Church growth – a survival guide

Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Phi 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

What every Pastor, Church Leader and seminary student should know.  What they don’t teach you in seminary, yet 8 out of 10 pastors fail as a direct result of a church expansion program.  This is the most pro active, preventative advice available today.  Empowering, enlightening and powerful.  An invaluable guide to a successful pastoral career.

Author:  Bradley R. Yock C.A.S.

ABOUT THIS GUIDE
The church in transition“How to Build a Church and Survive” presents the necessary information on church building, financial pitfalls, how to finance the building project, and crucial advice for the leadership and members of the church congregations who are contemplating a building program. The information offered can save a congregation thousands of dollars, not to mention avoiding the emotional turmoil of making disastrous decisions during a building program.

IT IS NOT RUMOR BUT TRUTH THAT 8 OF 10 PASTORS LEAVE THEIR CHURCH DURING OR IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING AN EXPANSION PROGRAM.  THIS IS REQUIRED READING FOR EVERY SEMINARY STUDENT, PASTOR AND CHURCH LEADER.

True Stories
A church in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area was given some acreage on which to build a church. There was no consideration as to the feasibility of the site, and they were determined to build there. They spent their entire $300,000.00 budget bringing pipes to the site and they hadn’t yet put a shovel in the ground.
Another church in Puyallup, Washington, was forced to relocate because they had outgrown their facilities. Unfortunately, the church had had many opportunities to purchase property directly adjacent to the church, and had voted not to purchase. With foresight, this church would have had ample room to grow right where they were. Now the church was faced with a 3.5 million dollar relocation program. The acquisition of the adjacent property would have saved the church 2.5 million dollars.
On another occasion, I consulted with a church that had purchased a large piece of property. They were provided with a detailed, comprehensive master plan for the church, including a plan for on-site utilities. However, the church was persuaded that they would save money by using a particular architect and builder in the church family. They quarried rock from the property and built a lake right in the middle of the on-site utility access way. The cost of redesigning the utilities, and added cost of running the utility around this new lake, cost the church three times the savings they thought they were going to have. The church expended all of their building funds trying to save money!

(2Co 9:8)  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Such examples may be the reason why it is said that seven out of ten pastors will leave the pastorates during or immediately following an expansion program. It is a sad consequence of what is supposed to be the highlight of a pastor’s career, and a congregation’s dream. The church is growing, exciting progress is being made in hearts and lives, and now it’s time to expand horizons. Instead, a church can find itself most vulnerable to a self-destructive mode. A building program can develop into a quagmire that ultimately becomes a voracious quick-sand to a pastor and his congregation.
It is important to go step by prayerful step when entering this challenging territory. Sometimes the first, haltering steps are the most vital, and set the tone for the entire building program.
A key issue is whether a building program is even needed. A desire for more aesthetic or newer surroundings is simply not enough. But if a church is operating at 75 to 80% capacity, they are on the edge of a full house.
If a Christian education department finds there is no room for more Sunday school classes, or they are meeting in hallways or the women’s lounge – it is time to assess the situation.
Parking space is also a key indicator of a needed expansion. Insufficient parking areas will stop a congregation’s growth. If continued growth becomes dependent on more space, it is obvious that a building project is necessary.
Leadership, of course, is the key to the success of any building program. The pastor must be 150% behind the program. Total commitment from the leadership is necessary from the beginning to end.
Once the conclusion is reached that a building project is needed, and the leadership is committed toward the goal, the first step is to form a Prayer Committee. This committee will pray about solutions necessary and critical to success. They should remain active and open to prayer during the entire building project.
The next committee to be appointed is the Building Committee. Five to seven members (not too many) is a good number for this important committee. Besides the leading pastor, suitable committee members are those who serve in ministry in the church. They should be active and involved member in the life of the church. They could be a nursery worker, a choir member, a Sunday school teacher, an usher, or any other involved member. Sometimes an architect or building contractor can be found in a congregation, but this alone does not qualify them for the Building Committee. Active involvement in the church does, and should be the number one criteria.
The first assignment for the Building Committee is to prepare a mission statement. This will keep the needs and plans in focus, and provide a solid foundation to be built upon, and returned to from time to time.
The mission statement serves as a rudder giving direction and purpose to the church. I recommend that the church in a building program take a closer look at their mission statement, and update it.
The mission statement should look somewhat like a business plan. Like every business plan, it is a reflection on the specific product and market it is reaching. It should give a brief detail of its immediate, intermediate and long-term goals. It should lay out a plan of attack, clearly mapping out, goal by goal, its ultimate intention. The mission statement should clearly define the church’s present identity, who the church is planning to reach, and how they are planning to reach them. Make a plan and work the plan. It is shocking how many churches forget this fundamental basic requirement of a successful expansion program.
Once the Leadership and Building Committees are unified in heart and goals, they must do whatever is necessary to bring ownership to this vision to the church as a whole. Let them own their vision! This can be done in various ways, such as sending a survey to the members, and paying attention to their suggestions during an open forum. Make room for continued communication within the entire church body.

(Eph 3:20)  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

(Eph 3:21)  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

A church in the Northwest currently in a building program has instituted some unique plans in order to keep the communication with the church body in full focus. They developed a theme, “Discover the Joy”, and have and used this theme throughout the campaign. The theme has been central in all communications regarding the building program.
The leadership of this church used other, very effective methods of communication with the church body: (1) they adopted a theme worship song. (2) In every bulletin, the theme was somehow represented. (3) Periodic newsletters went out to the congregation regarding the progress of the building program. (4) The staff created mini video presentations with a twist of humor. (5) Perspective art work was created, and was part of a display that included models and statistical information of the future buildings, floor plans, and elevation drawings, with room labels included. (6) Regular announcements were made by the members of the board, updating the church family from time to time.

Communication with the church body is not the only consideration. Let the neighborhood; also, know that plans for change are in effect. Treat your neighbors like you do the church itself: communicate, and invite them in. Open communication can possibly diffuse what could become an untenable situation with neighboring businesses or homes.
Another church in the Northwest had many acres of bare property directly adjacent to the church. The decision was made to sell the acreage in order to offset some of the current expenses, and defer costs of some additional church ministries. Within just a few years the property wound up in the hands of a developer, who quickly designed and created a sub-division of homes.
By this time, the church began to experience growth, both through their ministries, and their church-sponsored school. When one Easter arrived, it became quite apparent that the church was not in a very good position to be hospitable to visitors, as there was standing room only. An architect was hired, and the design process was started.
The church went before the City Planning Commissions for their Conditional Use Permit (C.U.P.). But because the church had failed to lay down good communications with the sub-division, the C.U.P. was denied. The home owners of the sub-division had decided to form a neighborhood association. This neighborhood association concluded that they did not want a church expanding in their back yard. To their disappointment, the church discovered that there is nothing as powerful as a neighborhood association when it came to land use matters. The association was successful in defeating the church once owned, ended the future expandability of the church. Ultimately, the church was forced to relocate.
One of the greatest problems from the beginning is lack of communication. Explain from the pulpit, and keep the congregation assessed of progress and plans. Acknowledge the committee members. Be sure to communicate with the neighbors, and with the media. They are all needed allies in this great project.
Recently, while working with a church that was beginning the expansion process, we proposed that the church begin a campaign to love the nearby neighbors. Basically, this meant to evangelize them. By doing mailings, house visitations, and church social desserts, the church communicated very well with the neighbors. Not only were they successful in the expansion program, but the church also added several families. It sounds basic, but unfortunately, neighborhood hospitality goes neglected in most cases.
An important thing to remember is that progress doesn’t happen overnight. It usually takes anywhere from twenty-four to thirty-six months from the planning to the occupation of the new church. (It often takes as long to design as to build it. It has been done in less than twelve months, and as long as six years.) It may take a month to select a committee. It may take another six weeks to prepare a mission statement. Consulting a firm or construction company can take a month or more. And this is before any of the real work begins.

(1Co 4:1)  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

(1Co 4:2)  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

So the church embarking on the uncertain territory of a building program needs to make some important preparatory steps. The following list could be used as a check-point, to see if it is time to begin:
Pastoral staff and church leaders are in agreement and support.
1. A prayer foundation had been laid. The Prayer Committee is active.
2. A Building Committee has been selected.
3. A mission statement has been developed.
4. Communication with neighbors, media, or other interested (or otherwise involved) parties has begun.

(Mat 21:33)  Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

(Mat 21:34)  And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

(Mat 21:35)  And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

(Mat 21:36)  Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

(Mat 21:37)  But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

(Mat 21:38)  But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

(Mat 21:39)  And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

(Mat 21:40)  When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

(Mat 21:41)  They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

(Mat 21:42)  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?

(Mat 21:43)  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

(Mat 21:44)  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

(Mat 21:45)  And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

(Mat 21:46)  But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

THE THREE R’S
REMODEL, RECONFIGURE, RELOCATE

Before making any decisions about a facility, church leadership must ask: What are our goals? What is our focus? To whom is our ministry and outreach aimed? Youth? Young families? Middle-aged adults? In what direction is our ministry headed? WHAT IS OUR MASTER PLAN? It is vital to consider not only current immediate goals, but long-term goals must be addressed as well.
What pressing issues are faced? Inadequate sanctuary space? Inferior nursery facilities? The need for expandable Sunday school space? Convenient, adequate “equal” access? What are the growth needs? (Often churches use attendance at Easter services as a gauge to determine their potential.) It must be decided whether the mission statement can be accomplished and fulfilled in the present facilities.
If present facilities are not adequate, what criteria would qualify property and building to meet the present, intermediate and long-term goals? What options should be considered? A feasibility study will answer basic questions and give guidance for proceeding. It reveals limitations and development challenges presented by a particular site. Such a study assists church leaders in assessing the capability of a property. It can search and find out any potential hidden coasts of development.
Typically, before a church decides to purchase land for future development, it will require information that would qualify the property. This information would assess the short term, intermediate and long-term development potential of the property.
This feasibility study should answer these critical questions:
(1) Does the property have nay “wet lands” or other environmental issues, such as creeks, ponds, or a one time mill or dump site? If so, identify the area and assess the government requirements and potential added cost.
(2) Does the topography indicate significant rock stands, or would it require blasting to clear?
(3) Are the soil conditions structurally condusive to support a large building?
(4) Is there enough property to expand in the future – minimum four times the current need?
(5) Does the property allow for the necessary parking requirements?
(6) If there access to public utilities – water, sewer, and power, gas, phone, cable and internet? Is the water main large enough to support fire suppression needs?
(7) Will a septic system be required? If so, how will the repair areas for the septic requirement (generally two times the septic are requirements) for land, affect the size requirements of the property?
(8) Is a well needed? If so, how will fire, life and safety codes be met? Will a retain age pond or water storage be required to meet these codes?
(9) Is the property located in an area that will have good access, or will off-site roads and access be required?

(10) Does the proposed property require off-site development, such as sidewalks, curbs, the widening of a road, water and sewer line extensions? If so, how far, and what would it cost? Will a cross walk have to be created, or a stop light installed?
In order to do a proper feasibility study, all of this information needs to be sorted and compiled. A summary and a report would be created. This summary would identify any outstanding problems and would clearly outline the potential added costs. The study would make a recommendation to include or exclude the property from the list of potential property selections. The feasibility study is to reveal whatever hidden, unforeseen costs may be incurred if the property was to be purchased. It also establishes an element of calculated risk, if it meets most of the criteria but has some issues that are to be dealt with. With the calculated risk, the church has enough information to make an educated decision.
A church in the Northwest has been considering moving out of its antiquated facilities for some time. It created a Properties Committee, which was to explore the potential properties for the church. During the search, a piece of property only one mile away was identified. It was eight acres, located in the city, and the owner wanted $120,000.00.
Then the church found a piece of property just outside of town. The price was a steal – almost a gift! It was twelve acres for $68,000.00. They knew that the property would not last long. Because the church could not pass up on such a great deal, it voted to purchase the property immediately.
This church had $260,000.00 left in its building fund for the first phase of the building project. It spent all of those funds qualifying the property for the church building. They had to extend the sewer to the site. The ground would not perk. They had to extend water for a mile because of the fire suppression requirements. They had to build curbs and sidewalks and widen the road. This twelve acre property cost the church $328,000.00 by the time they were allowed to begin building. This amount did not include the new building. This cost was just for the church’s current on and off site development.
In contrast, the eight acres was ample for the church’s current and future developmental needs. It had city sewer and water and the road was completely developed, including a stop light, curbs and sidewalks, all for total cost of $120,000.00. As they say: Hindsight is 20/20.

(Rom 14:12)  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Basically, three options are open: Reconfigure, Remodel or Relocate.
RECONFIGURE
Reconfiguring involves changing property to a better design to give more ministries. This might consist of placing the platform and pulpit in a different location so that more seating area becomes available. It may mean exchanging or changing Sunday school meeting rooms.
To reconfigure means to leave everything alone, structurally. But move the uses around in order to maximize the current needs of the church. Typically, this is because the church is experiencing growing pains. This is a very popular approach to meeting the transitional period needs, but it is truly “squeezing blood from the turnip”.
When the church is considering being creative with their present facilities (reconfiguring), they may have several obstacles to deal with. First, there is the sacred cow. Many mainstream churches or older congregations have to hurdle the idea of the sanctuary as a holy place. Most will not allow food or drink in the, to move the church into the gym is unthinkable. For that matter, to turn the old sanctuary into a fellowship or banquet multi-purpose facility is unthinkable.
The only way to clear this hurdle is to teach the church family that the place of holiness is the event of worship, not necessarily where we worship. It would be best to avoid a conflict of theology; however, this does present quite a challenge to the pastoral staff and leadership of the church.

