It is very wise to seek counsel from those who have experienced the joy and struggles of planning new facilities. The building committee needs to experience other facilities to visualize what they like and don’t like. When visiting, find out about programs ministries of that church. As Rick Warren said in his book, The Purpose Driven Church, “God has not called us to be original at everything. He has called us to be effective.” Your team needs to keep the vision for ministry in mind so they are not copying a church’s ministry but are seeing how they can adapt concepts from other churches to improve your specific ministry needs.
A great example of this is a church in Indianapolis that had planned to relocate. They had a set of building plans and a permit and had just begun excavation when someone on the building committee visited a different church. He was so impressed that he invited more people to see what he had seen. Not long after that, The McKnight Group received a call from the church in Indianapolis. Over the course of a few meetings, the church saw the facility they planned to build was not going to aid their ministry needs. They decided to stop the work that they had begun and start over with a new vision for ministry. They threw away $250,000.00 worth of plans and work. The facility that they did build ended up being a fantastic tool that met their ministry needs and aided in rapid growth.
Not every church will make a decision like that one but awareness of other facilities will aid the building committee in developing a clear concept.