The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many aspects of life in America, and church is one of them. While it can be tempting to focus on all the problems, God can transform anything. In this case, COVID-19 also gives churches an opportunity to break the church building status quo and evolve in order to better minister to their communities.
Understanding the Pitfalls of the Status Quo
It’s common for people to get comfortable with the way things are at church. Over time, it becomes more difficult to make changes because folks are happy with the status quo. While we can become comfortable with how we use our church building and the ministries we do in and throughout it, being comfortable is not where Christianity thrives. What’s best for a church can sometimes be very different from what attendees want.
Therefore, the COVID-19 crisis presents a golden opportunity to reevaluate and update our church vision for ministry in the community. In fact, COVID-19 has already forced most churches to do just that in order to provide a safe environment. What George Barna once said is even more relevant today: “The things that got you where you are today will not be the things you need to get you where you need to be tomorrow.”
Why You Should Revision Your Church Design
Making vision and ministry changes internally is only part of the change process. How a church building looks from the outside, or as attendees enter, can speak volumes about the vision and direction of the church. An old building with a new direction inside looks the same from the outside. Imagine that a new family comes to town and passes by an old church building. When they look at the church design, can they imagine that it has vibrant ministries for families, or does it seem to be a standard traditional church? Curb appeal, in this case, means more than healthy landscaping, a freshly sealed parking lot, and a church building that’s clearly well cared for. It’s also about getting a sense that this church building is the home of a warm and friendly community that ministers to all ages.
Bridgetown Church of Christ: Changing Up the Church Building Status Quo
Here’s an example (prior to COVID-19) that illustrates how church leaders modernizing their church vision communicated the change through a remodeled church design. Bridgetown Church of Christ was constructed in the 1970s. Driving by the church building, you wouldn’t understand that there had been a complete change. They had hired a younger staff, refocused their programs to appeal to younger people, and changed their ministry direction to reach the neighborhood. Once guests got inside the church building, these changes were evident. However, from the outside, it looked like the same old traditional church.
As you can see in these before and after photos, we transformed the exterior church design appearance to reflect their updated church vision. Now, it’s possible to see that something new and different is going on in the church. We also took the opportunity to build new restrooms, increase energy efficiency, and create warm, friendly places for people to gather. Now, the message on the outside matches the ministries going on inside.
While COVID-19 has kept many people away from church buildings, that won’t last forever. People will be back. Does your church design send the right message? If not, give us a call and let’s talk about possible changes you can make. Also stay tuned, because we’ll soon be providing details about our free i3 webinar lineup for 2021!