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PraiseBuildings Articles

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A library of useful articles on every topic impacting your PraiseBuilding.


RESTROOMS

In most PraiseBuildings, the construction of restrooms is as important as the construction of kitchen or audio/visual center and is nearly as expensive. On average, PraiseBuilding restrooms need to be replaced every twenty years, so it is important to spend some money here to get the most out of every fixture. Use the highest quality materials the budget will allow to withstand years of abuse. There is a difference between high quality fixtures and designer fixtures. Since restrooms will be used and abused, it is important for architect or building committee to specify high quality sinks, faucets, toilets, urinals and dividing partitions Over the last several years, many congregations have decided to make their restrooms more than the utilitarian spaces they once were. Today, restrooms may feature baby-changing stations, lounge areas, changing areas with showers and even decorative artwork and lighting.It is important that restrooms are built to area building codes. Depending upon the space constraints of the PraiseBuilding, it may not be possible to make each restroom ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) compliant. The law requires that an ADA compliant restroom ...

Choose Your Seat Wisely: Stack Seating Content

There are generally two varieties within stack seating: one is fully upholstered and padded, the other is a molded plastic chair with a chrome frame and high-density stacking capability. The major benefit of this molded chair is its storage and stacking. The capacity varies with the particular chair but is usually about 38 to 45 high per chair dolly. The upholstered chair affords more overall comfort. It is more popular and cost per seated person is much less than for pews or theatre seats. There are dozens of sources for stack seating, but only a few that specialize in seating specifically designed for the church. The preference is to use a chair that when ganged together allows the seat cushions to be tightly adjacent to one another. This will form a continuous seat and allow you to overcrowd by seating the people pew style. Most of the major suppliers will provide you with a complimentary sample chair. Take advantage of this so you can truly assess the differences in quality, construction and comfort. Determine what your buying criteria will be but ...

Walk Through The Church Facility: The Baptistery

The immersion baptistery symbolizes the truly repentant believer`s identification with Christ his Savior in death, burial, and resurrection to walk in new life. This service is a wonderful time for testimony and evangelistic appeal. The physical process must be dignified to avoid distraction from this biblically prescribed public ordinance of the local church. During my many years of church facility development consultation, I have seen many designs for the immersion tank. I`ve seen a horse trough used. I watched the deacon of the pastorless church baptize the scared lady a second time because another deacon yelled from the back of the room that her arms were not under the water. I recommended the closing of the baptistery with access only through the window from the choir area. I recently observed access to a baptistery 20 feet straight up a steel spiraling stairway. I learned of the candidate who was nearly electrocuted by the makeshift heater dropped into the water (while the pastor was insulated by his rubber waders). I heard of the man who was toweling to dress after his baptism, ...

Walk Through The Church Facility: The Worship Center

But auditoriums are for audiences observing a performance, rather than participating in worship through singing and reading of the Scriptures. The term sanctuary refers specifically to a holy place (and most specifically as the area around the altar), but has become commonly used to refer to the building set aside for worship. Some avoid this term sanctuary for the place of worship, believing God now dwells in each true believer, and the altar identification in the church is not appropriate with Christ`s finished work on Calvary as our true altar. I am emphasizing the term of identification to underscore how the room should be designed. Audiences observe; congregations participate in audience with God. Audiences are entertained by performers; congregations are led in expressions of worship, and exhorted through preaching to live for and serve the living Christ who will rapture the Bride/Church. Audiences applaud performances; congregations express heartfelt appreciation to God through words and deeds. Therefore, I prefer to call the place of worship the worship center, since there is no such word as “congretorium.” The worship center should be designed ...

SANCTUARY

Whether one calls it a sanctuary, worship space, celebration room, nave, assembly hall, or great room; this focal point of a structure is the single most important room in the Praise Building. Designing this space, (which for the purpose of this text, we will call the sanctuary) need not be complicated to design or expensive to construct.The most important aspect of sanctuary design is to create a worship space using scale, color, light and building materials which humble us in the presence of the Divine. Regardless if one stands in a temple in Thailand, a Mosque in Morocco, or the Cathedral in Chartres, one is humbled by the scale of the sacred space. Additionally, the quality of design and craftsmanship allows one to appreciate the worship space for the excellent craftsmanship contained therein. In modern PraiseBuildings, the same elements are used to create a contemporary worship space. Since the focus of this text is limited to working within the framework of an existing structure, much of the architecture detail of the original structure should be incorporated into the PraiseBuilding. By Stephen Ferrandi, Director, ...

