Most of us have seen architectural drawings at some point. Perhaps you’ve worked with a builder on plans for your new home or seen proposed building schematics at a town hall meeting. The same process happens with any church design project. To better envision what’s possible with your new church building or the remodeling of an existing structure, you should develop at least three types of church design schematics.

Master Site Plan

This first type of schematic is a Master Site Plan. This shows a drone’s eye view of the end result of your church building project. This includes land use and restrictions based upon building and zoning codes, as well as relationships of spaces between each building. Parking lots, ball fields, and even a pond are all laid out on this master plan. You can see that different phases of building are clearly marked by different colors.

In this example, there are several labeled lines on this plan. Property lines are self-evident. Building setbacks are the distances from the property line where local zoning codes allow you to build. This church design is located on a new site, with plenty of property, so building setbacks are not much of a concern. However, if you’re in the city and you have very little property, setbacks can become a very large concern.

Church Design Floor Plan

Another type of schematic is the floor plan. Here, you get a sense of how the church building is laid out and where the different areas are located. You can see where all of the different ministries are going to be. The front of the church building (at the bottom) includes areas to welcome guests, such as the café and the foyer, as well as church offices that people might access during the week.

Nurseries are just outside of the centrally located multi-ministry worship center, which makes it easy for parents to step out and check on a very young child. Children’s classrooms and the youth multi-ministry center are located deeper in the building, making that area safer because no one else needs to go through that area to access other areas of the church building.

Church Building Perspective

Every good church design needs a detailed picture to help attendees understand what the new church building is going to look like. It helps to answer questions like, “Is it going to blend in with what we have, or is it going to be a bold new look?” It also helps everyone get a sense of how your church vision for ministry in the community is going to be lived out in this new church building.

The first three images are for new church building projects, but you will also need these types of church design schematics for a remodeling project. In this master plan for a remodeled church, the lighter peach color represents an existing school facility being converted into a church. The darker orange color represents the remodeled areas which will be converted into the foyer and worship center.

These church design schematics are shared with your congregation and denominational leaders. If you need financing, you’ll share them with lending institutions. You might also share them with community leaders if you need their support on your church building project. Once the schematics are complete, you’ll move on to the budgeting process, which we’ve discussed elsewhere.

In fact, we’ve discussed most aspects of the church building process with blog posts, including in our free i3 webinars. We are working on our 2022 webinar lineup, so stay tuned for more information.