Here at The McKnight Group, we often stress the importance of churches having a clear vision for ministry. There are many steps you can take to grow your church, but those steps need to start with a vision. Once your church has a vision, the chance of having a successful new or renovated church building project, among other things, is greatly increased.

In our last post, we discussed that this vision should not reflect the status quo. It’s not about focusing on what we like, but rather on the needs of the who you are trying to reach. So how do you create a clear vision for your church design? You start by asking these three questions:

Question 1: Who Are We Trying to Reach?

Sometimes church leaders say “everyone!” in response to this question. We might want to, as Paul says, “…become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” We also need to keep in mind what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12, that we are all part of a larger body. We can do are part reaching a segment and count on other churches in the body reaching other segments. So, take a good look at the kinds of people that you want to reach. Are they church people – or unchurched people – or seekers? Are they families with young children or members of the older generation? Do you want to cast a broad, or narrow net?

Question 2: What Ministries Would Reach These People?

You can see how the answers to the first question put focus on the second one. For example, if you’re trying to reach families with young children, then you might want to think about children’s ministries or include a mom’s day out program. On the other hand, you’re less likely to want to consider a new church building that’s focused solely on what millennials want in church these days.

Once you have a sense of what ministries are needed, it’s time to take a good look at your existing church building. Are the ministries in place appealing to the people you want to reach? Is your church design going to meet the needs of your guests? If not, you’ll need to think about how you can update or transform your church building to meet those needs. You might want to construct a new children’s chapel, remodel your children’s wing with new security features or invest in new playground equipment so that your church is more appealing to those families.

Question 3: What Does Our Community Need?

This third question helps you keep the focus on your community’s needs. When people or guests visit your church, what are they looking for? What is missing in your community? Are there enough daycare centers in the area for all those young families? If not, perhaps your vision for ministry will include a new church design that incorporates daycare. Does your community need a safe place for single mothers to gather to receive support and encouragement? Perhaps your new church design can provide such a place.

Aligning Your Church Building with Your Vision for Ministry

As you can see, once you answer these vision questions, the focus of your church design becomes obvious. When you let the vision develop this way, God guides the process, making it clear what your church needs to do.

Once you have a clear vision and take a good look at your church building, you might discover you need to make some changes. Our free i3 webinars can help. They provide ongoing, helpful guidance as you think about how you can best make your church building a valuable tool in your vision for ministry. Just visit the bottom of our homepage to register for upcoming webinars.