DESIGNER COLUMNS & BLOGS / Architecture Is Fun

Posted in Architecture Is Fun on August 25, 2015 8:59 am EDT

A Promised Land for Kids: Part 2

Thoughts on architecture, design, and budget allowances for children's spaces in the church setting. And a question: Why aren't churches fundraising specifically for children's spaces?

Image courtesy of Architecture is Fun.









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TAGS: architectural design, business, children's ministry, collaboration, fundraising,


By Peter Exley, FAIA, and Sharon Exley, MAAE, ASID

“Where your treasure is, there will also be your heart.” ~ Matthew 6:21

Children are our treasures. For many churches, attracting and retaining families is a very high priority. Given that, why aren’t churches fundraising specifically for children’s facilities? We’re not speaking about car washes and bake sales here. We’re suggesting that churches run “earmarked” campaigns for places and spaces in which children will find their “promised land.”

Granger Community Church's children's space in Granger, Ind. Images courtesy of Architecture is Fun.

A culture of generosity

Since our first project with the very innovative and creative Granger Community Church (GCC; Granger, Ind.), we’ve worked on projects with too little budget to meet aspirations and goals. This is almost always a direct result of the children’s project receiving only the meager leftover finances from overall capital campaigns, which dissipate quickly once construction is underway. While we are most certainly adept at making the most of budget allowances, children deserve more than leftovers. In what we call an “ah ha” moment of learning, it became clear that Granger needed more heart-felt giving to make the children’s ministry into what we’d collectively envisioned. Former GCC Executive Pastor Tim Stevens recalls, “We focused less on big, expensive events and more on worship services to carry the message of the campaign,” which created a culture of generosity.

During Easter services, members of the congregation were strategically asked to dig deeper and build a children’s ministry everyone believed in. This paradigm shift in fundraising allowed the church to concentrate less on money and more on raising disciples who learn to be generous -- advice from RSI Stewardship, Dallas, that Granger took to heart.

Focus fundraising, yes, the really big, carefully considered type of capital campaigning specifically on a church's children’s ministry. You may just change a sometimes “giver” into a lifetime of generosity and caring.  continued >>