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Church Design

Aspen Group Blog

Knowledge to navigate the intersection of church culture, leadership, ministry, and facilities.

Joe LaPaglia

Joe LaPaglia serves as executive director of Aspen VIP, which offers ongoing support in maintaining and enhancing church facilities. He has more than 45 years of experience in the construction management field.

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Events | Managing Facilities

Pastors: 15 Ways to Convert Easter Visitors Into Return Attendees

By: Joe LaPaglia
March 19, 2018

As Sunday services go, Easter ranks as the highest attended worship service throughout the year—outpacing Christmas and Mother’s Day. You know this. You’ve seen your crowded worship spaces each year. And no doubt you and your ministry staff have already begun your sermon and lesson preparation for Holy Week. But in all your planning for the most important day on the Christian calendar, don’t forget to think beyond the pulpit.

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Church Construction | Managing Facilities

Planning for Church Parking

By: Joe LaPaglia
March 06, 2018

Ensuring you’ve got the correct number of parking spots for church attendees isn’t nearly as much fun as selecting the right fabric for all of the seats in your sanctuary. But you’ll never fill those seats if you overlook adding new spaces in your parking lot. Here’s a quick guide to determining how many parking spots your church needs.   3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Church Building Partner

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Making Space for Millennials Executive Summary

Making Space for Millennials Executive Summary

Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.

Blog Feature

Multisite | Managing Facilities

4 Keys to Site Selection for Multisite Churches

By: Joe LaPaglia
February 13, 2018

I originally thought my calling was to use my talents to build high-rise buildings. I was in the high-rise world for the better part of three decades and thought I would stay my whole life, but then I bumped into a gentleman named Lyle Schaller. A member at my home church, he was a great influence on me. Before he passed away, Lyle would come up to me after worship on Sundays, tap me and say, "What's up this week, young man? What are you doing to advance the Kingdom? Never be afraid to use your secular gifts to do the Lord's work."

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Managing Facilities

How to Hang Your Church Christmas Decorations With Care

By: Joe LaPaglia
December 04, 2017

With Thanksgiving now behind us, churches across the country turn their attention to the Christmas season—transforming their church spaces into a wonderland of shining Christmas lights, shimmering garland, and colorful poinsettias. But setting up these delightful decorations can be fraught with danger for your church staff and volunteers. To help keep you all safe this holiday season, here are some tips on how to safely setup your Christmas decorations this season.

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Multisite | Managing Facilities

5 Ways to Reduce Utility Costs at Church

By: Joe LaPaglia
November 17, 2016

Russ Williams, facility manager at the Barrington campus of The Orchard, a growing multisite church in Chicago’s suburbs, was concerned about the high cost of utilities. Electric bills, in particular, were draining the church of dollars that could have been better spent on ministries.

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Managing Facilities

5 Quick Tips for Decking the Halls at Church

By: Joe LaPaglia
November 24, 2015

It's that time of year when volunteers attempt to transform the church into a Christmas wonderland. But stringing lights and hanging garland can pose safety risks if not done properly. Here's a list of quick tips for staying safe while preparing your church--indoors and out--for Christmas. 

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Church Design | Project Profiles | Church Construction | Managing Facilities

Adaptive Reuse: What Is It and Why Should You Consider It?

By: Joe LaPaglia
July 09, 2015

Your church needs to expand. Now what? Do you start excavating dirt on a brand new property, or do you lease an empty building for a while? Another option—adaptive reuse—may be more affordable and efficient than building new or renting. But what is adaptive reuse, and under what conditions is it the right solution?

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Managing Facilities

Turning Church Technology From Foe to Friend

By: Joe LaPaglia
April 23, 2015

As people go through their daily lives it is easy to take for granted the extent that technology helps with daily tasks—such as calling almost anyone...anywhere...at any time, typing fully-alterable documents, or keeping financial records stored in a paperless location.

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Church Design | Managing Facilities

3 Options for Managing Snow Removal Expenses at Church

By: Joe LaPaglia
February 11, 2015

Preceding Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of another six long weeks of winter, the Chicagoland area received the fifth largest snowfall in its history, totaling an average of 19.1 inches accumulated between November 1 and January 31.

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Church Design | Managing Facilities

7 Signs It’s Time to Outsource Your Church’s Cleaning and Maintenance

By: Joe LaPaglia
December 29, 2014

How do you clean and maintain your church building and grounds? If you employ a team (large or small) of full-time, paid staff or unpaid volunteers to manage the care of your church property, you are not alone. In fact, that’s how the majority of churches handle the maintenance of their facility.

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