Science behind the seat: floor planning makes all the difference


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

Now what?


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


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.


Designing worship areas: expansion takes shape


In this installment, we’ll focus on three types of alternative site selection:

#1: Expansion on one site (current or new)
#2: Expansion on multiple sites
#3: Expansion through church planting or new starts


Small, but mighty: key elements of effective small group classroom design

Small group classrooms are integral to the spiritual life of the contemporary Church. They’re spaces of discipleship, where members and guests can digest the heart of what Christ is teaching us. They’re also places of prayer and intimate growth.

As such, it’s important that small group classrooms accommodate a great range of activities and group sizes. Yet, they must also be intimate enough that individuals feel comfortable expressing their doubts, questions and struggles surrounding faith.

It’s a delicate balance of familiarity and flexibility.


Why stained glass is always at home in places of worship

Corrected madison baptist

From the earliest of times, we know that Phoenicians were the first to make objects of glass. As a seafaring people, they spent time on beaches where lighting strikes turned sand and ashes from cooking fires into glass.

Human beings have long been fascinated by glass — its beauty and challenge of its manufacture.


Finance & lending trends: time to expand to new location(s)?

As unemployment has declined and consumer confidence has grown, it appears that the post-meltdown reluctance to solicit donors for capital pledges for religious institution expansion is abating.

This is giving way to pent-up demand for worship space.


Launch strong: 5 key strategies

A record number of new churches are launching across North America. Most will initially choose to meet in a rented facility — often a school, movie theater or community center.



A few months ago, I was having a dialogue with Rich Birch of Liquid Church (and unSeminary) about one of his blogs: Is “Multisite Church” the Last Good Idea?

Rich asked me to add some commentary to his post, as we have shared in collaborating on other subject matter related to multisite church, including Birch’s contribution to Church Locality. The premise of the blog was whether or not multisite was the last good idea for church growth and multiplication, which spawned a lot of good conversations.

My comment to the blog supported multisite as a great tool for church multiplication, but I had a slightly different take. Here was my response.


Eyes on the future: how metal buildings have changed the way we think about lasting church design


Which building material lasts longest? Which will build fastest? For churches with hectic event calendars and limited budgets, metal buildings provide an alternate solution to expensive and time-consuming construction involving wood, stone or brick.


Engaging spaces: 4 types of adult classroom spaces


For each church, educational spaces will be quite varied: some small, some large, some flexible, some very specific. For a design to facilitate the varied forms of religious education, it must be based on an understanding of the specific needs and goals for a particular ministry.