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Church Design

Aspen Group Blog

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

Marian Liautaud

Marian joined the Aspen team full-time in 2014. With more than 20 years experience in publishing, she spends her time telling stories about how churches use their facilities as a tool for ministry, and how to align culture, leadership, ministry, and facilities for maximum ministry impact. She spearheads the annual Alignment Conference for Aspen Group and oversees ministry relations and all communications for Aspen Group.

Blog Feature

Church Design | Millennials

3 Purposeful Ways Churches Can Make Room for Millennials

By: Marian Liautaud
May 22, 2018

Many studies have been conducted and much has been written exploring the trend of Millennials (born roughly 1980-2000) leaving the church. A survey done by Barna Group, for instance, shows that between high school and age 30, 43% of Millennials who were once active in their faith have stopped attending church regularly. Additionally, more than 50% of these young adults with a Christian background say they are less active in the church compared to when they were 15.

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Culture | Church Construction | Managing Facilities

3 Keys for Discovering Your Church's DNA

By: Marian Liautaud
April 04, 2018

What makes your church your church? The distinctive elements within your building that tell the story of who you are as a faith community? Kevin Miller, Senior Pastor at Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois, shares insights he gleaned from his own experience leading his previous church—Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois—through a major adaptive reuse building project. He explores three keys for discovering the essential elements that make your church distinct in a video series titled, “Telling Your Church’s Unique Story.”

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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

Project Profiles | New Additions

Multiplying Impact with a Building Addition: West Bridge Church

By: Marian Liautaud
February 20, 2018

Aspen Group engaged with West Bridge Church in 2014 to determine the feasibility of expanding and renovating their current facility. Located about 20 miles outside of Indianapolis in the small but growing town of Danville, Indiana, West Bridge Church continues to attract young families. With two Sunday services averaging nearly 500 in attendance, church leaders wanted to find ways to enhance their facility so that it could serve as a strategic ministry tool. What began as a project to add sanctuary seats for adults, quickly turned into a focus on making space for future growth and outreach to kids.

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Christmas

Merry Christmas from Aspen Group

By: Marian Liautaud
December 22, 2017

From all of us at Aspen Group, we wish you a Merry Christmas and every blessing in the new year! We're grateful to have partnered with so many churches in 2017, and we're looking forward to continuing to fulfill our mission to create space for ministry impact throughout the coming year.

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Best of Aspen 2017 Resources

By: Marian Liautaud
December 19, 2017

Before we step into 2018, here's one more look at our top blogs posts and new resources from this past year. See you on the other side of the calendar flip!

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Blog Feature

Multisite | alignment conference

Best Practices for the Church Multisite Model

By: Marian Liautaud
December 07, 2017

In 2001, the first multisite campus launched at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, using video to share the teaching across campuses.

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Events | Multisite | Church Culture | alignment conference | facilities | thanksgiving

Thank You to Our 2017 Alignment Conference Partners

By: Marian Liautaud
November 22, 2017

In this Thanksgiving season, we'd like to extend our sincere gratitude to the 2017 Alignment Conference Partners, who helped make this year's event possible. Please take some time to review this year's roster of partners who play vital roles in supporting our clients throughout the year.

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Leadership | Church Culture

The No. 1 Challenge for Every Pastor

By: Marian Liautaud
November 09, 2017

If you are a pastor or church leader, you will inevitably encounter challenges in your ministry. It's tempting to think that it's our circumstances that create our greatest challenges. According to Pastor Mark Jobe, however, this is a myth: “If you are a leader in any capacity, in your church, in a ministry, your greatest challenge is not a lack of resources. If you grow enough, you’ll learn how to raise those resources. Your greatest challenge is not leaders, because if you grow enough, you’ll learn how to attract leaders. Your greatest challenge is not immaturity, because if you grow enough, you’ll learn how to lead people to maturity. Your greatest challenge is not the neighborhood you’re in or the changing demographics, because if you grow enough, you’ll find solutions to reach those changing demographics. Your greatest challenge is you.”  

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Church Design | Project Profiles | facilities

“God’s Got This”: The Testimony of Thrive Christian Church

By: Marian Liautaud
November 03, 2017

The Time Was Right Central Christian Church was booming. With a strong presence in Carmel, Indiana, a thriving suburb of Indianapolis, attendance was nearing 600. The facility was designed to house 300-400 people. As space grew tighter, it became increasingly clear that the outdated facility no longer matched the needs of the young families, children, and youth that Central Christian was attracting. It was time to make a move. In 2001, however, Central Christian had purchased an 82-acre parcel of land in Westfield, Indiana, to prepare for future growth. The church began making plans for a new building on this site in 2004-2006. Budget constraints and other stressors thwarted their plans, however, and the church suffered severe losses within the staff and congregation.

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Culture | Leadership | Multisite | church facilities | church planting | Ministry

How to Think Strategically (and Spiritually) About Church Expansion: An Aspen Podcast with Thrive Christian Church

By: Marian Liautaud
October 03, 2017

Whether you're considering the launch of your first multisite campus, thinking about planting your tenth church, or exploring the relocation of your existing church space, you must think strategically about that expansion process. The two guests on this fifth and final episode of the Alignment Conference Podcast know that reality all too well. For nearly three years, Bob Gray, project developer at Aspen Group, and Graham Richards, senior pastor at Thrive Christian Church, worked alongside each other exploring new growth opportunities within the church. And this past summer, all that work came to fruition with the opening of Thrive's new site in Westfield, Indiana. In this episode, Bob and Graham reflect back on that process, discussing the questions they worked through, including:  How do you know when it’s time to make a change, and, what kind of change should be made? On October 17, Thrive Christian Church will host the 2017 Alignment Conference, giving church leaders a chance to see firsthand the impact that a new, strategically-designed space can have for a church. Listen to this podcast, and you'll be well prepared for this year's event.  

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