When it comes to church design and construction it is impossible to underestimate the importance of vision. Vision determines the amount of space and/or property necessary to support your ministry and influences what that space will look like. Vision establishes a hierarchy of space and enables your leadership team to prioritize which spaces come first during the conceptual stage of the design process. It is vision, not buildings that people support financially.
That vision however should define your Church ministry, not your Church facility. While there is nothing wrong with being inspired by another building that they have seen, your leadership team should be telling your architect what your ministry will look like, not what the Church building should look like. Instead, they should be concentrating on communicating a vision of the ministries to which God is calling your Church.
Vision sets the performance objectives that the space must meet. Your architect needs to understand that vision. One goal you should share with your architect is to accommodate your present and future facility needs with the least amount of square footage possible. Only by thoroughly understanding your vision can your architect design a dynamic ministry space while minimizing the square footage needed to meet your needs. Architects that specialize in church design are adept at identifying the unique needs of each ministry while recognizing the financial realities that apply to most churches. It is your vision that will determine the square footage and/or land needed to meet those needs and as such ultimately influence the cost.
Vision will also determine which spaces come first. Few churches have the resources to build enough space to accommodate all of their ministry needs at one time. Few churches have the luxury of avoiding the painful process of determining which spaces get built today and which spaces may need to be deferred until God enables the next phase of construction. It is your vision that will establish this hierarchy of space. It is the common acceptance of this vision that sustains unity among the leadership as difficult decisions are made. Understanding your vision enables your architect to offer input on alternative ways to meet the ministry needs of those deferred spaces in the interim.
Finally, vision has a significant impact on the financial support of the congregation. People don’t give to buildings, they give to vision. Blue prints don’t inspire people to give sacrificially. It is the fulfillment of a vision that those prints represent that cause people to give with radical generosity.
How important is vision? The Bible says that where there is no vision God’s people perish. God has laid a vision for ministry on your heart. Whether your next construction process is at hand or in the distant future, the time to start articulating that vision is now. After all, your building is a tool intended to be used by God to bring the vision that He himself laid on your heart to reality.