(Luk 19:10)  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

(Luk 19:11)  And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

(Luk 19:12)  He said therefore, A certain noble man went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

(Luk 19:13)  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

(Luk 19:14)  But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

(Luk 19:15)  And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

(Luk 19:16)  Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.

(Luk 19:17)  And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

(Luk 19:18)  And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.

(Luk 19:19)  And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

(Luk 19:20)  And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:

(Luk 19:21)  For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou laidst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

(Luk 19:22)  And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

(Luk 19:23)  Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

(Luk 19:24)  And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.

(Luk 19:25)  (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)

(Luk 19:26)  For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

(Luk 19:27)  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

(Luk 10:30)  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

(Luk 10:31)  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

(Luk 10:32)  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

(Luk 10:33)  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

(Luk 10:34)  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

(Luk 10:35)  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

(Luk 10:36)  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?

(Luk 10:37)  And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The greatest challenge is how to squeeze more space use out of what is already there. The same square footage still equals the same square footage, right? Not necessarily. What was a classroom now becomes a nursery. Suddenly there are more babies, more space, for the nursery. A change may be required in the way the church manages the Sunday school hour. Perhaps that would include small group settings such as home fellowship groups, or odd and even weeks for particular age groups.
The problem is that when a church is growing, they are to be disciplined physical plant managers. Detailed scheduling of uses is an absolute must. Typically, we would recommend establishing a “Master Use Plan”. This plan should recognize that there is no dedicated use in any particular part in the church campus, except for the Senior Pastor, and secretary’s offices. However, I have seen the Senior Pastor’s office and even areas of hallways used for teaching small groups.
It is important to remember that this temporary use of the church is for a transitional period only. As the church continues to grow, the transitional “reconfiguring” will eventually be detrimental to the over-all health of the church family.

(Mat 6:33)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

(Mat 6:19)  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

(Mat 6:20)  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

(Mat 6:21)  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

(Mat 6:22)  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

(Mat 6:23)  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

(Mat 6:24)  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

(Mat 6:25)  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

(Mat 6:26)  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

(Mat 6:27)  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

(Mat 6:28)  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

(Mat 6:29)  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

(Mat 6:30)  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

(Mat 6:31)  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(Mat 6:32)  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

(Mat 6:33)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

(Mat 6:34)  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

REMODEL

There are three general categories of remodeling, some more complicated than others. First, there is alteration, which is the moving of a wall, partition, electrical fixture or outlet, and plumbing fixture. An alteration may not require a contractor that is licensed by the jurisdiction in the area. In other words, the work could be performed by an unpaid, or paid, person not having a license to perform such work.
Next, there is an Addition. This is a building that would be directly attached to, or adjacent to, the existing building. It would require the proper engineering and permits, using qualified contractors, and must meet all current codes and requirements.
Finally, there is the more complex, general remodeling of a building. This is a process of upgrading an entire area, be it an entry, narthex, sanctuary, or other occupiable areas such as kitchens, baths or offices. Typically, this would require the use of professional licensed contractors. The remodel may need upgrading to meet many, if not all, of the current code requirements.
The road to remodeling is often filled with potholes. Just as “a marriage that can survive remodeling a home can survive most anything”, so might be said of a church body that can survive a remodeling program.
I once worked with a church that had just purchased an historical building. The goal was to remodel the building for this young and growing congregation. The church was well into the remodeling when they asked for help. They did get an excellent buy on the building, but did not recognize the scope of the project when they began. They did a little at a time, using volunteers.
When it came time for an electrical inspection, they had a horrifying revelation. The electrical inspector soon discovered that the church had used volunteers. During his inspection, he also noticed that the church had not replaced all of the antiquated wiring. In addition, he noticed that they were digging and plumbing and it appeared as though they had moved or altered some walls. The inspector promptly reported this activity to the planning and building department, as is part of his job.
The next day, the planner and building inspector paid a visit to the church site. After a brief tour, the planner explained to the pastor, that churches are public buildings. It was obvious, he said, that this was a major remodel and that the church would have to comply with all of the current codes. All of the work that had been done was wasted. The church had to rewire, re plumb, hire a structural engineer, and shore up walls and ceilings. They had to meet the fire and safety codes. By the time they had received their certificate of occupancy, they had spent more time and money, than if they had purchased land, and built new.
A very careful interview with the local building official, fire marshal, and planning commission is a must before any remodeling begins. This will help in assessing the real cost of altering the church building. Not all cities or counties require absolute compliance to the A.D.A. Often the amount of square footage, compared to the existing building’s square footage, will determine how and what codes will be in effect. If a church plans on adding or changing 20% or more, it is likely they will be facing a major cost in alteration, remodel, or addition.
The most critical thing is to recognize that there is always a domino effect. With every change of an existing building, there is an impact on many other parts of the
building and its use. These include on and off street parking, codes and requirements, ramps, elevators, and other required amenities, plus fire, life and safety codes.
An example of this is the seating requirements. More seats may mandate more classrooms as well. More seating will always impact the parking requirements. With church growth, there is the addition of pastoral staff, which means the need for added offices and support staff equipment.
In most cases, the age of the building is the most important consideration. Whenever an existing building is altered, current building codes may come into effect. What seemed to be a small, innocent addition of a few pews, or addition of extra offices, now may lead to the necessary of purchasing the lot next door for extra parking and building. Because of the scope of the project, the entire building may be required to conform to the current codes. These codes would include the electrical code, the environmental code, the uniform plumbing code, the equal access code, or the structural, seismic, and flood codes and requirements.
Then there is the A.D.A. (American Disabilities Act). This code alone can increase the alteration by 50%. Ramps, elevators, and restroom alterations to meet these codes are expensive. Ramps average $8,000.00to $12,000.00. Elevators can cost $55,000.00, and restroom conversions can cost $12,000.00 to $15,000.00 per restroom.
This simple $50,000.00 remodel suddenly looks more like a $350,000.00 endeavor. In addition to these issues, there may be some extenuating environmental circumstances, such as asbestos abatement, or an old in-ground oil tank, for example. The huge expense of doing the necessary environmental abatement could, alone, bankrupt the project.
If a church plans on undertaking a significant remodel or addition, they may have to defend this by necessity of remaining in their current site. The enormous cost and task of meeting the current strict codes and requirements mandate a careful analysis and feasibility study. In most cases, unless the church is a city core church and their mission statement is to minister to that city core, the church usually discovers that the coast of the task exceeds the cost of a new building.
This is why, in most communities, there will be movement when there is a sale of a church building. As one is sold to build a new building, the churches have a tendency to shift one church to the right. Everyone moves up one building to accommodate their growth needs. This avoids the nearly impossible task of everyone remodeling or adding on. A church is allowed to continue being used, regardless of how many times it changes hands. Under its current design and use, they call this Grandfathering. However, if a congregation vacates its building before they sell it, they may be at great risk. A building that is not occupied for as little as one to two years may be required to meet current codes and requirements. Thus the Grandfather clause could be lost.
The following questions can be used as guidelines in preparing a master plan for remodeling:
1. In what way will you remodel?
2. Will you add on to the existing facility?
3. Where do you need more room? Worship, fellowship areas, Christian education?
4. How much additional room do you need?
5. What about parking?
6. Will you acquire adjacent property?
7. How much can you develop at a time? Can you complete the entire project in one phase?
8. What is your plan? Your time-line?
9. Have all of the necessary code requirements been thoroughly researched, and their costs evaluated?
Have all the necessary code requirements been thoroughly researched, and their costs evaluated?

All these factors must be considered in the decision making process.
Again, the “search and discover” assignment is the most important thing, when providing feasibility for a church thinking of remodeling, or adding on to their current facilities.
Church leaders must ask themselves, “What needs to be done to fulfill our mission statement using our present facilities?”
It cannot be overstated that the greatest value (assets) a church has are: (a) its current facilities and (b) adjacent property that can be acquired.
If at all possible, adjacent property should be secured, even if it means having a living will. Adjacent property means future expandability and more parking. Parking requirements have to be met on-site. Many communities are assessing the entire square footage of a building and assigning a specified number of required parking spaces. This means “improved” parking: concrete, asphalt, curbs, landscaping and lighting. (Not just gravel.)
Short term solutions are always an alternative, of course. The most reasonable and responsible approach to the most pressing immediate problems should be taken. There are several ways this can be done.
(1) “Shuffle” meeting areas. Worship services might be moved to the gym in order to free usable space in the sanctuary for youth or other groups. Such a move proves invaluable, since two services are combined into one and provision has been made for keeping the brethren in unity.
(2) Schedule more than one service. If you do not have more than one service, consider occasional combined services.
(3) Have a master plan, and keep it in mind. Exhaust every possible opportunity and avenue for future ministry on existing property. When you have concluded that vision, you will have a facility that looks as though it was designed and built in one place. It will not be like the farmer who added a horse shed and then a hog stall and then a chicken coop. Those who have been in churches where remodeling has been done in phases know what has happened: “for the moment, for the moment, for the budget, for the moment.” With good design, exactly the same thing can be accomplished, and greater use of a facility is achieved by doing it in a comprehensive master plan.

(Luk 6:38)  Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

RELOCATE

Is location a factor in allowing a thriving church to continue to grow? Id so, how great a factor? If a church moves out of its present area, how would members be affected demographically and as a church family? Could the church exist – grow- in this area? Is access available to utilities that would meet requirements for fire safety, septic facilities, and parking? These are always glaring issues, especially with rural churches.
Location is always a factor. However, location is controlled by reasonable, suitable access more than by visibility. There is no question that it would be more convenient for church members living in the direction of the move. The opposite is true as well. They would be moving away from familiar, central, and present location.
Location is a minor issue when compared to the dynamics that have accelerated growth. When location is compared to the leadership quality of a pastor and his staff, it becomes insignificant. This statement is supported be examples such as Applegate Community Church in Jacksonville, or Hauser Community Fellowship in North Bend. These churches are so remote, specific directions or a private escort is needed to find them. The average is estimated to be approximately twenty minutes. Yet location has not affected their growth.
Unlike the three rules of retail – location, location, location – it’s rare that a person crosses the threshold of a church primarily because of its location or visibility, with the exception of the neighborhood church for someone who has recently relocated and is looking for a local church. People come to a particular church and stay because of love shown by the church family, or unique communication skills and deliverance of the Gospel by the pastor and staff. To assume that moving to another location would “market the church” is unreasonable.
A deep love and compassion that reaches not only the lost, but also the “church dead” is a key component in church growth. Invitation or recommendation by a friend or relative who has delighted in a unique and fresh approach to the Gospel is a greater factor than location. Remove a unique pulpit delivery, remove quality and quantity of love from the body, remove the quality of staff and pastor and we quickly realize that location has much less to do with church growth than is generally believed.
When a church chooses to move out of an urban growth boundary, the move often presents overwhelming obstacles. Building codes change rapidly. One of the biggest issues for the rural church is utilities. Churches that are considered “public” buildings require volumes of space for parking, septic, and future growth. A church could easily invest $180,000.00 just in fire suppression requirements. Often a church must demonstrate that it can fight a fire for one hour with on-site suppression systems and water storage.
Off-site development requirements can also be costly. Widening roads, installing traffic signals, sidewalks, and curbs could be required. These, of course, are more typical of city and urban growth boundary developments rather that rural developments.
As was previously stated, the greatest value a church has today is its current facilities and adjacent property that can be acquired. It’s priceless. Why? Generally, churches can succeed in selling their property and they will gain 30% of its replacement value. If a building is worth a million dollars, on the average, it will more than likely sell for $350,000.00. When a church sells their building, they have to do several things. They have to replace existing square footage, because they have grown out of it; it’s not adequate. Sometimes a building can be reconfigured to a better design that will allow more ministries. But what has just been sold at a 65% loss will have to be replaced, and accommodation made for the additional growth.
Zone changes are a major factor in church location. Churches are in a “Conditional Use” zone. It’s difficult to get a zone change for a church unless it’s in a downtown area where commercial zoning is an option. But most churches are built in residential zones and getting a change in conditional use is not possible. So, the church is stuck with a market that says it can sell to non-profit organizations like schools, fraternal organizations such as the Elks, or other churches. Ordinarily there is just not a market to sell the building. When a church is on the market, typically it would be sold to another church, become a civic center, a boys’ and girls’ club, or other non-profit organization. The church takes a dramatic loss in the sale.

(Luk 6:27)  But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

(Luk 6:28)  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

(Luk 6:29)  And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.

(Luk 6:30)  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

(Luk 6:31)  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

(Luk 6:32)  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

(Luk 6:33)  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

(Luk 6:34)  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

(Luk 6:35)  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

(Luk 6:36)  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

(Luk 6:37)  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

(Luk 6:38)  Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Again, we come to the Feasibility Study. It is a tool to be used to collect good information, so as to equip the decision makers of the church. Now with this information, the church has the ability to make qualified choices and decisions. The study is to alert the leadership as to any hidden surprises or costs. The study provides the necessary information so the committee can choose the most reasonable approach to the problems, be it alteration, adding on, remodeling, or reconfiguration. Often, it leads a church to the decision to relocate and construct a new building.

