Q&A: Not Having a Clear Vision and Master Planning in a Church Building Project

One of the most beneficial aspects of participating in our i3 webinars is the ability to ask questions. We always try to cover the most relevant details of church building and church design in each webinar, but sometimes it takes a question or two from individual church leaders to address particular needs about what’s best for a specific church. 

Here are two questions we recently received.

Question #1: When there’s no clear vision, how does The McKnight Group move forward with a client and its church building project?

As we’ve elaborated in our recent blog posts on church vision, having a clear vision promotes unity and is key to a successful church building or remodeling project. Importantly, vision saves time and money, allowing for simpler decision-making in the church building and construction process.

If we encounter a client that does not have a strong vision, The McKnight Group’s team tries to act as a catalyst to help create one. We start by asking a series of questions to bring clarity to the project’s purpose and goals. These conversations also set priorities for the project, helping you determine what is most important and why.

Additionally, if you are struggling to determine a clear vision for your church design, building or remodeling project, we frequently send church leaders to our website to gain inspiration from our other clients and past projects. Over the years, we have collected a vast portfolio of church building, design and remodel projects—including new builds, renovations, additions, etc. Seeing these examples may help you see what is possible, dream about how the elements of these projects may translate to your church, and craft a vision for your church’s future.

Question #2: Can our church building project start small and build as we grow?

Absolutely! At The McKnight Group, we are strong advocates of master planning, a multi-phase church building process that breaks projects into realistic stages based on your goals and resources. A master plan serves as a roadmap. And because it is not set in stone, the master plan can flex and adjust as your church changes and grows.

The first phase of the master plan is often the most important. Its goals are based on what you can presently afford and the immediate needs of your church. Phase one serves as a momentum builder for future phases and allows church leaders to garnish excitement for and commitment to the “what could be” of future phases. It also helps you and your church see and believe what is possible.

It’s essential to remember that every master plan is different, and the master plan should be tailored to your church’s unique needs and capabilities. Whether you’re building a new facility, renting and renovating a facility, or anything in between, the master plan ensures each phase is appropriate for your church. It also can easily be adjusted as your goals and priorities evolve.

Whether you are creating a vision for your church’s building, design or remodel project or are ready to establish a master plan for future growth, asking questions and getting tailored advice is important to success. For 2021, we’ve thoughtfully designed our i3 webinar series to help you, as well as the church leaders you lead alongside, learn interactively as you prepare for the future. We invite you to participate in these topical conversations and continue to ask the questions that will help you lead your church through its next church building, church design, or church remodel project.

2021-01-12T20:57:50+00:00 January 12th, 2021|Advice, Church Building, Church Design|

The Latest Church Building Questions from Our Free i3 Webinars

One of the reasons that we host our free i3 webinars live is that it allows for interaction with our Internet audience. After each webinar, we make time for questions and answers about church building and design. In this post, we once again share our responses to questions from recent i3 webinars.

“Do you have somebody on your team who helps figure out sound and lighting design for church building?”

In responding to this question, we need to begin with some definitions. When it comes to lighting, there are two types of design. The first is what we call house lighting or floor lighting. These are the lights installed for everyday use in a church building. For your worship space, this will include the kinds of lights that are on in a theater when you first walk in and are trying to find your seat. For other areas of your church building, this includes standard lighting and some specialty lights, such as the types of fixtures you want in your café or restrooms. We assist you in determining the best lighting for your church building needs.

When it comes to stage lighting design, audio and video for your worship space or other rooms, we do not have a person on staff to handle them directly. Instead, we have several audio, video, and lighting firms that we partner with for these design elements. We recommend these teams because we have worked with them on prior church building projects and trust their expertise. If you have someone in your church community that you would like us to work with, we are also willing to partner with them.

“Do you often suggest tearing down a church building rather than rebuilding?”

No, we very seldom do that. As long as your church building is structurally sound, it’s much more cost effective to expand or remodel an existing facility. Think about it this way: You would have to pay someone to tear down the old church building, then pay someone to build the new building from scratch. So, if your existing church building is feeling cramped or outdated, the best first step is to have a conversation with us about how we might remodel your existing facility. Unless you are totally out of land and have no direction to go besides up—and the existing structure can’t support additional weight—we usually recommend remodeling your current church building.

