1. This Is A Spiritual Event
Over the past 73 years, we have seen the landscape in the architecture and construction world shift dramatically, construction costs are continuing to rise at rates unseen before, new technology costs, building complexity, zoning requirements, energy mandates and even accessibility make building a daunting task.
In the midst of these changes, one thing remains the same. Although the process may seem to be of a material nature, and it is – it is important for us to realize that we are entering this as a spiritual event, one which can help define the ways we can be used to serve, reach and minister to our current congregation and to old and new believers alike who may find us as a result of this new building.
2. This Is Red Sea Crossing
In every project there comes a moment in which there seems to be an insurmountable problem that arises, and the way across appears to be blocked, some obstacle – be it financing, zoning, collaboration and support from the congregation – it is at that moment you have to be ready to stand and part that sea.
Having the right architectural team with you in that moment, a team who is prepared, both technically and spiritually, to stand with you and seek the Lord, to seek out solutions, ideas and strategies to part those waters that are keeping you and your congregation from the promised land.
3. This Is A Major Opportunity
A new building project comes with it the opportunity to look at everything with fresh eyes and a new perspective. Who we are as a body, who we have the opportunity to serve – and important items such as room capacity, location and even technical factors like lighting and sound.
It is a rare gift that is given to us at specific seasons – seasons to make changes, realign our vision as a body and to move toward a fresh new form. In the church, there can be resistance to that change, and those windows of opportunity may not come by very often, so when the Lord brings those to you, you need to make the major changes needed to serve your congregation and your community.
4. You Need Wise Counsel
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” Luke 14:28
The process of building requires preparation and wise planning, and the truth is, most church committees do not have experienced counsellors who have worked on a church project before. Even if they have some experience, every situation and project is different enough that the journey is unique and the pitfalls can be devastating without the right counsel.
As your architect, we will be a key resource for you, your building committee and your congregation. As you seek the Lord’s guidance in choosing an architect, you need to ask for someone that has the skillset, the patience, and the experience to successfully lead you through this process.
5. Insist On A Custom Process And Custom Design
Each church is uniquely called and function correctly, each site is different, your needs are different – and your design needs to be custom designed for you and your congregation.
General advice, feedback and design can be an enticing temptation, but it yields very little in terms of a clear path forward, leading to a fruitful outcome.
6. Invest More To Get More.
When you hire an architect, the fee directly affects the amount of time he can spend on your project — many churches shop fee to their detriment. Find the best architect first, then sit down and negotiate a fair fee but make sure it is enough for him to do his best work.
A great design can bring growth, make ministry easier and a great architect will work to save you his fee many times over by knowing how to put together a building that costs less to build.
There are a multitude of ways the right architect can save you resources in this process, but these methods take time and skill.
7. Hire Your Architect First And Early
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18
One of the costly mistakes that we have seen happen in many congregations, is that the leadership often try to mortgage resources within the church to draw up concepts.
While this can be helpful, it is not necessary – and in many cases the concept fails to consider important factors that the location or site require – and if not done correctly, cause confusion and strife in some congregations.
Another common mistake we see is that a church will attempt to raise all the funds needed before hiring the architect. A good church architect will actually help prepare you for fundraising by doing a feasibility study or concept drawings. These drawings need to be done well so when you go to the congregation you know what you are doing and why.
Designing church buildings since 1946, we have found that our projects tend to follow the spiritual pattern of the children of Israel leaving Egypt.
First, what was a good place, begins to make the church cry out, there is an initial deliverance (from the bondage of years of doing nothing but the weekly grind) and the church finds itself between the intolerable old place and its death (represented by Pharaoh’s army) and the depth of an uncrossable sea (the financial realities and technical complexities of design and construction).
It’s at that moment that you need someone who knows you can cross, who will stand staff extended – until the winds come and part those seas and who know the wilderness ahead because he has spent the last 40 years in them.
In an ideal situation, you will work with an architect who has specialized in helping churches cross impossible seasons and navigate the wilderness beyond in route to a new promised land.
We look forward to serving you – reach out to us via telephone, email or our contact form here on the site so we can start the conversation together.