3 Ways to Maximize Your Church’s Outdoor Space Blog Feature
Mark Underwood

By: Mark Underwood on March 28, 2022

Print/Save as PDF

3 Ways to Maximize Your Church’s Outdoor Space

Church Design | Great Outdoors

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.

Once you have that plan, the following three tips will help you get started putting it into action. For more ideas, check out the free resource, “7 Ways to Maximize Your Church’s Outdoor Space.”

Tip 1: Identify Your Site's Context to the Community
Understanding where your facility is located in your neighborhood and surrounding community is a really important first step in developing a site plan for your church. Are you next to biking or walking trails? Are you adjacent to football or baseball fields? Are there apartments backing up to your property? Your context speaks into opportunities you have for your site to be a tool to support and reach the people around you.


See How Chapel Pointe is Making the Most of The Great Outdoors:




Tip 2: Keep Your Patio Front and Center

There will be a strong temptation to tuck your patio away on the back of your property, but consider placing it front-and-center so it faces the street or parking lot.




Hickory Creek Church in Frankfort, Illinois, opted to add an extensive patio within view of the busy road they’re located on, conveying their church's unique DNA, and attracting new visitors to their church on a regular basis.




The Fields Church, in Mattoon, Illinois, added a large patio with fireplace and play space within view of the parking lot and entry way, extending a welcoming vibe to the community.


Tip 3: Include Spaces for Kids to Play

Having a safe, friendly place where kids can play can be a huge win for communities that might not have many options for playgrounds. You might even consider going big and adding a climbing wall, ropes course, or zip line.



The Bridge Church, in Bradenton, Florida, is harnessing the interplay between indoors and outdoors in their new church addition, by creating an indoor and outdoor play space.




When planning for an outdoor play space, don’t forget the parents! Make sure there’s cover from the hot sun and plenty of seating for people to relax while their kids play. You might even want to strategically place the playground near the café so parents can enjoy a coffee while their kids play.


We're Here to Help!

You may feel a little lost when considering how to maximize your church’s outdoor space—let us help you! We’d love to dream with you so your site can help support ministry, build relationships, and bring people closer to God. Reach out to one of our experts!


About Mark Underwood

Mark Underwood joined Aspen Group as Senior Landscape Architect in 2019. In his role he does big picture planning, site development, and detailed design for the church projects we work on. This includes entries, parking lots, plazas, gathering spaces, prayer gardens, play spaces, and athletic courts and fields. Mark and his wife, Melissa, have five children and enjoy church and Sunday School, athletic events, yard and board games, camping, fishing, and hanging out around a bonfire.