Defining The Scope of the Project

A Program is a list of current and future needs that lets a design professional know how to design your building. This list should agree with your church’s mission statement. You have to make a decision early, are you going to design a building that will meet the needs of the unchurched, or are you going to design a building for people who have gone to church all of their lives?

Here are some items to consider:

  1. Be careful not to take the easy answers (i.e. we need a bigger worship space). Think outside the box. Less than 10% of churches in North America are growing. A typical churchgoer only attends his church. Get out and find out what others are doing. Think of new ministries that will reach your community. Get input from the design professional on what he has done and what he has seen other churches do.
  2. Don’t spend all of your time making sketches, let the design professional do that.
  3. What are current needs?
  4. What is the desired seating capacity for the worship space?
  5. How many do you want to seat for dinners?
  6. What activities do you want to do?
  7. What ministries you want to do?
    – Dinner theater
    – Basketball/Volleyball
    – Concerts
    – Indoor playlands
    – Restaurant/Café
    – Compassionate ministries to homeless
    – Handicap ministries
  8. Number of students and their ages?
  9. Daycare and ages?
  10. School vs. Sunday school?
  11. Parking – 1 parking space per 2.5 people. 60-80 parking spaces per acre on average.
  12. Make sure future ministries are consistent with mission statement. Tennis vs. Volleyball/ Arcade vs. Lounge/ Elevator vs. none.
  13. Audio/Visual
  14. Budget
  15. Acreage – 100 people to 1 acre is a good rule of thumb.