(1Co 4:2)  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

SITE SELECTION
Once the decision has been reached to relocate, selection of a new site may sound fairly simple. However, site selection is one of the primary areas where churches make major financial blunders.
One of the most difficult challenges for a church is affording real estate. The reason so many church groups meet in grange halls, in Seventh Day Adventist churches, and in school, is because they have never been able to acquire funds necessary to secure property.
In the Greater Seattle area, for example, nearly every school in Kent has a church meeting in it. Churches for sale have people waiting in line. That is unique to the demographics of the region. Because of the area’s growth, churches are growing. Real Estate is gaining in value. A church that paid $180,000.00 for twelve acres three years ago sold one acre last year for ½ a million dollars.

I worked with a church recently that has had the opportunity during the last five years to purchase six adjacent 50 X 100 feet city lots with houses on them for $300,000.00. Every time the opportunity to purchase arose, the committee vetoed the purchase. That church is now looking at a 1.7 million dollar relocation, because $300,000.00 for six city lots was ridiculous. Now they have to relocate because they have penned themselves in, and have no options but to leave. Such examples are not uncommon.
How, then, does a church go about selecting a site? Is real estate price the main criteria? If you drive twenty miles from your church home and find a ten-acre piece of property for $100,000.00, it may sound like a desirable investment. Or you might go only three miles away and pay twice that amount for half the acreage. In reality, though, the second piece of property could be a better investment. Until actual total costs of both on-site and off-site development are counted, it is not possible to have an accurate idea of a site’s cost.
How large should a site be? We suggest you look for a site that can accommodate up to 200 people per acre. Ideally, a site would accommodate 100-150 per acre. What impacts that is how much space is required for open land, green-ways, and septic system. An understanding of the demographics of an area is necessary, and a knowledge of what is and is not acceptable, as far as this type of development.

Regardless of being in town, in an urban growth, or a rural area, we recommend an average of 150 people per acre. It would be foolish for a church body to purchase property that would just meet its short-term needs. How much better it would be to demand the type of location that would accentuate a given area at its best. A site must be large enough to fulfill the long-term mission and the vision of the church.
As you look for sites, try to exhaust every possible opportunity and avenue for future ministry on the potential property. Have you considered on-site possibilities for an outdoor amphitheater, a pond or creek, soccer and softball fields, a retreat center or conference grounds? These are facilities that will meet all immediate and intermediate needs of the church, plus property that will fulfill the long-range vision.
Access to public utilities would be ideal. Access to city water or a creek would almost be as desirable. It would be good of the property was within five minutes of the present location. Selection of property, God will reveal through a process of elimination, the coming forth of the faithful in the provision of the “perfect” piece of property. If we believe God to heal the broken-hearted and mend the poor in spirit, how much more is He capable to provide the “perfect” piece of property? At little cost, or as complete provision, He is able to move in the hearts of property owners to secure future generation’s access to the comfort of a Heavenly Father.

After a survey of potential properties, I suggest selecting three pieces of in-depth examination. This process would require property to qualify under recommended conditions such as:
(1) Within five minutes of the current location.
(2) Good and convenient access.
(3) Access to utilities or suitable on-site development of utilizes.
(4) Complimentary to the local area – trees, pond or creek, slight slope, significant flat areas.
(5) Insignificant on-site development cost.
(6) Little off-site improvements.
(7) Churches require acres not city lots.
(8) Availability – negotiable.
(9) Right price (based on financial report).

After the site search has been narrowed to three potential properties, the committee should negotiate on the selected sites.
I feel it is our responsibility to look for God’s provision in the selection of appropriate church property. We often have not, because we just have not looked. For example, it may be possible that someone (a church member, most likely) has been waiting to provide to the church. Exclusive farm use and forestry designated properties are becoming more difficult for owners that ever before. They may be on farm deferral, which impacts land ownership. Property may be purchased on a land sales contract. This would free the church finances. A land sales contract would probably have to be paid in full before the church would be able to build. Few owners would take a second position to the building program. The church is considered a “501-C-3 Non-Profit” organization, and may be able to bless the donor of the property with a tax benefit.
When looking at building sites, it’s necessary to understand that it’s not all over when the down payment is made. A number of pitfalls and obstacles still loom. Paperwork, proper procedures, and people in place if authority can either speed or impede the selection process.
In selecting a building site, both on-site and off-site development costs must be considered. This includes getting water to the site, sewer from the site, and dealing with fire/life safety requirements that will be imposed by the local Fire Marshall.
Remember, there is one identity, second only to God, who will tell you what you can and cannot do with your building – and that’s the Fire Marshall. He can super cede everything in the book. Any if you don’t meet the fire life and safety requirements and the minimum fire flows, you don’t have a building. The fire marshals perspective? During 110 mph winds, with four feet of snow on the roof, he wants his grandmother and his baby daughter in the middle of the sanctuary because it’s the safest place in town. Any you are required to design your building that way. Fire flow, fire hydrants, sprinkler systems and 1-2 hour fire rated walls are major cost issues in the development of the property.
Some off-site development costs may include improvement and widening of a main thoroughfare, access to and/or stoplight to the property, curbs and sidewalks. These costs can also involve extending public sewer and public water to meet the building site. Sometimes these off-site utility costs are shared by those who will come on line as utilities are extended to the church property.
Further out, on-site development costs would include a well, septic system, and storage facilities to meet fire flow requirements. Depending upon the water table and soil content, these could be exotic septic systems.
Parking requirements must be met on-site. And usually, unless it’s a rural situation, that means improved parking. That includes drainage, concrete, asphalt, curbs, lighting, and landscaping. And so, like fire life and safety requirements, these are another one of those important criteria that affects the entire church plan.
At this point, a shovel has not yet been put in the ground to visually see any progress on the property. The site has been improved by bringing water and sewer, it’s been qualified by having fire flow requirements, the street may be extended, widened or improved, and the building program hasn’t even started. All of these factors enter into the real cost of property.
In the Pacific Northwest, we deal with spotted frogs and spotted owls, so we have to work with an Environmental Engineer. Churches inevitably seem to buy property that has wetlands or flood plains. The church has found a deal in town. So they secure the property, and all of a sudden they have spotted frogs and wetland and/or flood plain issues.
We were approached by a pastor who had come to a church that was in the middle of a building program. They had already filled their church and were ale to build on the property. However, 60% of that piece of property was designated wetlands. After putting together a complete wetlands study, doing an environmental impact study, and dealing with the Corps of Engineers, we were successful in reducing it to 6%. Had we not been able to reduce that percentage, the church would not have been able to put up a building, even though they owned the property.
These scenarios happen frequently, especially where rain is part of everyday life. Legislators have re-designated the Federal Wetlands Act, and it’s becoming more reasonable. However, it takes two years for those in charge to know what the changes mean, so one can still be living under wetlands and flood plain constraints that may be outdated. This is a big issue in evaluating potential growth and site selection.
Once site selection has been narrowed to three pieces of property, it is well to ask “Which will meet our needs most adequately?” Careful estimation of costs, using real numbers with actual acreage, will enable informed decision-making based on those facts. The most difficult challenge churches face in this process is having enough accurate information to make calculated, educated choices. A site that may sound like a terrific deal may end up costing far more.
The Feasibility Study mentioned in Chapter Two, helps a church committee and leadership accomplish the goal of making right decisions when it comes to site selection.

PRELIMINARY DESIGN PROCESS
(1) Master Plan
(2) 1st Base floor plan
(3) Elevation drawing

COUNTING THE COST
(1) Financing (different ways)
Commitment

CHEX/IMF

CHEX: Church Expansion Ministries
IMF: International Ministries Fellowship and Church Development

For more than 25 years, my responsibilities have continued to broaden as my experience grew in understanding processes.

Lecturing at Leadership conferences, Providing seminars, Framing construction, Supervising and working with volunteer coordinators, organizing volunteers, managing and directing volunteers, training unskilled volunteers, teaching troubled youth in construction vocational skills and apprenticing for framing construction.

I have been involved with converting barns into churches, building the Greater Bible Church and erecting The Romanian Assembly of God. Each of the 86 churches I have worked with used some form of volunteerism. Many were built entirely using volunteers such as the European Romanian Assembly of God Basilica in Portland, Oregon. Many of these projects required hand holding while others worked quite well independently, only requiring careful supervision.

The duplication of efficient designs has brought churches even more economy. Providing detailed material lists and ordering and handling materials properly have ensured success using our detailed construction path. For years our easy to follow proven construction path has improved with experience. The working syllabus has been developed over years of working out the kinks and implementing efficiency.

The syllabus has been designed to help coach the transitional church expand and new building projects through a successful construction. Using skilled and unskilled volunteered labor allowing the ability to have a successful conclusion.

There is no replacement for new experience. We pray to pass this ahead over and over again.

Sherlock Homes
Owner Builder Home Building Program

Through years of working with volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Albany, Oregon Sherlock Homes was developed out of a high level of frustration. Unable to meet the need of so many families, we implemented a home building program developed to help the forgotten working middle class family. Balancing a thin budget, many middle class hard working families are unable to see a future in home ownership beyond a manufactured home in a trailer park. As we did for churches, now we are able to do for the typical family in America.

Providing a land-home construction loan that reflected the family doing sweat equity, we are able to provide a stick built beautiful home on their own land with as little as 20% equity in their home. Accomplishing this is rewarding and gives pride of ownership.

Systems Analysis (SA)

A systems analysis provides enough adequate data in order to analyze standard materials, practices, and application techniques. This is extremely valuable when considering the use of unskilled labor in a volunteer program for economy and efficiency. The following study examples demonstrate how not one but many different organizations have succeeded by adopting unique building materials and application techniques to keep within budget and on time. These techniques have saved tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars of cost in each of the building projects.

Example: Use of a standard material and common application technique and considering unique material and ease of application.

Real Example # 1

A nine-year-old child or an unskilled volunteer can perform our framing layout technique when the construction path is followed. The capability of laying out an entire framing project without using a measuring tape can be used, as I have on every project since 1971.

It involves a 4’ steel stick with 3” x 1 ½” metal marking stays every 16” and 24” inches. Allowing the volunteer remarkable accuracy and enabling all walls on 16” center and all floor and roof at 24” centers.

Example # 2

Engineered Commercial Electrical System

Requiring that all electric be ran through metal conduit, we have seen the standard and practice as applied to commercial buildings. Consider why the budget for electrical line item materials and labor is so high in cost. Typically, a commercial electrical company is required. Volunteers are not allowed to perform this type of work.

Place all electrical boxes
Drill exacting holes
From box to box to main exacting because most all electrical conduit is rigid
Cut and bend then install all conduits with connections
Screw to all boxes and connections
Standard 12 ‘lengths

This standard practice is extremely expensive when compared to a creative solution using alternative material that will help with speed of application. For less requirement of labor, even though the material may be slightly more expensive. An unskilled volunteer can be tremendously helpful. Instead of measuring, cutting, bending, and jointing then pulling the wire through, we use pre wired steel flex. This requires just one cut, is wired, and only requires the application of two screws always passing inspection with the supervision of a licensed Electrical Contractor. The savings is as much as a 50% of the average commercial bid amount.

Example # 3

Interior and exterior framing construction.

This is the standard procedure:

1. Snap all wall lines (known as the layout of walls)
2. Cut and place all bottom and tap plates butting correctly one of top of the other
3. Stud layout
4. Channel layout
5. Window and door layout – then plates are removed in pair and stacked accordingly to construction value – out of the way
6. Exterior walls are framed first then raised skeleton and all window and door openings included
7. All interior walls are then framed and erected according to construction ease and value
8. Beams or Glu-Lams are placed (these may be bearing)
9. Joist plates are installed (with all walls standing)
10. Standard engineer hub frames and delivered on the top plates
11. Earthquake – clips installed
12. Roof structure is sheeted then roofing is installed

Back to our exterior walls:

1. Sub ply installed
2. All openings cut out
3. Moisture barrier installed
4. Windows installed
5. Siding installed
6. Install doors
7. Caulking applied
8. Trim corners and windows
9. Truss trim installed
10. Walls painted
11. Trim painted in contrast

The construction crew must circle the building at least eleven times. They fight with ladders, power tools, and often mud.

Typical practice: slow

Consider the difference using creative problem solving. While the exterior walls are down, they are easily accessible and safe. Simply finish the walls while they are down. It may take longer to raise the walls but saves an incredible amount of money and labor. Volunteers can do the work safely and no harm to risk moving tools, materials, and ladders.

CELL MINISTRY

I feel the New Testament church example is today is most clear and reasonable church growth example. Consider the power of 10. A cell group of five is disciple and is now prepared to share the word with others. Share their life message with others. The New Testament church met in small groups (cells) in homes and underground locations so as not to call at attention to themselves. Consider what duplication will accomplish. Duplicate duplication. How to fail miserably yet succeed beyond your expectations.  Every successful business model uses this  marketing concept
10
5
= 48,828,125

Calculate whatever failure rate you want. You cannot fail in Christ!
CHEX: Church Expansion Ministries

Using career experts, professionals, skilled and unskilled volunteer labor, we direct churches through their building program. From remodeling a barn into a church to master planning 85 acres and building a beautiful new church, we have helped over 86 churches in the Northwest over a 25-year period implementing and perfecting our church growth construction path and consulting. Managing church building committees. All have provided invaluable experience.

In the many years and experiences, we have provided the following:

• Church Master Planning
• Feasibility studies
• The transitional church
• Evaluating and providing site selection
• Environmental studies
• Provided completed engineered documentation for building
• Have personally built several church buildings (framing included)
• Created a detailed cost of construction
• Created a detailed line item construction path
• Managed, directed and motivated multiple volunteers
• Trained, taught and scheduled multiple volunteers

.Financing and Stewardship

Marketing the church does not touch the overall cost of relocation and a new church building project. Remodeling is costly and not free as rumored. Reorganizing church use is the wisest decision that can be made for continued growth. While in transition the growing church might consider redesign of the interior.

