Our recent posts have focused on church vision, including how to create and apply one. We also wrote about the importance of communicating that vision and getting church members on board. In this post, we share one example of a church and its leaders that have kept membership engaged by using a long-term master plan.
A Flexible Master Plan for Church Building
These church leaders had a vision to both serve the community and welcome the unchurched. Initially, they purchased about 27 acres of land. It was more than was initially needed, but the property gave them options and room to grow.
They recognized that everything they wanted to accomplish with their vision couldn’t all be done at once. However, the leaders also wanted church members to see the future as they did. The solution was to create a master plan showing all their plans, now and in the future, and then phase in the development of the church property.
The Initial Plan: This image shows the initial plan from 1985. On it is the multi-ministry center that was built first, but the plan also included a future 1200 seat worship center, school and assisted living facility. Members could easily look at it and see the future.
Even so, things do change with time, and because the church leaders stayed flexible, they were able to adjust their plan. Other ministries and buildings that weren’t a part of the initial plan became important, and the church was also able to acquire more property.
The Plan Today: The church now has 55 acres and a new master plan (shown here). You can see where things first got built and the changes that were made, demonstrating the flexibility of the plan, but even so, much of the original plan has materialized.
This new plan shows where future growth will occur. Athletic fields, a field house, and more community features like a walking path and shelter house are additions that weren’t included in the initial plan.
Additions to the existing school are also planned. The hope is to have 1,000 students in grades K-12 in the future. Very impressive considering that, twenty-six years ago, the school started with 17 kids.
Communication Equals Engagement
While not every church will have the same vision, or the ability to expand in the way this example shows, master planning is a good way to keep everyone in your church engaged and excited about the future. The big takeaway should be communication. Share your vision to keep your members engaged and focused on it, and to stir excitement about where the church is going.
Sign up now for our first i3 webinar of 2023 on January 19: Current Trends in Church Design. Follow this link for more information about the 2023 webinar series, and to find out how to register. This is a great opportunity to gain ideas and inspiration for your ministry.