“Does The McKnight Group handle all church building permit needs?”

Yes, we do, with the caveat that we like the church to be involved in the zoning process. We handle the building and site permits and such. With zoning permits, we find it’s important for church representatives to attend public zoning meetings. It gives church leaders a chance to share their vision and for community members to meet and talk with church attendees. It’s about being active in the community as a local church. You also get to hear the questions and concerns being raised and address them right up front.

As you can see, there are many aspects involved in thinking through every church building project. This is why we offer our free i3 webinars and encourage you to come and bring your questions. Sign up for our next i3 webinar today.


2019-05-07T18:59:31+00:00 May 7th, 2019|Advice, Church Building|

If You Build a New Church Building, They Will Come — But Will They Stay?

Remember that Kevin Costner baseball film, Field of Dreams and its famous line, “If you build it, they will come?” That line has become a catchphrase for many different types of construction projects.

When someone sees a new building going up in the neighborhood, it’s natural to be curious. We all want to find out what might be coming to our part of town. No matter what the building turns out to be, people are likely to visit at least once to find out what it’s all about.

The same is true whenever a new church building goes up in a neighborhood or an existing church property undergoes significant and obvious remodeling. People will be curious and come visit once the work is finished, but a building isn’t what grows a church.

A Building is the Starting Line

While it may be natural to view the completion of your church building construction project as the end of the job, it is not the time for church leaders to take a break and rest once the punch list is complete. It is actually the time when all church leaders need to be rested and ready to put forth the energy needed to welcome guests, spend time getting to know them, and work to integrate them into the church community.

Yes, a new or remodeled church building may alleviate a problem that previously frustrated regulars and guests alike. Perhaps the foyer was too small or the parking lot over-crowded. As with our opening illustration, once everyone comes to visit, they will see the improvements to the building, but they will stay because of what goes on inside of it.  

This means that you must make a good impression, not just with your beautiful new church building, but with the ministries you have to offer and the energy of the people who are making it happen. And it needs to begin day one.

Avoiding Distraction and Exhaustion Over Your Church Building

There’s another moral to this story. We get a lot of church leaders asking if they can save money by recruiting volunteers to work on everything from demolition at the beginning to painting and laying tile and carpeting at the end. While we’re open to it if the work is done with quality and within the agreed time frame, we see another concern. If you exhaust your volunteers with church building work, they won’t have energy left for the critical job of welcoming and integrating guests into your church building when it opens.

As we say so often, there are definite roles for professionals to play in any church building project. Volunteers have limited time and energy to devote to your church. Give them the jobs that outside professionals can’t do. Only leaders and regular attendees at your church can speak for your church and its vision. We can’t do that, so hire us to build your church and, when they come, give them a warm welcome and they will stay.

We shared this wise perspective in one of our recent free i3 webinars. For more helpful perspectives from church building professionals, sign up for our next i3 webinars.

2019-03-12T15:40:06+00:00 March 12th, 2019|Advice, Church Building|

Addressing Recent Church Building Questions from our I3 Webinars

Joining The McKnight Group for our free i3 webinars is a good idea for many reasons. For one, we cover a great range of information on church building and church design. Another reason is that our webinars give you a chance to ask us questions

In this post, we respond to some of those questions that have been put to our presenters during recent i3 webinars.

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

Actually, we seldom recommend tearing down a church building. We do know that, frequently, church leaders and even attendees can come to dislike their church building. Maybe they think it doesn’t present the right first impression now that there’s a new church vision in place. They might be frustrated with an aging boiler or a leaky roof. They might get caught up in church building envy, wanting something new and fresh, like that the ultra-modern church design two towns over.

However, the bottom line is that it almost always costs a lot more to create a new church design and build a new facility from scratch than it does to undertake even an extensive remodeling of an existing church building. If you’re going to be good stewards of your property, it’s usually a good idea to investigate how your current church building can be remodeled with an excellent church design to meet your current needs.

