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Honoring Homer McKnight, Patriarch and Founder of The McKnight Group

HMcKnightMost of the time, our blog posts are focused on the work we do to design, build and renovate church buildings for the glory of God. This post, however, will celebrate a faithful servant, Homer McKnight. Homer is the founder of The McKnight Group, but he’s done so much more than help churches better live out their vision through church buildings that work. He has served his own church in multiple capacities, here in the US and around the world. Homer’s denomination, The Church of the Nazarene, church district, Nazarene Bible College and home church, The Naz, surprised him with a recognition service on Father’s Day this year—which also happened to be Homer’s birthday. Here is some of what he was honored for that day.

Serving the Church in South Central Ohio

Homer McKnight has served his church denomination for over forty years. Naturally, perhaps, since his expertise is with buildings, he was instrumental in the purchase and development of the South Central Ohio District campgrounds in Logan, Ohio—now known as the Logan Conference Center. He also facilitated the building of the South Central Ohio District Office. But Homer didn’t just build buildings for the church here in Ohio. He also was part of the district’s first Work and Witness team to Haiti in 1974.  Since 1974 Homer has taken at least one trip a year for missions and many times several trips in a year with over 100 mission trips in 42 years.

Homer also served on numerous boards and committees for the district, including (and this is not everything—just a taste!) district camp meeting trustee, district home missions board, district delegate to general assembly, district finance committee, and district advisory board (for 28 years, serving as secretary for most of that time). In fact, he was designated as District Layman of the Year way back in 1984—and he served on many of these boards until 2008!

Serving the Broader Church of the Nazarene

Homer McKnight has done much more than serve the church in Ohio. He served on the Nazarene Bible College Board of Trustees for eighteen years, helping to guide that organization prepare pastors and ministers for service in the church. And he wasn’t just on the board; during that time he served as treasurer, finance committee chairman, chairman of the audit investment committee, and on the executive committee. As part of this surprise Father’s Day celebration, Homer McKnight was also presented with the International Church of the Nazarene’s Distinguished Service Award, “in appreciation for advancing God’s kingdom around the world.”

Serving God through the Design and Construction of Church Building Projects

The celebration of Homer McKnight’s service included a special recognition video, which we want to share with everyone (Click Here). Narrated by his children and grandchildren, this video bears witness to his service and shares some memorable stories. As Homer’s son David McKnight says his dad taught him, “If you call yourself Christian, then there’s work for you to do.” As you can imagine, we are proud of what our founder, Homer McKnight, has accomplished in his years of service to God and the church. We are also proud of his work in church design, creating buildings that work for churches across this great country. We join his church in thanking Homer McKnight for his service to the Lord and the community, and we are proud to carry on his vision.

2016-07-06T10:45:07+00:00 July 6th, 2016|Featured, Leadership, Uncategorized|

Recognizing the Inspiration Behind Our Church Building

church-building-inspirationThis week, I want to take a break from our usual church building and design topics, to focus on someone who made a significant difference in my life and many, many others.

My Grandma McKnight lived a life serving the church. The first week of this January, she went home to be with her Savior.

Sadly, over the last seven years, dementia robbed my grandmother of the ability to recognize any of our family. Yet even though our faces were not familiar, she never lost sight of her God. Many residents in her nursing home told of how my grandmother prayed for them, and that no matter where she was in the home, she was always at church.

Grandma spent 65 years of her life being a pastor’s wife, a church board member, the missionary president of the local church and a greeter coordinator. She affected many people personally during these years of serving the church and I spoke with many of them as they came to pay their last respects. As the head greeter for more than 20 years, she was the first person people saw each week, and so many at her service made the effort to let us know how welcome she had always made them feel.

When I was in grade school Grandma would come to my Sunday School class once a month and tell missionary stories to the kids. Every story would captivate us and hold our attention. I recall hanging on every word she spoke, waiting to find out what would happen to the missionary. I still remember some of those stories, but most of all, I remember it was the only time I behaved in Sunday School!

While her Sunday work has always impacted me, I didn’t realize how many other people it touched. At one of her viewings, a fellow church member, who is about 15 years younger than me, spoke of his memories of the missionary stories Grandma would tell once a month in Sunday School. Hearing this, it really hit home how much she had impacted multiple generations of kids with her stories.

But Grandma touched others too. During the funeral, my father shared his memories of his mom. He spoke of when he was young, how she would create state of the art flannel graphs to aid her storytelling in Sunday School. This dedicated woman had spent a lifetime serving the church and impacting generations of children with her stories.

It’s no wonder that my father, with a foundation from a mom like that, grew up to also serve the church. It was Grandma who had encouraged my father to follow God’s calling to become an architect. It was Grandma, serving on her local church board, who had asked Dad to draw a set of architectural plans for the young church in Grove City, OH. And it was those plans that led to Dad answering the call to move to Grove City and start a company that specialized in building churches.

Grandma’s values were reflected by my parents too, who themselves have served in missions, church, districts, and college boards along with organizing and participating in children, youth and many other activities in the church. They, in turn, taught me through example, how to serve in and through the local church. My wife and I have tried to follow a similar path, serving our church in many ways, and passing these values to our children. I pray that they have learned from the three generations before them, the importance of serving in the church.

It was my grandmother’s (and grandfather’s) dedication to church and the Lord that started it all. It has led both to my family’s foundation of service to our local church, and to all the churches we serve through The McKnight Group. Understanding how the local church touches and changes people’s lives is literally part of our DNA at The McKnight Group. Thank you, Grandma (and Grandpa)! Without your influence, there would be no McKnight Group to help thousands of churches and touch so many lives over the last 44 years. Yet, all you did to start it all, was serve!

2015-02-04T11:28:23+00:00 February 4th, 2015|Featured, Uncategorized|

Window of Opportunity

DAVID MCKNIGHT | PRESIDENT

In the midst of difficult economic times the specific segment of church finance is in the midst of some uncharted economic ground.  The time of relatively “easy money” for church construction projects disappeared a few years ago and we are just starting to emerge into a more favorable environment.  Churches have learned to be wiser with their resources.  Funding requirements are beginning to slightly loosen. 

In the past few years, record low interest rates and relatively low inflation have provided the church with the luxury of options in regards to project timing.  Currently, a church can borrow a little extra at a very low interest rate and move forward with their project right away, or, they could choose to hold while raising capital funds before beginning a project.  Both options offer little financial risk to the church in such a favorable economic environment.

What does the future hold for churches considering new ministry tools? 

Recently, I attended an economic forecast offered by a local bank that has funded several church projects over the years.  Dr. Edmond J. Seifried delivered the economic forecast.  Dr. Seifried is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Business at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.  He serves as Executive Consultant and Chief Economist for the Sheshunoff CEO Affiliation Program and is also a partner in Seifried & Brew LLC, a community bank consulting firm.

Dr. Seifried said something that caught my attention right away.  At the Federal Reserve meetings the board discusses interest rates and guidelines for economic indicators that will signal when the FED will raise interest rates.  They took an anonymous survey at their meeting asking, “When do you think we will raise rates and by how much?”  A handful of the board thought they would raise rates in 2014 by a percent or two.  100% of the board thought they would raise rates sometime in 2015 by three to four percent – essentially doubling the cost of funding!

This tells us the time of favorable funding options will soon be disappearing! 

If there is a project in your near future this may be the time to turn up the heat and move ahead.  Research, visioning, planning, stewardship campaigns, drawings and permits all need to take place before a loan can be locked in and secured, and all of these take time.  We can help!

Wise planning now will enable you to take advantage of this short economic window, and be the best steward of Kingdom resources!

2013-05-24T09:19:32+00:00 May 24th, 2013|Advice, Featured, Uncategorized|

Five Observations About The "Current Normal"

DAVID MCKNIGHT | PRESIDENT

I’ve heard the term “new normal” enough to begin thinking the “new” has worn off.  Just like a lot of things in our society, change happens fast, so “new” doesn’t stay “new” for long.  So what kind of things are going on in the “current normal” era of church facilities?

  • Smaller projects, additions and remodel are in!  Multi-million dollar projects are fewer and fewer.  Churches struggle with the cost of projects and the difficulty of finding funds for larger projects, so, smaller is the way to go, and besides, they help maintain momentum.
  • Staying put with remodeling as relocations are difficult to accomplish.  This is mostly due to the significant cost of replacing everything you have on a new site as well as taking on large funding campaigns.  Making the most of what you have by a small addition or remodeling existing space is something the church can accomplish producing effective results.
  • Purchase an existing building. There is great value in buying an existing building at the right price and remodeling it.  This could be an existing church building or a warehouse, it does not matter.  Purchasing a “used” property and building at a good price is becoming a better way to relocate or start a multi-site church.
  • Technology is becoming more of a requirement in the simplest church building.  Computer servers, access controls, LED lights, displays, and energy management systems (among others) are becoming items every church wants in their facility.  The cost of these items are diminishing while the savings from utilizing them is increasing!
  • Building Code changes continue to add more to the cost of new construction and can even outpace inflation!  The new energy codes are changing the ways buildings can be built and negatively impact the cost of even the simplest structure.

One thing that won’t change in the past, current, new, or “future normal” is simply that people need to know Christ as their Savior and we need facilities that “work” in reaching people for Christ.  If your facility doesn’t help you reach people in a relevant way, we can help!

2013-05-07T08:30:08+00:00 May 7th, 2013|Advice, Featured, Uncategorized|

Lessons Learned from My Fast, God's Greatness

DAVID MCKNIGHT | PRESIDENT

It has been more than a year since I felt God telling me to fast from part of my life’s passion.  (See My Fast, God’s Greatness.) It was painful going through the initial decision process.  I prayed for guidance and direction.  I wanted a written note from God telling me what to do.

I have not been to a hockey game in person since April 2012!  Now, I feel released to go see a hockey game, in person, again.

These are my thoughts on why God wanted me to fast in such a way.

My actions illustrated my faith to my family.  My kids, wife, mom and dad see me all the time and know the good and bad about me.  It’s important they also know I am striving to be a Godly man but, more importantly, to see my actions upholding my words; I am a Godly man.

My oldest daughter counted on going with me to hockey games as some of her favorite father/daughter time.  This year has been difficult for her because we have not had that experience.  I replaced the time lost with other time spent with her, yet it was a sacrifice for both of us.  I pray she learned that I had to obey God first and foremost.

My friends are closer because of my experience.  I struggled telling anyone outside my family about my fast so I decided to tell my close friends.  I found that it affected them as well.  They could have thought I was crazy yet acted nicely because they were my friends, but they didn’t.  They knew I was giving up something significant in my life.  It caused them to consider their own spiritual connection with God and grow closer to Him.

Obedience to God.  I think the main lesson of my fast was obedience.  God wanted me to demonstrate I loved Him more than hockey.  And, I do!

As I look back at my struggles over giving up my seats and not going to games I realize I could have made the decision to fast much sooner.  The moment I sensed the Spirit, I knew what God was wanting from me.  I was slow to obey because what I was giving up was so significant.  I hope in the future I will not hesitate!

I hope you are able to submit to God’s direction in your life.  Today, as I write this, I see the cost of my fast was missing an incredible season of Blue Jacket’s games.  But, what I gained was much, much more!

2013-04-30T08:30:22+00:00 April 30th, 2013|Featured, Uncategorized|

Prayer.

DAVID MCKNIGHT | PRESIDENT

Prayer is an important and necessary part of being a Christian; a private, or public interaction between God and His people. Prayer is a very powerful encouragement when accomplished within a group. Prayer is also a visible sign of faith.

Over the years at The McKnight Group we have maintained some form of voluntary prayer time for employees. My wife Susan coordinates requests and prayer directives in an effort to keep our clients and relationships before God. We take seriously this honor and privilege. We have created a “Prayer Closet” within our offices to gather and pray, and once a month we pray for each other’s needs and requests. At other times we collectively pray for churches we are working with, for vision for the church, wisdom for their leaders, favor in permits, and success in maintaining momentum. All of this with the intent to ultimately bring glory to God!

I am encouraged by the outpouring of prayer within The McKnight Group. Be encouraged, we are praying for you!

The McKnight Group Prayer Posts

2013-03-27T11:09:29+00:00 March 27th, 2013|Featured, Uncategorized|

Repost: The Explosive Growth of U.S. Megachurches …

This is some great information about church growth in the United States.  While we also thought Megachurch growth was on the decline, it appears the statistics prove otherwise!

Check this out from Ed Stetzer at the LifeWay Research Blog:

“One of the more popular series last year on the blog dealt with the question “Can Megachurches be Missional?” It was part of a continuing– and important– dialogue within the Christian world.

Several people have written and researched at length the trends found in megachurches. Whether it is our LifeWay Research/Outreach Magazine list of the 100 Largest Churches in America or John Vaughan’s helpful research, Elmer Towns’ articles for Christian Life, or what Warren Bird and Scott Thumma are researching, megachurches are of interest to many.

The fact is that many practices found in smaller churches trickle down from larger ones, but also because we are a numbers-oriented culture– we want our church to grow, so we try to copy what the growing churches are doing.”

Chart from LifeWay Blog

To View Full Article Click Here.

2013-02-22T12:22:25+00:00 February 22nd, 2013|Featured, Uncategorized|