There’s a lot to consider when planning a new church building. As church leaders juggle all the elements that go into a church design, one important one should rise to the top: security. Here’s an overview of the safety and security elements that are worth paying attention to during your church design development process.

Start with the Exterior of Your Church Building

While many church leaders are primarily focused on the interior spaces of a church design, we want to start with the exterior. There are a lot of safety and security factors to think about before you even walk through the doors of your church building. Will your parking lots be safe? Are they well-lighted at night?

Beyond the parking lot, what are the plans for exterior sidewalks, landscaping, and any outdoor signage or artwork? Will you need to run electricity and set up automatic lighting to help guests and attendees feel safe when they leave your church building after dark?

Address Access Control Zones in Your Church Design

You may think that the only places to worry about when it comes to accessing your church building are the exterior entrances, but we suggest that you think about other areas as well. For instance, which parts aren’t regularly used during the week? You can create different access control zones for your church offices, which will see a lot of foot traffic during the workday and place the worship center in a zone that’s prioritized for different times.

If you include a daycare or school in your church design, you need to think carefully about how people will enter and move around in the children’s area. Where will this area be located? Which doors should lock on demand, and which areas should automatically lock at all times? Where are the emergency exits? Where should security members be placed to be most effective? How can you make it clear that security is a priority, while still making children’s areas feel warm and welcoming?

Consider Individual Room Placement in Your Church Design

Also, church security design can embrace many other areas beyond children’s spaces. Offices can sometimes benefit from being centralized to promote collaboration and security. If you have a church medical area, we usually suggest placing that near the security desk for easy communication.

There’s more to consider than just functionality when creating your church design. We are always glad to answer your questions about how best to incorporate safety and security into your church building. To learn more about best practices for any church design, sign up for our forthcoming free i3 webinars here.