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$130 Million Building Exemplifies Consumerism Not Transformation, says House Church Leader

Contact: Jon Hirst, The Well, 719-362-5235, jhirst@dotheword.org

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Nov. 12, /Christian Newswire/ -- First Baptist Church of Dallas recently announced plans to build a $130 million church campus with the intention of transforming the city and setting up a "beacon of truth." House church leader Ken Eastburn commented saying the building will not be able to accomplish its goal, "I applaud First Baptist Church for desiring to impact their community, but we need to get beyond a consumer mentality when we think about transformation. Expensive church buildings do not communicate the transforming Truth of the Gospel, they enslave people to the consumerism of our culture."

According to their website, the 1.5 million square foot campus will utilize innovative technology in the interest of environmental friendliness and will include a stone watering tower with a luminescent cross, a 3,000-seat worship center with 7 high-definition screens, a six-floor education building for youth and children's ministries, two side-by-side gymnasiums, and an outdoor concert space. According to church fundraising experts, it will be the most expensive church building program the United States has ever seen.

"Attractive buildings, entertaining preachers, and concert-like music have become staples in churches around the country in their effort to reach out to the lost," says Eastburn, "The problem is that these churches are reinforcing the very things that are entrapping people and keeping them from a transforming relationship with Christ. The church cannot curb consumerism by leveraging consumerism."

Eastburn is a leader with The Well, a network of home-based churches in California and Colorado. After selling their building in 2005, The Well began meeting in each other's homes where they are learning how to practice simplicity and radical giving in a Church culture dominated by consumerism.

He continues, "If the church is to be God's plan for the world, the vessel by which the Good News of his redemption spreads, we are going to need to learn how to reach out to culture without becoming it. Expensive buildings don't scream 'we have been redeemed,' they scream, 'we are just like you.' And that certainly isn't the message that Jesus was nailed to a cross for."

The Well hosts 10-15 members on a weekly basis at each of its five locations. Eastburn encourages individuals to visit their blog at www.leavethebuildingblog.com where Christians from every background are invited to explore what it means to be followers of Christ in the 21st Century.