This post is part one in a three-part series where we will explore the advantages of our unique, integrated Design-Build-Furnish approach. In the world of church construction, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) has a lot of advantages, including schedule and cost benefits. But Aspen’s Design-Build-Furnish (DBF) process goes beyond even the typical integrated project delivery, design-build approach of the industry.
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.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Unwelcoming. Dark. Not enough space for ministry. That certainly does not describe First Baptist Church of Greensburg's traditional church facility anymore! This church, located in Greensburg, Indiana, was determined to establish a more welcoming posture to the community, expand connection space to foster deeper relationships and allow for future growth, and create flexible spaces that can be used for several ministries throughout the week.
As churches, schools, and universities grapple with how to meet the needs of a new generation of young adults, they often overlook the part their physical buildings play in influencing spiritual formation. In response, we’ve created a downloadable resource to help your church leaders answer important questions about how your building or campus can be a part of—not a hindrance to—your discipleship process.
Everyone looks at different things in a church service: worship styles, preaching, or even the unwritten dress code. The same is true within church spaces. Every individual who walks through your doors will have a different priority when it comes to how they view your physical space. Fresh off the heels of Mother’s Day, I spoke with two of Aspen's amazing architectural design team members, Andrea Burks and Rosie Mitchell, about five things parents look for when they enter a church space—besides the coffee.
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.”
At Aspen Group, we believe that architectural design affects behavior. Behaviors become habits. Habits form us. People instinctively move and operate in a space based on what the design is guiding them to do. As churches and schools grapple to meet the needs of a new generation, they often overlook the part their physical buildings are playing in influencing faith formation—their responses, behaviors, and habits. The following four crucial components of design address the cultural forces that are complicating the discipleship journey. How can your built space help answer a new generation’s deepest needs?
Proper signage and branding are critical to a positive experience at church, especially for newcomers or first-time visitors. Think about it. How could we possibly navigate a large airport or hospital without relying completely on the signs around us? It would be a terrible experience. With churches opening their doors again for in-person worship, your first-time or newer guests may need to re-learn how to navigate your building. Now is the time to look at your church's signage and wayfinding with fresh eyes! When we brought focus groups to the various churches as part of the Making Space for Millennials study, they said that when they entered each space, they instinctively wondered, Where am I? What am I supposed to do next? What’s expected of me? They were seeking visual clarity.
The prevalence of mental and emotional health issues is growing. According to Barna, people are experiencing extreme anxiety, and there is an epidemic of loneliness in our country, cutting across every age group. Nearly 60 percent of adults say at least one relational or emotional health issue affects their most important relationships. One-third indicated that loneliness impacts their closest relationships. We know people are struggling and the Church is a source of ever-present hope. At Aspen Group, we believe good design can create culture and solve problems, including providing places for respite and personal connection. Aspen Architectural Designer Andrea Burks shares creative tips on how churches can work toward creating environments that support emotional and mental wellbeing.
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.