12 diseases of a church facility

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By Tim Cool A while back, Gary Nicholson, a church architect formerly with LifeWay in Nashville, wrote a blog about 9 diseases of church facilities. Since that post, our researchers have determined that there are additional diseases that many church facilities — and those involved in church facility care and development — may suffer from. […]

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Alternative facility options — spotlight on: happy campers!

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For an 18,000-square-foot worship center for the new Oklahoma Assembly of God State Youth Camp in Sparks, OK, a metal building system made the most sense. Here’s why.

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Science Behind the Seat: the care & keeping of your big investment

Sauder Worship Seating installation of straight and Radiance curved pews in Saint Francis of Assisi in Triangle, VA

The facility manager is the shepherd of the church grounds, which might include a range of duties — from landscaping, to building maintenance, to basic maintenance of the seating. It’s important for this individual to have thorough knowledge of how to properly clean upholstery and how often to tighten bolts on the seating.

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Do you really need to build? When divvying up your existing space makes more sense

Canaan Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO, needed 20 Sunday school classrooms. Portable room dividers delivered the outcome the church wanted, at a fraction of the cost of traditional construction.

As your church finds itself in need of more ministry space, a new building might seem like a logical solution. But, in the interest of stewardship, it pays to consider whether or not an existing space can be reimagined instead.

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New-build? Renovation? How to know what kind of project makes sense

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Some would argue we shouldn’t evaluate the church’s ministries. Even if a church doesn’t invite critique, it takes place every Sunday on an informal level. We know guests make a decision about a church within the first seven minutes of arriving on the campus.

Knowing this, your church (and every church) needs a partner to design its facilities — one who understands your ministry. Having the right team to first guide in an effective evaluation, and then begin to create and design a facility that functions for your ministry, helps your church be more effective.

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Engaging Spaces: Entry & Wayfinding

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Visiting a church for the first time can be quite daunting. Often, long-time church members take for granted that visitors “just know” which areas to park in, where the easiest entrance is located, and how to navigate the church campus.

But, for a first-time visitor, a church campus without clear wayfinding elements can be difficult to navigate — and make it less likely they’ll return.

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Construction financing, revisited

A true ministry banker understands that business administrators at religious institutions might only undertake a major commercial construction project once or twice in their careers.

A lender with specialized expertise in financing religious institutions will not expect you to intimately understand or fully anticipate the commercial construction and related borrowing processes. Rather, a lender with a depth of experience banking this segment can provide consultation and guide you through the process.

Nevertheless, the ministry will be best served when adequately prepared about what to expect.

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How technology affects worship space design

Raleigh First Assembly (RFA) in Raleigh, NC

Acoustical, audio, video and lighting systems can drastically influence — positively and / or negatively — the entire built environment of a worship space.

Regardless of the type, size, style and so on, these systems today are much like the story of an old minister of music colleague: No one would ever allow a pianist to consistently miss notes while playing for worship.

The same is true for the technical staff and the equipment used.

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Science behind the seat: floor planning makes all the difference

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Congratulations! You and your congregation have made the decision to invest in new sanctuary seating.

Now what?

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How to avoid cost overruns: tried-and-true strategies

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Often, when a church decides it wants to build, the first step is to get a set of plans designed and then bid out with several contractors. Nearly every month, we encounter churches where — after bidding the plans — the project is over budget and cannot be completed.

Other church leaders tell us their buildings were built using this process … and yet they ended up spending a significant amount more than the contractor’s original bid.

You might ask how this could happen. The answer: cost overrun.

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