- Construction completed: Fall 2016
- Overall project cost: $1.7 million
- 1,000 sf addition
- 14,000 sf renovation
- Complete worship space renovation—addition of Nanawall for convertible indoor/outdoor space
- Fishtank in preschool area; complete indoor play space
- Indoor bouldering and climbing wall for students
- Exterior face lift and features: monument fireplace, patio, and outdoor play space
The Fields Church is located in rural Mattoon, Illinois. Though one of approximately 40 other churches in Mattoon, this farming community remains largely unchurched.
The Fields feels the same tension many churches
Reaching the unchurched is the central mission at The Fields. Known for being an accepting, welcoming church, their attendance has continued to increase over the years, so much so that they started to feel the diminishing return of attracting more people than their church building could effectively hold.
The Fields dreamed of being a lighthouse for the community, but from the parking lot, to the entranceway, to the lobby, to the children’s check-in area, every area suffered from congestion and inhibited the possibility of relational connections. The church also wanted to open their facility for community gatherings, but it wasn’t conducive to hosting large group events.
To build into their dream to be a lighthouse in their community, The Fields embarked on a significant renovation project. Instead of adding a large addition to their existing footprint, which can end up damaging the flow of a building, Aspen Group helped The Fields maximize their existing 15,000 square foot facility.
The renovation moved the children’s area from the back of the church to the front to better convey the importance the church places on serving families and children. It also included the new addition of a large, indoor play place, designed for kids. An indoor children’s play area was a great need in Mattoon, as there was no other place like it in town. Now, parents outside of The Fields congregation are taking advantage of this wonderful space. Even local companies reserve the space for offsite meetings or events.
Since renovating their building, church attendance at The Fields has grown from about 350 to nearly 600 for two services with capacity to grow to about 800. After that, they will determine the best expansion plan. For now, though, The Fields is realizing their dream of being a lighthouse in the Mattoon area—a place where people are being drawn into the church and experience true community.