Communications

Church Construction: Should You Build Your Field of Dreams?

It is easy and desirous for some to grab on to the simple thought, "all that is needed for church growth is a new or bigger building."


Gary Zandstra  ·  February 28, 2017

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Quoting the movie Field of Dreams, “if you build it they will come”.  Is that true for your next building project?

It is easy and desirous for some to grab on to the simple thought, “all that is needed for church growth is a new or bigger building.”  This thinking is in stark contrast to the reality that a building does not equal building the church.
 
It’s also easy to get caught in the trap that a new building or building project will solve problems, help unify the congregation, increase giving, or attract new people. 

Let’s debunk some of that wrong thinking surrounding church facility construction


There are some really good questions to ask yourself and your congregation before you embark on a building campaign.


1. Do you have a large debt on your current facility?

If you are already deep in debt it would not be wise to saddle additional debt and thus strain on your ministry.  This may seem like common sense, but it is amazing how uncommon common sense is. The added debt payments will only take away from investing into areas that can help the ministry grow.

2. Do you expect a new building to make a “statement” in your community?

This really smacks of egotism. If you think that having the coolest or newest building in town is going to help your church grow, you are unfortunately in line for a serious let down.  I have seen wonderful growing churches meeting in the humblest of places.  I have also seen soaring beautiful churches with 90% of the seats empty on a Sunday.

3. Do you need to increase membership to pay for the increased debt of a new facility?
This is really putting your faith into the “if you build it they will come philosophy.”  What happens if they don’t come? Do you default on the loan?  To me putting your faith in increased membership to pay for a building project is putting your faith in the wrong place.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gary Zandstra
Gary’s newest venture The Experience gives him the opportunity to help the local church using his vast experience in facilities and production.
Contact Gary Zandstra: gary@nemosyn.com ·  View More by Gary Zandstra


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