Dang! Maybe some emerging church out there should have bought the 40 acre campus and recycled it into something useful. Although if Randall Balmer is correct in saying that passing on a huge unsustainable megachurch is a generational problem, then it might take a bit of imagination.
But hey – its worth a shot. Let me ask you, since you are young and free.
What would you do with the Crystal Cathedral?
Off the top of my head, I can think of a few things that could be done to transform the Cathedral into a kick-butt emerging church or, even better, a contemporary monastery.
1. Dig up the parking lots, add soil and reticulation and plant stuff that is green and organic. Salad anyone? Yum! Sell the surplus at the famers market and to restaurants and generate some income. Sustainability, anyone??? Need a greenhouse for the seedlings? No problem. The whole church is a flippin’ greenhouse!
2. The interior is huge and just crying for an adventure playground. Add climbing walls, tarzan swings and flying foxes. Dress up as Quasimodo and invite your friends.
3. Pull the pipe organ apart and rearrange it into a whisky distillery. Hmmmmm. And that leftover wood will make a great bar.
4. Turn every second pew into a table. Much better to watch movies when you are eating pizza. Invite the neighbours.
5. Baptismal. Crystal Cathedral is where the famous Evel Knievel was baptised. You are probably thinking of adding extra heaters and making it into California’s largest jacuzzi. Unfortunately, this church is more of a sprinkling church (like the Lutherans) than a dunking church (like the Baptists) and I don’t think they even have a decent baptismal. Better knock off million from the price.
6. The foyer is huge. What about some temporary shelter for the homeless and potential earthquake shelter should it happen. Social enterprise center?
Anyway, what do you guys think. What would you do with the Crystal Cathedral?