If there’s anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that the future is in God’s hands. One might think they know how things will go based on prior years, but 2020 proved that wrong. When it comes to making future church building plans, it’s difficult to tell exactly how the next few months will unfold, much less years. It’s why we believe that one key facet of any future church building plan must be flexibility.
The Role of Prayerful Planning in Successful Ministry
Churches are experiencing widely differing impacts from the pandemic. Some are losing significant numbers of members, some have felt no impact at all, and others are still waiting for approval to reopen their church building so they can get a better sense of what will happen.
Does this mean you should put off any discussions about ministries in your church building? Not at all. While comparing 2020’s numbers to 2019’s might not make sense, church leaders do need to keep praying and having a dialogue about what’s happening. It’s important to keep looking at your community to understand its evolving needs.
Another consideration is expense. Planning may be the least expensive part of your facilities, but it has the biggest impact on what things will cost in the future. Delaying decisions today may mean the cost of those plans are out of reach tomorrow, so even in times of great uncertainty, it’s smart to keep looking ahead. When you keep your church ministry moving forward as best you can, with prayer and in faith, God will open doors—sometimes literally!
Imagining a Flexible Future
There are other benefits to engaging in an open and creative thinking process. Economic changes have resulted in some interesting new ministries in response to community needs. Some churches are reaching out to learn more about remodeling their church building to meet those needs. Other churches are realizing that moving into multi-site ministry could be God’s invitation.
Church Building Opportunities Abound, Even in Hard Times
Here are some other opportunities we’ve seen because of the pandemic. Just like businesses, not all churches are going to survive. If you’re looking for a different or multisite church building facility, this could be a good time to go shopping. Churches that are struggling and dwindling in size might have trouble managing their church facilities. They might be open to conversations about merging. In other cases, when church leaders decide they just can’t make it, their church building could come up for sale.
There are more types of buildings than other churches becoming available. As we’ve noted in the past, remodeling some types of existing business buildings can be a wise choice. Commercial retail or office buildings, or schools and theaters, can often be remodeled to meet your ministry needs for less than building a new church building. Depending on your needs, even an existing gym, warehouse or car dealership could provide the structure you need to invest in your next phase of ministry.
Opportunities do exist, even in challenging times, and God may throw open an unexpected door. To learn more about what we see happening for church leaders right now, sign up for our next free i3 church building webinars.