The prospect of a construction project can be daunting for any business but especially so for church leaders since the vast majority of churches don’t have an abundance of surplus cash in their coffers. So when it comes to getting the process of constructing a new church building or renovating or adding on to your current space, where do you even begin?

There is something important to understand before you even begin down that road to a new space for your church ministry – you can’t do it without quality outside help. Well, you can, but doing so is a lot like swimming out past the breakers without a life jacket. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. And while your building project committee (yes, you need one of those) may include someone who has some construction experience or who have worked on a building committee before, chances are that with all of the detailed minutiae involved in successfully launching and completing a church building project, even experienced people can become overwhelmed, followed by you and the entire rest of your team (by the way, you can learn tips for selecting the right members for your building project committee by clicking here).

Catalyst Ministry Solutions Framework has been developed for churches to provide the insights needed to get the project off the ground so ground breaking though completion stays on track. It consists of four major phases – Discover, Determine, Develop, and Deliver – that define the steps involved in the building process and the details involved in each of those steps. It is specifically designed to ensure flexibility in addressing the broadest possible spectrum of issues and finding the right solutions to ensure the best possible outcomes for those issues.

Each phase of the CMS Framework requires church leaders to closely examine various facets of the building project in relation to their ministry. To help with that examination, here are four important questions that church leaders must ask and answer to help pave a smoother road toward a successful project completion.

Do we have a thorough understanding of our church’s needs and the challenges it faces?

This can seem like an easy question to answer. On the face of it, of course, you know your church’s needs and challenges. That’s why you’ve made the wise decision to launch a church building project. But have you taken a deep dive into your church’s current overall status and reviewed that assessment in relation to the specific details involved with a church building project? How do you begin to know what you don’t know? It is one thing to have a general knowledge of the needs and challenges specific to your church. It is something else entirely to know how to meet those needs and overcome those challenges when you’re working to achieve your vision for your church ministry. Having a trusted and experienced partner like Catalyst Ministry Solutions will help you gain the understanding you need by thoroughly assessing your church’s needs and challenges and find ways to navigate your way through them.

Are we confident in our path forward?

Confidence in anything is, of course, subjective. What it takes for one church leader to be confident in the path toward a new building or space will always be different from another leader. So what does it take for you to be confident that you’re on the right church construction path? Do you need financial and logistical details worked out? Do you need a building schedule planned and written out? Do you need a building project committee in place? All of the above? Establishing a good comfort level when you begin down the road toward fulfilling your vision for a new church space can be boiled down to good Q & A. Have you asked the right questions and provided – or had provided to you – the right answers to those questions? As stated above, do you know what you don’t know in order to be able to ask and answer the right questions? If not, confusion is lurks and waits to gain a foothold on your project and erode your confidence.

What makes our church unique?

So, what is the calling that God has put on your church that makes it different from the church across town? What do you see for the future of your church? What are the goals for your church that God is inspiring you to accomplish? How much growth do you anticipate in the next three to five years? The answers to these questions will be different for every church leader who answers them, and it is those answers that make your church unique and set the stage for the successful fulfillment of your vision for your building project.

Do we have a well-defined process for consistently making good decisions?

Without a structured and organized process designed to your church’s specific needs and goals – a process like Catalyst’s Ministry Solutions Framework – you’re likely to find yourself relying on improvisation to carry out your building project, which is not a strategy for success.

All of this is to say – or reiterate – that your building project is not something that should be taken lightly by trying to do it without experienced help. Discovering your church’s specific needs and understanding its challenges in depth is the first step on the road toward fulfilling your vision for a new church building or space. Catalyst Construction has earned its reputation as one of the industry’s leaders in church building construction and development from the work of a team of seasoned construction professionals who have over a half-century of experience in successfully planning, executing and completing a wide range of major church projects. We’ve made it work for dozens of churches before and we can make it work for yours.

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Steve Widmer
Steve is Principal at Catalyst Ministry Solutions. CMS exists to help churches, schools, and non-profits create the roadmap to reach their next level of impact. Steve brings 20+ years of success as a leader in Corporate America and 15 years working on staff in church leadership and consulting with churches in the areas of generosity, leadership, and staff development.