The anticipation is high as the building committee gathers around the table for their first meeting. Discussion ensues regarding vision, future goals, building requirements, floor plans, history of giving, numerical growth and even color schemes. Each of these areas can become a pitfall as personal preferences and enthusiasm collide. The excitement of erecting a new facility is contagious. Everyone has an opinion or a pet project, and everyone wants his or her idea to be heard.
The opportunities for growth that a building project provides a church are many. Working together toward a common goal, investing sweat equity in your church community, seeing God answer prayer and learning to trust Him along the way are just a few. Yes, a building project can be a tremendous blessing to a church. It can also be a minefield, and the world is watching as we maneuver through it. Integrity demands that we consider our first steps. How do we encourage the blessing of church building and gracefully travel through the minefield unscathed? How does a building committee handle the multitude of decisions with wisdom and gospel grace?
A building committee with integrity…
…prays. (Ps. 118:25)
Your building is at capacity, you lack educational space, and parking is a joke. Isn’t it obvious that you need to build? Not necessarily. Commit to a time of prayer. Get on your knees as a committee and seek God. What is His will? Where are the hearts of the people? Would He have you start a daughter church? Pray for humility and unity as a committee. Unity is imperative. A cranky committee member can do so much damage. Praying together is the first step in developing a oneness of heart. This seems so basic, but how easy it is, even for those who love God, to charge ahead with human wisdom and leave God out of the equation.
…articulates a vision and communicates it well. (Prov. 16:23)
Where do you want to be as a church body in five years? What will aid your church in growing and equipping believers? What is your message to your community, and how do you plan to reach them? Once you have developed a crystal clear vision plan that everyone on your committee understands and can express, you are ready to share it with your church. Take the time necessary for your church to understand the vision. Your congregation will feel loved, included and cared for. Communication is so important. Give them regular updates. If there is nothing to report, report it!
…seeks wise counsel early. (Prov. 15:22)
Get ChurchCare involved early. Your builder can save you a great deal of money by being involved before you have paid an architect to provide you with architectural drawings. We build churches. That is what we do. We can tell you, for instance, that if your worship center exceeds a certain width, you will have to go with a steel girder, which may significantly increase costs. We can help you determine the size structure that you really need. In fact, the number one mistake most churches make is designing too large and then realizing they have designed past the capacity of their budget. Because of our experience, ChurchCare can help you maximize your resources and be good stewards of what God has given you.
…is humble. (James 3:17-18)
Pride can sink a building project! It can be evidenced in so many ways. A church member prefers a certain color… People who don’t feel included begin to grumble… Or a committee member doesn’t back down… It can be very humbling to be willing to scrap the beautiful plan you came up with in favor of one that is more economical. Please do not fall into the trap of thinking that you need the biggest and the best. Humility asks us to yield to one another out of love for our Savior, and whether your church has the most modern conveniences and most beautiful design or is a simple structure with steel siding doesn’t matter. Take pains to keep the heart of your committee and your church humbly focused on a sincere desire to glorify God with whatever He has graciously given you.