There are a very few exceptions to this rule. If your church building is no longer structurally sound, then it makes little sense to remodel it. This doesn’t just mean the leaky roof; this means the entire structure is too far gone to be salvaged. Another reason that it might make sense to tear down a large, old church building in disrepair is if the congregation has become so much smaller that they literally cannot afford to care for their property—even if it was repaired.

Question 2: Have you ever dug out a basement under an existing church building?

No, and we wouldn’t recommend it, either. It’s technically possible but creating a basement floor under an existing building is an engineering challenge and an expensive proposition.

If you want to expand your existing church building and have very limited land available, the best church design option is to build additional floors, rather than creating a basement. Even if your existing church design requires significant shoring up to support additional floors, it will still be cheaper and a lot less hazardous to build up rather than down.

Question 3: Does The McKnight Group have availability to begin a church building study in the fourth quarter of 2018, for projects that would begin in 2019?

If your preferred schedule has us visiting you by the end of the year that should not be an issue. The completion of a study will vary depending upon the complexity, size and the availability of the land and/or facility documents. A design study typically requires six to ten weeks to complete after all information is gathered. To find out what information we need from you, email us at or give us a call at 800-625-6448.

If you’re not quite ready to take that step, we encourage you to continue gathering information. You can learn a lot from our free i3 webinars, so register for our upcoming events at the bottom of our home page. Also stay tuned, because we will respond to more questions in our next post.

2018-09-25T15:56:49+00:00 September 25th, 2018|Advice, Church Building, Church Design|

Answers to Church Funding Questions

Financing your church building project can be a challenge on many levels. In addition to learning all the finance terminology, church leaders need to consider how the realities of the construction market will impact their church funding. In a recent, free i3 webinar, we talked about the realities of financing a church building project in today’s economy. At the end of our presentation, there were some excellent questions about the material we covered. We thought those questions and our responses would be worth sharing here.

What’s the current rate of inflation, and how does that affect church building costs?

We track reports that show annual construction inflation for 2017 was between 4.25% and 4.75% and very recent data reports indicate a 2.91% cost increase through just the first two quarters in 2018. The specifics depend on your location. Here in central Ohio, the construction market remains very active and this translates to increased labor costs especially where there are not enough skilled laborers to fill available job slots. In other areas of Ohio, and of the country where construction is not booming as much, labor costs are increasing at a lower rate.

Another issue that will impact construction inflation is rising costs for materials. Last year, we talked about how costs for basic construction materials, such as gypsum and lumber, were on the rise. Recent news about tariffs on steel has already led to an increase in prices. Red iron steel went up 7% in March alone, while metal stud and sheet metal prices have risen a few percentage points each month this year. All signs say inflation is likely to continue to rise, and to affect church funding, budgeting and building costs.

Is church funding through bond sales a good idea?

During the 1980s, when interest rates were in the double digits, many churches funded building projects using church bond programs. In essence, it was a way to self-fund a church building through the sale of bonds that have a lower rate of interest than lending institutions were willing to give. Today we have the opposite problem, because lending interest rates are relatively low, so selling bonds would require offering them at higher rates of interest.

Another challenge is that a church selling bonds can confuse people. Because the typical church funding package includes donations, pledges and institutional loans, church members can be confused about why church leaders are also trying to sell them bonds. For these reasons, we discourage the idea of bond programs under current circumstances.

What tips do you have for successful fundraising campaigns?

We believe the primary key to a successful church funding campaign is always good leadership. There are two levels to this. We’ve recently shared our thoughts about the value of engaging a professional consultant for your fundraising campaign. However, that consultant isn’t being paid to do all the work. Instead, he or she will empower and train volunteers in the church community to undertake the fundraising campaign.

Within the church community itself, you also need good leadership to fulfill that campaign as it’s being directed by the consultant. A good “internal” fundraising leader is someone in your church who is organized, gets along well with people, and understands what’s happening with your church building project. With an enthusiastic leader, your church funding campaign is much more likely to find success.

Do you have more church funding questions? Reach out with your queries at We also encourage you to sign up for our free i3 webinars, where we might answer more of your church building questions.

