Experienced Center for Congregations personnel and congregational experts Nancy DeMott, Tim Shapiro, and Brent Bill begin with the idea that religious “buildings communicate.” Discovering what and how they communicate and determining if the message is accurate or needs alteration, however, is where the authors’ suggested three-part process comes into play: “discern, decide, do.” The topics covered are constructed as evocative questions; “Who Is God Calling Us to Be?” “What Do We Want Our Building to Convey?” and “How Will We Maintain Our Spiritual Focus?” are three examples. Other aspects of congregational life, such as identity, mission, finances, communication, and project management are also addressed. Holy Places is invaluable for any faith community that is considering renovating, building, expanding, or remodeling their facility. The charts and graphs, questions, glossary, resources, and seven appendices (facility assessment, working with an architect, etc.) alone make this a worthwhile purchase and resource.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover