Expand existing or build new?

Here are five considerations to guide your church construction plans:


1. Space restrictions: Why are your existing facilities inadequate? Do you need room for additional worship seating? Do you need to add additional business offices, ministry facilities, or recreation areas? How much additional space do you need, and will your current property even accommodate it? If not, an expansion might be off the table. However, a skilled architect may be able to examine your needs and provide fresh ideas that can utilize your property in ways you had not envisioned. If you’ve got a great location, this is an avenue you should explore before you make a final decision to relocate.

2. Permits: Both new construction and expansions to existing structures can involve a substantial amount of permitting and governmental oversight. Can you build to your specifications at your desired new location? Will the “Township Preservation Society” allow you to modify your historic building? Make sure to consult a professional before you experience unnecessary legal expenses, red-tape, and delays.

3. Expansion isn’t always cost-effective: Conventional thinking would have you believe that expanding your existing structure would be more cost-effective than building from scratch. However, this is often not the case. Expansion projects often uncover hidden defects, improper build-techniques, code-violations, and sub-standard construction that must be retroactively corrected before any new construction can begin. Additionally, you don’t want to have a state-of-the-art-facility hamstrung by plumbing, wiring, ductwork, or other components from a by-gone era. If you want “new,” it’s often more cost-effective to start with a clean slate.

4. Church mission: Your facilities should be designed with your mission and ministry needs in mind. Perhaps you have been gifted a property on which to build a new church, but it is in an under-populated area or inconvenient to access. Perhaps you have room to expand your existing sanctuary but at the expense of removing your fellowship hall. Perhaps you have room for new office facilities, but not the community food bank. Perhaps you don’t need to expand your current location but need to build a new campus to seed a new congregation. Whatever you choose, make sure your ministry vision will be served.

5. New Church Smell: It’s ok to build something new just because you want to. If your congregation is excited, motivated, or energized to build a new church…don’t feel guilty about wanting something new! The Lord extends favor on the church and wants to bless you. If you’re following the direction of the Holy Spirit, you don’t need to justify it to anybody else. Give praise and thanks for your blessing.


Do you need some help determining whether new construction or expansion is best for your needs? Our experienced consultants can help guide and inform your decision-making process. Contact an Eden representative today for a no-obligation consultation.