Why You Shouldn't Build the Church You Think You Want Blog Feature
Derek DeGroot

By: Derek DeGroot on April 10, 2014

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Why You Shouldn't Build the Church You Think You Want

Church Design | Church Construction | facilities

Henry Ford once famously said, “If I had asked them what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Of course, Ford introduced people to the automobile, and the rest is history.

Ford’s quote is one I live by. As an architect, I love helping churches dig for those diamonds in the rough—those important conversations on vision and DNA, the fearless assessment of opportunities for ministry. Fresh thinking happens over creative conversations with partners who allow for space to dream and make discoveries together.

For churches, the days of a church developing its own church building program and turning it over to an architect are over. In order to create church spaces that radically impact ministry and help support the discipleship journey, we need to discover together.

Seth Godin recently wrote, “Are you working to help your clients, patrons, customers and colleagues find what they already know they want? Or teaching and encouraging them to find something they didn't know they needed?” Search and discovery are two different things, he says.

Google gives us what we’re looking for. Partnering with people who value the process of encountering what we didn’t know we were looking for is what makes something a discovery process. I love the work I get to do with churches, because our whole approach at Aspen Group is about helping churches discover what they didn’t know to ask for.

If you’re working on discovering your facility needs, don’t try to create a “faster horse.” Find a partner that can help you encounter something you didn’t even know existed yet.

Want to talk more about a project you're considering? Take the next step here.


About Derek DeGroot

Derek DeGroot is President of Aspen Group. After graduating from University of Illinois-Chicago’s architecture program, Derek began his career in residential design. At the same time, his church was embarking on a building project. Derek quickly realized that churches needed to find a better way to build. Soon after, he discovered and joined Aspen Group in 2007.