One great benefit to church leaders from our free i3 webinars is the chance to ask questions. We’re always glad to answer these questions using our extensive church design and construction experience, and after more than half a century of church building experience, there’s much available to draw upon. Here are our responses to three questions that were raised in our recent webinar on Transforming the Church Building You Have.

Question 1: How often do you suggest tearing down a church building rather than remodeling?

The short answer is, not very often. You see, 85–90 percent of the time, we can find a good use for an existing church building. Unless the building has truly deteriorated to the extent that it’s become hazardous to use, it’s always more expensive to start from scratch with a new church design than it is to remodel or expand on an existing facility.

When we’re asked to help make such a determination about whether to save an older church building, we always begin with a feasibility study. We want to understand your church vision for ministry in your community, and to get a sense of where you feel your current church design is impeding that vision instead of supporting it.

We will also look at current building codes for your area and help you determine the actual cost of updating an existing facility. If the structure of the building is solid, it’s usually better stewardship of time and resources to remodel what’s inside rather than start from scratch, especially as inflation has made new building construction increasingly expensive.

Question 2: How far do you travel to help churches with church design questions?

McKnight Group leaders typically travel within the United States to consult with churches about their church design and construction needs. Our offices are in the Columbus, Ohio area, and we’re happy to drive a few hours at no cost to see your existing facility and have a conversation.

If you are outside Ohio, and especially outside of the Midwest, we’re still happy to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation. In that case, we just ask that you pay for our travel expenses (airfare and/or car rental, hotel stay, etc.).

Question 3: Does the McKnight Group handle all permit needs?

We can work with your team on the various types of permits. For example, typically an architectural firm should be responsible for securing permits during the planning process. As part of preparing for construction, we’re happy to help with building permits and other special permits that may arise, depending on your municipality’s requirements.

Do you have questions about the church design or construction process? We encourage you to sign up for our upcoming free i3 webinars—not just to learn the latest in church construction, but also to get your own questions answered by our church building experts.