When Phil Heller became Lead Pastor at White River Christian Church (WRCC) in Noblesville, Indiana, in 2006, he introduced the staff and congregation to his then five-year-old son, Cade. Precocious and full of energy, Cade also brought with him the challenges of Down syndrome, a genetic condition affecting nearly 6,000 new babies every year in the United States.
In today’s world, we are constantly connected. Whether it’s Wi-Fi on planes and trains, or Bluetooth-enabled cars, or even waterproof devices that allow us to check e-mails in the shower, people are wired—and weary. Based on an Aspen/Barna study, the next generation is looking for a place to rest from their highly plugged in, fragmented lives. The church may be the perfect place for them to find it.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Orland Park Christian Reformed Church in Orland Park, Illinois, was built in 1970. Over the years, pastors have experienced several physical barriers that inhibited the worship experience. In the sanctuary, there was a disconnect between the pastor and the congregation because of the positioning of the existing worship platform, which was too high and not wheelchair accessible.
Churches are popping up in schools, community centers, and warehouses. They’re meeting in movie theaters, coffee shops, and even comedy clubs. While many churches plant roots in permanent facilities, churches often start out mobile and borrow or rent space that's primarily used for another purpose.
South Harbor Church, one of five Harbor Churches in the Grand Rapids, MI, area, was planted in 2011. The facility was outdated, and their kids’ ministries were spread out in various places throughout the building, making it difficult for parents with multiple-age kids to drop off and pick them up easily. “Consolidating kids to one area of the building is a common challenge for many of the churches we’re designing now,” says Rosie Mitchell, a project designer for Aspen Group. “When nursery, preschool and elementary rooms are located in various or far parts of the building, this makes it very difficult for parents with multiple ages to navigate the building.”
When footage of an inferno engulfing Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris flashed across our news feeds, it felt as if the world collectively gasped. How could this iconic cathedral be at risk of total destruction? What would Paris be without Notre Dame to anchor her? One day later, the fire barely extinguished, $300 million was donated to restore the nearly devastated 800-plus-year-old building. Before the end of the week, donations had reached $1 billion and counting.
When it comes to designing children’s ministry space, safety and security are the top priorities. “Security is the number one conversation churches want to have with us when we’re discussing a remodel or building project where kids space is addressed,” says Greg Snider, account executive for Aspen Group.
Anyone who considers adding a gymnasium to a church construction project or upgrading an existing gym space knows how large of a project it is to tackle. For some churches, building a gymnasium is a massive undertaking that reaps significant ministry rewards. For other churches, however, building a gym is a diversion from God’s plan and a waste of precious resources.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1 At Aspen Group, we have much to be thankful for this year. In 2018, we completed several new church design-build-furnish projects, and we launched many new ones in South Carolina, North Carolina, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Texas. It’s a privilege to partner with churches as they embark on a building project to expand and enhance their ministry impact. If you’d enjoy following our progress on these projects, be sure to subscribe to our blog and monthly newsletter.
It happens to most churches. You’ve been in the same church building for many years. It was great in the 70s and the 80s, but as your ministries have evolved, your building hasn’t. What worked well when you had adult Sunday School classes or when your children’s ministries didn’t include a large-group worship time, may now be misaligned space. Too often it's the physical space within a church building that defines the type of ministry that occurs. When we miss ministry opportunities because we have a facility misaligned with who we are as a church, it can become a serious stewardship issue.