Question markWith over 40 years in the church building business, we’ve learned that church leaders have a lot of questions. This is why we devoted one of our recent free i3 webinars to that very issue, sharing the frequently asked questions we get about church building and renovation projects.

This is the second installment in a series that will flesh out the answers we gave to some of those questions.

In our first post, we introduced Jennifer Snider, The McKnight Group’s interior designer, who has worked with us for more than a dozen years on 75 church building and affiliated projects. In that post, Jennifer tackled questions about getting your church design started. In this post, we’ll cover Jennifer’s recommendations on the question of how to prioritize what’s most important in your church building or remodeling plan.

Making a Good First Impression

When it comes to prioritizing, we believe you should begin by concentrating on making a good first impression. Certain areas and the way they look show guests and members what matters in your church, and believe it or not speak volumes… without ever saying a word.

Here are areas we believe are most important when it comes to making a good first impression:

  • Lobby and Foyer

Obviously, the first places that people see are going to heavily influence their first impressions. Which is why we believe your lobby and foyer are key. Your lobby needs to be easy to navigate, feel welcoming, and reflect your vision.

People need to get a sense of who you are as a church community and what matters to you. Guests who walk in need to easily get a sense of what your ministry is about.

  • Restrooms

Think about the restrooms you visit at a restaurant. If they’re not clean and well stocked, you might find yourself worrying about what the kitchen looks like. If the décor in the restroom doesn’t match the theme in the rest of the establishment, you might wonder about the vision for the place.

The same is true of the restrooms in your church building, especially those right off the foyer. If they are not clean, well-cared for, and reflect the interior design of your foyer and worship space, guests might wonder if you really care about the people who come to your church.

  • Children’s Area

If you have a brightly lit, clearly themed, colorful and welcoming children’s center, you are telling guests and members that you care about the next generation. You are telling them that your church vision includes children, not just the adults in your worship center.

  • Worship Center

And speaking of the worship center, naturally, this beating heart of your church building should clearly show the vision your church has for ministry to guests, members, and the surrounding community. Your worship center needs to function well, have the technology necessary for worship, and make everyone feel comfortable and at home.

Church Building Renovation Versus New Construction

How you tackle your priorities will vary depending on whether you’re renovating an existing church building or starting new construction. With new construction, you will be working with an architectural firm that will have a design team to assist you in the process. With church remodeling or renovation, it’s important to involve a professional firm that understands how church buildings work and what’s necessary to implement your vision.

That’s why The McKnight Group offers consultations on interior design for church remodeling projects. We can give you guidance that will help you understand the people you’re called to minister and what they are drawn to. This is essential for defining your church’s style—which will be the focus of the questions we answer in our next blog post.

Find More Answers

Meanwhile, we suggest you sign up for our i3 webinar series so you don’t miss the insights we’ve learned from our 40 years of church building experience. Simply visit our website and sign up. They’re free, so you have nothing to lose (and all sorts of knowledge and inspiration to gain).