2018-07-10T16:01:52+00:00 July 10th, 2018|Advice, Church Building, Financing|

A Cautionary Tale About Keeping Your Church Building Finances Flexible

We don’t often quote scripture on this blog but that doesn’t mean we don’t think about it. Since our mission is to support church leaders with their church building and renovation projects, there are some scriptures that speak directly to our ministry.

One of those is Luke 14:28, where Jesus says, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

It’s hard to image better guidance for church leaders as they prayerfully consider what kind of church remodeling or new building project they can truly afford.

Be Realistic About Church Building Costs

Philip Tipton, vice president of architecture, says this about church finances today. “My heart breaks when we receive these phone calls occasionally: A pastor, a leader that’s hoping to build a church building for $50 per square foot or $70 per square foot, and we really have to break the bad news that that’s not reality anymore. It’s not even possible.”

As we discussed in a recent post, the realistic range for a new church building project here in the Midwest is $200-$250 per square foot. Other sections of the country might have different costs—some lower and some higher.

Understand That ‘Smaller’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Less Expensive’

Choosing to start with a small part of a larger church remodeling project isn’t always the best solution if money is tight either. That’s because there are economies of scale that come with larger projects.

If you have to cut a door into a wall to get from room to room, the cost of cutting the hole, re-supporting the wall, and installing the new door, frame and hardware is a fixed cost regardless if you are making it a room for a one-person office or a classroom to seat forty-nine.

Therefore, a piecemeal approach to your church renovation or building project means the cumulative cost over time may more than offset the cost to finance all the work, all at once. However, taking out a loan for church building today is a serious topic, and borrowing money should not be automatically accepted or dismissed without carefully considering what is best for your church.

Be Flexible About How You Finance Your Church Remodeling and Building

Estimating cost is only part of the equation. Church leaders also need to be flexible in setting goals for their church financing. Here’s another of Philip Tipton’s cautionary tales that illustrates the point so very well.

Several years back, there was a very large church that, frankly, could afford to do a lot.

This church’s leaders had made a promise to their congregation early in the planning process, saying that they would not start any projects until they had commitments for one-half of the needed funds; the other half would be financed through a loan. In other words, they wanted 50 percent committed in their church financing pledge campaign.

A problem arose, however, when they had a very successful campaign, yet only raised pledges for 47 percent of the cost of the church building project. At that point, they could not get to 50 percent.

We encouraged those church leaders to consider financing the last three percent and get started on the project, but they felt they couldn’t. They believed they had to honor the commitment they made to the congregation to the letter and couldn’t be flexible on that point.

Unfortunately, this all took place before the 2008 recession when inflation was high. It took them six months to raise that other three percent and, during that time, inflation also went up three percent.

Even though they raised the needed percentage, they found they were still three percent short due to rising construction costs. As a result, at the end of three years, when their campaign had run its course, the church voted to move forward with the cash they had in hand. The three-year delay cost them $500,000.00 in construction cost and denied them the ministry space they needed for another three years.

The moral of this story is that financial flexibility is important. Setting an arbitrary goal can cost you in the end. Covering the initial three percent through a loan would have meant a very small monthly mortgage increase for that large, healthy church.

Expand Your Knowledge

If you would like to hear more of the wisdom—and cautionary tales—that our team has to share, visit our website today and sign up for our i3 webinars. Unlike building costs, we’re pleased to inform you our webinars will never go up in price—because they are always free.


2017-08-15T15:18:44+00:00 August 15th, 2017|Advice, Church Building, Financing|

Looking at Church Financing Issues from a Big-Picture Perspective

No two church building situations are the same, which sometimes makes it complicated when answering people’s questions about church financing and budgeting. In this post, we address some specific church building and renovation questions that have come our way, recognizing that it’s not always possible to pull back and generalize.

Estimating Basic Church Building Costs

Many times, when church leaders begin investigating the idea of a new building or renovation project, they contact us with questions. At this point, before they can consider church financing or capital campaigns, we hear the most basic query: “How much does it cost to build a new church building?”

As you can imagine, there is a lot to consider when answering that question. The best estimates are based on square footage, so churches need to have a vision—a basic idea of what they want to do—and figure out how many square feet they would need to accomplish those goals. This doesn’t mean they need to have architectural drawings already, but they do need to think through what spaces they need.

