Thursday, September 19, 2013

Building the Right Space for Ministry

Guest Blog: Leigh Williams, Costco and Associates, Inc

Although we all recognize that it is God who ultimately provides growth to a church, there are some things a church can do to be better prepared and positioned for the growth God wants to give, especially if it involves building additional space. Since construction involves one of the largest financial investments a church may make as it grows, it is important to plan wisely. Although this is not a comprehensive list, here are some essential items to consider when preparing the scope of a building project:
  • Parking Spaces: The number of parking spots on campus must accommodate growth!  If people cannot find a space, there is nothing to keep them from driving a mile down the road to another church that has plenty of parking.
  • Common Areas and Connect Space: Coffee shops have figured out how to make their locations the “third place” people like to make a regular part of their routine after home and work. Churches we see growing leaps and bounds are adopting this strategy.  Commons areas and connect space are essential!  A first-time visitor decides within the first 5-7 minutes whether or not to return.  A good connect space allows people to meet others their age with common interests.  People join your church, because they build 2-3 relationships! Connect space should also provide a flow to your on-campus small group or educational space.
  • Auditorium Space: There are many other considerations that should be made, including but not limited to seating, clear lines of sight, acoustics, aesthetic design, and heating and cooling.
  • Additional Ministry Space: This space might include Bible study group space, age-group space or other gathering space. It would be wise not to take shortcuts when designing this space. Make sure the space is designed intentionally considering the age groups and purpose for the space. Plan ahead if flexibility is required for multiple use. Include wiring for media and other technology while you are in the construction phase. Make sure there is adequate space allowed for hallways and corridors and that they connect easily with the common areas.
During the entire process, you must protect the ministry of the church. The sequence of construction must be considered so that you can continue to do ministry effectively while under construction.

COSCO & Associates, Inc. constantly studies church growth, and utilizes over 44 years of experience, working exclusively with churches to give them a great building experience!   We handle all challenges associated with design and construction, so the church can focus on what it does best…MINISTRY!