We’ve all seen it happen, whether it’s at a family gathering or a church potluck: Some young person — or one who’s young at heart — literally takes more than they can eat, or bites off more than they can chew. When a child does it, we are prone to laugh, but usually with adults we’re more likely to make a lighthearted comment about their expanding waistlines.
The same is true with the commitments we make as adults. When it’s time to take the next step in your church building design process, it’s important to make sure your church doesn’t bite off more than it can chew, or build more than it can afford. Many churches have a vision that exceeds their budget, so it’s critical for church leaders to get expert help in order to ask some of the tough questions.
Because we are experts in both ministry and construction, we know the right questions to ask at the start of the church design process. Here are some important ones:
How do we learn what we can really afford?
The answer: Complete a financial feasibility assessment. Any lending institution is going to look for certain metrics and criteria that will tell them how much you can really take on. This includes things like church size, finances, and leadership.
We at The McKnight Group understand those metrics, using them to prepare a financial feasibility assessment for clients considering a new church building design so that they can determine what they can reasonably afford.
The last thing we want is for you to end up overextending yourself on a mortgage or having to spend ministry money on a building that exceeds your needs.
How do we decide what to do first?
When it comes to your church’s vision, everyone has their own ideas about what’s most important, so prioritizing is critical. The answer to what gets done first is answered by another question: “What’s most compelling from a ministry standpoint?”
After all, if you invest in a certain type of ministry space, whether a church design from scratch or a remodel of existing facilities, you have to know that you’ll be successful in reaching new people that will in turn expand your financial reach and fulfill the next steps in your church vision.
How do we reach new people with our church building design?
This really is the key question, and it’s different for every church. If you’re going to prioritize and bring in new people who will hopefully help fund the next stages of your vision, you need to create the right kind of atmosphere, something that interests — and meets a relevant need for — the people who you’ve yet to reach.
We’ve got a lot of great ideas on how to do this, and they’re available for free through our i3 webinar series. Visit our website today and sign up to learn more about how to bite off just the right amount each time.