What makes your church stronger? How do you measure it? Is it being bigger? Growing faster? Giving more? Baptizing more people?
All of these are metrics churches use to measure strength. Your church probably has a few of these along with other, better, metrics to help you track progress. With those metrics in mind answer this, can your church grow stronger through disruption? Should it? Disruption can take on many forms in a church, however, there are few things we willing do that cause disruption like adding ministry space.
Here are 5 ways to leverage church construction for a stronger church:
1. Hire pros like you hire staff - I always encourage churches to hire people to partner with during construction using the same methods they use to hire staff. The people leading your project will fill a critical ministry leadership role for 2 to 4 years, which is longer than the average tenure of most church staff. If you wouldn’t hire someone to be on staff, don’t hire them to lead your project.
2. Start with good data - The data you gather on attendance, giving, and your budget will set the tone for the ministry space design. Great data is a critical ingredient for accurate design. Without this information you’re just guessing and that won’t make you stronger.
3. Have realistic expectations - Starting with conservative estimates of what you can afford and what things cost will save you the pain of having to reset expectations with your church during the process. Every time you have to communicate an increase in cost you spend influence you’ve fought hard to win.
4. Invest in yourself – Two areas you must grow in to have a healthier church, leadership & church construction. Leadership because it takes a next level leader to lead at the next level. Church construction because fast growing churches will build every 5-8 years and it pays big to learn lessons only once.
5. Bring Everybody With You – A healthier church looks at building facilities as an opportunity to impact the lives of people inside and outside their church. The people inside should be challenged to reorganize their finances to be part of what God’s doing in their church during the building season. The people currently outside the church should be impacted by the facility when its done. They are the point right? Healthier churches design facilities that host irresistible environments. Environments that, by nature, people outside the church can’t resist. He loves them just like he loves us. Develop the systems that get people on board so you can bring everybody with you.
If reaching people for Christ is the dominant metric, and you build a beautiful building but don’t leverage it to impact people far from God….would you call that success or failure?