If you’ve got a growing, thriving set of ministries in your church, chances are you seldom have the perfect space for everything you want to do. Whether it’s bringing youth into your church building or keeping families engaged, you’ve got to make the most of your church design. As we continue our series on church design transformations, we look at how The McKnight Group helped two churches improve the flexibility of their church buildings.

Reason to Transition: Catching the Attention of Future Generations

We’re focusing on two churches in this post, the first one is Grove City Church of the Nazarene in Grove City, OH. They were ready to take the next steps to engage children and youth, but they needed upgraded, flexible space in order to reach both groups. We came up with an innovative church design that uses one large space to literally focus in three different directions.

Grove City CON - Children's Platform

Grove City CON – Children’s Platform

The central focus is a gym, with a basketball court, and lots of room. At first glance, you might think that’s all there is. But a second look will reveal curtains on either side of the gym, hiding two very different platforms (pictured). On one side is the platform for children’s church on Sunday. They’ve built different sets over the years; here you see Care Away Town, but they’ve also had Kingdom Kids and others. The advantage of a dedicated platform for children’s worship is that you can leave the elaborate set in place during the week.

Grove City CON - Youth Platform

Grove City CON – Youth Platform

The curtain on the other side of the gym hides the youth platform, which is in use at other times. Here you’ve got a band and sound setup—and again, you don’t have to tear it down every week. All you have to do to “move” from one stage to the other is turn the chairs around and hook up a different set of sound controls.

We also built an adjacent arcade, which provides an attractive, welcoming space for youth to hang out. Grove City Church is right across the street from a school, and providing interactive games is key to bringing kids into the church building after the school’s basketball or football games are over.

Reason to Transition: Updating a Century-old Church Building

Fairborn United Methodist - Before

Fairborn United Methodist – Before

Our second featured church is Fairborn United Methodist Church in Fairborn, OH. As you can see here, they were working with an almost perfect definition of “inflexible” with this sanctuary. They wanted to do modern worship in here, but the platform is clearly not flexible—it’s difficult to move anything around, and there’d be no easy way to do drama or video projection.

Fairborn United Methodist - After

Fairborn United Methodist – After

So we came in and remodeled the church design to include a wide-open, flexible platform. There are screens up at the top that can drop down for video projection, and we took out the first few rows of pews on the left-hand side and replaced them with chairs. This allows not just for handicap seating, but also to set up different events on the floor of the worship space or on the platform.

Are You Ready for a Transformed Church Design?

As you can see from the various examples in our church design transformation series, there is a lot you can do with an existing church building—but it’s important to make sure your church is ready to take such a big step. We’ll address what you need to consider in our next blog post.

Meanwhile, if this series has got you thinking about your own church’s needs, we have much more information to share. To learn more about preparing for a successful church design transformation, visit our website today. There, you can also sign up for our informative i3 webinar series—which is absolutely free.