The variety of expertise attendees have can be very valuable to church leaders. For example, it’s a good idea to recruit people to your finance committee who have some understanding of debits and credits and how to read a spreadsheet. Some church leaders even invite worshipers to fill out a “time, talent, and treasure” inventory to help plug people into ministry opportunities that fit their skills and experience.
This is also why we sometimes see church leaders putting people who have building or construction experience on church building committees. However, we don’t necessarily think that’s an important priority. This may be surprising to many church leaders, so we thought we’d explain our thinking.
Why Not Make Good Use of Construction Experience?
Certainly, it’s great to have a variety of perspectives on any church committee. This allows for the helpful discussions and eventual agreement. It can also be beneficial to have a member of your church building committee that has a passion for construction — but they should also have a passion for the vision of your church if they’re going to be a useful member on your team.
Why a Church Leader with Vision Trumps Construction Experience
Philip Tipton, our vice president of Architecture, says this:
“Construction knowledge is great, but I would never sacrifice an individual that understands the vision of the church, the mission, what the church is called to do, who they feel God is trying to have them reach.”
In other words, construction experience is secondary to a church leader who knows about your church’s various ministries and where the church is headed.
You will be hiring an architect and general contractor, or a design-build team like The McKnight Group, who will guide you through the church design and construction process. It’s sometimes useful to have a church leader with construction experience on the building committee, but it’s not necessary. Instead, it’s crucial that every member of the church building committee is focused on your church’s vision for ministry in your community and how a church building might help accomplish those goals.
One Talent that is Useful on a Church Building Committee
This doesn’t mean that there are no specific, useful talents that can benefit a church building committee. We do recommend, for example, that at least one member of your finance committee be a member of your church building committee. As mentioned above, they should also be familiar and on board with your church’s vision. (You don’t want someone working at cross-purposes with your church building project.) But you do need a financial representative who can remind you of what’s possible for this stage of your church building project, given the realities of your church’s financial situation.
So, when it’s time to put together your church building committee, do check your list of people who have financial experience, but don’t focus on who has worked in building or construction. Choose dynamic and visionary leaders, and if they happen to have building experience, that’s a bonus.
Another bonus for every church leader is our series of free i3 webinars. These webinars can educate you on the latest ideas in church design and construction. We suggest that you sign up for our next i3 webinar on our homepage today.