In a recent meeting with a church board a lay leader (who’s also a VP with Chick Fil A – those guys rock!!) asked me how my company was doing financially through this economic downturn. In the last year I’ve had roughly 65 conversations with churches preparing to build ministry space and not one church had asked me that question. That’s pretty interesting since one of the critical success factors to a construction project is that the firm designing and building your facility actually be in business through the end.
So here’s my advice. Ask the question! How are you doing financially? Are you bondable? Can we get a bonding reference letter for your company? Bonding rates are the rate that you, the church, pay to insure the project against unforeseen circumstances. The higher the bonding rate, the higher the issuer believes the risk of default is. Anything below 1% is exceptional.
One little hitch that may seem obvious… but I’ll risk it. Make sure your professional partner has a history of the kind of work you’re asking them to do. If they don’t, it could mean trouble for them and you. You may find it incredibly difficult to get your project funded with a company who doesn’t have a history of church construction. We’ve built almost 700 churches, and I still feel a little violated every time we walk through the funding process with a bank.
Great questions lead to great projects. You should have a list of questions to use as a filter for picking the pros you work with. I hope this gets you started.
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