Calculating Square Footage Costs for Church Financing

Once they have a basic idea of their church building square footage, we can have a conversation about financing. However, we can’t guarantee a final cost without more detailed information. In a recent post, we discussed the elements of budgeting that information: site work, the church building itself, various drawings and fees, and the furnishings and equipment you will need to finish the interior spaces.

However, there is a very general rule of thumb: The square footage cost of those four components typically runs from $200 to $250 per square foot here in the Midwest (church leaders need to remember that construction costs differ depending on what part of the country they’re in). That’s for new church building construction, and it doesn’t include the cost of the land.

The price will likely increase if the church building is going to be closer to a large city or built in a union area. In the southern, more rural parts of the Midwest, or in the South, those cost-per-square-foot numbers can go down a bit. We still think it’s best for church leaders to estimate $200-$250 per square foot when attempting to arrive at a big-picture approximation of their church financing needs.

Options for Very Small Churches

We also hear from very small churches that want to understand their church building options. Some church leaders find themselves in difficult situations where they have very few giving units and building resale values are very low. They really can’t sell their building for what they think it’s worth, but they can’t afford to maintain it either. The building may not even be worth enough to be used as loan collateral.

In situations like this, while it might make sense to obtain financing for specific maintenance projects, such as a new HVAC system, it really isn’t a good idea or even possible to get church financing for general maintenance costs.

Sometimes when a church building is not sustainable, the only option is to consider all options. Some less tenable like selling their church building or more sensible like merging with another church that’s in a similar situation. Ultimately, it comes down to wise stewardship of what God has given.

Learn More

Wise stewardship is also about making good use of all the information you can get, in order to make the wisest decisions. That’s why we offer our free i3 webinar series: to inform church leaders about the best church financing, building, and renovation options available.

Sign up today for our webinars to make sure you have the information you need—simply visit our website.

2017-07-11T15:54:38+00:00 July 11th, 2017|Advice, Church Building, Financing|

Answers to Church Building Questions Continued: Worship Seating

Once again, Jennifer Snider, our interior designer, answers your church remodeling and new building questions.

One question that always arises at some point in the church building process is the following: What type of seating should we use in the worship area?

There are several options available, and in this post Jennifer gives you her opinions about the three main types.

Pews: A Time-Honored Look for Worship Spaces

While we think of pews as the “traditional” choice for churches, in fact, the earliest churches had no seating options at all; worshippers stood instead.

Parma Baptist SeatingToday, of course, every church building comes with seating of some sort, and pews are the most traditional. This means that if you’re looking for a traditional feel in your worship space, pews might be the answer, as you can see in this illustration from Parma Baptist Church.

Pews might also be the right choice if your church remodeling project involves working with a sloped floor, as was the case with Parma. Lots of older worship spaces have a sloped floor, especially if pews were initially installed in a bigger worship area.

You might find that simply reupholstering existing pews gives you a nice, clean look—but don’t expect it to be less expensive than removing the pews and installing chairs. Reupholstering involves not just new fabric, but also new padding, and of course labor.

Theater Seating: A Variety of Styles for Your Church Building

Grove City CON SeatingAnother option, if your church remodeling project involves a sloped floor, is theater seating, as you can see here at Grove City Church of the Nazarene.

Because theater seats aren’t movable, they also can be installed on a sloped floor. Advantages to theater seating include a variety of styles and accessories to choose from.

Notice, too, how Grove City also places chairs in front of its theater seating. Such an arrangement allows the church to remove those chairs and have a larger, more flexible area up front to allow flexibility for your ministry.

Chairs: The Ultimate in Flexibility

Brooke Hills SeatingAt Brooke Hills Free Methodist Church, metal worship chairs were installed in the multi-ministry space, as you can see here. This allows Brooke Hills to easily rearrange the space to accommodate different types of activities, such as banquets, breakout sessions, or to remove the chairs completely.

We understand that the goals of many church remodeling projects include increased flexibility and a more modern feel to the worship space. In those cases, chairs are usually the first choice for church leaders.

