As church designers and builders, we continue to develop more intentional design around outdoor ministry spaces—bursting open the facility doors, and utilizing all of the space in creative and inspiring ways to create spaces that impact ministry and reach into the communities. It can be overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to extending your church's hospitality to the great outdoors, so it's important to assess your site so you can start to formulate a plan.
Spring is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about your church’s site and outdoor space. In the world of church design and construction, we often stress the importance of interior connection spaces like church lobbies, cafés, and worship venues, but outdoor space is also a critical zone for building relationships and supporting ongoing ministry.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Can you imagine if 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.
Don't do it yet. But after reading this first paragraph, close your eyes for a moment. Imagine a stressful time in your recent past. If you could escape anywhere in the world to help reduce your anxiety, where would you go?
In this current COVID-19 culture, many churches are finding the need to think outside the realm of the normal function of their church facilities in planning how to bring people physically back to church. They're reconfiguring larger worship spaces to conform to smaller gathering standards, and adapting outdoor spaces for prayer walks and as respite for the community. In the following post, Aspen designers, Craig Dobyns, Rob Gordon, Rosie Mitchell, and César Espinoza, share new ways you can use your church parking lot for innovative, safe gathering spaces.
At Aspen, we often talk about creating places that can be an intentional gift for the community—a beautiful space with no cost of admission where people can find rest. Especially in times of heightened anxiety, spaces that connect people with our Creator and the natural world serve as a respite from stress and frustration, especially in this season of COVID. In the following post, Aspen architects Craig Dobyns, César Espinoza, and Rosie Mitchell share design ideas for ways you can create spaces of rest and respite in your church setting.
It may be a while before we can use our church facilities for large-group gatherings. Nonetheless, there are creative ways to maximize all the square footage in a church, even big spaces that you may not currently be able to use for their intended purpose. For example, one way to adapt large indoor and outdoor areas is to create a prayer walk. Even in quarantine, our attention and focus is pulled away from God. Prayer walks provide a place for solitary reflection and reconnection with God, while keeping people at a safe distance from each other.
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.