We’ve seen some interesting stumbles and near-misses in our near 50 years of church building. As a result, we know numerous mistakes to avoid in church design and building projects. Here are three of the pitfall possibilities that can take place early in your church building project.

#1: Believing the First Idea is the Best Idea

Some church leaders are certain that they know exactly what they want right from the beginning. While it’s great to be excited and inspired by your idea, it’s also smart to talk it through and be open to further feedback from others in — and beyond — your church, and even get additional input from church building professionals. We find that, often, the final version of any church design is significantly different from the original vision.

This is one case where input from church staff, leadership, ministry leaders, and even community leaders can improve upon your initial church design. By thinking broadly and seeking other ideas, one church building can meet the needs and expand the vision of multiple ministries in your church and community.

#2: Not Considering Interdependencies

Another pitfall is not thinking about various groups as a whole. If your church design creates a separate space for each ministry, you will design a much larger, more expensive campus than you really need. Instead, look at the ways to share space such as with groups that meet at different times and need similar amenities, be it kitchen facilities or certain types of audio-visual resources.

Admittedly, there are exceptions to every rule. There are some spaces that will be more dedicated than others. You may, for example, want your youth to take ownership of their space so they feel like they can call it their own.

#3: Developing Your Church Design without Considering Finishes

Another pitfall is not thinking about how your church design will — or won’t — appeal to the groups of people you are trying to attract to your new church building. If you design and furnish a church building without considering the finishes and furnishings they will like, you could find that they walk in the door and walk right back out again.

Perhaps you are trying to attract young families. An interior design focused on fancy floral arrangements on low tables, delicately upholstered chairs, and expensive artwork on the walls will likely be intimidating as parents worry that they must spend their time keeping their kids from knocking things over and messing up the fancy furnishings. However, if they walk in and see stylish, modern furniture and a children’s play area next to a café, these families are going to feel right at home and stick around.

Clearly, there are many considerations involved in crafting the best church design for your particular vision. It’s why we offer our free i3 webinars, which give you additional perspectives and illustrate solutions that might not have come to mind. We invite you to sign up today for our next i3 webinar and learn all you can about crafting the best church design possible for your situation.