As populations have grown and moved away from long established religions, churches have changed greatly. Sometimes a group of people will choose to leave a congregation, or the congregation will grow too large for their current church building. Other times, disasters such as fire, tornados or floods will damage a church building and it can no longer be used. None of these scenarios has stopped modern congregations from gathering for worship services. They have come up with many unique solutions over the years.
Building a church, even without embellishments, is expensive. For a congregation that has lost their building through disaster, rebuilding is often a slow process. Many modern contractors will not begin construction until all the necessary funds are available. Funds for new church buildings are generally gathered through donations. Church members may work for years to save up enough money to begin building their new church.
While a congregation is raising funds for their own church, worship services still go on. Church sharing is one of the ways congregations have found to continue services without their own building. They hold their services in another church, after that church's regular services are done. This arrangement can go on for years, and it often spurs church members to work even harder to raise building money for their new church. Service times are often inconvenient and special events and programs are no longer feasible.
Congregations without their own church have often rented retail spaces to hold their services. This allows them the opportunity to have their own space where worship services can be held as well as special events and programs. Often, these are spaces in small retail malls that would normally be empty. Some are in businesses that are not normally open on Sunday morning such as bowling alleys. Churches often get a good price for being temporary tenants.