As we covered in a previous post, a 20% growth rate in weekly attendance each year is a positive indicator that your church is likely to continue growing. When it comes to making space for your congregation and ministries, the two options are typically to expand an existing building or to build a new one. Each path forward comes with pros and cons that you’ll need to consider before you begin.
Prior to March of 2020, very few church members had lived through a pandemic. Although some congregations were better equipped than others to adjust to new normals, the effects of lockdowns and social distancing left most churches struggling to adapt. How could the church best continue its commission to “spread the gospel” amid calls to “slow the spread” of COVID-19?
Lockdowns and social distancing will eventually pass, and with a promised COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, you should examine whether your current or planned facilities will be equipped to handle worship in the coming year. Two areas come immediately to the forefront of the discussions.
Enthusiasm is contagious. When churches start discussing expansion, excitement fills the air, and visions of the “possible” often override the “practical.” During these times of blessing, caution and good stewardship mustn’t give way to over-zealousness. Not every suggestion, idea, or plan presented is in your best interests, and this includes input from professionals.
We do have scriptural precedent regarding debt. Churches should be cautious of their debt in much the same way individuals should be cautious of their debt. Although the philosophy of being “debt-free” can result in comfort or stability, it can also result in stagnation or refusal to invest in the future.
Because building a church facility is a relatively uncommon experience for the average churchgoer, determining project costs with any accuracy can be challenging. With so many differing opinions on what is needed and with multiple paths forward, how can you be sure you are reducing or eliminating unnecessary delays and costs overruns?