DESIGNER COLUMNS & BLOGS / Tomorrow's Campus Today

Posted in Tomorrow's Campus Today on October 9, 2014 3:18 pm EDT

Gearing Architectural Practices Toward Church Growth

A veteran church designer shares his view of architecture's role and responsibility in helping foster church growth.









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TAGS: architecture, blog, design,


By Kenn Sanders


God wants the Church to grow. Your church is the channel through which God seeks to draw mankind unto Himself. The purpose of the church is summed up in Matthew 28:19, "Go, therefore and make disciples....". The church makes disciples by reaching those in its community and winning them to Christ. Making disciples also involves teaching those who are won and training them for service. Worship, education and fellowship are the methods by which a church fulfills its commission to "make disciples."

"Go, therefore and make disciples...."

—Matthew 28:19


You influence church growth. Accept this fact. Although the church was [ultimately] designed by God for rapid growth and reproduction, this growth has been retarded by man. Measurable elements such as buildings, site, staff, number of rooms, and outreach can stop church growth while leaders are unaware of the causes. This phenomenon, referred to as strangulation by church growth experts, can be eliminated through proper planning.


A factual basis for growth must be established. Setting goals can encourage the growth of the church. How many people does a church want to reach and serve? Who will these people be? How will the church reach them? What will the building’s needs be? How can the total church program be financed? A church needs factual information to answer all of these questions.

Establishing factual basis for growth requires a comprehensive plan related to:

(1) constituent area; (2) constituency; (3) functional program; (4) site; (5) physical structure; (6) stewardship; (7) leadership.

Once a church establishes “where it is now,” evaluation in in order.

Here are areas that must be evaluated:

1.) "Where is a church going?" -- PROJECTION

2.) "How is it going to get there?" -- PERSPECTIVE

3.) "What is its timing?" -- IMPLEMENTATION

Formulating a comprehensive plan will allow church designers to act rather than react; anticipate problems and work out solutions before the problems occur; make things happen rather than letting things happen; and listen to God speak about what the church should be and do.

This is how I have designed churches since 1960 across North America.



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