Church Building Design

Church building design requires the leaders and the church architect to take into account various factors when choosing what to build. Because this type of structure stands apart from other buildings due to its symbolic nature, it's important that extra planning and details go into the design. A church building is the place where congregants gather for times of worship and teaching, fellowship, and ministry. It should reflect that in its design, and it should be easy to set up for a variety of functions.

Styles can vary dramatically and have developed over the years. Historically, church buildings in Europe were elaborate cathedrals with stained glass windows and intricate woodwork and stonework. When people envision a church building design, they see the pulpit front and center of the room, lots of pews or seating facing the pulpit, and an area similar to a stage behind the pulpit. This has not always been the case. Prior the 1500, churches existed with the focus being on the arts and depictions of the Gospel through paintings. The invention of the printing press changed all of this, and the focus shifted to the written and spoken word.

At this point in history, the design emphasized the pulpit and sermons more than ever before. It became more functional and less grandeur. This can be seen frequently in church building design in the Northeast or New England. A small, rectangular church building with pews and a pulpit, but nothing more dramatic is common because it was at this time places of worship were first built in America. However, from about 1850 to 1920, a shift occurred again. The arts were thought of as "high society" and they were reintroduced. Music became an important part of worship, and theater style seating for the masses was introduced.

The building represents cultural changes throughout history. As the way society and Christians themselves viewed the church, the way they looked changed as well. Nehemiah 2:5 says "And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it." There is of course form and function to be considered when choosing a church building, but the importance of what the building evokes from within a person is also relevant to church building design.

Building a church is a major undertaking in the life of a religious community that requires careful planning, financial fundraising, and total commitment. Church building designs offer a community the opportunity to create a space for worship that will draw in the surrounding neighborhood and serve the ministry. This process begins with creating a master plan that encompasses all that is expected from the finished product. A master plan helps to involve all members by creating a sense of ownership. It also forces the leadership to prioritize ministry needs and defines the church's mission statement, purpose, and overall plan.

This vision is a major undertaking and should begin with a focus on ministry. Building a church is a sacred trust, and determining which direction taken in many different realms must be considered first. If planning a huge outreach to children and families, the church building designs you might choose will be different than if you plan to cater to an older population. The use of space will be quite diverse. The commitment to completion is demanding and must envision existing space use and re-use studies. Acts 16:5 says, "And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily." The whole idea behind building a church is that people be established in the faith. The building should reflect the present and future goals as well as stay within a realistic budget for the people funding the project.

This task can include doing feasibility and site selection studies, debating renovation or expansion plans, and creating complete construction plans and specifications including lighting, sound and acoustic design. Church building designs allow the congregation to understand the ramifications of each choice that is needed to be made concerning the building. Building a church includes looking at the history and future, looking at the present and future space use, and analyzing parking and utilities requirements.

This vision should prioritize needs and take an overall look at church finances and funding sources. Understanding what the church will be facing in ten years can provide a better idea of what to be doing today in terms of design. Talking with other churches with similar goals will help to clarify what may or may not work in the designing process. It doesn't do any good to build a beautiful area for a choir if there isn't an overall interest for having a choir. Church building designs should be beautiful, yet practical, and meet financial needs.

Metal Church Building

Metal church buildings are often much cheaper and more efficient worship centers for churches. The cost of a metal church building can be significantly less than of traditional style ones, especially brick. Not only can it be costly, but it can be very time consuming as well. The price alone for materials and labor can be tough, not to mention the length of time it will take to finish the project. Laying bricks can be tedious work, and to do a good job may require an expansion of the proposed deadline. "Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)

Most congregations who currently meet in school auditoriums or movie theaters desire a place of their own. They want to have a house of worship that won't cost an arm and a leg, but will be suitable to the needs of the members. Metal church buildings may offer an affordable alternative to the common structures of churches already in existence. This alternative can also offer a unique exterior to match the unique makeup of the congregation. Large, open windows can provide the ability to view the surrounding area. Also, the low cost of building a metal church building will allow the congregation to have a large structure to fit their teaching and fellowship needs.

This alternative material will offer the same amenities and features as traditional style churches. Companies that will offer metal church building programs often have packages available where the structure can have upgrades on light fixtures, cabinetry, types of interior, etc. They allow room for a sanctuary, fellowship hall, classroom space, nursery, study areas, and office space. If the church has a larger congregation that needs to accommodate a children's center such as a preschool or middle school, metal church buildings can assist with that also.

This style of worship center can also be a tempting alternative to standard buildings because they can take less time to construct. Generally, if a group pursues a metal church building, manuals can be provided by the company so that churchgoers can help set up the framework of the structure. Another reason metal church buildings might sound appealing is because of their resistance to the harsh weather. For example, metal structures can withstand severe climates and temperatures all year round. There are many options to choose from, and the best thing the members of the congregation can do is to become familiar with what is available, most affordable, cost effective, and suitable for the church's needs.

A modular church building can be the answer to many churches' building challenges in providing space both quickly and proficiently. A church may have increased attendance, or a church may be undergoing new construction. The immediate requirement is to gain the additional space needed to keep church services operating without problems. Modular church buildings can offer temporary or permanent space solutions for all aspects of a church building including: offices, fellowship common areas, Sunday school rooms, and sanctuaries. If congregations are blessed with the need to expand, but challenged with a budget, then they may want to consider investigating in this type of construction.

There are many options to this type of construction. A modular church building can be a one-room add-on or it can be a multipart, multi-room structure. These structures are first assembled within a factory and then shipped to a build location in individual pieces. After arriving on site, modular church buildings are then assembled by qualified personnel. Depending on the type of structure and materials that are purchased will depend upon the amount of time and labor needed to complete the building process.

Today's options in modular technology offer many options in exciting exterior finishes. Popular finishes are fabricated stucco, real brick, siding, and the warm finish of wood. These structures can also be finished to correspond with existing structures, or a completely new exterior can be selected. These modern looking sanctuaries can also be multi-leveled, hosting several stories. The options and choices seem to be endless.

Because of the factory construction, this option is cheaper than having a new construction built on site, because there is less labor and costly time. Costs are lower because there are no weather setbacks, or ground and soil preparations. Estimates from professionals in the fields of modular church buildings construction quote from 30% to 50% in savings. This makes for huge savings as compared to standard construction costs. Saving money is being a good steward of God's gifts and the Bible supports the idea that money not be wasted. "Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right." (Proverbs 16:8)

These diverse buildings can be customized to meet a church's specific needs. Most modular church building companies have many floor plans and models to choose from. Floor plans can also be modified or customized to meet church's unique specifications. There is more information about modular construction that can be found by browsing the Internet.

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