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


Teaching Old Church Buildings New Tricks

Over this gentleman`s objection, the congregation went ahead and invited a facilities consultant to help them find ways to make maximum use of their building. A few months later they had a remodeling and utilization plan that would allow them to grow to 750 with no new construction. A church in Warsaw, Indiana, which averages about 450 in two worship services, had spent several years studying options for how to accommodate growth. The best option they had come up with involved two additions totaling $4.2 million plus interest. Feeling stuck, they asked a consultant for help. Instead of requiring millions of dollars for construction, their new facility plan calls for a few hundred thousand dollars of remodeling and some utilizations changes that together provide enough room for attendance to almost double. After that, a $1.1 million multi-purpose addition will provide as much growing room as the proposed $4.2 million construction projects would have. How is it possible to teach "old church buildings new tricks" like this--to make them serve congregations far larger than those for which they were originally designed? It`s possible because ...

Ministry Tip: Demographics Guide Strategies

Most churches are surprised when I disclose through a detailed demographic analysis of the surrounding community that at least 75 percent of the population is adults, perhaps 18 percent are schoolage children, and about 7 percent are preschool children. Furthermore, in most instances, at least the majority of households do not have children at home between ages 0 and 18. Usually about two thirds of the households have 2 or more workers outside the home, greatly impacting weekday ministries. Ministry strategies are most effective when the strategies are balanced to target the age distribution of the community. For example, possibly 75 percent of the potential Sunday school attendance is adults. Therefore, Sunday school space and structure must reflect this statistic. Just as small group structures within department groups are the most effective strategy for children and youth, this arrangement is also the most effective strategy for adult education. Furthermore, the broad span of ages for the adults encourages some form of age-graded adult structure for effective learning in a relational context. You should not be a single-generation church. For more information, ...

How to Get Big Without Building

After Christianity was “legalized,” buildings began to take on an increasing importance. In many cases, cathedrals and monuments were so ornate as to re-initiate the idea that the presence of God, or at least a facsimile of heaven could be housed in an inanimate structure. Down through history there has always been the tension of building design vs. building functionality. Design would lean toward honoring God through aesthetics and function would lean toward gaining as much additional space as possible for added membership. Times, however, are changing. Modern church design is much less about bricks and mortar and much more about innovation and connection. Decisions about colors and textures are giving way to decisions about networks and virtual broadcasting. And this is great news for those who want to grow without entering into a major building campaign. For example it is now possible to…Start another service. Thousands of churches are seeing the benefits of adding a second or third or even sixth service on the weekend. Logistical concerns are much easier to deal with than the burden of a major debt ...

Renovating the Catholic Church: An Architect`s Perspective

Painting all the walls white, replacing the pews with chairs, relocating the tabernacles to one closet and piling all the statues in another, ripping out every conceivable object in the sanctuary…and leaving one square table (the altar) and a potted palm on the back wall. The second kind are the "Salvaging Renovations" where so-called "modern" churches…usually built in the sixties and seventies and easily mistaken for lecture halls or gymnasiums are being transformed into sacred spaces that look more like churches and attempt to implement the liturgical indications following Vatican II. This article will consider the latter and is addressed to those who are considering the renovation of their church. Since this can be a very perplexing adventure, here are a few observations frommy own experience that may prove helpful. 1. The architect and unity of purpose Since you, the client, will be inundated with advice from every conceivable quarter, the best thing to do is get professional help early. The question is: what kind of professional help? Pastors are constantly being approached by commercial purveyors of church goods who are ready ...

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