Remember the saying about a picture being worth a thousand words? We really believe that’s true, especially when explaining church design trends that can save a lot of money. As we mentioned in a prior post, many churches today are faced with the reality that they can’t afford to take on a new church building project. Where fifteen or twenty years ago, building a new mega-church was common, the recession in 2008 changed all that.

Instead, we’re seeing many churches lean toward remodeling existing facilities to meet updated church visions. In this post, we’ll share some before-and-after photos that clearly show how your current church building can be an asset instead of a hindrance in fulfilling your church’s vision for ministry in your community.

Let There Be Light

Sometimes what a church building really needs is a lighter, brighter feel, like at Mount Vernon AME Church in Columbus. As you can see in the top “before” picture, the worship space was dark and dated. The dark-brown wood paneling and a deep-red carpet were very traditional, but they also made the space feel more like a cave instead of a church.

In the lower “after” picture, you can see that we didn’t change the fundamental church design. Instead, we raised the ceiling, repainted the walls, and put in a lighter, neutral carpet. We also extensively reconfigured the lighting and added various types of fixtures that fill the entire space with light. Even the existing pews look very different in this clear, bright worship space.

Embrace Flexibility

Bellefountaine First Church of God in Bellfountaine, OH, is another worship space that started with a dark and dated feel. In addition, this church community felt really constrained by the permanent platform, which included choir risers and an installed organ. They could really only use this space for traditional worship because the platform and pews made it difficult to do anything else.

As you can see in the after picture, we again kept the same church building but transformed the interior church design. The new platform is lower, broad, and on a single level. There are choir risers, but they’re movable. The front pews are replaced with movable chairs for more flexibility, and the carpet has been upgraded to something light and neutral. Again, we’ve added multiple types of lighting and even installed an audio/video/light control booth on a second level of the worship space.

No Church Design Change Is Too Small

Sometimes trends seem to require that everything change in the church building, but that is not the case. Our final set of photos from Bridgetown Church of Christ in Cincinnati, Ohio. show some very minor changes that made a big difference. Here you can see another traditional worship space with red carpeting and pews.

In this case, the after photo shows that those are basically the only things that changed—but what a difference! Now the carpet doesn’t fight the colors in the monumental stained-glass window. And permanent pews don’t restrict what can happen in this space. The platform is also less cluttered while still serving its function as the focal point for worship.

Church Building Trends Aren’t Limited to Worship-Space Remodeling

While we’ve just shown you worship space pictures in this post, the remodeling trend in church design isn’t limited to worship. Existing spaces can be remodeled to take on new ministries, such as converting an old fellowship hall into school classrooms or an old, outgrown chapel into a dedicated space for youth. To learn more about these and other church building trends, stay tuned to our blog and sign up for our free i3 webinars.