The United States of America is almost 250 years old. So, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of older churches scattered across this country, many of them over a hundred years old and still in use. With any older church building the time will come when church leaders must ask: is it time to transform it?
Recognizing Church Building Deterioration
Over time, any building will deteriorate. The earth shifts buildings on their foundations, mortar and concrete decay, and wood slowly rots in damp climates. Deterioration is inevitable and a lack of proper Maintenance can accelerate the issues. Often church leaders realize that the list of repairs and upgrades for their church building is beginning to approach the cost of creating a new church design from scratch.
Reasons a New Church Design Might Be Better
We’ve seen all sorts of deterioration in church buildings over the decades The McKnight Group has been in business. Cracks in your walls or floors are one possible indication that you’ve got structural problems in your church building. Floors become uneven, causing a tripping hazard. Boilers and HVAC equipment age and don’t work efficiently or may quit altogether.
There are other reasons that your church building might no longer be meeting your needs. Older churches usually have lots of stairs and no elevators, making it difficult for people to get around the building or join the pastor on the platform to share in ministry. They have narrow doorways and dark, small foyers that don’t have guests thinking about hanging around after worship on Sunday. Sunday school wings also often have small, unexciting classrooms and no larger areas for children’s worship. All of these are reasons why your older church building might be hindering instead of supporting your church vision for ministry in your community.
Thinking Beyond the Walls of Your Older Church Building
There’s no question that raising the possibility of a brand-new church design can be challenging for some people. Many attendees in older churches have been worshipping there for generations, and it can be hard to let go of the past. Fortunately, you can bring the past with you. For example, we have incorporated old stained glass into the worship center of a new church building. We have made sure that memorial plaques and well-loved furnishings have their place in a new church design. You can also frequently build connecting corridors between new and old sections of your church property, so that portions of the building that are still structurally sound can be put to good use.
Every church building situation is unique. This is why we include a question-and-answer session with each of our free i3 webinars. Whether your church building is 20 years old or 200, we can help you get a fresh perspective on what’s possible, even if your church is deteriorating beyond repair. In our next post, we’ll discuss another reason why it might be time to transform a church building: it’s because you planned it from the start.