It’s difficult to know what to expect when getting your church ready for a major construction or renovation project. As if the challenge of all of the requisite logistical and budgetary planning and preparation involved wasn’t enough, it becomes easy to overlook the fact that you have a church staff and congregation to take into consideration. Construction of your new space doesn’t happen in a vacuum, even if the work isn’t taking place on-site. That is to say, simply the fact that you’ve undertaken this project that will result in a change in your ministry environment is enough to affect the status quo.
But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it’s actually an opportunity to grow your ministry in new and pleasantly surprising ways and to build a level of Spirit-filled anticipation and excitement about the changes that are coming. One of the Catalyst team’s primary goals in working with our church clients is maintaining as much consistency of ministry services and operations as possible during construction. Church leaders can take that effort toward consistency a step further and use the construction period to develop their ministry in preparation for life in a new or renovated space.
Prioritize Good Communication
This is the foundation—the cornerstone of consistency and growth during your construction project. If there is one thing that will erode any relationship or endeavor, whether it’s for personal, business, or community purposes, it’s poor communication. When lines of communication are not consistently wide open, ministry teams cannot operate smoothly. Catalyst emphasizes communication between team members and with our client stakeholders, and we help our clients maintain good communication between their own team members as well as with ours.
Church leaders already know the value of good communication and the challenges that they can find themselves faced with when it breaks down or when it’s simply not there in the first place. That’s true of any business but there is a particularly unique brand of communication that is necessary within the day-to-day oversight of a church ministry. Catalyst knows that brand of communication and how essential it is to maintain it during the phases of a church construction project. Having a solid communication strategy as part of an equally solid church building project plan, and sticking to it to keep those lines open, is the foundation upon which a smoothly running construction project is built.
Emphasize “Ministry First”
It’s important to remember (and easy to forget) the reason you’re taking on a church construction project in the first place – for the sake of the ministry. To be more precise, it is, of course, to edify the Church, i.e., the Body of Christ on the earth, but the collective focus among your project staff should be your specific church ministry and the vision you have for your project. The services and operations of the ministry cannot and should not stop because construction has begun. Conducting weekly meetings among staff members and keeping your congregation in the loop about the progress of construction and the vision that it is intended to fulfill goes a long way in reaching short-term and long-term goals. That vision for the ministry is your church’s spiritual “North Star” that the project is headed toward and consistent reminders to your staff and congregation about it will help build excitement about the project and keep everyone’s focus where it needs to be – on the ministry and God’s plan for it. The ministry is always the “why” of your project.
Keep the Congregation Involved
Church construction projects are a great way to enhance fellowship within your congregation. Part of Catalyst’s process includes requesting volunteers from among church members to become engaged with the project in varying capacities. The fruit of this kind of labor performed by congregants goes far beyond the actual construction. The fellowship and spirit of camaraderie that members enjoy during the project is invaluable, both for the church ministry as well as for each of the participating members. The Catalyst team is deeply passionate about the work that we do for our church clients and one of the main reasons is the relationships that are developed as a result of the projects we undertake. We know that these relationships are God-ordained and have a tremendously positive impact on His Kingdom. Because of that, keeping your congregation engaged throughout the course of the project can help balance the workload and keep regular ministry services and operations running smoothly.
Church building projects are about more than the buildings and renovations they produce. They inevitably are about making a ministry better equipped to serve Christ and His Church. Catalyst Construction considers it of the highest honor to be selected to partner with our church clients toward that end. And in so doing, we understand how important it is to maintain consistency in your daily and weekly church operations and services while your building is under construction or being renovated. The health of your church and your staff depends significantly on being able to remain in your existing space and function as close to “normal” as possible, and that is what we are intent on helping you do.