found, signs and miracles will be present.
The second aspect is the systems. We understand systems to be the organization of the IC and all activity in which the way of doing things can be standardized. Organization and systems are necessary, more so in an IC with the aforementioned aspects that make the task difficult for us and we have a solution.
This sounds like the need for a business advisor to come in. But no! In our experience, we are wrong to begin the task of organizing and systemizing the IC as a business; we have concluded that an IC is not an organization, it’s a living organism, that is the body of Christ.
Understanding this, redesigning the organization and the systems is much simpler since our reorganization manual is the Bible, and all that we must do and how we have to do it is found within its pages, its teaching is unmatched.
We are not mistaken, INFRASTRUCTURE AND SYSTEMS are very necessary in an IC to help us fulfill our purpose, but we should never lose our Christian identity by applying traditional business tools. We ask committed Christians with a considerable amount of knowledge of God’s Word for help.