It seems that today’s churches have had a difficult time with obedience in the church family’s finances. If members are not being faithful with tithing and giving, one can assume the habits will continue even in a church expansion project. The faithful 20% that supports the church is also responsible for the general fund and missions.

Using the church building smarter gives the church time to teach and retrain the concept involving obedience in tithing and the incredible blessings that come when giving becomes a part of the believer’s theology and way of life.

Church Expansion Ministries

EXAMPLE

AGREEMENT FOR DESIGN BUILD SERVICES

Made as the 15th day of September, in the year of 2009

Between the Owner: Romanian Assembly of God Church
P. O. Box XXXXX
Portland, Oregon

And Church Expansion Ministries (CHEX)

The Designer

For the following project: Phase I
Proposed Sanctuary

The Owner and Designer agree as follows:

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF
AGREEMENT BETWEEN OWNER AND DESIGNER

ARTICLE I. BASIC SERVICES:

The Basic Services of this Contract are limited to those drawing and specifications necessary for CHEX (Designer) to identify and detail the Owner’s prescribed project and to build such project according to its DESIGN/Build Concept. The Designer’s Basic Services consist of the three phases described in Paragraphs 1,2,3 and include normal structural, mechanical, and electrical drawings to complete this project, and any other services included in Article I as part of Basic Services.

1. PREMILINARY DESIGN REVIEW PHASE

A. The Designer shall review the program furnished by the Owner, represented by the Construction Committee, to ascertain the requirements of the Project and shall review the understanding of such requirements with the Owner.
B. The Designer shall review with the Owner alternate approaches to Design and Construction of the Project. etc. etc.

Study #1

Efficiency erection of commercial large occupancy structures

Church in a day project – Jehovah Witness
Brief:

For over 40 years, this organization has developed a management process using skilled and lay members to erect a building in one day. By 8pm, the same evening the congregation is able to have service in a dry warm building. A significant start of the success begins with a monolithic slab and well-orchestrated management of volunteers and materials. They must have the necessary licensed Inspectors on site that are part of the organization. Along the entire phase of construction, the Inspectors are signing permits on the inspection report card.

Example:

Sweet Home, Oregon Jehovah’s Witness Hall

Study # 2

American Samoa – FAA Airport Expansion

The job involved the erection of seven building structures to house the increasing employees brought in to expand the existing airport. As a result, seven homes were built from the ground up. Large containers full of all materials needed to build the homes were loaded and shipped to American Samoa. As a part of a 4-man crew on governmental contract, we erected these homes having four Federal Inspectors present at all times. We set inner stakes, formed concrete for monolithic slabs, and built the entire home from floor to roof. All plumbing, wiring, HVAC, drywall, and finish carpentry was completed.

Study # 3

CBA: Craftsman for Christ Conservative Baptist Northwest

Craftsman for Christ is a CBA organization that erects church buildings using volunteers and professionally skilled and nonprofessional for labor. A Master Craftsman is usually paid to manage the Construction project and lives on site during the construction process. He will typically work full time managing the volunteers on the building project.

Craftsman for Christ became involved in building pioneer churches, however they also participate in very large projects that may include some steel or Glu-Lam erection. This process has saved churches untold amounts of money when ordinarily it may take up to ten years for a church to raise enough of a budget to begin their building project.

Example: Monmouth, Oregon

Study #4

Large span, large occupancy commercial Glu-Lam Dome Structures

Examples: Church of the Nazarene Napa, Idaho
Church of the Nazarene Corvallis, Oregon

Glu-Lam Dome Structures create a lot of hoop-la that eventually break the budget with costly overruns. Unusual yet beautiful structures, Dome Building Design uses Glu-Lam’s for the ability to span a much greater area without the typical design with equal demand for occupancy without the occasional visual interruptions of columns or posts. These buildings usually leak, without the ability to identify where the leak has originated.

When liquid or torch down membranes became more reliable, the dome roofing was removed and a continuous membrane was applied providing reflective insulation and finally a leak proof roof. Even the large Tacoma Dome converted to the new membrane products. Professional carpenters with expertise in Glu-Lam construction, specializing in Dome Matrix designs, again at an exorbitant cost, installed the Glu-Lam matrix.
However, volunteers provided the structural skin and interior and exterior framing and finishing, professional contractors performed plumbing, electrical, and HVAC.

Study # 5

Seventh Day Adventist Miracle Week

High occupancy structure including multi-purpose building, classrooms, and administrative offices.

This project needs several Master Carpenters, General Contractors, and Construction Managers on site for the entire project. All are volunteers within the church congregation. Effectiveness, simplicity, and economy with exceptional management and planning make this a remarkable success story with every project. Having a plan of action with extraordinary use of small groups with very well defined objections, help each person enjoy the benefits of ownership by following the instructions of their group leader. All volunteers, skilled and unskilled.

Study # 6

LDS Waverly Ward Albany, Oregon

Using the same successful design with every new sanctuary creates speed and economy. It was quite a remarkable sight to see, this high occupancy building go up so fast. Using only skilled paid contractors. I observed a quick and remarkable erection without wasted movement. The team erected an arched Glu-Lam Sanctuary with Administrative offices and classrooms all on a monolithic concrete slab. This traveling construction company from Utah move from one building to another. Their remarkable savings and efficiency comes because of building the exact same design and the same material list each time, always improving upon the next.

Study # 7

RVer’s

Building the first phase of a master plan, the budget requires using volunteers. The project includes multi-use buildings with offices and classrooms. Requiring the construction of a commercially engineered two-lane bridge spanning a creek, we were able to master plan this project on 85 acres of land.

The church realized it did not have the number of skilled labor to erect the building on their own. On behalf of the church, I was able to arrange for the RVer’s group traveling Master Carpenters to erect and frame the building. RVer’s assign a crew leader that communicates with the church and manages the volunteers. Strict and effective RVer’s often have lived on the site during construction where they dedicate three to six months to the building project.

Example: Sweet Home Community Chapel Sweet Home, Oregon

Nehemiah Ministries

One of the most critical areas of church finance and church vision are goals and accountability. Concerned about where to come up with money for the building fund? Most churches have a vision to have adequate facilities and the ability to grow within their walls. Being forced to leave the existing building and find a new location, many churches are stuck with a problem.

The same people that are being faithful in your church today, are tithing, that make up your general budget, that are giving their mission are the same people that you’re going to be expecting to be providing a sacrificial gift for an expansion program. With this in mind, there are some serious questions to ask.

Knowing that the average family in your church would go bankrupt without three months of their income, fulfilling a vision of expansion may be challenging to say the least. When an expansion program is brought up in a church committee, the first question that comes up is “How much is this going to cost?”. We are able to break these questions down for you by asking questions such as the church needs and location expectations.

Most churches are embarrassed about their current financial situations today. Having a team working not only with you but for you gives a sense of security. Equipping the church family to prepare for today’s economical life and family challenges is essential.

Today, on the average, every church that is considering expansion is going to be challenging their families to do a capital fund-raising program. A capital fund-raising program is where you raise funds within your church family over a period of months and years as a fund raiser. Challenge your family, and over that three-year period you have run what is called a stewardship campaign or a capital fund-raising campaign, and if you’re in church leadership or you’re the church secretary or even the pastor, you find yourself on a weekly basis being solicited by numerous capital fund-raising programs that are soliciting an opportunity to make a presentation to do a capital stewardship program for your church.

Capital fund-raisers and stewardship campaigns have shown a few basic facts. Where you will see people coming into your church making presentations that they will be able to raise three, three and a half, four times your annual budget in three years. Churches must be willing to expose themselves to presentations and taking the risk of success! Falling short of your fund-raising goals can and does happen although with honesty and dedication, the capabilities are endless. Commitment to the campaign is important it is the churches role to keep the excitement up and the goals obtainable.

Remember that when you move into a stewardship program, you’re not asking for tithe, you’re not asking for missions, you’re not asking for gifts. You’re asking for a sacrifice that is what the equation turns out to be over a period of three years, over and above your existing budget.

Consider providing the tools for your church family, it doesn’t have to come from the pulpit. You can have leaders in the church in small groups introducing a program for stewardship for the family and succeed in doing so.

CELL MINISTRY

I feel the new testament church example is today’s most clear and reasonable church growth example. Consider the power of 10. a cell group of 5 is disciple and is now prepared to share the word with others. Share their life message with others. The new testament church met in small groups (cells) in homes and underground locations so as not to call attention to themselves. Consider what duplication will accomplish.

Duplicate duplication.

5 to the tenth power 5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5
= 48,828,125 consider a 99.75% failure rate or a .025% success rate = 122,070 is model works just a perfectly when raising funds:
Consider using this same biblical model when approaching a capital or stewardship fund-raising program:.

$5.00 paid on the 5th of the month for five months. promised and duplicated is the program..
Same as same as,
This would be considered a mega – mega church. This can be accomplished in a new testament cell small group meeting church.
Calculate whatever failure rate you want. You cannot fail using God’s plan. In Christ!
“a work in progress”
Go to: bradyock@hotmail.com

1-541-905-9834

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bradley R. Yock
224 SE Derby Street
Albany, Oregon 97322
Phone: 541-905-9834
E-mail: bradyock@hotmail.com / dayofpentacost@yahoo.com theequitybuilders.wordpress.com
Mission Statement

Empowerment through lending my extensive management, fund-raising, planning, organizational skills and professional experience and knowledge to motivate, direct and lead an organization to its highest and best ability.

Lifetime Career Experience

Highly motivated, self disciplined and experienced Leader with over 30 years of experience in community relations, professional and personal charity. Effective Director, Administrator, and Consultant skilled and successful in the areas of fund-raising and management, planning and organizing small and large projects, managing both small and large volunteer groups. Experienced with implementing detailed financial budgets, stewardship fund-raising campaigns grant writing proposals, and applications for commercial funding.

Experienced Lecturer, providing seminars and conferences on residential, commercial, and church construction and remodeling. Training and providing others to organize volunteers in construction vocational skills and apprenticing for framing professions.

Learn more @ theequitybuilders.wordpress.com

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Church Growth Survival Guide

Lifetime Career Experience

CEO, Author, Key note speaker. Bradley (Brad) Yock is a Highly motivated, self disciplined and experienced Leader with over 30 years of experience in commercial construction, fluid in reading and interpreting all levels of construction documents.
An Administrator, and Consultant skilled and successful in the areas of Capitol campaign fundraising and management, planning and organizing small and large projects. Excellent supervision and teaching the trades. Both small and large volunteer groups.
Experienced with implementing detailed financial budgets, stewardship fundraising campaigns, grant writing proposals, and applications for commercial funding.

Experienced Key note speaker and Lecturer, providing seminars and conferences on Multi-Family, residential, commercial, and church growth and construction. Training others how to manage and organize volunteers.
Brad Provided an apprenticeship and vocational rehabilitation program for troubled youth in the Portland, Oregon area. This involved Pastoral counseling and vocational training. The program focused on framing carpentry from basic to complex. Challenging structures and projects. Teaching the trade using planning methods and safety techniques. His mission was to empower individuals to personally and grow without the use of alcohol and drugs. To contribute and remain independent

Coaching, training, and directing for Portland Gymnastics Center, Oregon State University and Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis, Oregon allowed me to become the owner and coach for Gymnastics Elite and Corvallis Athletic Club in Corvallis, Oregon from 1979 to 1990. I have extensive experience in organizing, planning, and special events. Throughout my coaching experience, I have many years of experience and knowledge in directing local, regional, and national events including Oregon State University at Gill Coliseum.

Trades

Specialized and trained others in framing, woodshop, safety techniques, project layout, and pneumatic power tools. SAIF and OSHA standards and practices. Over 30 years skilled and experience as a Master Carpenter and General Contractor. Building trades include large commercial wood structures, primarily Glu-Lam, commercial and superstructures.

Lifetime Career Experience

CEO, Author, Key note speaker. Bradley (Brad) Yock is a Highly motivated, self disciplined and experienced Leader with over 30 years of experience in commercial construction, fluid in reading and interpreting all levels of construction documents.
An Administrator, and Consultant skilled and successful in the areas of Capitol campaign fundraising and management, planning and organizing small and large projects. Excellent supervision and teaching the trades. Both small and large volunteer groups.
Experienced with implementing detailed financial budgets, stewardship fundraising campaigns, grant writing proposals, and applications for commercial funding.

Experienced Key note speaker and Lecturer, providing seminars and conferences on Multi-Family, residential, commercial, and church growth and construction. Training others how to manage and organize volunteers.
Brad Provided an apprenticeship and vocational rehabilitation program for troubled youth in the Portland, Oregon area. This involved Pastoral counseling and vocational training. The program focused on framing carpentry from basic to complex. Challenging structures and projects. Teaching the trade using planning methods and safety techniques. His mission was to empower individuals to personally and grow without the use of alcohol and drugs. To contribute and remain independent

Coaching, training, and directing for Portland Gymnastics Center, Oregon State University and Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis, Oregon allowed me to become the owner and coach for Gymnastics Elite and Corvallis Athletic Club in Corvallis, Oregon from 1979 to 1990. I have extensive experience in organizing, planning, and special events. Throughout my coaching experience, I have many years of experience and knowledge in directing local, regional, and national events including Oregon State University at Gill Coliseum.

