Aspen Group Blog

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

Blog Feature

Church Design | emotional wellbeing | Great Outdoors

4 Questions to Consider When Assessing Your Church’s Outdoor Space

By: Mark Underwood
March 11, 2022

Spring is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about your church’s site and outdoor space. In the world of church design and construction, we often stress the importance of interior connection spaces like church lobbies, cafés, and worship venues, but outdoor space is also a critical zone for building relationships and supporting ongoing ministry.

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Design Week | emotional wellbeing

Designing for Emotional Wellbeing: The Power of Both/And

By: Derek DeGroot
February 21, 2022

As we look to design spaces that help churches address needs for things like respite and personal connection, the interplay between the indoors and the outdoors and art and architecture can offer creative and unique solutions, and result in emotionally and mentally supportive environments. One goal of good design is to incorporate a sense of ease and emotional well-being into a space. We move beyond the purpose of simple function to create a more personal interaction and meaningful experience for the user.

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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

Church Design | emotional wellbeing | Great Outdoors

Two Ways Design Can Impact Emotional Wellbeing

By: Derek DeGroot
February 15, 2022

Can you imagine if the design of your lobby, sanctuary, and gathering spaces in your church could actually help address the emotional and mental health needs of our culture today? Recent data from Barna underscores a need for churches to bring real solutions to bear on our culture's growing mental health crisis—and the spaces we provide to our congregations and communities can be a powerful tool to help people navigate their anxiety, grief, and depression in order to more deeply connect with others.

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Church Construction | Community Impact

Designing a Church Food Pantry that Models the Love of Jesus

By: Kristen Freeman
February 07, 2022

Shepherd’s Heart Care Center, located in Chapelstreet Church’s South Street campus in Geneva, Illinois, serves 1400 people in the Tri-City area. When this ministry began in 1999, it was a simple food pantry closet with pre-packed bags, where families in need could get a helping hand, but the small, tucked away space wasn’t sufficient to allow the team to actually build relationship with the people they served. Years later, a new, larger location offered more visibility, and the ministry grew to serve more families. But it wasn’t long before they were again busting at the seams, so they decided to expand again, but they didn’t want to limit their help to food only.

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Church Construction | church building

How Collaboration Powers Innovation and Creates Ministry Impact

By: Aspen Group
January 25, 2022

One of the things that makes Aspen Group unique is our integrated Design-Build-Furnish approach. This means our designers, construction teams, project managers, estimating team, and interior designers all collaborate together under one roof to bring the most innovative solutions to our church building projects.

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Renovations | interior design

Saying “Welcome Home” with a Church Lobby Design Refresh

By: Lynn Pickard
January 13, 2022

Back in 2005 we worked on an addition for Trinity Lutheran Church, located in Crete, Illinois, and in 2021 they invited us back to refresh their lobby space. We were honored to be welcomed back a second time, to create a space that reflects the heart of the church and the people in the community.

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Church Construction | church facilities

Aspen's Top 5 Videos of 2021

By: Aspen Group
January 03, 2022

2021 was a busy year of partnering with churches and ministries on new facilities, renovations, and space refreshes! The following five videos feature churches and schools we’ve teamed up with to solve their unique ministry problems, and give their spaces maximum impact so they can ultimately reach more people for Jesus.

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Blog Feature

Church Construction | New Facilities

3 Questions to Ask Before Embarking on a Church Building Project

By: Pat Kase
December 13, 2021

When your church engages in internal discussions about facility expansion or renovation, your first conversations should not be about design, construction methods, how much square footage to add, or how many seats are needed in the sanctuary to accommodate growth. This might feel like a natural starting point for a conversation on church architecture, but there’s a better approach—and it starts with asking three specific questions.  

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Physical Space | Barna Podcast | Making Space

Barna’s “Making Space” Podcast Series Recap

By: Derek DeGroot
November 30, 2021

We’ve been enjoying the last six weeks of Barna’s ChurchPulse Weekly podcast series, “Making Space,” leading up to some great new research we’re partnering with Barna on called, Making Space for Formation. Aspen’s VP of Design & Integrated Services, Derek DeGroot, spent some time reflecting on each episode in his blog series, “From the Church Architect’s Desk.” In case you missed any of the posts, here's a quick recap from Derek.

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Church Design | Physical Space | Barna Podcast | Making Space

Navigating Diverse Cultural Differences—From the Church Architect’s Desk

By: Derek DeGroot
November 18, 2021

Aaron and Michelle Reyes sat down with Carey Nieuwhof this week on Barna’s ChurchPulse Weekly, to talk about making space for difficult conversations as church planters of a multiethnic church. They discussed how they navigate racial and political differences within their congregation, what they have done to meet their community’s needs, and future innovations they dream of for their physical gathering space.

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