Frank Gehry, M.I.T. Stata Center and church life
The February 2008 issue of Fast Company contains a fascinating piece on a mess on a most unlikely space. M.I.T. the brain trust of the East Coast (whole USA to M.I.T) commissioned world famous architect Frank Gehry to design a flagship building for its campus. Gehry's whimsical style is well known in the Sydney Opera House, the Disney Music Hall downtown LA, the Weissman Art Building at the University of Minnesota, and countless other buildings the defy right angles, the lean and swirl and tease the eyes.
The problem here? It leaks!! It seems that M.I.T. paid the big bucks for high design, but did not follow through with the same attention to detail with mundane tasks like carpentry, brick-laying, plasterers, and window glazers. Somewhere the big vision was shaved (either for time pressures or cost cutting) to get the building up, and now it's a huge court mess.
What's this have to do with church? Everything! The greatest sermons are just so much words if a visitor is not greeted warmly. The best student ministry plans leak badly a counselor forgets a student's name. Small details by ministry craftspeople make churches soar or sink. That means us pastor-types need to really take care of and appreciate those who do the heavy-lifting.