“If you build it, they will come.”
Many churches operate by this motto, believing that once construction is complete, the work is done. However, operating a facility and using it to its fullest potential is an ongoing task, requiring churches to consider multiple factors over the years, such as building efficiency, space usage, renovation and construction.
In addition, many other churches are being faced with the agonizing decision of whether to stay in their current location or relocate.
The SBTC facilities consultation team is available to help churches in any of these areas as they seek to make the maximum use of their facilities or look to relocate.
“The largest issue in relocation has to do with mission and purpose,” said Kenneth Priest, SBTC church ministries associate.
Priest said there are three main reasons that prompt churches to consider relocation: community transition, facilities upkeep, and landlocked property.
“It is unfortunate, but realistic, that churches do not always transition with the community,” Priest said. “The recommendations in this situation would be to look to build in the demographic area where the church is reaching and which will permit growth while simultaneously partnering with the SBTC church planting group to launch a church that would reach the community.”
Sometimes, according to Priest, churches fall into disrepair and starting over seems to be easier and more cost efficient than fixing up the building.
“We need to be good stewards of the campus God has blessed us with and provide an appropriate amount of financial support to maintaining the church’s campus.”
Being landlocked can also be a reason for relocation.
“Being landlocked will dictate how large a church becomes,” Priest said. “In growth, priorities center around preaching, preschool, and parking. In a landlocked scenario, no matter how great the preaching, if adequate preschool space and parking are not provided the church can only grow so far, even with the most creative administrator. So relocation is the solution to provide adequate and necessary space for growth.”
For churches committed to staying in their current location, the SBTC offers help so they can effectively use their facilities. Priest said facility consultations can take many forms.
“The church ministries department of the SBTC provides access through virtual facility assessments; go to vfa.sbtexas.com to request a login and password,” Priest explained. “On this site you can upload photos of your campus as well as provide specific square footage and current attendance information. An analysis will be provided back with recommendations on the next steps for the church.”
Site visits may also be made by SBTC specialists, including Priest or Buddy Siebenlist, SBTC facilities consultation specialist, depending on the needs of the church. For more information about SBTC facilities consultation or to begin the consultation process, visit sbtexas.com/fc.