After eight years of prayer, this congregation in Nepal could finally build a place of worship in their community. But in 2015, just three years later, their church building was destroyed during a devastating earthquake, and their faith was tested. Would they ever have another building?
See God’s faithfulness to provide for the needs of His children—and how He used a couple in Canada to do just that.
Pastor Pranish’s congregation, whose story you just watched, and all other congregations in Asia know church buildings are not just concrete, lumber and windows—they are places that will be filled with praise, prayer, discipleship and mighty acts of God.
When a congregation receives a permanent place of worship, they receive one of the most powerful tools for their growth as a church family and as individual disciples of Jesus. As people meet with God in a church building, their lives will impact many others for His glory. That church building will continue to bolster ministry in the village for decades.
A church building costs between $10,000 to $40,000 to construct, depending on size, location and available materials.
GFA-supported pastors share in their own words how a church building helps their congregation.
"Our Women's Fellowship has benefited very much. The womenfolk of my church were able to gather sometimes only once in a month before the building, but now they are able to gather every week at least one time and learn God's Word together. ... There are more than one hundred children in my church. They all gather every Sunday at 9 a.m. to learn God's Word. ... Vacation Bible Schools are also able to be arranged now because of the church building." —Karunakar
"A church building is a physical symbol of Christian community. Thereby, the church building gives us identity and a sense of belonging to each other." —Palash
"Every church activity can take place without any worry about the climate or any other disturbance." —Karunakar
"[The believers] got a church building where they can comfortably sit and worship God." —Benjamin, pastor
"Now all the believers come and gather and sing, shout and happily, freely worship the Lord." —Madhughosh
"Believers will have their own programs, such as marriage and child dedications, [they] can arrange inside the church premises." —Karunakar
"Sometimes we use our church building for other programs such as medical camps, [Christmas] gift distributions and BioSand water filter distributions." —Tahir
"I was praying for a permanent church building because it was very important to let the believers know we are going to be there forever with Christ." —Madhab
"Even the [non-Christians] surrounding the church send their children to Sunday school. ... Many people . . . come for prayer. Every day without fail, someone is there inside the church building praying, and it has been made possible because of the church building." —Madhab
"Since there is a church building, villagers are more interested in listening to the Good News and asking for prayer. ... Having a church building in a village, automatically people will [come] for prayer for their problems." —Karunakar
"The church building has been used in . . . relief work, such as food distribution, flood-relief shelter, during earthquakes or other natural disasters. [We] have been helping those people whose houses were destroyed, especially during the flood, by distributing rice and dal and standing beside them in their crisis." —Haamid
Multiple factors affect the cost of a church building, one of which is the size of the structure. Some of the congregations that have received church buildings have, by God's grace, quickly outgrown their structure and have needed to build additions. In anticipation of this and to save on the cost of renovation, our field partners started constructing some church buildings to seat up to 500 people. Other church buildings, especially in smaller villages, do not need to hold as many people.
Construction expenses—the costs of materials, labor and land, if it isn't donated—also vary, depending on the region.
Our aim is to use resources as effectively as possible, according to each congregation’s individual need, to construct church buildings with quality and with an appearance that glorifies Christ.
In many cases, a believer in the church will donate the land for the church building, and other believers may donate materials. Congregations often labor alongside the construction workers to help prepare the land and build the church. In areas where non-Christian groups don't want church buildings to be constructed, the pastor or believers may even spend nights keeping watch over the site.