The Character of Church Building


Good Shepherd church building was constructed in a traditional Southern Chinese style. It was built this way because, according to the architect, Su Hsi Tsung, the traditional Chinese courtyard is the area for ancestor worship, with each family having such a courtyard to form the space for generation upon generation of ancestors and their offspring. It becomes the place for communication between the generations and between heaven and earth. It is a space enclosed by the buildings on its four sides with no roof overhead. It is truly the result of Chinese religious thought. It is in the courtyard that one can experience eternity and bounty.


In bringing the gospel to this nation which has such a strong family oriented spirit, and in order for the gospel to flourish, it is appropriate for there to be linkage with the concepts involved in "family." The Chinese house construction allows for the church to possess a concrete manifestation in this space for human interaction which also has utility. It is the space in traditional Chinese society for communal worship, everyday life, witness and service in Chinese society.


The main hall forms the primary place of worship. The buildings abutting the main hall on its two sides are places for education and service. The valuable aspect of Chinese architecture is the rational organization of internal and external spaces in order to allow for the interaction of life and worship, religion and society. On a clear day, worshipers, kindergarten children and their parents can see the clear sky and work, talk and play together. It is a place where worship and everyday life are at one, where the spirit and humanity are in concert and where the salvation of humankind can begin.