DESIGNER COLUMNS & BLOGS / Tomorrow's Campus Today

Posted in Tomorrow's Campus Today on February 24, 2016 2:48 pm EST

Are Churches (and Church Goers) Prisoners of Growth?

And more importantly, if so, how can architecture and design help?









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TAGS: architectural design, connection, master planning, ministry, relevance, technology,


By Kenn Sanders

Sixty years designing [churches] across North America is my history, and now it is time for the next chapter of history in church life. Architecture was built of concrete, steel and glass and is now formed with the new interactive materials of intelligent technology.

Architecture needs to "work with us" continually, when [churches] start as a seed, giving water and light, that extends [attendees’] roots, growing to be become beautiful flowers to [surrounding neighborhoods].

As a church gathers growth momentum, it is too late to ask how to fit all the pieces together.

The church campus design should be organized, everything based on proximity to [the] next closest ministry. For instance, [take] walking from the car to the nursery and then on to worship or to a class. The natural form of how we move around when we are in the middle of the body of Christ makes a difference in being to a ministry on time or being late. [Attendees] are together as a church so people can worship together ... all at the same time.

A church's planning for the future must be about the challenges and opportunities of the usefulness of [its] campus. As a church gathers growth momentum, it is too late to ask how to fit all the pieces together. What controls campus capacity, how should parking and buildings fit in, and what role should architecture fulfill?

[Not fitting all the pieces together with architectural planning on the front end can make] churches prisoners of growth.

The campus and architecture should have made way for church life to continue before the storm. [And] there is one more important part of being prepared for a storm. [If] we are connected to everything right now [through] our electronics, if the power grid ever goes down, a lot of people will not know how to do [things]—because they are so connected to their electronic lives.

[The church needs] some kind of status quo to stay in working order when life today is connected to an electronic system that could disconnect everything—[and all of us from each other].

If such a storm comes, all of us need people who are separate from this technical life and [ready to function, come what may]. [Churches must] continue when storms come our way. [Architects can help people to plan ahead and churches to keep functioning. Food for thought.]



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