By Craig Thompson
In my last post, I shared 10 Ways to Succeed in a Building Project. If you are considering a building project or are already in the middle of one, I encourage you to go read that post. In this article, I want to suggest seven questions to ask before beginning a building project.
1. Have we utilized our current space to its fullest potential?
Build because you have to, not because you want to.
2. Should we plant another church before we add more seats?
This is a difficult question, but one that should be wrestled with carefully.
3. Can we afford to build?
Faith is a necessary ingredient to any act within the church, but Jesus told us in Luke 14:28 that counting the cost before beginning a project is wise. Don’t spend your church into a financial hole that limits her ability to engage in real ministry.
4. Who can help me outside of my church?
Call someone who has gone through a building project and ask them all the questions you can think of. Then ask them to tell you the things you don’t even know to ask.
If possible, find someone outside of your church who has led a church building campaign to come and give wisdom to you and your church leadership.
5. Who is going to help inside of my church?
If you are considering a building project, hopefully, that means you have a vision team or a building team in place, but who else will support you? Will your staff members take on certain roles?
6. What do we hope to accomplish with this building?
What is the purpose and how do you hope to fulfill the purpose? Building a gym or family life center, for instance, without a budget to keep it clean and managed may be a waste of space and money.
7. How will the process function?
Decide on the front-end of building how it will proceed. You need to know what the expectations are from the church for the building team and her members. Who approves change-orders and what is the amount that can be approved without going back to the church?
All of those questions will eventually have to be answered; you will save yourself time and headache by hammering out the process before you ever turn a shovel of dirt.
No doubt, many more questions can, and maybe even should be asked, but at a minimum, you need to deal with all of the questions listed above.
Building projects can be great blessings to a local church, but you should never undertake them lightly. Ask hard questions and ask lots of questions. Seek the Lord, and then get busy.
Craig Thompson (@craig_thompson) is the husband of Angela, father of four, and the senior pastor of Malvern Hill Baptist Church in Camden, South Carolina.