As we move into 2024, it’s time to say goodbye to outdated church design trends and hello to the future. Modern churches are blurring lines that were once firmly drawn about what a church should look like to appeal to the values of younger generations, such as work-life balance, innovative technology, and sleek community-oriented spaces.
Wondering which church trends to keep on your radar in 2024? Whether you’re building a brand-new campus or want to renovate your current property—these are some modern upgrades to consider in the upcoming year.
Popular Church Design Trends to Consider in 2024
1. Mixed-Use Developments
In the past, church campuses have stood on their own. Many churches buy a large (and often cheap!) chunk of land in the middle of nowhere and, over time, build a sanctuary, classrooms, community spaces, and parking lots. But unless you know the church is there, you are unlikely to see it as a passerby. Isolated church campuses like these must rely on “word-of-mouth marketing” from the congregation to get noticed in the community.
Many churches are moving away from this outdated model in 2024 and embracing a new idea—mixed-use developments. By building a church in a well-trafficked area with other businesses, churches attract more people and reap other benefits, like a boost in monthly revenue.
2. Convenient Hospitality
Long gone are the days of building large commercial kitchens that create tons of hoops to jump through, like health code regulations, operational costs, and continual maintenance. So, unless serving massive meals is a large part of your church (or business model), leaving this trend behind might be best.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still serve meals to your congregation to exhibit warm and welcoming hospitality. Many churches are bringing in food trucks and coffee carts or hiring catering businesses. This eliminates the need for a commercial kitchen, which saves valuable square footage in your church design and budget—and saves tons of money on ongoing maintenance!
3. Flexible Seating
Instead of choosing bulky, ornate seating, like crowded church pews, churches should opt for more practical seating with a minimalist aesthetic, like stackable chairs, in 2024.
A flexible seating arrangement serves two purposes. First, guests can have their personal space, making newcomers feel less flustered since they won’t have to squeeze between two strangers on a church pew. Second, easy-to-move seats can be reconfigured or completely removed to cater to a different purpose, like a banquet, concert, wedding, or sports game.
For churches that want to use their worship sanctuary as a multi-use space—flexible seating isn’t just a want. It’s an absolute necessity!
4. Studio Spaces
It’s no secret we live in a digital world, and churches are becoming accustomed to creating and using digital media on social media platforms, for promotional content and announcements during services, to create classes, courses, and curriculums, and for other purposes.
The need for media production is here to stay, so many churches are building on-site studio spaces where dedicated church staff can film, produce, and create content.
5. Smart Technology
Finding creative ways to incorporate smart technology into your church building will be a popular trend in 2024 and beyond.
Technology helps to automate tedious tasks—freeing up more time for your church staff to spend on ministry—and it can improve security as well. Some examples of smart technology for churches might include anything from smart thermostats and lighting to security systems and remote digital check-in for classes.
6. Indoor-Outdoor Spaces
In 2024, churches will focus on bringing the outside indoors—especially in community spaces or multipurpose buildings.
For example, floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that can be opened to create an effortless indoor-outdoor fellowship space are being adopted in several churches. Not only does this boost the amount of natural light in your worship space, but it also serves a practical purpose!
7. Community-Oriented Workspaces
Churches are moving away from thinking of office spaces in the traditional, rigid sense—like dedicated desks for every employee and tons of office supplies and equipment.
Instead, churches are creating community-oriented workspaces intended for brainstorming, conversations, and fellowship. Your church staff can work on their laptops from anywhere—so why not attract them to work on-site in a space that promotes an upbeat, fun, and welcoming culture?
8. Spacious Design
Americans want (and need!) more space to stretch out. That’s why churches are embracing a lot of “empty space” in their church designs.
Instead of giving every square inch of space a dedicated purpose, churches are building some breathing room into lobbies, sanctuaries, and other spaces. Not only does this make visitors feel more comfortable, but it also frees up plenty of space for conversation and community.
Create the Perfect Church Design to Fulfill Your Ministry Vision with Churches by Daniels
As a pastor, you know it’s important to keep the “up-and-coming” trends in church design on your radar—but staying true to your values and ministry vision is even more critical.
That’s why working with a true ministry partner, like Churches by Daniels, is such a valuable investment when designing and building a church. We’ve been helping pastors build ministry facilities since 1980 that support their ministry vision, and we’d love to help you do the same!
Explore our portfolio for recent examples of our design-build churches across the country to help you better understand how we can bring your church vision to life in 2024!