Dreaming big is a tradition that has helped America grow. Big dreams have helped many churches grow over the years as well, and it’s another reason why it might be time to transform your church building.

We’ve helped a lot of churches dream big when transforming their property over time with a church design that works. Often that involves multi-stage thinking, starting out small, but planning for growth.

From Too Small to Too Big?

The idea of a thriving church community with a church building that has become too small is easy to imagine. One where every service on Sunday fills the worship center. Church leaders know it’s time to transform their church building, and perhaps they imagine a church design that could hold three or four times as many people as their current church building.

The problem with thinking so big is that there might not yet be enough worshipers to fill the new space making it look empty. Imagine a worship center with 1000 seats, and only 350 or 400 filled. It’s hard to feel like a vibrant, thriving community when more than half the seats are empty.

From Too Small to Just Right to Too Small?

Of course, church leaders could choose a smaller expansion by just doubling the size of the worship space and call it good. Going from 350 to 600 or 700 seats might work simply fine. But that would just solve a short-term need. What about future growth?

Adding onto a sanctuary to gain those additional 300 seats in the future could be much more expensive in the long run.  Sometimes, depending upon your site and building layout there is an opportunity to meet all of your ministry needs now and in the future by  planning for a remodel.

A Church Design that Goes from Too Small to Just Right to Just Right

We’ve used this church design concept with success in the past and it can be modified to meet your church’s needs too. What we do is draft a multi-stage church design.

Imagine taking a worship space that seats 1000 and putting just 600 seats in the front two-thirds. In the back, instead of an open space, we erect temporary walls for church offices and a nursery with a large glass window so parents can watch the service while still being with their young and restless children. Then imagine, in ten or fifteen years, being able to just tear out those offices and add seating in the back portion of the worship space. At that point, you’d have enough attendees to draw upon the newer crowd to support a separate space with more offices and classrooms to meet the growing need there, without having the expense of building a new worship space from scratch.

We are firm believers that any church design issue can be transformed into an asset with the right mindset. We share our wisdom on church building issues in our free i3 webinars. If you think your church design might need some transformation, sign up for our forthcoming webinars, and stay tuned for the next in our transformation series, which will focus on addressing church design issues when your ministry needs change over time.