How do you know when it’s time to consider a renovation or build at your church? Oxford Bible Fellowship, in Oxford, Ohio, continued to see opportunities related to their vision stacked up against facility-related challenges, both inside and out. Pastor Garrett Nates was moved by the needs of their church, the local community, and the college campus. “We were running up against so many different constraints on our ministry. Probably every single area had pinch points.”
Discipleship is a journey. It begins with bringing people into a community, building them up, and eventually sending them out again. At Aspen Group, we believe that church facilities can shape and accelerate the disciple-making journey. Built space guides people to behave in specific ways. When churches are intentional about their building’s layout and design, they can lead people on a journey, moving them from a first-time visitor to a fully devoted Christ-follower. However, it can be hard to identify priorities or know where to start. In this article, I’ll give you some ideas and examples to help you apply the concept of designing for discipleship.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Churches are in the midst of a huge transition. They’re prioritizing both the physical experience of people gathering in person for church, as well as the digital experience of people connecting online for worship, fellowship, and learning. Welcome to the world of “phygital” church—the blending of the physical and digital to maximize how churches connect with people and help them draw closer to God and others. My Aspen colleague, Rob Gordon, and I met on Facebook Live for a conversation about phygital church. Rob and others on Aspen's design team are continually asking, How can we use principles of architecture and design to create a phygital experience at church?
We will remember 2020 for many reasons. Among them, it will be known as the year the church closed its doors while simultaneously claiming new space in the digital world—and living rooms across the country. Churchgoers worshipped from home and church leaders wondered if Easter 2020 might break the internet. Now we’re wondering the same thing about Christmas.
In my role at Aspen, I am typically the first person to field calls and emails from churches that want to discuss a potential building project or facility need. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, my phone stopped ringing, and I received few emails from leaders asking to help solve their ministry space challenges. With churches forced to leave their buildings, everyone was reacting to the crisis and making fast pivots to swiftly adapt the way they were doing church.
Churches across the country are gearing up for Easter Sunday, the church’s most-attended day after Christmas. This year, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, many church leaders are scrambling to celebrate in new ways. According to data from Barna Group’s Church Pulse Weekly poll reported in the Church Pulse Weekly Podcast with David Kinnaman and Carey Nieuhof on April 6, 2020, 57% of churches say they’ll livestream Easter services, 25% say they’ll pre-record and then broadcast services, and 9% say they’ll host an outdoor service with social distancing. Though leaders may feel ill-prepared to celebrate Easter in new ways, people may be riper than ever to hear the message of hope. In a Wall Street Journal article titled, “A Coronavirus Great Awakening?” author Robert Nicholson, writes, “Could a plague of biblical proportions be America’s best hope for religious revival? As the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II approaches, there is reason to think so.” More so than ever in our lifetimes, the Church may have an unprecedented opportunity to reach people with the gospel message of salvation and hope. In this article, we’ll explore who typically attends church on Easter, and how we can prepare for them in the context of a digital experience.
Church building projects can sometimes create a sustained season of stress for pastors and ministry leaders. Though there’s positive excitement as walls go up and spaces take shape, the change associated with building or renovating a church can leave senior leaders vulnerable to getting stuck and possibly leaving the church once the dust from the construction project has settled.
The Aspen Group Architecture process takes a project through a collaborative process with the design team and an established network of subcontractors that creatively solve construct-ability issues before they arise. Hamilton Hills Baptist Church in Fishers, Ind. experienced the benefits of this team approach first-hand.
$1.2 million dollars was the difference between what Faith Lutheran Church could afford and the estimated cost of the building designed by a local architect. The church contacted Aspen Group to help value engineer the plans to get the project back on budget.
Looking into the future, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Naperville, Ill. knew they would have to build to remain locally relevant. The leadership was no stranger to building programs, but past projects were obvious – they built because they were out of space. This time leadership didn’t have clear direction, just an undeniable passion to prepare for the future.