Trades

Specialized and trained others in framing, woodshop, safety techniques, project layout, and pneumatic power tools. SAIF and OSHA standards and practices. Over 30 years skilled and experience as a Master Carpenter and General Contractor. Building trades include large commercial wood structures, primarily Glu-Lam, commercial and superstructures.

The church in transition
A work in progress!
How to Build a Church while remaining reasonably sanctified
A survuvial guide – the best insurance for church leadership
Maintaining the integrity of leadership through experience and the sensible application of feasibility, stewardship, design and accountability.

Author: rev. Bradley R. Yock C.A.S.

ABOUT THE BOOK
The church in transition

“How to Build a Church and Survive” presents the necessary information on church building, financial pitfalls, how to finance the building project, and crucial advice for the leadership and members of the church congregations who are contemplating a building program. The information offered can save a congregation thousands of dollars, not to mention avoiding the emotional turmoil of making disastrous decisions during a building program.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bradley R. Yock
224 SE Derby Street
Albany, Oregon 97322
Phone: 541-905-9834
E-mail: yocksequity@ gmail.com / dayofpentacost@yahoo.com
Mission Statement

Empowerment through lending my extensive management, fundraising, planning, organizational skills and professional experience and knowledge to motivate, direct and lead an organization to its highest and best ability.

Lifetime Career Experience

Highly motivated, self disciplined and experienced Leader with over 30 years of experience in community relations, professional and personal charity. Effective Director, Administrator, and Consultant skilled and successful in the areas of fundraising and management, planning and organizing small and large projects, managing both small and large volunteer groups. Experienced with implementing detailed financial budgets, stewardship fundraising campaigns grant writing proposals, and applications for commercial funding.

Experienced Lecturer, providing seminars and conferences on residential, commercial, and church construction and remodeling. Training and providing others to organize volunteers in construction vocational skills and apprenticing for framing professions.

Provided an apprenticeship and vocational rehabilitation program for troubled youth in the Portland, Oregon area. Providing a safe learning experience while rebuilding self-esteem involving Pastoral counseling and vocational training. The program focused on framing carpentry from basic to complex and challenging structures and projects. Teaching the trade using planning methods and safety techniques and empowering individuals to personally and professionally grow without the use of alcohol and drugs.

Coaching, training, and directing for Portland Gymnastics Center, Oregon State University and Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis, Oregon allowed me to become the owner and coach for Gymnastics Elite and Corvallis Athletic Club in Corvallis, Oregon from 1979 to 1990. I have extensive experience in organizing, planning, and special events. Throughout my coaching experience, I have many years of experience and knowledge in directing local, regional, and national events including Oregon State University at Gill Coliseum.

Trades

Specialized and trained others in framing, woodshop, safety techniques, project layout, and pneumatic power tools. SAIF and OSHA standards and practices. Over 30 years skilled and experience as a Master Carpenter and General Contractor. Building trades include large commercial wood structures, primarily Glu-Lam, commercial and superstructures.

Positions Held

Owner, Director
Sherlock Homes, LLC.
Owner Builder Consulting Program
Albany, Oregon

Northwest Regional Director
Construction Consultant
De George Home Alliance/Miles Homes
Bridgeport, Connecticut

Regional Representative
Nehemiah Ministries
Church Stewardship Campaigns
Tacoma, Washington

Church Design Consultant
CHEX Church Expansion Ministries
Master Planning, Design, turnkey Construction Management, Volunteer Construction Projects
Albany, Oregon

Executive Church Growth Consultant
Master Planning Church Growth and Expansion Director, Marketing and Stewardship Campaigns
Pacific Northwest, USA

Owner/Church Growth Consultant
IMF Development, International Ministries Fellowship, Inc.
Design/Builders
Portland, Oregon

Owner/Director/Coach
Corvallis Elite Gymnastics Academy
Corvallis, Oregon

Gymnastics Coach
Crescent Valley High School
Corvallis, Oregon

Associate Senior Pastor
Turning Point Christian Fellowship
Assembly of God
Vancouver, Washington

Licenses, Certificates and Education

Pastoral License
Full Gospel Fellowship of Pastors and Churches
Licensed in 1986
Bend, Oregon

Graduate Masters of Divinity 1979– 1980
6500 hours of independent study, theology and counseling 1978 -1989
Genesis Fellowship, a 2 year intense Theological Seminary, Assemblies of God
Santa Rosa, California

Oregon Teacher Certificate
Coached Women’s Gymnastics
State Champions 1979, 1980, 1981
Crescent Valley High School
Corvallis, Oregon

Associate senior Pastor 501 (C) 3 Private School
Executive Director, Head Coach, and Technician
Corvallis Athletic Club
Gymnastics Elite – Olympic Gymnastics Academy
Corvallis, Oregon

Construction/Home Builder
Federal Contract
FAA expansion of airport
built seven complete homes
Pago Pago Airport American Samoa, USA Territory

Accomplishments

Consulted, designed, built and/or renovated over 50+ churches in the Pacific Northwest

Consulted, designed, built and/or renovated over 300+ homes in the Pacific Northwest

All-around Gymnast, Gymnastics Coach
Portland Gymnastics Center, Carla Webber Studio of Dance
Portland Oregon

Russian Four Square Church Consultant
Portland, Oregon
Assisted in sponsoring 122 Russian children to the Northwest for medical care at Doernbecker and OHSU, OHSU dental screening and rad screen at the Trojan nuclear plant.
The children were part of the Chernobyl fallout in Russia.
While in America, 122 and their adult escorts were sponsored to Disneyland vacation.
Accomplishments ect.

1996 to Present
CHEX Church Expansion Ministries
Developed a syllabus for churches who wish to manage their own expansion program
protecting the integrity of the Church Leadership. Assisted churches build their church at cost using sub contractors, church family, and volunteers.

Alternative futures Project: To compete for school budget funds for an Ornamental
Horticulture program. School Board decision: In 1996 Accepted Ornament Horticulture Proposal, Horticulture curriculum. In 1996, The High School Built a Greenhouse and hired an instructor for the new program. 1973-1975
Tigard High School
Tigard, Oregon

ROTC Sea Cadet Corp 1971-1975
E- 5 second class petty officer
Cogswell Division Swan Island
Portland, Oregon

Apprenticeship, Journeyman Carpenter 1971-1975
Oesterblad Construction, Dan Oesterblad Executive Director, Senior Instructor, Owner
Portland, Oregon

Licenses, Certificates and Education

Oregon Teacher Certificate
Coached Women’s Gymnastics
State Champions 1979, 1980, 1981
Crescent Valley High School
Corvallis, Oregon

Portland State University
University Honors Program 1976-1977
Portland, Oregon

Charity and Volunteer

First Assembly of God, Albany, Oregon
Albany Historical Society, Albany, Oregon
Heritage and Santiam Christian School, Adair, Oregon
Habitat for Humanity
Albany Gleaners
The Boys and Girls Club of Albany, Oregon

Hobbies and Interests

Family, church activities, pets, working with youth, coaching, woodworking, antiques, and enjoying nature.

References

Dan Oesterblad
Oesterblad Construction
Executive Director/Owner
12045 SW Summercrest Drive
Portland, Oregon 97223
(503) 590-6858

Tom Sawyer
Capstone Home Loans
1313 NE 134 –220
Vancouver, Washington
(877) 723-3828

Brad Dolbeer
4540 NE 85th
Portland, Oregon
(503) 841-6110

Bryan Lea
10th Street
Albany, Oregon 97321
(541) 276-9538 (541) 967-1934

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

ABOUT THE MARKET
Church leaders
Pastors contemplating building programs
Church members who will be involved financially & emotionally with a church building program
Seminary students
Denominational leaders

PUBLICITY AND PROMOTION

Bradley Yock is an experienced speaker for church building seminars and will help to market the book.

True Stories
A church in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area was given some acreage on which to build a church. There was no consideration as to the feasibility of the site, and they were determined to build there. They spent their entire $300,000.00 budget bringing pipes to the site and they hadn’t yet put a shovel in the ground.
Another church in Puyallup, Washington, was forced to relocate because they had outgrown their facilities. Unfortunately, the church had had many opportunities to purchase property directly adjacent to the church, and had voted not to purchase. With foresight, this church would have had ample room to grow right where they were. Now the church was faced with a 3.5 million dollar relocation program. The acquisition of the adjacent property would have saved the church 2.5 million dollars.
On another occasion, I consulted with a church that had purchased a large piece of property. They were provided with a detailed, comprehensive master plan for the church, including a plan for on-site utilities. However, the church was persuaded that they would save money by using a particular architect and builder in the church family. They quarried rock from the property and built a lake right in the middle of the on-site utility access way. The cost of redesigning the utilities, and added cost of running the utility around this new lake, cost the church three times the savings they thought they were going to have. The church expended all of their building funds trying to save money!
Such examples may be the reason why it is said that seven out of ten pastors will leave the pastorates during or immediately following an expansion program. It is a sad consequence of what is supposed to be the highlight of a pastor’s career, and a congregation’s dream. The church is growing, exciting progress is being made in hearts and lives, and now it’s time to expand horizons. Instead, a church can find itself most vulnerable to a self-destructive mode. A building program can develop into a quagmire that ultimately becomes a voracious quick-sand to a pastor and his congregation.
It is important to go step by prayerful step when entering this challenging territory. Sometimes the first, haltering steps are the most vital, and set the tone for the entire building program.
A key issue is whether a building program is even needed. A desire for more aesthetic or newer surroundings is simply not enough. But if a church is operating at 75 to 80% capacity, they are on the edge of a full house.
If a Christian education department finds there is no room for more Sunday school classes, or they are meeting in hallways or the women’s lounge – it is time to assess the situation.
Parking space is also a key indicator of a needed expansion. Insufficient parking areas will stop a congregation’s growth. If continued growth becomes dependant on more space, it is obvious that a building project is necessary.
Leadership, of course, is the key to the success of any building program. The pastor must be 150% behind the program. Total commitment from the leadership is necessary from the beginning to end.
Once the conclusion is reached that a building project is needed, and the leadership is committed toward the goal, the first step is to form a Prayer Committee. This committee will pray about solutions necessary and critical to success. They should remain active and open to prayer during the entire building project.
The next committee to be appointed is the Building Committee. Five to seven members (not too many) is a good number for this important committee. Besides the leading pastor, suitable committee members are those who serve in ministry in the church. They should be active and involved member in the life of the church. They could be a nursery worker, a choir member, a Sunday school teacher, an usher, or any other involved member. Sometimes an architect or building contractor can be found in a congregation, but this alone does not qualify them for the Building Committee. Active involvement in the church does, and should be the number one criteria.
The first assignment for the Building Committee is to prepare a mission statement. This will keep the needs and plans in focus, and provide a solid foundation to be built upon, and returned to from time to time.
The mission statement serves as a rudder giving direction and purpose to the church. I recommend that the church in a building program take a closer look at their mission statement, and update it.
The mission statement should look somewhat like a business plan. Like every business plan, it is a reflection on the specific product and market it is reaching. It should give a brief detail of its immediate, intermediate and long-term goals. It should lay out a plan of attack, clearly mapping out, goal by goal, its ultimate intention. The mission statement should clearly define the church’s present identity, who the church is planning to reach, and how they are planning to reach them. Make a plan and work the plan. It is shocking how many churches forget this fundamental basic requirement of a successful expansion program.
Once the Leadership and Building Committees are unified in heart and goals, they must do whatever is necessary to bring ownership to this vision to the church as a whole. Let them own their vision! This can be done in various ways, such as sending a survey to the members, and paying attention to their suggestions during an open forum. Make room for continued communication within the entire church body.
A church in the Northwest currently in a building program has instituted some unique plans in order to keep the communication with the church body in full focus. They developed a theme, “Discover the Joy”, and have and used this theme throughout the campaign. The theme has been central in all communications regarding the building program.
The leadership of this church used other, very effective methods of communication with the church body: (1) they adopted a theme worship song. (2) In every bulletin, the theme was somehow represented. (3) Periodic newsletters went out to the congregation regarding the progress of the building program. (4) The staff created mini video presentations with a twist of humor. (5) Perspective art work was created, and was part of a display that included models and statistical information of the future buildings, floor plans, and elevation drawings, with room labels included. (6) Regular announcements were made by the members of the board, updating the church family from time to time.

Communication with the church body is not the only consideration. Let the neighborhood; also, know that plans for change are in effect. Treat your neighbors like you do the church itself: communicate, and invite them in. Open communication can possibly diffuse what could become an untenable situation with neighboring businesses or homes.
Another church in the Northwest had many acres of bare property directly adjacent to the church. The decision was made to sell the acreage in order to offset some of the current expenses, and defer costs of some additional church ministries. Within just a few years the property wound up in the hands of a developer, who quickly designed and created a sub-division of homes.
By this time, the church began to experience growth, both through their ministries, and their church-sponsored school. When one Easter arrived, it became quite apparent that the church was not in a very good position to be hospitable to visitors, as there was standing room only. An architect was hired, and the design process was started.
The church went before the City Planning Commissions for their Conditional Use Permit (C.U.P.). But because the church had failed to lay down good communications with the sub-division, the C.U.P. was denied. The home owners of the sub-division had decided to form a neighborhood association. This neighborhood association concluded that they did not want a church expanding in their back yard. To their disappointment, the church discovered that there is nothing as powerful as a neighborhood association when it came to land use matters. The association was successful in defeating the church once owned, ended the future expandability of the church. Ultimately, the church was forced to relocate.
One of the greatest problems from the beginning is lack of communication. Explain from the pulpit, and keep the congregation assessed of progress and plans. Acknowledge the committee members. Be sure to communicate with the neighbors, and with the media. They are all needed allies in this great project.
Recently, while working with a church that was beginning the expansion process, we proposed that the church begin a campaign to love the nearby neighbors. Basically, this meant to evangelize them. By doing mailings, house visitations, and church social desserts, the church communicated very well with the neighbors. Not only were they successful in the expansion program, but the church also added several families. It sounds basic, but unfortunately, neighborhood hospitality goes neglected in most cases.
An important thing to remember is that progress doesn’t happen overnight. It usually takes anywhere from twenty-four to thirty-six months from the planning to the occupation of the new church. (It often takes as long to design as to build it. It has been done in less than twelve months, and as long as six years.) It may take a month to select a committee. It may take another six weeks to prepare a mission statement. Consulting a firm or construction company can take a month or more. And this is before any of the real work begins.

