Everyone “On Board”

August 31, 2020

Here’s a radical idea for your next church building project – consider the entire congregation to be “ad hoc” members of the building committee! Totally impractical? Perhaps not as much as you may think!
Why involve so many people? Simply this – we’ve discovered that oftentimes the strongest, most sacrificial financial supporters of a project are those who have initially “birthed” it. In most cases these are members of a small building committee.

What if that same level of deep held ownership from birthing the project permeated the entire congregation? Would it make a difference in the congregation’s acceptance and enthusiasm for the project? Would it keep the project from becoming “stuck”? We have found that answer to be a resounding yes!

Here are some practical ideas to help you achieve such broad-based ownership for your project:

  • Right from the start, encourage the building committee to have an “open door” design process and seek feedback from the congregation.
  • Expand the opportunities for input during your program and pre-design meetings by including open forum invitations to the entire congregation. In addition, provide tools for ongoing feedback – sticky notes on the drawings, website postings, surveys, etc.
  • Once a preferred design solution is identified by the building committee (but before it is finalized) present the concept to the congregation. Mark it “Preliminary” and ask for feedback. We have found this can be effectively accomplished with something we call “Input Forums”.
  • Review all of the comments from the Input Forums and incorporate as many as practical into a revision of the design then share it with the congregation. Communicate which changes were made based upon their input and if possible, explain why other suggestions were not implemented.

Congratulations! By coaching your client with these simple steps during the design process, you will significantly reduce the probability of the project becoming “stuck”. That’s good news for both you and your church client.