Understanding Your Church’s DNA

Has your spouse ever tried to tell you something (while your watching a  sporting event on TV) and after a long pause…. emphatically screams… “Honey, are you listening to ME?” Communication Barriers!   Or… have you ever promoted, from the pulpit, a new program to your congregation – urging them about the urgency of the cause; the thrill of being committed; and why they should sign up today? Result… just a few followers? Communication Barriers! Yes, they are frustrating.

Communication Barriers also occur in the design/build world. Traditional architects or other building companies have very talented people. They are gifted individuals who usually build many different types of facilities such as: Residential , Commercial, and Industrial buildings. However, when you inquire about a  specific focus on “the church”,  these traditional firms have limited experience with the nuances associated with a church project. They come in with a preconceived  way to design your facility. They can not always hear nor relate to your needs. Even when you attempt to convey your church style, personality, programs, and future vision, they can’t hear you clearly due to a communication barrier. That barrier being that they have only designed a few churches and are not up to speed on future trends and ministry idiosyncrasies.

Consider a good listening designer with eyes on a Master Site Plan. Let me suggest that is your answer. We believe a Master Site Plan is crucial to your church and the fulfillment of the vision the Lord has given you. This process can be quite intricate and is directly related to your program requirements (list of needs and wants). There is strategic, experiential logic behind Master Site Planning. It involves a number of issues, which a skilled church architect will keep in mind at all times. Such as: proper building placement; understanding sanctuary orientation options; providing a main focal point for building access; good traffic flow; expansion of each department; addressing relationships between each program component, ect…. Key trends should also be discussed including: safety/security; family restrooms; and large relational gathering spaces for fellowship opportunities. In addition, your physical plan on paper should anticipate growth and look ahead 5-10-15 years. Future phases should be more than just a dotted out area. They ought to be part of the holistic Master Site Plan to keep it all in balance.