Many churches these days are struggling to fit their building and remodeling visions into the limited constraints of their budgets. There’s a lot of economic uncertainty out there, and that could lead to a decrease in giving; it’s a fact of life that all nonprofits are facing.
That doesn’t mean you have to put your church’s dreams on hold, however. This is actually a time of great opportunity. Your church design or remodeling project can, with the help of a wise church architect and the right plan, meet all the needs of your ministry, and do it in an amazingly cost effective way!
As we share in one of our free i3 webinars, The McKnight Group has developed a church design that we call the Advantage building. If controlling costs is a major factor in developing your church remodeling or building concept, this is a great place to begin. The Advantage building is a high quality building that is cost-effective because one space serves multiple functions for the congregation. Constructed of strong steel, there’s no need for pillars which often block sightlines in more traditional church buildings. The created large, open space, painted in neutral colors, is a great “blank canvas” for a variety of activities.
It’s also not necessary to have a different building, or even a different space, for each element of your church community life. Say, for example, you want a great gathering place for youth with a basketball court, but you also need space for the community to gather and share meals together. And of course you need a worship space where the congregation isn’t distracted by basketball goal posts and athletic lines painted on the concrete floor.
It’s actually possible to have all three of those very different activities take place in the same space, as long as it’s well-designed. Variable lighting is a huge factor here. Think about the bright lighting that you need for a basketball game, and compare that to the lower light level that you prefer when people gather to worship.
That lower level lighting, plus all the chairs that cover most of that athletic paint, results in people not realizing that you’ve transformed a gym into a worship space. Glass-backed basketball goals retract toward the ceiling and your “worship” platform rolls out into its space along the side wall, and suddenly the average visitor will have no clue that they’re worshipping on a basketball court.
The transformation to a banquet space is just as easy. Retract the basketball goals and dim the lights just enough to create the right atmosphere, then bring in tables and put chairs around them. Leave the platform in place if you need to have a presentation or teaching, or remove it to create space for a line of buffet tables.
Anything is possible with the right vision. With an Advantage building, even a limited budget won’t limit your ministry. And of course, these are just the basic ideas. Over time, you can add banners, and additional lights in different colors, to help set different moods—all within the same single space.
For more on the cost-effective possibilities for your church worship space and to learn more about our Advantage building design, we invite you to sign up for one of our free i3 webinars.