Victory Life Church

Victory Life Church recently finished a $6.9 million dollar building project that finished on time and on budget. Instead of focusing all attention on the worship center, we chose to focus on community building in the lobby, creating an environment that invites our members to linger long after the benediction.

Solomon Category: Traditional and Contemporary Space Victory Life Church 6892 D Drive North Battle Creek, MI 49014 Lead Pastor: James Sunnock History: Founded in 2002 with 65 people Current Attendance: 1600-2000 Scope of Project: In March of 2016, Victory Life Church broke ground on a $6.9 million, 32,000 sq. ft. addition. With four years of planning, a team commitment by the architect, builder and church, the project finished on time and on budget. The build completed on March 4, 2017 was nothing short of extraordinary.  The reason the project was so successful might have something to do with the fact the architect, Jeffrey Parker, and the general contractor, Pioneer Construction, helped us build Phase I of our church expansion project ten years earlier.  We knew we worked well together as a team and for that project, through their hard work, we were able to come in significantly under budget and finish early.  We knew at that point we wanted to use the skills of Pioneer Construction and Jeffrey Parker again for the next phase of our building project.  We had become "friends" and we knew already how well we worked together.  By bringing Pioneer Construction in from the beginning of the design work, we were able to keep costs down and create a building that looked even better than what we had envisioned.  Traditional and Contemporary space: Four years of planning and vision casting were involved before the shovels hit the ground. Rather than the focus being on the new worship center, we wanted to design the facility to draw in the community and then continue to build a strong community within. We knew from extensive research if we built too big of a lobby it would have the same feel of a mall and people would keep moving without building community.  If we created it too thin and narrow, it would have the feel of an airport concourse and people would also continue to their destination without stopping to connect with one another.  Instead much thought and consideration were put into what we felt would be the perfect size to invite people to linger, giving them a warm space to gather, engage with each other and live life together.  We have found people want the megachurch resources without the megachurch feel and that is what we spent hours trying to achieve through the use of high end construction, the perfect coordinating color tones used throughout to create a unity throughout as well as the right blend of inside and outside materials to achieve a level of professionalism and homey comfort.  All of these elements have helped achieve the warm, country church atmosphere people crave with the resources of a megachurch to impact the community and continue our goal of "always having room for one more."  The hallmark of the traditional and contemporary space is how long people linger.  We have found that the best indicator of success is how long people linger after a service.  We noted the intervals of 30 minutes after the service, 45 minutes after the service and how many people we had to gently encourage to leave 1 hour after the service.  As one first-time visitor noted, "I felt an open, welcoming atmosphere as I walked in the door and that vibe continued throughout my entire worship experience as I found the people to be as friendly and engaging as the atmosphere surrounding them."  In addition to the traditional worship center, each room was built with multi purposes.  We have seating for 100, 200 and then our worship center holds 800 per service.  Each room not only adequately functions in its primary use, but has multi-functions to help achieve maximum usage in the space allotted.  For instance, our youth room that holds up to 100 people comfortably is also used for weddings, men's and ladies' breakfasts and is designed with the technology to provide overflow from the traditional service.  Because of the multi-functionality purpose, this room was designed to hook into the kitchen for easy access for weddings or other food-related activities.  The community room which comfortably holds 200 people is used for meetings as well as overflow also.  Our café is designed with community in mind as well.  Not only will it comfortably hold 100 people in a café-style setting, there are doors that easily open and close to allow privacy for meetings to be held, Bible studies and other activities where location close to a kitchen is required.  Each room of the church was given careful consideration for its size and multi-function purpose before construction began.  It was important to us that we make the best use of the resources God gave us and create a building that felt welcoming and comfortable to those who choose to visit, hoping eventually they will want to stay and call it their church home.

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