For at least fifty years, I have studied and sometimes marveled at the way different businesses approach and attempt to solve similar problems.
And one of the oldest kinds of businesses is churches and synagogues. The fundamental business plan for all of them is this: We will give you a place and a staff where you will find and get spiritual guidance among others who seeking that as well.
But contrary to most businesses, churches and synagogues don't require a fee for a person to participate in their services. All are expected to make appropriate contributions, however, contributions that are conscious driven.
Some denominations like Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Church of the Latter Day Saints are themselves affiliated with a ministerial hierarchy. For an example, the Roman Catholic churches are known as parishes. They are branches of a nearby diocese, and ultimately overseen by the Mother Church at the Vatican.
Churches like these seem to work under the business plan that they will have many branches of the whole, so that no one seeking their ministry will have to go far to find one of their churches.
And then there are what I'll call stand-alone denominations. They may be members of a general alliance of churches who, in general, follow the same dogma, but each church basically stands alone. Baptist churches are like that as are the non-denominational churches and synagogues.
Those churches and synagogues usually have one campus, and they must convince most of their members and participants to commute away from their neighborhoods to the church or synagogue.
My denomination, the Episcopal Church, has about twenty-four parishes in Dallas. Each is charged by the bishop of the Diocese of Dallas with serving those nearby and thus, building membership and contemporaneously building revenue to support its work.
Downtown Dallas' First Baptist Church $130 Million Expansion
Dallas' First Baptist Church is an old congregation. It's among the office buildings and busy streets of downtown. It takes a while for most of its members to get there for services and activities because most have to drive some distance.. And as they do they pass many churches -- some are also Baptist churches.
Dallas' First Baptist Church has a membership in excess of 10,000, and it is currently beginning a renewal and expansion of its campus that will cost $130,000,000.
They already have a major portion of that in cash and in the bank.
What does First Baptist know about the church business that others don't?
Whatever it is, it's based in this principle: "Whatever we accomplish for the glory of God, we must do it without the help of satellite churches and universal church hierarchies. We determine our fate."
BILL CHERRY, REALTORS
DALLAS - PARK CITIES
Our 45th Year