Why Church Buildings Matter: The Story of Your Space

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This used to be a question that only church planters were asking. Given a number of factors, these conversations are no longer limited to church planters but are being asked in a whole host of church settings including established churches looking to get out from under a deteriorating facility that they cannot afford, to churches needing to re-invent themselves. I have been involved in the planning, development and maintaining of church facilities and until recently, this topic was almost never discussed by churches that were more than years old.

How do we address these issues? How do we set up our congregation for long term impact and engagement? I am not going to advocate one option over another…but what I do want us to do is to consider the options. The first and only option should not be to buy land and build a building. The other deeply ingrained paradigm has been that once you own a building, that is it…that is where your church meets forever.

Again, I am not saying that is wrong…but we need to stretch our thinking. We have developed a tool to assist churches to vet out some of these options. If you click HERE you can download this tool. Now, let me walk you through how to best utilizing the tool and some of the method to our madness:. First, we make the premise that there are 4 basic options with a multitude of subsets :. There are some formulas built in to the spreadsheet such as:.

Everything else need to be added based on information gathered in your local context. Again, this is not the only evaluation tool you should use. Is the location in the right part of the community?

Why Church Buildings Matter – RE-RELEASED | eSPACE | Facility Management Software

Will there be visibility and signage opportunities? Is it properly zoned? Is there ample parking, etc. To round out this thought, you also need to give serious attention to any leased not rented…there is difference…renting is usually short term and leasing is long term facilities or purchased facilities you need to consider:. OK…that probably has your head spinning….

Why Church Buildings Matter

You MUST consider all of the above before you make a serious financial decision. Do not take this lightly. Do your due diligence. Consider all the options. Seek wise counsel. Pray continuously. Tim lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife of 34 years, Lisa, and supports his triplet college students.

Nich Griffith

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Do we rent a school? Selling the property to the highest bidder is a quick and effective way to cut losses and settle debts. But repurposing a sacred space for secular use has a number of drawbacks. A church building is more than just walls and windows; it is also a sacred vessel that stores generations of religious memories. Even for those who do not regularly practice a religion, sacred images and structures operate as powerful community symbols. When a hallowed building is resurrected as something else, those who feel a connection to that symbol may experience a sense of loss or even righteous anger.

10 Keys to Maximizing Your Church Facility – Rainer on Leadership #387

After St. Many local residents remain unsatisfied with the compromise. Read: Breaking faith. Converting old churches into residential spaces, like St. Vincent De Paul, is becoming more popular. While this type of sacred-to-secular conversion may be a tough pill for former members to swallow, many are even less satisfied with the alternatives. A large number of abandoned churches have become wineries or breweries or bars. Others have been converted into hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and Airbnbs.

A few have been transformed into entertainment venues, such as an indoor playground for children, a laser-tag arena , or a skate park. When St. A communal symbol that once served as a beacon of hope and welcome now seems like little more than an emblem of American youthful superficiality.

Church Buildings Are For Teaching LOST People Religious Things

Some are moving upstream of the crisis, opting to repurpose their buildings before they go under. Larry Duggins left a successful career in investment banking a decade ago to attend seminary at Southern Methodist University. There he met a professor of evangelism named Elaine Heath with whom he brainstormed ways to help dying churches who maintain a will to live. Read: How a megachurch melts down. Half a century ago, it was a massive congregation with robust weekly programming, a strong reputation in the community, and a 60,square-foot building.

It converted the fellowship hall into a co-working space and transformed Sunday school rooms into a workshop for local artisans, including a florist and a stained-glass-window artist.

It formed an economic empowerment center, where the group teaches a local population of African refugees language and business skills.