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Design Like a Shepherd

A veteran church architect shares his thoughts on the role of the church designer and what makes buildings functional and conducive to worship, long-term.

By Kenn Sanders   •  October 30, 2017 11:17 am EDT

Tags: architectural design, business, philosophy, worship space,

Designing like a shepherd means the architecture has a tendency to behave in the regular way a building should -- for all who attend. Architecture is for the regular practice of being together in ministry and worship.

Architecture today has new essential features like no other time in church history. New technology features are being used for church life, expressed more visually and for the sounds of voices worshipping.

Architecture of beauty, structural integrity and utility defines the built-form function for church life every day and not just [on] weekends.

Church architecture is not to be designed where form trumps its function for church work, just as Christians are not to let sin trump their lives, thus stopping the Holy Spirit at work in them. Architectural failure for church life is when years later the form originally designed no longer is shaped to [assist] the way the church functions.

Power-control-change of the functional form is in the hands of the church to succeed or fail with their buildings as years pass, generation by generation. As different generations appear in church life, you will find those who were part of the original planning team have given their place of planning to younger members. Therefore, the new planning team doing the plan and design efforts should be pursued in an authoritative, consultative loving process -- so that every change of form made encourages and rewards everyone serving in ministry and worshipping. 

Architecture designed like a shepherd ... tending to his sheep.

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