A successfully completed church property project is a wonderful thing. Not only does it mean a brighter future for the ministry of the church but it also means that the path through project funding, design, approvals and construction has been successfully negotiated. That’s quite an achievement.
Working on a design in the early days of the project can be fun but it’s much more exciting when you know the project concept is financially sound and that the design you’re working on can actually be built.
Here’s how to have a viable project and a great design.
1. Draw together your church property development committee
We consistently find development committees work best when they include people with commercial skills, property knowledge and knowledge of the history of the church’s property. A consensus view of the church’s ministry objectives and how you would like them to translate into the space you occupy is also a great starting point.
2. Prepare a simple brief of the spaces that you need
This is used to estimate the construction cost as an input into the financial feasibility analysis of the project. This preliminary brief doesn’t need to be detailed, it just has to be a reasonable guide to the spaces that you need.
We use a template for this step that keeps things quite simple and invite you to download a copy of it here.
Don’t spend money on detailed design at this point, there is no benefit because the project concept hasn’t been financially tested in a feasibility analysis yet.
3. Test the concept in a financial feasibility study
Here’s where you will need outside help unless you have a property feasibility specialist on your development committee. The goal is to demonstrate that at a conceptual level the project has reasonable prospects to be financially viable and successful.
4. Adjust the concept if necessary to optimise the benefits to the church
Good feasibility analysis regularly unearths opportunities for improvement to the initial development concept. Good feasibility analysis will also reveal the options to turn a project that initially appears unfeasible into a viable project.
5. Seek internal approval
A request for internal approval will be much better received if the project can be shown to be feasible and the path to funding is clear, especially if the property can be used to fund the project.
6. Church design
Having established that the project concept should be financially viable and having achieved internal approval, you’re well placed at this point to engage with an architect with experience in church design. It’s in the church’s best interests to seek proposals from two or more architects with relevant experience.
Knowing the project is financially sound and can be funded makes the design phase very exciting and it becomes a time when your ideas for your church project come to life.
Having advised churches through similar processes many times, we know that a great benefit of the process is that it improves communication within the development committee and makes it easier for the development committee to communicate its findings and results to the congregation.
To book a confidential consultation about your Church property objectives please contact us on 02 9966 8898.