Most improvements aren’t an issue of costing money, but of changing the mindset. Once you decide to do something, you can figure out a way to fund it. An article from Dick Hardy (thehardygroup.org) jogged my thinking about “constantly improving”. He said churches can get stuck saying “it’s easy for a bigger church to make improvements because they have money – we just can’t dazzle people like that.”
Church leaders need to be asking the question, “How can we do this better? How can we improve? What will help get the message across?”
I recently visited a church in downtown St. Louis. The Word At Shaw is a recent new church plant in an existing old building. The building itself is massive, but the congregation, after getting down to 5 or 6 core people, decided to give the building away. A new pastor stepped in and began a new focus for the church in the context of a neighborhood that had changed over the years. The name, style, mission and ministry changed. It’s truly a new church.
In addition to building the church, this pastor is also working on renovating the facility. The improvements have been awesome! What was once three rooms has been turned into a coffee bar and gathering space. The team knocked out walls, gutted rooms and redesigned it to meet the needs of the neighborhood.
The sanctuary was gutted. They put in new carpet, new staging, new chairs and new paint on the walls – purple and green. It looked great!
One room in the church, that used to be a parlor, has been converted and will be used as a bunk house for mission teams next summer.
Mission and vision are definitely driving the changes to the facility. They are focused on meeting the needs of people in their area. They are designing the building to minister in the context of their surroundings.
It’s an example of what church leaders can do to make improvements. What have you been thinking about? What would help reach people in your community? What wall do you need to knock out to provide more gathering and connecting space? What hospitality structures need to be in place to meet people? What portion of your mission and vision needs a new push of momentum?
Money may not be the largest obstacle… it may be mindset.