Why Is C3 Zürich Thinking of Moving?
I’ve been asked: Why are you guys thinking of moving? The place you have is absolutely at the center of Zürich, ergo it’s the center of Switzerland – ergo it’s the center of… No, let’s stop it here :-D! Also, depending on the attendance of a Sunday, it doesn’t always look like we need to move now. So why? Let me give you a few reasons why we are thinking of a move and therefore have been fasting, praying and raising money for it.
1. Faith loves to move
As a church, we need to base our core values, that shape our decisions, on the bible. While there isn’t a distinct verse that instructs churches to move or not to move, there is a general drive in faith, and faith based communities towards action and movement:
Faith and Change of location are siblings
Abraham, the very father of faith, was called to “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1). Faith itself has to do with undertaking risks, not scaring away from change and being on a way, even when it implies not knowing exactly where it’s end will be. Later on the people of Israel was on the move for a long while until they found a more permanent home in their promised land. But even there they were called to remind themselves and their kids that their “father was a wandering Aramean” (Deut. 26:5).
Isn’t it interesting: Jesus never gives his disciples a command to start a church, build a building, or start an NGO. He just sends them out to go and make disciples! The word for church in the original Greek is not a place, but a group of people; wherever those people are, the church is.
Church is not a fixed spot, it’s a dynamic group of people
Now the astonishing thing is this: Jesus calls his disciples to go and make more disciples, and a community of believers comes out of that. The outcome of this great “Go and make disciples” is a church! Historically churches met in the official synagogues, in homes, at public places, underground, and now you can find churches under bridges, in pubs, in large stadiums, in homes, in shopping malls… Sometimes moving came as a planned strategy, sometimes it was a reaction to a very uncomfortable situation, like persecution. Churches are vibrant communities of followers of Jesus, that meet wherever it worked for them and impacts their surrounding in the best way.
2. C3 Zürich is a Church for the People of Zürich
Value for Change
One of our core values, which you can read here, is “We are now, we love change.” The title over this value is “Loving others”. So one of the ways C3 Zürich reaches out to people out of of our four walls is to embrace change. If we want to be heard, if we want to be of any positive impact for Zürich, we need to be able to stay in a “now” mode and change. We love change, because we are C3 Zürich, a church for the people of Zürich.
What we need
This is what we as a church currently need:
We love being so easy to reach; our current location is at the very center of Zürich. Obviously, even the tiniest move will take us away from the city center. So the aim is to stay as close as possible to the center, wherever we move.
Auditorium for service
The current place is still large enough for us to grow in service attendance. However, it is the largest space our landlord can offer, and that gives a view of the front, because there is no stage. A permanent location would offer us access during the week for worship group rehearsals; this is something we are not able to do. The band has been forced to roam around, practicing at different locations. Whenever we wish to have a weekday event (ex. a prayer & worship night, or a team night), a special booking is required. So the location we now have makes it difficult to grow in terms of mid-week activities.
Rooms for babies, children and youth
Last week, our church was a third under the age of 10! We would love to offer more kids programs, and offer them in rooms that are suited for teenagers, kids, toddlers and babies; at this point we offer three kids programs, one is held in a room listed on a historic register, one is held in a hallway… You get the point.
Currently, we don’t have a central place to meet for church business, so we meet at coffee shops, at homes, online etc. Working together, in one room, would be a huge improvement on our focus and effectiveness.
Space to act locally
Zürich HB is an awesome spot, but no one lives here, it’s a very transient place. Having a permanent location, we can respond to the needs of the surrounding community, in a much more effective way. We need to stop making excuses and push ourselves to serve Zürich locally.
3. We’ve found a good place
- We’ve found a place where we are welcomed
This is maybe the most critical factor. We do have needs, as stated above, but even if there are spaces, churches aren’t the most welcomed tenants. Churches are messy, and some (not all) landlords don’t lease to religious organizations. If you pass that through, there still needs to be a feeling of welcome, instead of mere tolerance. The place we are looking at looks very promising in that regard. We are experiencing favor with the potential future landlord.
We’ve found a place where we can adjust for our needs
Although we can’t scale the place freely, we still have the possibility of building in a way that let’s us grow into a service of around 250 people. Our vision as a church leadership is to create different congregations of that size and feel.
We’ve found an affordable place
The rental costs per square meter are about half the median price, due to restrictions as to who can rent the place. These rental costs are not very different from what we have now, but we get the space every day of the year instead of half a day a week and its much larger.
So here you have it! This is why we are considering moving, why we are planning for it, praying for it, and putting this whole month of April aside to collect the necessary funds to rise up and build. We would be thrilled if you’d consider donating for this cause here: