There are so many choices today; hundreds of TV channels to watch; millions of websites to visit; similar products of every kind. If there is something you don’t like, it’s very easy to find something else you do. This is why more than ever, there’s only one chance to make a lasting impression. The same consideration is in play when it comes to church design.
Successful Church Design Makes a Positive Lasting Impression
Churches are judged by the community much the same way as retail stores: People know right away what they like or don’t like about where they shop, eat, and even worship. This does not seem right to us because we know the “church,” is not about a building. However the building can turn people off from hearing your message. Anyone who walks into your church the first time is going to quickly decide if the ministry and environment they see is the one they seek. In the same way that someone’s first impression of a restaurant, store or movie theater determines whether they come back, people who are shopping for a church are going to make some pretty quick decisions based on their first visit.
So what do they see at your church? To find out, become a ‘secret church shopper.’ Walk around your church buildings and try to see them with new eyes, as if you were looking for the first time. Does your space feel welcoming? Does it give the impression that your ministry is relevant? Are there undesirable things — shabby furniture, scraped walls or outmoded décor — that could say your church doesn’t care about keeping up its condition? Are you really making a good first impression?
It’s not just about the inside of your church. The appearance of its outside could determine whether other ‘church shoppers’ even enter your worship space at all. So ask yourself, if you were visiting for the first time, whether you would feel welcomed by the space, whether the space allows for good traffic flow, and whether it’s clear that relationships are a priority for your church.
Important Questions to Consider
Once you understand where you’re not making the best first impression go back to the big picture to help you plan out the needed changes. Answer these two critically important questions:
- What is your church’s mission and vision for ministry?
- Who are you trying to reach for Christ?
The answers will become your guide to your church design and building decisions. You will easily be able to create a church environment that incorporates what you and your congregation value.
The McKnight Group Shares Your Vision
The McKnight Group holds the same beliefs for ourselves: We have a mission statement that clearly defines what we do and how we hope our work can make a difference when it comes to our church design, building and remodeling services.
Our mission statement is to assist our clients, through God’s guidance, in achieving their goals by enabling ministries with buildings that work. Those goals are accomplished by designing and building buildings with the right quality and fairest price so that churches will receive the greatest stewardship for their resources. We like to emphasize enabling ministries with buildings that work, because your church building really is a tool to help you reach your community for Christ.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll showcase a number of church buildings that do make a positive, lasting impression, and explain why they work so well. Meanwhile, if you want to learn more, sign up for one of our free i3 webinars or contact us today with any questions you might have.