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:
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:
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
This post is part two of a two part series in which we explore how design can shape our culture 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. 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.
This post is part one of a two part series in which we explore how design can shape our culture and result in emotionally and mentally supportive environments. Can you imagine that 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.
When it comes to children’s ministry, Orange is known for its curriculum that emphasizes the importance of combining the influence of both home and church to teach children the Gospel. Orange also thinks broadly about how children and families experience church as a whole. As a Design-Build-Furnish firm, we value collaboration and learning, so recently I attended the local Orange Tour stop with fellow Aspen interior designer, Kristen Freeman, where we learned more about how design can help support children’s ministry.
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:
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.
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.
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?