Walk Through The Church Facility: The Main Foyer

Church architects often refer to it as the narthex. The common term among the church people is foyer or lobby. A contemporary concept is to make this area a central concourse or mall patterned after the shopping center with the enclosed mall and food court. One well known church has a Starbucks franchise in the central mall. Let’s avoid extremes, seeking a balance that will contribute to our central purpose of the church to produce disciples—a man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28). While I do not believe we should seek to replicate the mall and the food court, there is an opposite extreme I often find in the church facility of nothing more than an entry area without adequate circulation space or a central gathering area for greetings and fellowship. I like to call the main foyer the COMMONS. It is a common point of entry from the main church entrance where people can be easily directed to any area of the church complex. Those people who are familiar with the building should be able to go from the commons ...

Walk Through The Church Facility: The Entrance

Healthy, groomed landscaping and ample light for night parking are primary signs of life. Parking should be conveniently distributed around the larger church facility for close access to various areas of the building serving different functions. It is especially important to have parking in front of the building—a primary way to show people and activity as another sign of life. Ample parking usually requires parking spaces at a ratio of 2.5 people per vehicle. The main entry to the church facility should be evident at the front of the complex when people enter the church site. A drive-through canopy and glass doors are important additional signs of life. There should be a greeter outside the entry doors welcoming the people—another great sign of life and good impression. The greeter should assist people into the building, and direct visitors to a welcome center in the main foyer with a host and hostess at the center trained to meet each one`s unique needs. Remember, you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression.

FELLOWSHIP HALL

There are five basic design principals behind good fellowship hall location and design: 1. Rooms that are rectangle in shape work best. The room should be at least half as wide as it is deep, and with a ceiling height of at least nine feet. Remember that when the room is filled with people all talking at the same time, the sound will be cacophonous. A higher ceiling will help disperse the sound and make a more pleasant social environment. 2. Select floor coverings able to withstand much abuse over the long term. This requirement normally means that if food will be served regularly in this room, the floor covering will be limited to commercial grade vinyl tile, linoleum or ceramic tile. Most carpeting will not be able to withstand the heavy traffic and constant soiling caused by spilled food and beverages. 3. Select wall coverings and paints capable of being washed down. If the walls are to be painted, use a latex paint capable of withstanding regular spot washings. If a wall covering is to be selected, limit the selection to ...

Funding The Local Church

Eighty percent of giving in evangelical churches comes from 20 percent of the people. The remaining 20 percent of giving is from another 30 percent of the people, leaving 50 percent not participating. Published national statistics by Barna, the Southern Baptist Convention, and others suggest that 80 percent of giving in evangelical churches comes from 20 percent of the people. The remaining 20 percent of giving is from another 30 percent of the people, leaving 50 percent not participating. The average amount contributed represents about 2.5 percent of the contributor`s gross income, rather than the basic tithe (10%). Historically, most churches have sought to stretch giving by increasing the budget or appealing through Faith Promise Missions—a single category of the overall ...

The Church Borrowing To Build: Let Borrowing Serve You

Certainly the concept of borrowing money has been abused. Many have become slaves to debt (defined as excessive borrowing) rather than making debt (defined as reasonable borrowing, better identified as loans) serve them. I believe the church project can be partially funded through borrowing without violating biblical principals governing interest and payment of loans. Borrowing should never replace stewardship. Challenge your people with the Word of God to an enlarged faith that would encourage giving beyond the visible assets of the moment in trust agreements with God. Accept the possibility with God of sufficient cash gifts for the project. Raise all you can. However, waiting for cash to build in some instances is costly. You may miss the opportunity to purchase a suitable building site when it is available. Inflation could increase building costs more rapidly than your building fund is increasing. A congregation usually becomes weary and disheartened if they see little progress. Capacity crowds in the present facility may eliminate your ability to grow. Occupying a new facility may allow you to reach more people for Christ who can also give to eliminate the ...

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