So the church embarking on the uncertain territory of a building program needs to make some important preparatory steps. The following list could be used as a check-point, to see if it is time to begin:
Pastoral staff and church leaders are in agreement and support.
1. A prayer foundation had been laid. The Prayer Committee is active.
2. A Building Committee has been selected.
3. A mission statement has been developed.
4. Communication with neighbors, media, or other interested (or otherwise involved) parties has begun.

THE THREE R’S
REMODEL, RECONFIGURE, RELOCATE

Before making any decisions about a facility, church leadership must ask: What are our goals? What is our focus? To whom is our ministry and outreach aimed? Youth? Young families? Middle-aged adults? In what direction is our ministry headed? WHAT IS OUR MASTER PLAN? It is vital to consider not only current immediate goals, but long-term goals must be addressed as well.
What pressing issues are faced? Inadequate sanctuary space? Inferior nursery facilities? The need for expandable Sunday school space? Convenient, adequate “equal” access? What are the growth needs? (Often churches use attendance at Easter services as a gauge to determine their potential.) It must be decided whether the mission statement can be accomplished and fulfilled in the present facilities.
If present facilities are not adequate, what criteria would qualify property and building to meet the present, intermediate and long-term goals? What options should be considered? A feasibility study will answer basic questions and give guidance for proceeding. It reveals limitations and development challenges presented by a particular site. Such a study assists church leaders in assessing the capability of a property. It can search and find out any potential hidden coasts of development.
Typically, before a church decides to purchase land for future development, it will require information that would qualify the property. This information would assess the short term, intermediate and long-term development potential of the property.
This feasibility study should answer these critical questions:
(1) Does the property have nay “wet lands” or other environmental issues, such as creeks, ponds, or a one time mill or dump site? If so, identify the area and assess the government requirements and potential added cost.
(2) Does the topography indicate significant rock stands, or would it require blasting to clear?
(3) Are the soil conditions structurally contusive to support a large building?
(4) Is there enough property to expand in the future – minimum four times the current need?
(5) Does the property allow for the necessary parking requirements?
(6) If there access to public utilities – water, sewer, and power, gas, phone, cable and internet? Is the water main large enough to support fire suppression needs?
(7) Will a septic system be required? If so, how will the repair areas for the septic requirement (generally two times the septic are requirements) for land, affect the size requirements of the property?
(8) Is a well needed? If so, how will fire, life and safety codes be met? Will a retain age pond or water storage be required to meet these codes?
(9) Is the property located in an area that will have good access, or will off-site roads and access be required?

(10) Does the proposed property require off-site development, such as sidewalks, curbs, the widening of a road, water and sewer line extensions? If so, how far, and what would it cost? Will a cross walk have to be created, or a stop light installed?
In order to do a proper feasibility study, all of this information needs to be sorted and compiled. A summary and a report would be created. This summary would identify any outstanding problems and would clearly outline the potential added costs. The study would make a recommendation to include or exclude the property from the list of potential property selections. The feasibility study is to reveal whatever hidden, unforeseen costs may be incurred if the property was to be purchased. It also establishes an element of calculated risk, if it meets most of the criteria but has some issues that are to be dealt with. With the calculated risk, the church has enough information to make an educated decision.
A church in the Northwest has been considering moving out of its antiquated facilities for some time. It created a Properties Committee, which was to explore the potential properties for the church. During the search, a piece of property only one mile away was identified. It was eight acres, located in the city, and the owner wanted $120,000.00.
Then the church found a piece of property just outside of town. The price was a steal – almost a gift! It was twelve acres for $68,000.00. They knew that the property would not last long. Because the church could not pass up on such a great deal, it voted to purchase the property immediately.
This church had $260,000.00 left in its building fund for the first phase of the building project. It spent all of those funds qualifying the property for the church building. They had to extend the sewer to the site. The ground would not perk. They had to extend water for a mile because of the fire suppression requirements. They had to build curbs and sidewalks and widen the road. This twelve acre property cost the church $328,000.00 by the time they were allowed to begin building. This amount did not include the new building. This cost was just for the church’s current on and off site development.
In contrast, the eight acres was ample for the church’s current and future developmental needs. It had city sewer and water and the road was completely developed, including a stop light, curbs and sidewalks, all for total cost of $120,000.00. As they say: Hindsight is 20/20.
Basically, three options are open: Reconfigure, Remodel or Relocate.
RECONFIGURE
Reconfiguring involves changing property to a better design to give more ministries. This might consist of placing the platform and pulpit in a different location so that more seating area becomes available. It may mean exchanging or changing Sunday school meeting rooms.
To reconfigure means to leave everything alone, structurally. But move the uses around in order to maximize the current needs of the church. Typically, this is because the church is experiencing growing pains. This is a very popular approach to meeting the transitional period needs, but it is truly “squeezing blood from the turnip”.
When the church is considering being creative with their present facilities (reconfiguring), they may have several obstacles to deal with. First, there is the sacred cow. Many mainstream churches or older congregations have to hurdle the idea of the sanctuary as a holy place. Most will not allow food or drink in the, to move the church into the gym is unthinkable. For that matter, to turn the old sanctuary into a fellowship or banquet multi-purpose facility is unthinkable.
The only way to clear this hurdle is to teach the church family that the place of holiness is the event of worship, not necessarily where we worship. It would be best to avoid a conflict of theology; however, this does present quite a challenge to the pastoral staff and leadership of the church.
The greatest challenge is how to squeeze more space use out of what is already there. The same square footage still equals the same square footage, right? Not necessarily. What was a classroom now becomes a nursery. Suddenly there are more babies, more space, for the nursery. A change may be required in the way the church manages the Sunday school hour. Perhaps that would include small group settings such as home fellowship groups, or odd and even weeks for particular age groups.
The problem is that when a church is growing, they are to be disciplined physical plant managers. Detailed scheduling of uses is an absolute must. Typically, we would recommend establishing a “Master Use Plan”. This plan should recognize that there is no dedicated use in any particular part in the church campus, except for the Senior Pastor, and secretary’s offices. However, I have seen the Senior Pastor’s office and even areas of hallways used for teaching small groups.
It is important to remember that this temporary use of the church is for a transitional period only. As the church continues to grow, the transitional “reconfiguring” will eventually be detrimental to the over-all health of the church family.

REMODEL
There are three general categories of remodeling, some more complicated than others. First, there is alteration, which is the moving of a wall, partition, electrical fixture or outlet, and plumbing fixture. An alteration may not require a contractor that is licensed by the jurisdiction in the area. In other words, the work could be performed by an unpaid, or paid, person not having a license to perform such work.
Next, there is an Addition. This is a building that would be directly attached to, or adjacent to, the existing building. It would require the proper engineering and permits, using qualified contractors, and must meet all current codes and requirements.
Finally, there is the more complex, general remodeling of a building. This is a process of upgrading an entire area, be it an entry, narthex, sanctuary, or other occupiable areas such as kitchens, baths or offices. Typically, this would require the use of professional licensed contractors. The remodel may need upgrading to meet many, if not all, of the current code requirements.
The road to remodeling is often filled with potholes. Just as “a marriage that can survive remodeling a home can survive most anything”, so might be said of a church body that can survive a remodeling program.
I once worked with a church that had just purchased an historical building. The goal was to remodel the building for this young and growing congregation. The church was well into the remodeling when they asked for help. They did get an excellent buy on the building, but did not recognize the scope of the project when they began. They did a little at a time, using volunteers.
When it came time for an electrical inspection, they had a horrifying revelation. The electrical inspector soon discovered that the church had used volunteers. During his inspection, he also noticed that the church had not replaced all of the antiquated wiring. In addition, he noticed that they were digging and plumbing and it appeared as though they had moved or altered some walls. The inspector promptly reported this activity to the planning and building department, as is part of his job.
The next day, the planner and building inspector paid a visit to the church site. After a brief tour, the planner explained to the pastor, that churches are public buildings. It was obvious, he said, that this was a major remodel and that the church would have to comply with all of the current codes. All of the work that had been done was wasted. The church had to rewire, replumb, hire a structural engineer, and shore up walls and ceilings. They had to meet the fire and safety codes. By the time they had received their certificate of occupancy, they had spent more time and money, than if they had purchased land, and built new.
A very careful interview with the local building official, fire marshal, and planning commission is a must before any remodeling begins. This will help in assessing the real cost of altering the church building. Not all cities or counties require absolute compliance to the A.D.A. Often the amount of square footage, compared to the existing building’s square footage, will determine how and what codes will be in effect. If a church plans on adding or changing 20% or more, it is likely they will be facing a major cost in alteration, remodel, or addition.
The most critical thing is to recognize that there is always a domino effect. With every change of an existing building, there is an impact on many other parts of the
building and its use. These include on and off street parking, codes and requirements, ramps, elevators, and other required amenities, plus fire, life and safety codes.
An example of this is the seating requirements. More seats may mandate more classrooms as well. More seating will always impact the parking requirements. With church growth, there is the addition of pastoral staff, which means the need for added offices and support staff equipment.
In most cases, the age of the building is the most important consideration. Whenever an existing building is altered, current building codes may come into effect. What seemed to be a small, innocent addition of a few pews, or addition of extra offices, now may lead to the necessary of purchasing the lot next door for extra parking and building. Because of the scope of the project, the entire building may be required to conform to the current codes. These codes would include the electrical code, the environmental code, the uniform plumbing code, the equal access code, or the structural, seismic, and flood codes and requirements.
Then there is the A.D.A. (American Disabilities Act). This code alone can increase the alteration by 50%. Ramps, elevators, and restroom alterations to meet these codes are expensive. Ramps average $8,000.00to $12,000.00. Elevators can cost $55,000.00, and restroom conversions can cost $12,000.00 to $15,000.00 per restroom.
This simple $50,000.00 remodel suddenly looks more like a $350,000.00 endeavor. In addition to these issues, there may be some extenuating environmental circumstances, such as asbestos abatement, or an old in-ground oil tank, for example. The huge expense of doing the necessary environmental abatement could, alone, bankrupt the project.
If a church plans on undertaking a significant remodel or addition, they may have to defend this by necessity of remaining in their current site. The enormous cost and task of meeting the current strict codes and requirements mandate a careful analysis and feasibility study. In most cases, unless the church is a city core church and their mission statement is to minister to that city core, the church usually discovers that the coast of the task exceeds the cost of a new building.
This is why, in most communities, there will be movement when there is a sale of a church building. As one is sold to build a new building, the churches have a tendency to shift one church to the right. Everyone moves up one building to accommodate their growth needs. This avoids the nearly impossible task of everyone remodeling or adding on. A church is allowed to continue being used, regardless of how many times it changes hands. Under its current design and use, they call this Grandfathering. However, if a congregation vacates its building before they sell it, they may be at great risk. A building that is not occupied for as little as one to two years may be required to meet current codes and requirements. Thus the Grandfather clause could be lost.
The following questions can be used as guidelines in preparing a master plan for remodeling:
1. In what way will you remodel?
2. Will you add on to the existing facility?
3. Where do you need more room? Worship, fellowship areas, Christian education?
4. How much additional room do you need?
5. What about parking?
6. Will you acquire adjacent property?
7. How much can you develop at a time? Can you complete the entire project in one phase?
8. What is your plan? Your timeline?
9. Have all of the necessary code requirements been thoroughly researched, and their costs evaluated?
Have all the necessary code requirements been thoroughly researched, and their costs evaluated?

All these factors must be considered in the decision making process.
Again, the “search and discover” assignment is the most important thing, when providing feasibility for a church thinking of remodeling, or adding on to their current facilities.
Church leaders must ask themselves, “What needs to be done to fulfill our mission statement using our present facilities?”
It cannot be overstated that the greatest value (assets) a church has are: (a) its current facilities and (b) adjacent property that can be acquired.
If at all possible, adjacent property should be secured, even if it means having a living will. Adjacent property means future expandability and more parking. Parking requirements have to be met on-site. Many communities are assessing the entire square footage of a building and assigning a specified number of required parking spaces. This means “improved” parking: concrete, asphalt, curbs, landscaping and lighting. (Not just gravel.)
Short term solutions are always an alternative, of course. The most reasonable and responsible approach to the most pressing immediate problems should be taken. There are several ways this can be done.
(1) “Shuffle” meeting areas. Worship services might be moved to the gym in order to free usable space in the sanctuary for youth or other groups. Such a move proves invaluable, since two services are combined into one and provision has been made for keeping the brethren in unity.
(2) Schedule more than one service. If you do not have more than one service, consider occasional combined services.
(3) Have a master plan, and keep it in mind. Exhaust every possible opportunity and avenue for future ministry on existing property. When you have concluded that vision, you will have a facility that looks as though it was designed and built in one place. It will not be like the farmer who added a horse shed and then a hog stall and then a chicken coop. Those who have been in churches where remodeling has been done in phases know what has happened: “for the moment, for the moment, for the budget, for the moment.” With good design, exactly the same thing can be accomplished, and greater use of a facility is achieved by doing it in a comprehensive master plan.

