Return
Working with an Architect
Resources
5 Resources
For The CRG Created For The CRG
Your Building Project in Three Steps

The priest stands in the sanctuary. He is near the front pew, facing the back of the sanctuary looking at a tall stained glass window. The image is abstract – it is bright, blue, red and orange. With his arms crossed, the priest says, “We spent over $100,000 taking care of this sanctuary last year. I can’t keep going a year at a time reacting to everything that needs fixing.”

I couldn’t agree more.

The purpose of your congregation’s building is to serve your mission. Yet, like this priest has experienced, many congregational leaders feel they are servants to their buildings.

This is why the Indianapolis Center for Congregations hosted a Sacred Space project. We worked with leaders from 50 congregations in central Indiana who wanted to improve their buildings to serve their greater purpose.

The three-step process
With these 50 congregations, my colleague Nancy DeMott and I learned a three step process to help leaders match their congregational building to their missions.

 

Here are the three steps:

We learned that those who effectively address their building issues, whether shoring up older buildings or constructing new ones, follow this clear three step process.

Questions to ask yourself
Discern includes addressing the following questions:

Decide involves addressing these questions:

Do contains these questions:

Those who thoroughly answered these questions moved successfully through their building projects.

Resources you can use
We captured this knowledge in a book titled Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission.

Getting started in the right direction is essential. If you think you are at the discern stage, the book titled When Not to Build is a good resource. It is not as negative as it sounds, and it provides solid advice for decision making.

How is the priest faring with his building concerns? I heard from him recently, and he said that the building was no longer sinking the parish’s energy. He said, “One night at council, I stopped a discussion about the latest needed repair with a question: ‘Who is God wanting us to be?’ That changed everything.” The priest said someone suggested they begin a building feasibility study and get their house in order. “Since then,” he said, “We are one step ahead of the leaks and creaks!”

Discern. Decide. Do.

May your building project lead you to deeper and richer life as a congregation.

organization
Association of Consultants for Liturgical Space
This organization offers a list of artists, architects, and liturgical consultants who are dedicated to creating beautiful spaces for faith communities.
article
Questions to Ask Your Architect
Published by the American Institute of Architects, this article details five categories of questions congregations should consider asking betore hiring an architect.
book
The Church Construction Kit: A Complete Project Guide for Church Building Programs
This practical guide will help your congregation navigate the building process, from the planning stages to discussing the responsibilities of the architect and contractor.
article
Working with Architects
Written by the resource experts at the Center for Congregations, this article details things to think about when engaging an architect.
About the Contributor
Contributor
Doug Hanner

Doug Hanner is a pastor and former CRG director. He has a strong background of lay ministry and strategic planning coaching and consulting.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.