Here are some tips that I haven’t seen before that are definitely great things to think about when developing your church construction plans. These are points that can be easily overlooked or completely forgotten altogether, such as understanding the demographics of your church to consider what the space in your building plans will be needed for and the best time of year for capital campaigns, etc. Check out the article to see all of these great tips.
Archive for May, 2008
There is a lot of information to be found about church financing, and it can quickly become overwhelming, particularly for a church that does not have experience in lending. Christianity Today has an article, Getting the Money You Need, which answers all of the basic questions that you probably have about getting started with the church loan process. It is a compilation of several common church financing questions, that do not go into a ton of detail, but are a great starting point for basic church lending information. Additionally, be sure to check out the important questions that you may want to ask your lender!
I have posted a few links to articles in the past from the book Preparing to Build, which is for churches looking to build new facilities or make improvements. I found another very useful article from the same book called 75 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Church Architect. I think this article is important to review because churches may often get caught up in worrying about the financing and time frame issues of their project and may overlook the importance of choosing an architect that can meet your church’s specific needs. Check out the article if your church is considering a new construction project…it contains a lot of great questions that are important to ask.
While many churches may think their budget should be based on the initial estimate proposed by the architect, this is only a ball park figure. There are a number of steps throughout the construction process in which this number could drastically change and churches must be financially prepared to deal with this increase in cost.
An article by Scott Rolfs called Account for Increases in Building Cost addresses the major points in the construction process during which churches should expect a budget increase, which are described below:
The Preconstruction and Bidding Phase: At this point, the plans have been completed by the architect and an initial budget has been predicted. During this phase, however, costs for things such as site development, cost for construction in your particular marketplace, etc. may cause a large increase in the cost of construction.
Final Municipal Approval: Before the construction can begin, there are several government bodies that must sign off to approve the project. Any appropriate changes must be made to the construction plans in order to receive government approval during this phase. For instance, perhaps guidelines for building codes have not been accounted for in your initial plans, such as fire sprinkler system, etc. These things can quickly add up and cause the construction budget to increase.
Actual Construction: During the actual construction phase, there may be opportunities during which the church can make modifications to the original plan, or perhaps there will be surprise costs due to unexpected problems that were not taken into account in the original budget. If these situations arise, they can also play a large part in the expanding cost.
The bottom line is, a church must be financially prepared for any unforeseen costs that may arise during the construction process. There is not budget that is guaranteed to be set in stone, so the church must be able to account for this financially.
A church capital stewardship campaign is a method used by the church to raise money that will finance construction or improvement projects. This is a strategic financial plan that involves increasing the tithes and offerings from church members over a set period of time in order to quickly generate 1.5 to 3 times the amount of the church’s current tithes and offerings. The churches ability to successfully implement this strategy and produce an increase in funds will allow them to more easily borrow as well as pay off more quickly any necessary loans for construction or improvement projects. An article from an online church magazine outlines what a successful capital stewardship program will be able to do for your church:
- Raise the capital needed to accomplish church building goals through a professionally facilitated capital stewardship campaign plan
- Assist in securing church financing
- Secure 3-year pledges totaling 1½ to 3 times the current annual tithes and offerings
- Educate congregation members on the Biblical aspects of stewardship and the spiritual blessing of worship through giving
- Strengthen your leadership and staff in Biblical stewardship
- Increase the congregation’s awareness and understanding of the church vision though the capital campaign
- Clearly communicate the need to build and establish a case for action as part of the capital campaign plan
- Increase regular tithes and offerings in addition to meeting your capital campaign goals
- Validate your vision, mission and long range plans as part of the capital campaign
- Identify major donors, and improve relationships with old ones
- Create a capital campaign that will serve as the catalyst for change
- Create a strong church, focused on God, eager to accomplish the vision and make the building project a success