Grace Gathering Church, New Haven, IN

Does your church have a Vision Statement? If you’re thinking about doing any sort of interior church design, your church’s Vision Statement needs to be front and center throughout your thinking and planning process. This is true whether you are designing a brand new building or renovating your existing facility.

Why? As we say in one of our free i3 webinars, “churches only get one chance to make a lasting first impression.” For example, if your vision of the future of your church is filled with young urban professionals, but they walk in the door to find wood paneled walls, they may just walk out the door again.

Abram started with a Vision from the Lord (Genesis 15:1)

A Vision Statement is a great guide to help you make church building decisions that are in line with that vision. It is a statement that establishes an image of the future that your church desires to create. This self-image should include information on your community, your values, your objectives and your goals—in summary form, of course! The entire Vision Statement should be no more than a couple of paragraphs long, and needs to be inspirational, so that others catch the vision and get excited about it, too.

God’s vision to Abram transformed his life, and vision statements should be transforming for your church. While we don’t expect that most vision statements will change a church’s name or location, we certainly expect that a good vision statement will bring about important changes to a church’s design and function.

“…the design of the temple” (Ezekiel 43:11)

Ezekiel was another prophet who received visions from God. Ezekiel is asked to write down the temple’s “arrangement, its exits and entrances—its whole design.” When you have your Vision Statement clarified, then the vision of your particular church design will be revealed.

Like Ezekiel’s temple vision, you need to think about your interior church design as a whole. In Stan Toler and Alan Nelson’s book, The Five Star Church, they suggest that you take on a new perspective—a new vision, as it were. If a “secret church shopper” came to visit your church, what would your building say to them about who you are as a community, and what you do? Here are a few of the questions to ask as you consider the viewpoint of this secret church shopper:

  • What do they see and feel when they walk in the door of your church? What is that critical first impression?
  • Who are you trying to reach? How does your church design invite people in, catch their attention, and make them want to hang around?
  • Are you focused on families? Does your church design make it clear that all ages are welcome here?
  • Are you focused on youth? What does the latest in secular market research say about how to attract youth?
  • What do your décor, style and color choices say about your vision for the future of your church?

If You Build It…

Remember that great line from the movie Field of Dreams a few years back: “if you build it, he will come”? That’s true—but you have to build it with your target in mind. After all, if the farmer in the movie had built a football field instead of a baseball diamond, he would not have attracted the sports stars he wanted. The same is true of your church. Your Vision Statement is key to creating the right type of interior church design. Then, when you build it, they will come.

To learn more about integrating your Vision Statement into your church building and design process, register today for our next free i3 webinar.