3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Church Building Partner Blog Feature
Marian V. Liautaud

By: Marian V. Liautaud on December 10, 2019

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3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Church Building Partner

Church Design | church building

Your church has decided it’s ready to renovate or build a new facility. Your next big decision will be to determine who you’ll hire as your church building partner. Many church bylaws and rules of governance dictate a due diligence process that includes soliciting multiple firms with a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) or a Request for Proposal (RFP) as a primary means for comparing building partners.

Unfortunately, this typical approach for comparing builders falls woefully short in providing a way to discover what is truly important in a church-builder relationship. Worse, an RFQ may shift the discussion—perhaps even the eventual decision—to a place that is counter-productive to the church’s ministry goals. This is because RFQs are often geared toward merely helping you compare costs instead of providing a way to compare other intangible, yet critical factors between potential partners.

The kinds of questions asked in a typical RFQ/RFP process shift the focus to traditional metrics, such as cost per square foot or contractor’s fees. While the intent of these questions is to probe for a sense of cost competitiveness and good stewardship, an unintended consequence may be choosing a building partner based on price instead of an ability to get the right space to facilitate ministry effectiveness. It becomes possible—even likely—that the church may get the “best price” on the wrong facility.


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A Better Way to Build

In our experience, an integrated approach powered by a strong trust-based relationship with experienced ministry partners is the best way to balance good financial stewardship and ministry effectiveness. How you ask your selection questions will determine the kind of partner, and thus, the type of relationship you are able to form with a building partner.

Based on more than 20 years designing, building, and furnishing churches, and with scores of church building projects in the Aspen Group portfolio, we’ve learned that hiring a church building partner is less like hiring a vendor and more like hiring a key staff position.

For this reason, we’ve developed "Choosing a Church Building Partner," a downloadable resource with questions to help you move beyond the traditional RFQ/RFP and navigate the due diligence process for selecting a church building partner with a better set of criteria.

Download "Choosing a Church Building Partner" here.

What criteria has your church used to select a church building partner? 


About Marian V. Liautaud

Marian is former Director of Marketing for Aspen Group.