Aspen Group Blog

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

Blog Feature

Church Design | Physical Space | Barna Podcast | Making Space

Fostering Meaningful Relationships in a Digital Age and the Role Physical Space Plays–From the Church Architect's Desk

By: Derek DeGroot
November 04, 2021

Throughout the pandemic, the digital experience has been a lifeline for our relationships, but is technology a replacement for interpersonal connection? Jo Saxton, author, speaker, podcast host, and leadership coach, shared on Barna ChurchPulse Weekly how physical space still plays a huge role in building meaningful relationships, and supporting the discipleship journey.

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Church Design | Physical Space | Barna Podcast | Making Space

The Theology of Physical Space–From the Church Architect’s Desk

By: Derek DeGroot
October 28, 2021

We went pretty deep on the theology of space with Skye Jethani and Kimberly Deckel on this week's ChurchPulse podcast, "The Strengths and Weaknesses of American Church Traditions, Worship and Physical Gatherings." It’s a challenge to broach a topic as controversial and personal as theology when you’re talking to such a broad audience, but I think a lot of what Skye and Kimberly had to say is really important for all churches to think about: if theology is about our understanding of God, what is the theological importance of physical church spaces?

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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 | Physical Space | Barna Podcast | Making Space

Derwin Gray on How Physical Space Impacts Prayer–From the Church Architect’s Desk

By: Derek DeGroot
October 21, 2021

Derwin Gray, former NFL player and founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church, discusses cultivating a life of prayer and intimacy with God in this week’s ChurchPulse Weekly podcast, "Derwin Gray on How the Lord's Prayer Has Reshaped How He Views Intimacy with God and His Beliefs About the Importance of Physical Space."

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Physical Space | Barna Podcast | Making Space

Kicking off the Barna podcast series "Making Space"—From the Church Architect's Desk

By: Derek DeGroot
October 14, 2021

For six weeks in October and November 2021, Barna’s ChurchPulse Weekly will feature a series— "Making Space." As part of Aspen and Barna’s partnership on new research, Making Space for Formation, the podcast will help start a new conversation among church leaders about the role of physical space in spiritual development and the theology of space. Each week, Derek DeGroot, Aspen VP of Design and Integrated Services, will reflect on the podcast from his seat at the Church Architect’s Desk.

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Blog Feature

Church Design | church facilities | Design Week

2021 Design Week Recap

By: Aspen Group
September 24, 2021

We had a blast celebrating Aspen’s second annual Design Week! We focused on five unique projects our team has worked on in different regions around the country. If you missed it, not to worry—here’s a quick recap:  

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Blog Feature

Church Design | interior design | special needs ministry

Designing Church Spaces That Support Those with Special Needs

By: Lynn Pickard
September 10, 2021

Intentionally building a program for individuals with special needs provides your church an opportunity to share the Gospel with individuals of varying abilities and allows them to fully grow in their faith. It also lets the families of those with special needs feel supported, knowing their loved ones feel comfortable and confident in their environment, and are valued members of the church family. The following projects we worked on for Chapelstreet Church's Masterpiece Ministry and Parkview Community Church show how design can help support a special needs ministry:

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Church Construction | Design Week | ministry impact

5 Ways This Church Designed Their Space for Discipleship

By: Greg Snider
August 02, 2021

Waypoint Church in St. Charles, Missouri, has a mission of "Worship. Love. Go." This thriving community of faith wanted to adapt their church building to create a cohesive, effective, and engaging ministry space that would allow their congregation to experience a deep and intimate connection with God and others. We partnered with Waypoint on an addition and renovation aligning with these core values of relationships and missional living. Here are five ways we intentionally designed the space to foster discipleship:

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Church Construction

What IKEA Can Teach Us About Church Design

By: Derek DeGroot
July 26, 2021

As a designer, I think a lot about how the spaces we occupy inherently provoke responses. Our physical body and our mind are often driven to an action based on the physical environment we’re in.  If you’ve ever been to an IKEA, you know this to be true. The massive furniture store that originated in Sweden and has now taken over the United States has turned ordinary people into furniture super-shoppers.

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Church Construction

How a Culture of Collaboration and Learning Supports our Design-Build-Furnish Approach

By: Marcos Rodriguez
July 19, 2021

This third and final post of a three-part series explores how our Aspen teams apply collaboration and learning to support our unique Design-Build-Furnish approach. Recently, we've talked a lot about our integrated Design-Build-Furnish process, and how this delivery method differs from a Design-Build-Bid approach. One of the factors that makes our DBF process successful is the collaboration between all of the different disciplines that makes up a DBF project. Throughout the process, our design and construction teams at Aspen Group collaborate and share lessons learned in order to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the work we produce. Learning permeates the culture when collaboration between construction, design, estimating, interiors, and other teams is the default way of operating, and in turn, helps us avoid repeating mistakes.  

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Church Design | Church Construction

Design-Build-Furnish vs a Design-Bid Approach

By: Marcos Rodriguez
July 13, 2021

This post is part two in a three-part series where we explore the advantages of our unique, integrated Design-Build-Furnish approach. Every building project comes together by navigating the tension between priorities and constraints—costs and budget, schedule and programming, and vision and scope. A crucial part of choosing a building partner for a project is selecting a delivery method—the process for navigating those tensions as you take a project from concept to a completed building. But how can you know which delivery method your church should choose? In the following post, we’ll review the differences between a “Design-Bid” and a Design-Build-Furnish” approach.  

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