Question and Answer

Should a church building be used for day care?

Question:

Is there any objection to using the "church building" for day care? My initial thoughts are negative because the church of our Lord would not want to see the family unit harmed or destroyed. Having a day care center would facilitate the worldview of women working outside the home and furthering the decay of the family. What about inviting the State into your building? The building is where we come to worship our Lord and its use should be set aside for God and building his kingdom, not to support secular needs. Thank you for your response.

Answer:

Thanks for your question. Your main concern seems to be that in using the building for day care you are supporting lifestyles and policies that are detrimental to the family and invites the state to get involved in how the church building is used.

First, your concerns are legitimate. There will always be those who will use day care to live a selfish lifestyle, and our society certainly is not family friendly. Further, the state does have a legitimate interest in these matters, at least from the perspective of its being responsible for matters of safety. Therefore the door is open for state involvement. These matters need to be considered.

But consider the following:

  1. There are seriously committed Christian women who, through no fault of their own, must work (e.g., their husbands abandoned them or died, or their husbands are either unemployed or simply not making enough money to support the family).
  2. There are non-Christian women in similar circumstances.
  3. A private day care facility in the church is not required to accept every applicant for space (at least not yet!)
  4. Opening the doors of the church for such a use may become a vehicle for presenting the gospel through loving care for the children and concern for the families of such children. You can make it clear that the children will hear about the Bible and Christ, not to brain wash them but to give them wholesome forms of entertainment and learning.

Finally, I think it must have already occurred to you that the church building is not holy in and of itself. It is simply the place God's people gather to worship. It is the people of God in worshiping assembly in the presence of Christ that constitute the church.

The matter in the end is not mandated either way by Scripture. It is a matter that I would classify under the heading of Christian liberty. Biblically speaking you are not sinning in either providing or not providing such a facility for the community. The question to ask is this: What will best glorify and serve Christ and his Kingdom.

I hope this is helpful.


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