RELOCATE
Is location a factor in allowing a thriving church to continue to grow? Id so, how great a factor? If a church moves out of its present area, how would members be affected demographically and as a church family? Could the church exist – grow- in this area? Is access available to utilities that would meet requirements for fire safety, septic facilities, and parking? These are always glaring issues, especially with rural churches.
Location is always a factor. However, location is controlled by reasonable, suitable access more than by visibility. There is no question that it would be more convenient for church members living in the direction of the move. The opposite is true as well. They would be moving away from familiar, central, and present location.
Location is a minor issue when compared to the dynamics that have accelerated growth. When location is compared to the leadership quality of a pastor and his staff, it becomes insignificant. This statement is supported be examples such as Applegate Community Church in Jacksonville, or Hauser Community Fellowship in North Bend. These churches are so remote, specific directions or a private escort is needed to find them. The average is estimated to be approximately twenty minutes. Yet location has not affected their growth.
Unlike the three rules of retail – location, location, location – it’s rare that a person crosses the threshold of a church primarily because of its location or visibility, with the exception of the neighborhood church for someone who has recently relocated and is looking for a local church. People come to a particular church and stay because of love shown by the church family, or unique communication skills and deliverance of the Gospel by the pastor and staff. To assume that moving to another location would “market the church” is unreasonable.
A deep love and compassion that reaches not only the lost, but also the “church dead” is a key component in church growth. Invitation or recommendation by a friend or relative who has delighted in a unique and fresh approach to the Gospel is a greater factor than location. Remove a unique pulpit delivery, remove quality and quantity of love from the body, remove the quality of staff and pastor and we quickly realize that location has much less to do with church growth than is generally believed.
When a church chooses to move out of an urban growth boundary, the move often presents overwhelming obstacles. Building codes change rapidly. One of the biggest issues for the rural church is utilities. Churches that are considered “public” buildings require volumes of space for parking, septic, and future growth. A church could easily invest $180,000.00 just in fire suppression requirements. Often a church must demonstrate that it can fight a fire for one hour with on-site suppression systems and water storage.
Off-site development requirements can also be costly. Widening roads, installing traffic signals, sidewalks, and curbs could be required. These, of course, are more typical of city and urban growth boundary developments rather that rural developments.
As was previously stated, the greatest value a church has today is its current facilities and adjacent property that can be acquired. It’s priceless. Why? Generally, churches can succeed in selling their property and they will gain 30% of its replacement value. If a building is worth a million dollars, on the average, it will more than likely sell for $350,000.00. When a church sells their building, they have to do several things. They have to replace existing square footage, because they have grown out of it; it’s not adequate. Sometimes a building can be reconfigured to a better design that will allow more ministries. But what has just been sold at a 65% loss will have to be replaced, and accommodation made for the additional growth.
Zone changes are a major factor in church location. Churches are in a “Conditional Use” zone. It’s difficult to get a zone change for a church unless it’s in a downtown area where commercial zoning is an option. But most churches are built in residential zones and getting a change in conditional use is not possible. So, the church is stuck with a market that says it can sell to non-profit organizations like schools, fraternal organizations such as the Elks, or other churches. Ordinarily there is just not a market to sell the building. When a church is on the market, typically it would be sold to another church, become a civic center, a boys’ and girls’ club, or other non-profit organization. The church takes a dramatic loss in the sale.
Again, we come to the Feasibility Study. It is a tool to be used to collect good information, so as to equip the decision makers of the church. Now with this information, the church has the ability to make qualified choices and decisions. The study is to alert the leadership as to any hidden surprises or costs. The study provides the necessary information so the committee can choose the most reasonable approach to the problems, be it alteration, adding on, remodeling, or reconfiguration. Often, it leads a church to the decision to relocate and construct a new building.

SITE SELECTION
Once the decision has been reached to relocate, selection of a new site may sound fairly simple. However, site selection is one of the primary areas where churches make major financial blunders.
One of the most difficult challenges for a church is affording real estate. The reason so many church groups meet in grange halls, in Seventh Day Adventist churches, and in school, is because they have never been able to acquire funds necessary to secure property.
In the Greater Seattle area, for example, nearly every school in Kent has a church meeting in it. Churches for sale have people waiting in line. That is unique to the demographics of the region. Because of the area’s growth, churches are growing. Real Estate is gaining in value. A church that paid $180,000.00 for twelve acres three years ago sold one acre last year for ½ a million dollars.

I worked with a church recently that has had the opportunity during the last five years to purchase six adjacent 50 X 100 feet city lots with houses on them for $300,000.00. Every time the opportunity to purchase arose, the committee vetoed the purchase. That church is now looking at a 1.7 million dollar relocation, because $300,000.00 for six city lots was ridiculous. Now they have to relocate because they have penned themselves in, and have no options but to leave. Such examples are not uncommon.
How, then, does a church go about selecting a site? Is real estate price the main criteria? If you drive twenty miles from your church home and find a ten-acre piece of property for $100,000.00, it may sound like a desirable investment. Or you might go only three miles away and pay twice that amount for half the acreage. In reality, though, the second piece of property could be a better investment. Until actual total costs of both on-site and off-site development are counted, it is not possible to have an accurate idea of a site’s cost.
How large should a site be? We suggest you look for a site that can accommodate up to 200 people per acre. Ideally, a site would accommodate 100-150 per acre. What impacts that is how much space is required for open land, greenways, and septic system. An understanding of the demographics of an area is necessary, and a knowledge of what is and is not acceptable, as far as this type of development.

Regardless of being in town, in an urban growth, or a rural area, we recommend an average of 150 people per acre. It would be foolish for a church body to purchase property that would just meet its short-term needs. How much better it would be to demand the type of location that would accentuate a given area at its best. A site must be large enough to fulfill the long-term mission and the vision of the church.
As you look for sites, try to exhaust every possible opportunity and avenue for future ministry on the potential property. Have you considered on-site possibilities for an outdoor amphitheater, a pond or creek, soccer and softball fields, a retreat center or conference grounds? These are facilities that will meet all immediate and intermediate needs of the church, plus property that will fulfill the long-range vision.
Access to public utilities would be ideal. Access to city water or a creek would almost be as desirable. It would be good of the property was within five minutes of the present location. Selection of property, God will reveal through a process of elimination, the coming forth of the faithful in the provision of the “perfect” piece of property. If we believe God to heal the broken-hearted and mend the poor in spirit, how much more is He capable to provide the “perfect” piece of property? At little cost, or as complete provision, He is able to move in the hearts of property owners to secure future generation’s access to the comfort of a Heavenly Father.

After a survey of potential properties, I suggest selecting three pieces of in-depth examination. This process would require property to qualify under recommended conditions such as:
(1) Within five minutes of the current location.
(2) Good and convenient access.
(3) Access to utilities or suitable on-site development of utilizes.
(4) Complimentary to the local area – trees, pond or creek, slight slope, significant flat areas.
(5) Insignificant on-site development cost.
(6) Little off-site improvements.
(7) Churches require acres not city lots.
(8) Availability – negotiable.
(9) Right price (based on financial report).

After the site search has been narrowed to three potential properties, the committee should negotiate on the selected sites.
I feel it is our responsibility to look for God’s provision in the selection of appropriate church property. We often have not, because we just have not looked. For example, it may be possible that someone (a church member, most likely) has been waiting to provide to the church. Exclusive farm use and forestry designated properties are becoming more difficult for owners that ever before. They may be on farm deferral, which impacts land ownership. Property may be purchased on a land sales contract. This would free the church finances. A land sales contract would probably have to be paid in full before the church would be able to build. Few owners would take a second position to the building program. The church is considered a “501-C-3 Non-Profit” organization, and may be able to bless the donor of the property with a tax benefit.
When looking at building sites, it’s necessary to understand that it’s not all over when the down payment is made. A number of pitfalls and obstacles still loom. Paperwork, proper procedures, and people in place if authority can either speed or impede the selection process.
In selecting a building site, both on-site and off-site development costs must be considered. This includes getting water to the site, sewer from the site, and dealing with fire/life safety requirements that will be imposed by the local Fire Marshall.
Remember, there is one identity, second only to God, who will tell you what you can and cannot do with your building – and that’s the Fire Marshall. He can supercede everything in the book. Any if you don’t meet the fire life and safety requirements and the minimum fire flows, you don’t have a building. The fire marshals perspective? During 110 mph winds, with four feet of snow on the roof, he wants his grandmother and his baby daughter in the middle of the sanctuary because it’s the safest place in town. Any you are required to design your building that way. Fire flow, fire hydrants, sprinkler systems and 1-2 hour fire rated walls are major cost issues in the development of the property.
Some off-site development costs may include improvement and widening of a main thoroughfare, access to and/or stoplight to the property, curbs and sidewalks. These costs can also involve extending public sewer and public water to meet the building site. Sometimes these off-site utility costs are shared by those who will come on line as utilities are extended to the church property.
Further out, on-site development costs would include a well, septic system, and storage facilities to meet fire flow requirements. Depending upon the water table and soil content, these could be exotic septic systems.
Parking requirements must be met on-site. And usually, unless it’s a rural situation, that means improved parking. That includes drainage, concrete, asphalt, curbs, lighting, and landscaping. And so, like fire life and safety requirements, these are another one of those important criteria that affects the entire church plan.
At this point, a shovel has not yet been put in the ground to visually see any progress on the property. The site has been improved by bringing water and sewer, it’s been qualified by having fire flow requirements, the street may be extended, widened or improved, and the building program hasn’t even started. All of these factors enter into the real cost of property.
In the Pacific Northwest, we deal with spotted frogs and spotted owls, so we have to work with an Environmental Engineer. Churches inevitably seem to buy property that has wetlands or flood plains. The church has found a deal in town. So they secure the property, and all of a sudden they have spotted frogs and wetland and/or flood plain issues.
We were approached by a pastor who had come to a church that was in the middle of a building program. They had already filled their church and were ale to build on the property. However, 60% of that piece of property was designated wetlands. After putting together a complete wetlands study, doing an environmental impact study, and dealing with the Corps of Engineers, we were successful in reducing it to 6%. Had we not been able to reduce that percentage, the church would not have been able to put up a building, even though they owned the property.
These scenarios happen frequently, especially where rain is part of everyday life. Legislators have redesignated the Federal Wetlands Act, and it’s becoming more reasonable. However, it takes two years for those in charge to know what the changes mean, so one can still be living under wetlands and flood plain constraints that may be outdated. This is a big issue in evaluating potential growth and site selection.
Once site selection has been narrowed to three pieces of property, it is well to ask “Which will meet our needs most adequately?” Careful estimation of costs, using real numbers with actual acreage, will enable informed decision-making based on those facts. The most difficult challenge churches face in this process is having enough accurate information to make calculated, educated choices. A site that may sound like a terrific deal may end up costing far more.
The Feasibility Study mentioned in Chapter Two, helps a church committee and leadership accomplish the goal of making right decisions when it comes to site selection.

PRELIMINARY DESIGN PROCESS
(1) Master Plan
(2) 1st Base floor plan
(3) Elevation drawing

COUNTING THE COST
(1) Financing (different ways)
Commitment

CHEX/IMF

CHEX: Church Expansion Ministries
IMF: International Ministries Fellowship and Church Development

For more than 25 years, my responsibilities have continued to broaden as my experience grew in understanding processes.

Lecturing at Leadership conferences, Providing seminars, Framing construction, Supervising and working with volunteer coordinators, organizing volunteers, managing and directing volunteers, training unskilled volunteers, teaching troubled youth in construction vocational skills and apprenticing for framing construction.

I have been involved with converting barns into churches, building the Greater Bible Church and erecting The Romanian Assembly of God. Each of the 86 churches I have worked with used some form of volunteerism. Many were built entirely using volunteers such as the European Romanian Assembly of God Basilica in Portland, Oregon. Many of these projects required hand holding while others worked quite well independently, only requiring careful supervision.

The duplication of efficient designs has brought churches even more economy. Providing detailed material lists and ordering and handling materials properly have ensured success using our detailed construction path. For years our easy to follow proven construction path has improved with experience. The working syllabus has been developed over years of working out the kinks and implementing efficiency.

The syllabus has been designed to help coach the transitional church expand and new building projects through a successful construction. Using skilled and unskilled volunteered labor allowing the ability to have a successful conclusion.

There is no replacement for new experience. We pray to pass this ahead over and over again.

Sherlock Homes
Owner Builder Home Building Program

Through years of working with volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Albany, Oregon Sherlock Homes was developed out of a high level of frustration. Unable to meet the need of so many families, we implemented a home building program developed to help the forgotten working middle class family. Balancing a thin budget, many middle class hard working families are unable to see a future in home ownership beyond a manufactured home in a trailer park. As we did for churches, now we are able to do for the typical family in America.

Providing a land-home construction loan that reflected the family doing sweat equity, we are able to provide a stick built beautiful home on their own land with as little as 20% equity in their home. Accomplishing this is rewarding and gives pride of ownership.