We do want to note a couple of things in this photo. First, you will see that at the end of some of the rows there are a few chairs with arms. These chairs are helpful for people who need the leverage provided by arms in order to stand and sit.

You may have also noticed that these chairs have fully upholstered backs. Most chair catalogs focus on the front of the chair, but when you walk into a worship space, as this picture shows, it’s the back of the chairs that you’re going to see first. Spending a little extra on upholstered backs gives a nice, clean look to the worship center.

Archbold SeatingAnother more elegant seating option is wood framed chairs, shown here at Archbold Evangelical. While more expensive than metal chairs, they look much nicer, still stack for flexibility and can be a bridge between pews and metal framed chairs. Wood framed chairs work best in places like chapels and sanctuaries where the look of metal chairs just isn’t that appealing.

Watch for More Church Remodeling and Seating Posts

There is a lot to talk about when it comes to seating options for your church remodeling or new building project, so look for more information in future posts. Meanwhile, we suggest that you sign up for our free i3 webinar series to learn more handy tips about church building and renovation projects. Simply visit our website to get involved.

2017-06-20T14:05:27+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|Advice, Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design, Interior Design|

Answering Your Church Building Questions, Part Three

With this post, we continue our series on church building and renovation frequently asked questions. The McKnight Group’s interior designer, Jennifer Snider recently responded to some questions church leaders ask about church construction and renovation in a free i3 webinar. We’re bringing some of her answers to our blog. In the first two parts of the series, we covered questions about getting started with your church building or renovation project and how to prioritize the work. This post will focus on the question of style and give some examples of different approaches.

How to Determine Your Church Building Style

Many church leaders feel stumped when it comes to picking a style for their interior design. The most common church building styles are traditional, transitional, contemporary or modern. Whichever direction is chosen, its tone is set with the very first space your guests encounter, usually your foyer or lobby—and that’s why it’s so important to determine the style of your church building at the outset of your renovation or new construction project.

It can also be difficult for church leaders to separate personal feelings about style from the statement their church needs to make. It’s important that your church building style is rooted in your church’s vision and its ministry in your community. Your style must speak to that vision or you will fail to draw in the types of people you seek to serve.

Sample Foyer Styles

Eaton COB StyleIt is often easiest to explain what we mean with photos. This first image, from Eaton Church of the Brethren, shows how you can add some traditional flair to a modern space. We show this partly to illustrate that “traditional” doesn’t have to mean “old-fashioned.” The carpet pattern here conveys a sense of tradition without being dark and stuffy.

Gateway CON StyleContrast that image with this more modern look at Gateway Church of the Nazarene. The pattern of the carpeting creates a very different feel in the space, along with the sleek leather seating. The dark ceiling and deep paint colors also contribute to a modern style that clearly speaks to a modernistic church vision, while the light from lamps and candles maintain a welcoming warmth in this seating area.

Bethany WC StyleNext are the foyer and café area at Bethany Wesleyan. Here the modern element is clearly present in the industrial look of the ceiling. Notice how the white color and style of the ceiling create a very different feel from the Gateway experience. The multi-level ceiling draws the eyes upward, while the pattern in the carpet appears to mimic the layers and industrial style of the ceiling.

Grace Gathering StyleFinally, we have Grace Gathering. Here you can see a blend of modern style elements. There is the carpet pattern, and also the very high metal wall panels. While you might think those metal panels would cause echoing and make the space loud, those panels are actually an acoustic product, created to give an industrial look without the noise. This illustrates how you can use elements of a certain style without creating a space that’s uncomfortable for guests. The fireplace, with its natural stone finish, is another way to add a cozy feel to an industrial style.

Learn More with Our Free I3 Webinars

We hope our responses to common church building questions are helpful. We’ll answer some more of these queries in future installments in this series coming soon. Meanwhile, you can continue to learn about church building and renovation with our free i3 webinars, so sign up today.

2017-05-02T11:36:40+00:00 May 2nd, 2017|Advice, Church Building, Church Design, Interior Design|

Answering Your Church Building Questions, Part One

Infinite question marks on a plane, original three dimensional iWe 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!

2017-04-18T11:30:19+00:00 April 18th, 2017|Advice, Church Building, Church Design|