Before beginning a church construction project, examine where you have been, where you are, and where you are going as a church. Once you sense it is time to move forward and plan your church building project, look at the practical ingredients necessary to more forward.
1. Start With the Basics
To begin your project, ask three basic questions: why, what, and when.
Why: Assess your current facilities and the purpose for building a new structure.
What: Outline a list of detail desires and specific building features you would like the project to include.
When: Realistically look at the best timing for the project.
2. First Things First
Consider the specific mandate God gave you as a church and follow His lead regarding expansion. Take note of your church’s culture, personality, vision, and goals. Realize that as Psalm 127:1 clearly states, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”
Clarify that you are following the Lord’s lead and His timing for the commitment to expand facilities. Expansion has its challenges, and the direction of the Lord prior to beginning will provide a solid anchor as you proceed through each phase of development.
3. Prepare Before Building
Realize you don’t just need finances to successfully execute a building project; you need time, energy, and consistent attention to the project. Plan ahead to ensure you have the necessary ingredients of both financial resources and human resources for the project’s duration. “Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house” (Proverbs 24:27).
4. Plan Within Your Means
Carefully assess your financial plan with a lender, with the understanding that you don’t just need to know how much you can borrow, but rather, how much you should borrow. Steer clear of creating unnecessary stress on your budget by careful planning, and then stick to your plan and build within your means. Your perseverance and steady commitment to your budget will keep you and the church free from unnecessary financial strain and stress.
5. Determine Overall Costs
To determine your overall cost, calculate the three main categories of expenses: hard costs, soft costs, and FFE costs. Hard costs consist of construction, material, and labor. Soft costs are your professional services, fees, and permits. And FFE costs consist of furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Estimate soft costs and FFE costs first; then design the building project’s hard costs around the remainder of the budget.
Budget carefully for each construction division: lumber, doors, concrete, steel etc. Budgets are exceeded when a division is underestimated, or you overspend in an area, miss an area altogether, or make unplanned changes. Cushion your budget with a contingency factor for unexpected expenses.
6. Explore Funding Sources
There are three primary sources of funding: church savings or building fund, church pledges, and bank loans. Work with your lender to establish a realistic total budget for the building project. Plan to maintain normal operating expenses and commitments while you are building your facility.
Discuss your plans with a capital campaign consultant to help project how much support you will potentially raise in your church over a two or three year period for the building project. “Which of you, intending to build a tower does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it” (Luke 14:28).
7. Write the Vision
Write the purpose for the facility you desire to build. Present the vision to your congregation so they can be part of it financially and prayerfully. The vision you present should be realistic and obtainable. “Write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2).
8. Hire Trusted Professionals
At Churches by Daniels, we implement a church design-build system and manage the architecture, engineering, and construction under one contract. Our goal is to work successfully with pastors to develop a winning design and construction plan that suits your church’s specific vision. Our heart is to serve pastors, build dreams, and impact the world one church at a time.
9. Enjoy the Process
It is a process to build from concept to completion. Once you have completed the above steps, your project will have a more definite aim. Churches by Daniels will coordinate services for every phase of the building process, including designing, financing, building within budget, and scheduling. They really absorb the potential stressors for you so you can enjoy the journey to fulfilling your church’s vision and dreams.