As church design leaders, we try to keep a close eye on church building trends. We know that it’s helpful for churches to hear about what others are doing to fulfill their mission within their communities. Earlier we highlighted many of these trends here on our blog, including one we’re calling Multi-Use 2.0. In this post, we’ll share more details, including some images, that can help you understand how the multi-use space trend has evolved.

Early Multi-Use Church Building Spaces

These first photos of NewPointe Church in Sugarcreek, OH were taken about ten years ago. This large church wanted a 1400-seat auditorium. They also had a strong existing athletics program, so it made sense for their largest space to be multi-use. As you can see here, the floor is wooden to accommodate a basketball court. Adding carpet runners between the sections of seating helped to make the auditorium feel more like a worship space.

Another consideration with multi-use spaces is the need to move the chairs every time you change the use. It’s easy enough to ask everyone gathered to stack their chair after worship, but setup can be more labor-intensive. It also requires a committed crew of volunteers who are willing to make this a weekly part of their busy lives.

Shifting to Multi-Use 2.0

This image from Cypress Church in Columbus, in contrast to the images above, helps give a sense of Multi-Use 2.0. This is one of the most common church building trends today. The floor is flat, because sloped floors make other uses more difficult and any step-down flooring simply won’t work in this space. The chairs are clearly removable.

In this church design, athletics have not been factored into the plan. Instead, this space can easily be rearranged for banquets or training events. As a worship space, it’s warmer, more performance-oriented and it resembles a traditional sanctuary more than the spaces being designed in prior decades.

Church Building Trends Still Allow for Athletics

The church design shift to Multi-Use 2.0 doesn’t have to eliminate athletics. In this photo of a smaller multi-use room at Crossview Church in Grabill, IN, you have to look very carefully to see the athletic components that have been built into its design. The square in the carpet actually defines the basketball court itself. If you look closely at the top center of the photo, you can see one of the basketball hoops, which has been cranked all the way to the ceiling. On an average Sunday morning, the hoops won’t be noticed, and the flooring pattern doesn’t scream “athletics” the way a wooden floor might.

Thinking Beyond Your Worship Space with Multi-Use 2.0

Another aspect of church building trends like Multi-Use 2.0 is that we’re thinking beyond the worship space for multi-use options. In these final photos (also of Crossview Church), you can see how even a foyer can be recruited to serve multiple uses. In the back right of the first photo, you can see a section of the foyer that has its own screen and lighting.

In the second image, you can see there is an operable wall which separates this portion of the foyer during worship, forming the space for children’s church. With this flexibility, the church has almost fifty percent more space available in their foyer when worship is over.

Flexibility is the key aspect of the Multi-Use 2.0 church building trend. The options are only as limited as one’s imagination. To learn more about all the latest trends in church design and construction today, we encourage you to join our free i3 webinars. If you have questions about how to engage Multi-Use 2.0 in your own church building, contact us today at 800-625-6448 or