Systems Analysis (SA)

A systems analysis provides enough adequate data in order to analyze standard materials, practices, and application techniques. This is extremely valuable when considering the use of unskilled labor in a volunteer program for economy and efficiency. The following study examples demonstrate how not one but many different organizations have succeeded by adopting unique building materials and application techniques to keep within budget and on time. These techniques have saved tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars of cost in each of the building projects.

Example: Use of a standard material and common application technique and considering unique material and ease of application.

Real Example # 1

A nine-year-old child or an unskilled volunteer can perform our framing layout technique when the construction path is followed. The capability of laying out an entire framing project without using a measuring tape can be used, as I have on every project since 1971.

It involves a 4’ steel stick with 3” x 1 ½” metal marking stays every 16” and 24” inches. Allowing the volunteer remarkable accuracy and enabling all walls on 16” center and all floor and roof at 24” centers.

Example # 2

Engineered Commercial Electrical System

Requiring that all electric be ran through metal conduit, we have seen the standard and practice as applied to commercial buildings. Consider why the budget for electrical line item materials and labor is so high in cost. Typically, a commercial electrical company is required. Volunteers are not allowed to perform this type of work.

Place all electrical boxes
Drill exacting holes
From box to box to main exacting because most all electrical conduit is rigid
Cut and bend then install all conduits with connections
Screw to all boxes and connections
Standard 12 ‘lengths

This standard practice is extremely expensive when compared to a creative solution using alternative material that will help with speed of application. For less requirement of labor, even though the material may be slightly more expensive. An unskilled volunteer can be tremendously helpful. Instead of measuring, cutting, bending, and jointing then pulling the wire through, we use pre wired steel flex. This requires just one cut, is wired, and only requires the application of two screws always passing inspection with the supervision of a licensed Electrical Contractor. The savings is as much as a 50% of the average commercial bid amount.

Example # 3

Interior and exterior framing construction.

This is the standard procedure:

1. Snap all wall lines (known as the layout of walls)
2. Cut and place all bottom and tap plates butting correctly one of top of the other
3. Stud layout
4. Channel layout
5. Window and door layout – then plates are removed in pair and stacked accordingly to construction value – out of the way
6. Exterior walls are framed first then raised skeleton and all window and door openings included
7. All interior walls are then framed and erected according to construction ease and value
8. Beams or Glu-Lams are placed (these may be bearing)
9. Joist plates are installed (with all walls standing)
10. Standard engineer hub frames and delivered on the top plates
11. Earthquake – clips installed
12. Roof structure is sheeted then roofing is installed

Back to our exterior walls:

1. Sub ply installed
2. All openings cut out
3. Moisture barrier installed
4. Windows installed
5. Siding installed
6. Install doors
7. Caulking applied
8. Trim corners and windows
9. Truss trim installed
10. Walls painted
11. Trim painted in contrast

The construction crew must circle the building at least eleven times. They fight with ladders, power tools, and often mud.

Typical practice: slow

Consider the difference using creative problem solving. While the exterior walls are down, they are easily accessible and safe. Simply finish the walls while they are down. It may take longer to raise the walls but saves an incredible amount of money and labor. Volunteers can do the work safely and no harm to risk moving tools, materials, and ladders.

CELL MINISTERY

I feel the New Testament church example is today is most clear and reasonable church growth example. Consider the power of 10. A cell group of five is disciple and is now prepared to share the word with others. Share their life message with others. The New Testament church met in small groups (cells) in homes and underground locations so as not to call at attention to themselves. Consider what duplication will accomplish. Duplicate duplication.
10
5
= 48,828,125

Calculate whatever failure rate you want. You cannot fail in Christ!
CHEX: Church Expansion Ministries

Using career experts, professionals, skilled and unskilled volunteer labor, we direct churches through their building program. From remodeling a barn into a church to master planning 85 acres and building a beautiful new church, we have helped over 86 churches in the Northwest over a 25-year period implementing and perfecting our church growth construction path and consulting. Managing church building committees. All have provided invaluable experience.

In the many years and experiences, we have provided the following:

• Church Master Planning
• Feasibility studies
• The transitional church
• Evaluating and providing site selection
• Environmental studies
• Provided completed engineered documentation for building
• Have personally built several church buildings (framing included)
• Created a detailed cost of construction
• Created a detailed line item construction path
• Managed, directed and motivated multiple volunteers
• Trained, taught and scheduled multiple volunteers

.Financing and Stewardship

Marketing the church does not touch the overall cost of relocation and a new church building project. Remodeling is costly an

d not free as rumored. Reorganizing church use is the wisest decision that can be made for continued growth. While in transition the growing church might consider redesign of the interior.

It seems that today’s churches have had a difficult time with obedience in the church family’s finances. If members are not being faithful with tithing and giving, one can assume the habits will continue even in a church expansion project. The faithful 20% that supports the church is also responsible for the general fund and missions.

Using the church building smarter gives the church time to teach and retrain the concept involving obedience in tithing and the incredible blessings that come when giving becomes a part of the believer’s theology and way of life.

Church Expansion Ministries

EXAMPLE

AGREEMENT FOR DESIGN BUILD SERVICES

Made as the 15th day of September, in the year of 2009

Between the Owner: Romanian Assembly of God Church
P. O. Box XXXXX
Portland, Oregon

And Church Expansion Ministries (CHEX)

The Designer

For the following project: Phase I
Proposed Sanctuary

The Owner and Designer agree as follows:

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF
AGREEMENT BETWEEN OWNER AND DESIGNER

ARTICLE I. BASIC SERVICES:

The Basic Services of this Contract are limited to those drawing and specifications necessary for CHEX (Designer) to identify and detail the Owner’s prescribed project and to build such project according to its DESIGN/Build Concept. The Designer’s Basic Services consist of the three phases described in Paragraphs 1,2,3 and include normal structural, mechanical, and electrical drawings to complete this project, and any other services included in Article I as part of Basic Services.

1. PREMILINARY DESIGN REVIEW PHASE

A. The Designer shall review the program furnished by the Owner, represented by the Construction Committee, to ascertain the requirements of the Project and shall review the understanding of such requirements with the Owner.
B. The Designer shall review with the Owner alternate approaches to Design and Construction of the Project.

Study #1

Efficiency erection of commercial large occupancy structures

Church in a day project – Jehovah Witness
Brief:

For over 40 years, this organization has developed a management process using skilled and lay members to erect a building in one day. By 8pm, the same evening the congregation is able to have service in a dry warm building. A significant start of the success begins with a monolithic slab and well-orchestrated management of volunteers and materials. They must have the necessary licensed Inspectors on site that are part of the organization. Along the entire phase of construction, the Inspectors are signing permits on the inspection report card.

Example:

Sweet Home, Oregon Jehovah’s Witness Hall

Study # 2

American Samoa – FAA Airport Expansion

The job involved the erection of seven building structures to house the increasing employees brought in to expand the existing airport. As a result, seven homes were built from the ground up. Large containers full of all materials needed to build the homes were loaded and shipped to American Samoa. As a part of a 4-man crew on governmental contract, we erected these homes having four Federal Inspectors present at all times. We set inner stakes, formed concrete for monolithic slabs, and built the entire home from floor to roof. All plumbing, wiring, HVAC, drywall, and finish carpentry was completed.

Study # 3

CBA: Craftsman for Christ Conservative Baptist Northwest

Craftsman for Christ is a CBA organization that erects church buildings using volunteers and professionally skilled and nonprofessional for labor. A Master Craftsman is usually paid to manage the Construction project and lives on site during the construction process. He will typically work full time managing the volunteers on the building project.

Craftsman for Christ became involved in building pioneer churches, however they also participate in very large projects that may include some steel or Glu-Lam erection. This process has saved churches untold amounts of money when ordinarily it may take up to ten years for a church to raise enough of a budget to begin their building project.

Example: Monmouth, Oregon

Study #4

Large span, large occupancy commercial Glu-Lam Dome Structures

Examples: Church of the Nazarene Napa, Idaho
Church of the Nazarene Corvallis, Oregon

Glu-Lam Dome Structures create a lot of hoop-la that eventually break the budget with costly overruns. Unusual yet beautiful structures, Dome Building Design uses Glu-Lam’s for the ability to span a much greater area without the typical design with equal demand for occupancy without the occasional visual interruptions of columns or posts. These buildings usually leak, without the ability to identify where the leak has originated.

When liquid or torch down membranes became more reliable, the dome roofing was removed and a continuous membrane was applied providing reflective insulation and finally a leak proof roof. Even the large Tacoma Dome converted to the new membrane products. Professional carpenters with expertise in Glu-Lam construction, specializing in Dome Matrix designs, again at an exorbitant cost, installed the Glu-Lam matrix.
However, volunteers provided the structural skin and interior and exterior framing and finishing, professional contractors performed plumbing, electrical, and HVAC.

Study # 4

Seventh Day Adventist Miracle Week

High occupancy structure including multi-purpose building, classrooms, and administrative offices.

This project needs several Master Carpenters, General Contractors, and Construction Managers on site for the entire project. All are volunteers within the church congregation. Effectiveness, simplicity, and economy with exceptional management and planning make this a remarkable success story with every project. Having a plan of action with extraordinary use of small groups with very well defined objections, help each person enjoy the benefits of ownership by following the instructions of their group leader. All volunteers, skilled and unskilled.

Study # 5

LDS Waverly Ward Albany, Oregon

Using the same successful design with every new sanctuary creates speed and economy. It was quite a remarkable sight to see, this high occupancy building go up so fast. Using only skilled paid contractors. I observed a quick and remarkable erection without wasted movement. The team erected an arched Glu-Lam Sanctuary with Administrative offices and classrooms all on a monolithic concrete slab. This traveling construction company from Utah move from one building to another. Their remarkable savings and efficiency comes because of building the exact same design and the same material list each time, always improving upon the next.

Study # 6

RVer’s

Building the first phase of a master plan, the budget requires using volunteers. The project includes multi-use buildings with offices and classrooms. Requiring the construction of a commercially engineered two-lane bridge spanning a creek, we were able to master plan this project on 85 acres of land.

The church realized it did not have the number of skilled labor to erect the building on their own. On behalf of the church, I was able to arrange for the RVer’s group traveling Master Carpenters to erect and frame the building. RVer’s assign a crew leader that communicates with the church and manages the volunteers. Strict and effective RVer’s often have lived on the site during construction where they dedicate three to six months to the building project.

Example: Sweet Home Community Chapel Sweet Home, Oregon

Nehemiah Ministries

One of the most critical areas of church finance and church vision are goals and accountability. Concerned about where to come up with money for the building fund? Most churches have a vision to have adequate facilities and the ability to grow within their walls. Being forced to leave the existing building and find a new location, many churches are stuck with a problem.

The same people that are being faithful in your church today, are tithing, that make up your general budget, that are giving their mission are the same people that you’re going to be expecting to be providing a sacrificial gift for an expansion program. With this in mind, there are some serious questions to ask.

Knowing that the average family in your church would go bankrupt without three months of their income, fulfilling a vision of expansion may be challenging to say the least. When an expansion program is brought up in a church committee, the first question that comes up is “How much is this going to cost?”. We are able to break these questions down for you by asking questions such as the church needs and location expectations.

Most churches are embarrassed about their current financial situations today. Having a team working not only with you but for you gives a sense of security. Equipping the church family to prepare for today’s economical life and family challenges is essential.

Today, on the average, every church that is considering expansion is going to be challenging their families to do a capital fund-raising program. A capital fund-raising program is where you raise funds within your church family over a period of months and years as a fund raiser. Challenge your family, and over that three-year period you have run what is called a stewardship campaign or a capital fund-raising campaign, and if you’re in church leadership or you’re the church secretary or even the pastor, you find yourself on a weekly basis being solicited by numerous capital fund-raising programs that are soliciting an opportunity to make a presentation to do a capital stewardship program for your church.

Capital fund-raisers and stewardship campaigns have shown a few basic facts. Where you will see people coming into your church making presentations that they will be able to raise three, three and a half, four times your annual budget in three years. Churches must be willing to expose themselves to presentations and taking the risk of success! Falling short of your fund-raising goals can and does happen although with honesty and dedication, the capabilities are endless. Commitment to the campaign is important it is the churches role to keep the excitement up and the goals obtainable.

Remember that when you move into a stewardship program, you’re not asking for tithe, you’re not asking for missions, you’re not asking for gifts. You’re asking for a sacrifice that is what the equation turns out to be over a period of three years, over and above your existing budget.

Consider providing the tools for your church family, it doesn’t have to come from the pulpit. You can have leaders in the church in small groups introducing a program for stewardship for the family and succeed in doing so.

CELL MINISTERY

I feel the new testament church example is today’s most clear and reasonable church growth example. Consider the power of 10. a cell group of 5 is disciple and is now prepared to share the word with others. Share their life message with others. The new testament church met in small groups (cells) in homes and underground locations so as not to call attention to themselves. Consider what duplication will accomplish.

Duplicate duplication.

5 to the tenth power 5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5x5
= 48,828,125 consider a 99.75% failure rate or a .025% success rate = 122,070 is model works just a perfectly when raising funds:
Consider using this same biblical model when approaching a capital or stewardship fundraising program:.

$5.00 paid on the 5th of the month for five months. promised and duplicated is the program..
Same as same as,
This would be considered a mega – mega church. This can be accomplished in a new testament cell small group meeting church.
Calculate whatever failure rate you want. You cannot fail using God’s plan. In Christ!
“a work in progress”
Go to: hope.4_today@gmail.com

En finale’

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