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Step 5 of Church Building – Project Phasing and Phase One Schematics

Step 5 of ‘Your New Church Building and Design in 10 Easy Steps’ consists of Project Phasing and putting together Phase One Schematic Drawings. If you want to get out of your temporary facility and get into your own church building, this is for you. Maybe you have outgrown your existing building and need to expand or relocate?  You should start with the 10 Steps.

Today we will talk about how you phase the development of your new site. We covered Land Acquisition in Step 2 and Master Site Planning your site in Step 3. Now you need Project Phasing, which is kind of like how you would eat an elephant – one bite at a time. Once you have your land, and a Master Site Plan that shows the entire build-out of the property, you are ready to plan your Project Phasing. You should not worry about cost now, that will come later. You want to develop the property so you can accomplish the long-range vision for your ministry there. First, where to start and in what order you will build out the campus.

Scott Wilson and Fred Wilson, his dad, from Oak Cliff Assembly of God in Dallas asked me to help them revitalize their ministry. It had been a dynamic ministry in the 1980’s and 1990’s, but the area had changed and the church had declined. When we did Step 1, the Strategic Ministry Plan, we found that a lot of young families were actually coming from Red Oak. Part of the solution that we came up with was to launch a new church in Red Oak that Scott, who was the youth pastor at the time, would co-pastor and lead the new congregation.

We went down to Red Oak and found about forty acres on the west side of I-35. Then we laid out a Master Site Plan of everything we wanted to have on the property. Scott had a vision of it being a megachurch. We began Project Phasing with that in mind. Phase One was a fairly small building because they were just getting started. In the future that first building would become a community center for the ministry. If you look at The Oak’s Fellowship today, they run five to six thousand people. It is a megachurch with phenomenal ministries serving Red Oak.

How do you go about developing a property and project like that? You should not build a several thousand seat auditorium in Phase One. Start with something that is functional, that works, is affordable, and that is a real asset for your ministry as it grows. Then as you outgrow it, transition the Phase One building into a pre-determined use, like a community center or youth building; in this case, a new community center.

Be careful how you lay everything out. Look at where you put buildings on the property. A lot of times churches buy a piece of property when they are just starting out and just moving in creates a lot of expenses. So they put the first building right out up front next to the street because it cost less to run utilities from the street to the building. Do not do that. You want to put your Phase One building back further on the property so that later when you can afford it, you can put a main building on the street for everyone to see. Be thoughtful with how you phase your development.

Next are Schematic Designs. These are rough floor plans that show the basic footprint of the building, the floor plan, (how it will function) and what the outside of the building will look like. All of those items together are called Schematic Designs.

As you develop Schematic Designs, you need to be working with a knowledgeable construction industry expert, either a builder or a project manager. They should know building costs in your area. They can tell you if you are on track with your financial projections from Step 4.

This is the time to think big and never underestimate what God desires to do through your ministry. It is better to have a big, hairy, audacious goal when you lay out the campus. Start with something realistic, then give God room to develop the campus and grow the ministry. Consider if you will have multiple services, use venues in the future or spin-off daughter churches. Each part is important in developing project phasing and phase one schematic designs.

Call me at (719) 439-3019 so that I can help you with your church development.

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