Healthy churches grow. And that growth includes not just adding new people to the pews and babies in children’s church. It also means tackling one of the most challenging and yet most promising endeavors an expanding congregation can take on — a building project.
It might seem obvious to the pastoral staff why a new building or an expansion is needed. After all, you see your congregation’s growth every time you stand on the platform to preach, have new people in your office for meetings, and discuss volunteer schedules with your associate staff. But the people who have been attending the church for a while may not have the same insights as you do.
So, how do you go about casting the vision for a building project and encourage the support needed to make it happen? Here are some tips to guide you in the right direction from the start.
1. Don’t announce the project before you’re ready to launch it.
This may seem obvious, but if you’re just beginning to consider a building project or if you’re still in the stages of praying and considering whether it is the proper direction for your congregation right now, then don’t communicate what you are contemplating from the altar. Wait until you have God’s plan and timing, and then share it with people. By doing so, you allow them to get on board and become enthusiastic about something that is actually happening, not an idea that may or may not be put into motion anytime soon. Waiting for the right moment to announce the project will also help you start and then keep the momentum going, which is the key to bringing it to fruition.
2. Craft your message with care and clarity.
We all know the game of telephone. One person starts to deliver the message, but by the time the message reaches the end of the line, it’s completely garbled and confused. Your congregants face the same challenge. Two church members may hear you say something but have two different interpretations of what you mean. To counteract the tendency we all have toward selective hearing, spell out exactly what you’re going to do, when you’re going to do it, and where exactly you are in the process. Explain and share the exciting progress every step of the way, including the planning stages, working with an architect, getting permits from the city, purchasing materials to start building.
3. Use examples, visuals, and other concrete illustrations during updates.
Let’s face it. We all do better at understanding and growing passionate about things that we can clearly picture. So, help your congregation get a good vision of what’s happening at each stage of your progress by doing a little show and tell. Give them photos of the building as it is being built. Bring in a sample of the furniture, rugs, or artwork you’d like to have. Show them an artist’s rendering of what the inside and outside of the building will look like when it is completed.
4. Stay focused on the real reason for the building.
There is no question as to the purpose of the building — it’s people. A church building is, after all, just a place, a tool in your arsenal for reaching your community and bringing them to God. Don’t let the details, the planning, the finances or any other practical part of the project get you and your church so distracted that you forget that the reason for building is to help foster ministry opportunities that will help people come to Christ.
By adopting these tips and suggestions, you can increase your congregation’s commitment and passion for your church’s building projects.
At Churches by Daniels, we have a history of solid, reliable experience in helping churches like yours bring a building project successfully to completion. We’re ready to answer your questions and assist you at any phase of the design and construction process—from new building planning and construction to renovation, remodeling and expansion projects.
Let us help you achieve your ministry goals by contacting us today at 918-872-6006 to discuss your church construction needs.