Who to have in your church design meetings
As you and your leadership begin the process of working with architects who are going to build out your vision of expansion, you need to make sure you have the right sort of people in the meeting room. As an experienced pastor and church leader, I have seen church designs go bad before the big hitters come in with their 3D animations and architectural renderings. In other words, the initial meetings often have too many of one type of person and not enough of the others.
Let me be more specific: You need to balance those with engineering minds and decision styles with those who are wildly creative and out of the box. This is a balanced approach that makes sure both sides of the brain are being heard from. If you only have creative, you might get a rhombus shaped sanctuary and a pyramid shaped kid’s area. If you have only engineering minds, you might just get straight edge buildings that lack and daring or creativity at all. Make sure you invite both sorts of people and if there are any in the middle include them as well.
Another thing I have seen and experienced as a capital campaign is being prepared is that there are many more men that women being asked to give their serious input. Since men and women tend to see the world differently, you need to balance out the numbers. I would even suggest that there be male and female co-leaders of the committee so that there is not just male dominance.
Another piece of advice I would give is to include people of all ages. From 4 year olds to teenagers at every state of adolescence. This will be their space for church and they are the future givers. Give them all a chance to write/speak out a short piece of advice asking them the questions, “If you could improve anything at the church building, what would it be? What would you add to make this a place you want to worship?” I have never seen a church do this because kids and youth are thought to be too immature to offer anything constructive. It’s a big mistake because when this demographic become adult aged, they will have to live with whatever edifice was built when they were younger.
A brief and final piece of advice is to make the church capital campaign committee as diverse as possible. If you can have one person of every color in that room it would be smart. This way you don’t run the risk of losing important cultural advice that could really make your project a special one.
All of the above increases congregational buy-in from the start and that is a crucial piece of capital campaigns. I’d love to hear what you think about the above and also would like to know if you can think of others to include in the meeting.
Good luck and God bless.