Building committees don’t work — building teams do!
By Kurt B. Williams
Is your church getting ready to jump into a building program?
The wrong way to go about starting the process is to set up a “building committee” that comprises a dozen or so representatives of every special interest group in the church. The result of such a committee is predictable: disagreements, arguments, damaged relationships and compromise — often to the point that nothing productive happens.
How often do building programs run aground due to internal disagreements and personal agendas within the building committee? The first step in the right direction is to develop a group of dedicated individuals to serve on the building team.
The right building team members are:
- Fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ;
- Fully supportive of the ministry vision and mission;
- Emotionally stable;
- Respected within the Body of Believers;
- Common-sense thinkers;
- Team players and consensus builders;
- Representative of varied backgrounds and professions;
- Diligent and committed to the process;
- In possession of creative planning skills;
- Knowledgeable about construction.
The building team has been commissioned to work with a design and build team to take the church’s vision and make it reality. The varied backgrounds, perspectives and professions of a healthy building team will provide a variety of great ideas.
6 Keys to Improve Building Team Operations
- Keep the team small. Five to seven people is optimal.
- Include communicators on the team. A strong chairman is particularly important.
- Keep the senior pastor off of the team. The pastor should be “insulated” from the stress and strain of a building program.
- Have a staff representative on the team. He or she will serve as a communication link.
- Choose people who will work well together. Each building team member must have a humble, servant’s heart.
- Remain focused on the mission of the church.
The best approach involves the maximum number of people from the church, thus increasing their ownership and financial support of the project. To do this, create “focus teams” who are passionate about particular areas of ministry. Each team should be led by a member of the building team who relays information to the building team, architect and builder.
With these focus teams of seven to 15 people, the experience and wisdom of your church are brought into the process. By following the outline above, your church has a framework to plan, design and build a new building — and also include, develop and build the leadership skills of the people of your congregation.
Kurt B. Williams is vice president of church development at T&W Church Solutions — an NACDB member — based in Indianapolis. Since the late 1980’s, Williams has devoted his construction career to successfully leading project teams of architects, engineers, acousticians and construction managers through the process of discovery, architect and construction of church facilities.