Does the Church Need a Makeover?

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My wife pastors a university church. It sits a half-block off the main university drag. You can’t see it from campus, and until recently, you could have looked at it from the edge of campus and not even realized it was a church. Protective covers on the windows hid the stained glass. We had a downtrodden courtyard. Even those of us attending weekly couldn’t blame folks for walking by. Our church was not inviting.

That all changed this past year with a courtyard renovation. We now have green grass, a stone columbarium, a cross, and a play area that doubles as a stage for outdoor services and events. And the stained glass is now visible. In order to welcome our neighbor, we needed this renovation.

A New Apologetic

Our schools aren’t integrating faith and science, and there will always be limits on what they can do. So if it’s going to happen, it must happen at church. And that might just require a complete rebuild.

Science in Congregations (our name before 2019)—and the grant programs it grows out of—exists to help the church to better engage science. We help church leaders find trusted resources so they can better understand a wide range of science topics, and engage them in a thoughtful manner.

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No Rebuilding Necessary

You clearly are interested in engaging science in church, but I’m guessing you’re not likely thinking your church needs a rebuild. I’m sure your ministry does many things well. With Christ at the center, we are called to worship together, grow in our faith, and serve the world.

Science is not the center of the church, and never should be. But let me get back to that courtyard renovation at my church—a half block from North Carolina State University, which trains more STEM professionals than any other school in the state. If we are not taking the science they are teaching seriously, they will not take us seriously.

We don’t need a complete rebuild. But we do need a courtyard renovation—an inviting place for conversation—so all those students and faculty recognize our church as a place for mutual engagement and enrichment.

Why? So we can introduce them to the Logos (John1:1) at the center of our faith.



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