We’ve had the privilege at Aspen to work with many churches over the years on multisite campuses, helping them to better serve their congregations, neighborhoods, and communities. The Orchard, located in the Chicago area, is a multisite we’ve been blessed to work with multiple times. Established in 1953, The Orchard's congregation was made up of 43 people who met in a school auditorium in Arlington Heights, Illinois. They've since grown to more than 3,000 people in six locations.
Almost ten years ago, Aspen Group (as part of a collaboration called the Cornerstone Knowledge Network) ventured into new market territory to commission a research project with Barna Group to better understand what this mysterious generation known as “Millennials” was drawn to in church spaces. We conducted surveys and focus groups, visiting church spaces in different cities with churchgoers and non-churchgoers to better understand the unique challenges facing the group born between 1982 and 2000.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Do you remember the first time you shook someone’s hand after Covid restrictions were lifted? The moment for me was when I had someone visit my house, and even though restrictions had eased, we had this awkward social moment of not knowing if we should shake hands, or just say hello. It was kind of funny because we didn’t quite know what to do with our hands. For the first time in my life, I went many months without the normal day-to-day interpersonal experiences of shaking hands, hugging, or even sitting in a chair next to someone. It presents us a fascinating learning moment.
Each year, Aspen celebrates Safety Week on our job sites. This gives our construction teams the opportunity to learn, support each other, and get connected through a series of learning topics, demonstrations, and fun events! Safety is a critical component for the wellbeing of our teams and clients, as well as the success of our church projects, not only during these special events, but year-round.
People find community in many places—at work, in a book club, in a neighborhood group, or by joining a gym—all fantastic ways to connect and build relationships with others. Our church lobbies play a critical role in building true community by giving people a space to encounter God together. Engaging in a church experience is about developing a deep relationship with God and fostering meaningful relationships with others.
Your visitors will encounter many things before they choose a seat and listen to your sermon this Easter Sunday. How is your church facility preparing the way for your guests and helping to draw them in? Seeing your facility through the eyes of your guests will help you create a more welcoming environment and give them a reason to return. The following five tips will help you shape a positive guest experience this Easter.
Chapelstreet Church was looking for a unique solution for the addition and renovation of their North Aurora, Illinois campus. This compact facility required an efficient design so the spaces could be adapted to have more than one function. Aspen was called in to help, after having partnered with Chapelstreet on their South Street and Keslinger campuses, as well as their Shepherd’s Heart Care Center. The outcome was a facility with a high level of flexibility for Sundays and mid-week activities, setting them up for success in a fast-changing culture.
As church designers and builders, we continue to develop more intentional design around outdoor ministry spaces—bursting open the facility doors, and utilizing all of the space in creative and inspiring ways to create spaces that impact ministry and reach into the communities. It can be overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to extending your church's hospitality to the great outdoors, so it's important to assess your site so you can start to formulate a plan.
Spring is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about your church’s site and outdoor space. In the world of church design and construction, we often stress the importance of interior connection spaces like church lobbies, cafés, and worship venues, but outdoor space is also a critical zone for building relationships and supporting ongoing ministry.
As we look to design spaces that help churches address needs for things like respite and personal connection, the interplay between the indoors and the outdoors and art and architecture can offer creative and unique solutions, and result in emotionally and mentally supportive environments. One goal of good design is to incorporate a sense of ease and emotional well-being into a space. We move beyond the purpose of simple function to create a more personal interaction and meaningful experience for the user.