Before you commit to building a new church
, there are some things that you should consider to make sure that your organization is ready to make this major step. There is an alarming statistic about the careers of pastors who have undergone a major building project. For a variety of reasons, pastors tend to leave a church organization 22 months on average after the completion of a new church. There is also a large portion of churches that have construction plans that on hold. To avoid ending up in one of these categories, consider the following six things when making plans to build a new church.
1. Is your church ready?
An important step before committing to a new church building project is to make a church health assessment. There are organizations that specialize in this procedure, and tools are available to aid you in doing this yourself. This assessment is designed to determine how your congregation will withstand any issues that come about during and after the construction of a new church. Congregations that have a healthier attitude toward the organization and the pastor are more likely to remain trusting in uncertain situations.
2. Have a clearly defined mission
It’s imperative that you communicate a well-defined vision for what the new church construction will accomplish for the organization. This mission is the foundational idea that guides all the other decisions in the process of the project. This mission statement makes it possible for everyone in the congregation to understand the importance of each step of designing, funding and building the church. All people involved in the building project need to be aligned about what the project is meant to accomplish and how it will enhance the ministry’s goals.
3. Financing is vital
Money is not everything, especially for those who follow a spiritual calling, but the importance of financing cannot be underestimated in a building project. Pastors need to know all the monthly costs of the new building, and they should understand all the nuances of the church budget. The church leadership needs to understand exactly how much the organization can afford when considering a building project. Having a financial advisor on the church team will make it easier to deal with lending institutions and other organizations that are involved in the construction. Some church leaders put off the financial assessments until the last minute, which often leads to disaster.
4. Form a building committee
The building committee can assure the success of a church building project and take a lot of stress off of the pastor. Building committee members should have characteristics that assure that the committee will not deteriorate due to disagreements and self-serving agendas. Consider the spiritual and emotional stability of the committee members, and choose people who are respected by other people in the organization.
People with a variety of skills and career backgrounds will complement each other by having abilities that other members lack. Some members should have construction knowledge while others should have creativity and planning experience. All members of the committee should have a clear understanding of the mission statement and work toward the same goals.
5. Choose the right approach
Choosing the design and building approach can be challenging for committees. Construction is the second-most litigated industry in the United States because so many mishaps can occur for various reasons. The building committee has to reflect on their past experiences and their tolerance for risks to come to a consensus about the overall design and construction approach.
6. Keep expectations realistic
When envisioning a new building, it’s easy to think in grandiose terms about the size and amenities of a brand custom-designed building. Creating a preview model of the structure could reign in some of these misconceptions and enable people to understand the size and scope of the project that is possible given the available budget.