This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
An article from 1982 comparing the church as a field vs. church as a force:
The goals of the church-as-a-field are defined in terms of numbers in attendance, of budget, and of facility. Those things tend to make up our concept of success.
Of course, the goals are flexible. If we are not reaching great numbers, then we change our success semantics from quantity to quality. We're after a few good men. And, we've handled the success problem.
Budget? Obviously, it takes money to run a church. But when this becomes our goal, we have seriously confused means and ends. When we operate the church in order to get money enough to operate the church, we shouldn't be too surprised that people write off the church as something which is opposed to Christ.
Facility is vitally important to the concept of the church-as-a-field because the only way to increase the field is by enlarging the facility. If you are going to do a great work for God and it's all within the building, then you must have an enormous building.