There’s a “Genesis,” a beginning, to every church building process. It begins with some thoughtful attention to preparation for your church design process. Here’s what you’ll need to do in order to get your project underway in the best way possible.

You Need More than Your Church Vision

We’ve frequently discussed in prior posts the importance of having clarity on your church vision for ministry in your community. Without that vision, you don’t really know what kind of church building you need.

But you need more than vision to get your church building project off the ground. You also need to address some very practical matters.

Begin Your Church Design with a Professional Needs Assessment

Once you have your vision in place, you should figure out how your church building might be holding you back in achieving that vision. It’s why we suggest that church leaders engage with professionals to do a ministry-based needs assessment. It will show where the pinch points are in your ministry plans and where your church building is in the way.

This needs assessment is leadership-based. Some architects will interview many people in the congregation, but we don’t usually do that. We understand that leaders are the ones who really have the vision for ministry in your community.

Another element of the needs assessment is information about current church operations. What ministries are there currently and will you be keeping or growing them in the future? In addition to service and class dates and times we ask questions like these:

  • What ministries are hindered because of the building right now?
  • What ministry is your highest priority?
  • What ministry is most effective for you right now?
  • If you could only change one thing about your building what would it be?
  • What ministries would you start if your building didn’t hinder you?
  • What things have you tried to work around your building’s shortcomings?

All of this is background information you need before beginning the church design process.

Getting Your Church Building Paperwork in Order

Another important element in prepping for the church design process is to gather documentation about your existing church building. This will get your design professional off to a running start. (Even if you’re constructing a new church building from scratch on vacant land, you will need a survey of the property to determine the lay of the land.)

If you cannot find any plans for your existing church building, then an “as-built” survey, which involves taking measurements and drawing out a professional set of plans, can be completed instead. There’s no reason, however, for your church to invest in as-built plans unless you absolutely cannot find the construction drawings for your church building.

As you can see, there’s a lot involved in preparing for the church design process. Whether you’re constructing a new church building from scratch or remodeling an existing facility, you can learn more about what’s involved by signing up for our free i3 webinars. We use these presentations to give you important church design and building information, so sign up and join us!