Anyone who considers adding a gymnasium to a church construction project or upgrading an existing gym space knows how large of a project it is to tackle. For some churches, building a gymnasium is a massive undertaking that reaps significant ministry rewards. For other churches, however, building a gym is a diversion from God’s plan and a waste of precious resources.
A church building is more than a place of worship. It’s more than a multipurpose space or classrooms. The building is the body language of the church. Everything about the space communicates who the church is.
Community Christian Church, a dynamic, growing faith community whose mission is “helping people find their way back to God,” launched a new multisite location—Community Christian Church Plainfield—in 2016. Recognizing the need for an innovative space where people could connect and the community could embrace its love for athletics, Community Christian Church Plainfield, the location for the 2018 Alignment Conference, embarked on a complete renovation of a former manufacturing plant with the help of Aspen Group, an integrated design-build-furnish company for churches.
Orland Park Christian Reformed Church (OPCRC) in Orland Park, Illinois, was built in 1970, and over the past three decades, the church building has undergone three major additions (see Facility History image).
Children are a key factor in selecting a church home. But children’s programs, teaching, and activities aren’t the only aspects we take into consideration when deciding on a church. In recognition of Father’s Day, we’ve assembled a list of six ways that churches can create a dad-friendly experience for first-time visitors and members alike:
Aspen Group engaged with West Bridge Church in 2014 to determine the feasibility of expanding and renovating their current facility. Located about 20 miles outside of Indianapolis in the small but growing town of Danville, Indiana, West Bridge Church continues to attract young families. With two Sunday services averaging nearly 500 in attendance, church leaders wanted to find ways to enhance their facility so that it could serve as a strategic ministry tool. What began as a project to add sanctuary seats for adults, quickly turned into a focus on making space for future growth and outreach to kids.
The Time Was Right Central Christian Church was booming. With a strong presence in Carmel, Indiana, a thriving suburb of Indianapolis, attendance was nearing 600. The facility was designed to house 300-400 people. As space grew tighter, it became increasingly clear that the outdated facility no longer matched the needs of the young families, children, and youth that Central Christian was attracting. It was time to make a move. In 2001, however, Central Christian had purchased an 82-acre parcel of land in Westfield, Indiana, to prepare for future growth. The church began making plans for a new building on this site in 2004-2006. Budget constraints and other stressors thwarted their plans, however, and the church suffered severe losses within the staff and congregation.
Deep love for church. Passion for worship. Drive for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. All of these things define The Orchard Evangelical Free Church and its congregation. Their mission: “To glorify God by multiplying God-centered, Christ-exalting, world-transforming believers through the gospel in the greater Chicago area and around the world.” As part of fulfilling their calling as a church, The Orchard launched four new sites between 2010—2017 from the original Arlington Heights campus. To thrive in this next chapter of their story, the church’s leadership recognized that it needed the Arlington Heights campus to be a vibrant, growing, sending campus—the center of an expanding multisite church. Turning the Arlington Heights campus into a 21st century space was a key step to ensuring The Orchard would live out its mission.
Christ The Rock Community Church (CTR), located in rural Menasha, Wisconsin, is a non-denominational church with a deep heart for authenticity and relationships. With a mission to “seek the lost, love the hurting, and disciple believers to do the same,” the church extends its arms and opens its doors to foster the vision that everyone, no matter their condition, can know and worship Jesus.
When Aspen Group began to partner with First Christian Church Decatur to address their facility needs, it became clear that limited sanctuary seating had begun to impede the church’s ability to comfortably accommodate new attenders. Additionally, the church’s youth and children’s space lacked the kind of functionality and design that creates a safe, secure environment for kids to become devoted followers of Christ.