We here at The McKnight Group are called upon to answer a lot of different types of questions when church leaders decide to embark upon a new building or church remodeling project. Recently, Jennifer Snider answered many of the common questions we get in a free i3 webinar. Over our next several posts, we will share some of her responses
Jennifer is The McKnight Group’s interior designer. With a degree in interior design and more than 20 years of facilities planning and interior design experience, Jennifer has been working with us since 2004. This means she has provided interior design services for more than 75 church building and related facilities projects—and she has certainly responded to a lot of questions over those years.
Begin at the Beginning
In this post, we’ll focus on one question we hear frequently from church leaders, “Where should we start?”
We certainly understand why we hear this asked so often. When you’re starting to consider a church remodeling project or constructing a new church building, it can feel quite overwhelming. So, let’s talk about the three important elements that will get you to the starting line.
1. Defining a Vision and Assembling a Team
You’re not going to get very far if you don’t know where you’re going. If your church doesn’t have an agreed-upon vision for the future, you don’t know the ways in which your church building can help get you there—or hinder you from accomplishing those goals. So, step one is to define what that vision is.
You also need to assemble a team that has embraced the vision and has the energy and drive to get you there. They need to have the internal discipline to ask, “Does this help us reach our vision or not?” Because if the answer is no, it shouldn’t be part of your church building project—even if the members of your team think it might be a great idea.
2. Creating a Master Plan
The second starting element is to create a master plan. That’s because it’s important to think broadly at the start. This is your church’s chance to dream big, put everything on the table, and imagine an ideal church building.
You should involve more people at this point because you want to hear the ideas of all your church leaders. You need to know what each part of your church leadership believes is critical in order to achieve your church’s vision for the future.
3. Prioritizing and Budgeting
Once you have all the dreams out on the table and a master plan in place, you can then start to prioritize.
If you’re fortunate, you might be able to afford to do everything at once, but most churches find they need to choose the most critical elements for now and save other parts for later stages in the master plan.
Often this is due to budgetary concerns, but other times it may be because one element of a church building or remodeling project is clearly a necessary first step before the other pieces of the plan can fall into place.
More Questions … and Answers
Hopefully, now you have a good idea where to start. We will be answering more of your church building and church remodeling questions in future posts, so come on back. Our next topic: Which areas are most important to focus on first?
We also answer many questions via our various i3 webinars. To sign up for our webinars, simply visit our home page. They’re absolutely free!