Churches that plan to offer in-person Christmas worship services this year may need to adapt their facility to mitigate the potential spread of COVID. Your church lobby serves as the first point of entry. It’s the initial space that greets newcomers and long-timers, and it’s the place where people will want to mingle most. But, how will it work in the midst of COVID?
Your church building is one tool of many to help you express your mission, accomplish ministry goals, and connect with people. When churches create ministry space, they do it to facilitate the programming they are currently providing—or hope to provide in the near future. The world, however, is changing more quickly all the time. Physical space that serves ministry purposes today may not provide the kinds of spaces we need next year, let alone for the next decade or more.
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The digital age has been driving us to change our physical spaces. Because of COVID, churches are taking a closer look at how to adapt their physical ministry space to help serve both their physical and digital ministry needs. “During the last 20 years, there has been a tremendous shift in buildings, largely due to the fact that the digital age has been driving us to change our physical spaces," says Greg Snider, Aspen Group's Ministry Space Strategist. "We've been adapting spaces based on cultural changes in a digital world, but the shifts have not been with the mindset of digital-first.”
Even if you’ve been in ministry for decades, 2020 may have felt like your first year on the job. Although your church’s message was unchanging, many other elements felt like moving targets as you worked to adapt your physical ministry space, digital presence, and perhaps, even your ministry priorities.
Church building projects are exciting—and daunting. Visioning, funding, planning, implementation, and project management are all critical aspects of a design-build project. With all these variables, how do you ensure that the right people are involved from the start to provide input to each other, to collaborate throughout the project, and to communicate with the church?
What would it mean to embrace a phygital ministry strategy at your church? If you're ready to make the shift, where do you begin? Recently, we met with Aspen Group’s Ministry Space Strategist Greg Snider and Jamie Shafer, a Communications Strategist with Fishhook, to explore how churches can build a frictionless physical and digital experience for their guests.
We will remember 2020 for many reasons. Among them, it will be known as the year the church closed its doors while simultaneously claiming new space in the digital world—and living rooms across the country. Churchgoers worshipped from home and church leaders wondered if Easter 2020 might break the internet. Now we’re wondering the same thing about Christmas.
At Aspen Group, we believe lobbies should be vibrant, mission-critical space for churches. However, right now, your lobby needs to support your church in new ways as you relaunch in-person worship services and begin to phase in key ministry functions. It won’t look exactly like it did earlier this year, but you can still use it effectively.
Lobbies are mission critical for churches. This is the primary space where people congregate to connect with others. However, right now, your congregation is unable to have the close-knit interactions that we encourage in lobby spaces, even if you have returned for in-person worship and gathering at your church.
During our Equipping Frontline Leaders series, I connected with Aspen Group’s Ministry Space Strategist Greg Snider and Church Multiplication Specialist Jeff Beachum from Portable Church Industries to discuss how ministries could multiply faster and more affordably by integrating the strengths of permanent and portable church solutions.