Once church leadership has decided on its vision for ministry, the work can begin on creating a church building that works. Master planning is where vision typically leads when it comes to facilities, whether it’s remodeling what exists or building new ones.

Not only is a master plan an excellent way to document where the church’s vision takes the physical plant over time, it is also a way to easily give everyone an idea of what’s possible, and what you hope to accomplish. Well-made master plans can take years to develop. To fully understand how they can impact a church community over time, this post will highlight a case study of a church we began working with about 35 years ago.

A Master Plan Case Study

Way back in 1985, we worked with church leaders to develop this master plan for their church building complex. They were working with 27 acres of property and had a worshipping community of about 400 people.

Notice in the first image how they were dreaming big with their vision for ministry. You can see the church building complex at the bottom of the image, with an expanded worship center to seat 1200, a multi-ministry center, and two education wings. In addition, they had a vision for a Christian school on the property, and an assisted living facility. Both of those projects were slated for the future, but it was important to show the entire master plan at the beginning, so church attendees would have a sense of the broader vision for ministry in the community.

How a Church Building Master Plan Can Change Over Time

Fast forward 27 years. As its vision evolved, the church created a second master plan. Here, you can see that many things have changed. They’ve purchased more land, the footprint of the school has expanded, and they’ve added a number of athletic fields on the newer property. In fact, the church grew so much faster than they expected that they developed a future vision that included a worship center seating 3200 people.

At this point, the assisted living facility was still part of the plan, but it hadn’t yet been built. Instead, the church’s focus was on expansion of their successful Christian school. Later, a developer approached the church about the “practice fields” at the far lower right corner, under the label “Phase VI Preschool.” The developer purchased this land to build its own assisted living facility. So, the church’s vision for ministry to the elderly was still fulfilled, just not in the way it was originally imagined.

Building Excitement about Your Vision

One of the key reasons to develop a church building master plan that illustrates your vision for ministry is to generate excitement in your church. When attendees see what’s possible, they get fired up and on board with what God can do through them. A Christian school that didn’t exist in 1985 now educates 650 children in 12 grades. A vision for ministering to the elderly is now thriving because the church leaders were willing to think creatively about partnering with other organizations in the community.

That original master plan is now 35 years old, but it’s still inspiring because it’s part of this church’s visionary history. To learn more about ways to make your vision a reality, sign up today for our upcoming church building i3 webinars.