There’s no question that the cost of church building construction is unpredictable these days, as we’ve noted in a recent post. While this is daunting, it doesn’t have to stop you from imagining a more effective church building to meet the needs of your church vision. Here’s one concrete example of how to efficiently remodel one small area of a church design, in order to make a big difference in the church building’s effectiveness as a tool for ministry.

Outlining Outdated Church Building Issues

The church building in this example was built in the 1970s. After many years of service their church design was no longer meeting the needs of the members. For example, there was no men’s restroom on the main floor, and there was no elevator to the lower level, where the men’s restroom and the hospitality areas were located.

In addition, the existing lobby was small, dark, and had a low ceiling, which meant that it wasn’t welcoming and there was no gathering space for conversation. They had done their best, converting a coatroom into a mini café that really was just air-pots on a table. But the church leaders knew that their existing church design wasn’t welcoming for guests.

Imagining Big Church Design Changes in a Small Area

It wasn’t necessary to construct a new church building to meet their updated church vision. Instead, we imagined with the church leaders what was possible by expanding the lobby area of their current building and remodeling other existing parts of the structure. As you can see in this church design schematic, we built new, modern restrooms for both men and women. We included a true café. We installed a larger entrance both to meet code and make the entrance more obvious and welcoming for guests. We also installed an elevator to make their entire church building accessible to the disabled.

Integrating Church Vision Needs in This Church Design

In collaboration with church leaders, we added additional features into this church design that support their updated vision for ministry. In the expanded foyer area, we added different types of comfortable seating in multiple locations, allowing attendees and guests to mingle, have conversations, and get to know each other. We call these “relationship spaces,” because connections are built through offering somebody a cup of coffee, being able to meet and greet them, and sitting around talking with them in a relaxed atmosphere.

As you can see in these photos of the remodeled foyer area, we added multiple windows which let in natural light, making the foyer feel bright, airy, and welcoming. In the evenings, the lights from the foyer also shine brightly out of the church building, letting people know when there are activities going on in the church. Finally, in addition to what can be shown through these photographs, we replaced the entire building’s HVAC system to make it more efficient, and improved lighting in the worship space as well.

So, even though church building construction costs are rising today, don’t despair. There may be ways to remodel small areas to make a big impact. Contact us today to discuss your church design issues and, for further ideas on what’s possible, sign up today for our upcoming free i3 webinars.