BUILDING YOUR FIRST BUILDING – PART 1

Having a building to call “your own” is often one of the first and seemingly important goals for us as church planters; however, there are some principal factors to consider before, during, and after getting into your first building.

I am going to break this article up into those three areas and deal with each one individually—so be sure to follow all three articles!

BEFORE:

Often, when we are in a rented/leased building all we want is to get our own place! While this is nice, I’d encourage you to ask yourself these questions before you enter your first building project.

 
1. Is God directing in this move?

Of course, we want God to lead in everything we do! This decision is certainly one that should be preceded by great times of prayer and fasting.  This is first and foremost the most important factor—is God in this? —make sure you have a clear leading before progressing!

 
2. Am I ready for this level of commitment?

Now, if your church has been greatly blessed in the first few years with some staff (full or part-time) this will be easier for you; but, if not, you need to think long and hard about such a project. Many new demands (cleaning, maintenance, building usage, etc…) are all going to compete for a piece of your time. Are you at a place emotionally to handle this extra strain? Is your spiritual walk what it should be? Is your family/home situation ready and stable enough to withstand your extra demands?

 

3. Is my church ready for this level of commitment?

Many times, as church planters, we want to jump right in, because our faith in God is strong and we are excited about what God is going to do! However, we must consider our church people, whom God has entrusted to our care! Have the people caught the vision for the need to move into the new facility? Are the people in the church able to sustain the rigors and trials that will come with a building project? Is the church primarily composed of new Christians that get excited at first but then lose interest? Can the people sustain the increased financial commitment (more on this later)? Do I have the backing of the “key” people in the church?

 

4. Will this put an unnecessary financial burden on the new church?

It is so important to exercise wisdom and discernment, ensuring we don’t enter into greater financial burden than the church can really handle. Yes, we should step out in faith! Yes, we should believe in God for the impossible! However, most importantly, we are called to be light and salt in our community and share the love of God all the time. If all our financial resources will be locked up in a new building, and we can’t witness and reach out like we should…are we really accomplishing God’s mission for our church? Remember, Paul spent several years in a rented hall (Acts 19:9-10) and during that time started the seven churches mentioned in Revelation! A temporary or rented building doesn’t have to hold us back!

 


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BUILDING YOUR FIRST BUILDING – PART 2

Ok, so you have prayed about it and the church is ready…building is about to commence!
 
I am not going to deal with the construction side of things as there are many groups that are able to assist with your building project! (If you need any help in this area, reach out to us and we will see what we can do!)
 

DURING:

During the building project, the Pastor ends up wearing a lot of hats! In many cases he is not only pastoring a growing church, but also is acting as the general contractor and chief decorator! Keeping life and ministry in balance during a building project is difficult, but extremely necessary.

 

1. Keep the main thing the main thing.
It is vital to keep ministry in the forefront of all you do. Just because a church is building doesn’t mean the church should stop fulfilling the Great Commission!
  • Keep your preaching red-hot—don’t let tiredness or discouragement keep you from feeding the sheep every time you step behind the pulpit! (And don’t mention the building project in every message you preach…the people need a break too!)
  • Keep missions exciting. Keep world evangelization before the people at all times…don’t diminish it! It is easy for a church to become ‘inwardly focused’ during building projects – missions will help them look out at what is really important!
  • Don’t cancel standard soul winning times just to gain a few extra hours of work on the building! Again, it’s about staying ‘outwardly’ focused all the time and reaching the lost with the Gospel!
  • Find ways to encourage church fellowship during this time! You will be tired. Your church people will be tired. Still, be creative and enjoy some church fellowship! Satan can use this time put division and dissention in the church—staying close as a church family will help keep that to a minimum.
 
2. Expect the unexpected.

Not to sound like a broken record, but Satan can use this time very negatively in a church—it is a wise pastor that understands this and prepares for as much as he can!

  • Faithfulness to church services sometimes suffers—people are tired and have spent extra time working at the church. Love them. Encourage them. Pray for them.
  • The normal duties we all have and enjoy (hospital visits, shut-ins, etc…) can become burdensome. Grow in your walk with God. Let His strength serve through you.
  • Sometimes people leave during or shortly after the building project is over. Sometimes there are explanations and sometimes there are not! Often times, this is just God removing some of the ‘scaffolding’ from the new church so it can continue to grow. Pray it doesn’t happen, but don’t become defeated if/when it does.

 

 


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BUILDING YOUR FIRST BUILDING – PART 3

The building is done! Maybe it’s taken months – maybe it’s taken years, but you are now ready to hold services in the new location!

AFTER:

Sometimes, we think that the actual building process is the hardest thing to do, and we deceive ourselves into thinking that after it’s done things will go back to ‘normal’. While there are certainly things that are true for the only the construction time – for a new church, there are many things that still have to be taught and delegated for this to be a successful transition.

 
1. Teach

Now is the time to really teach the people what it means to strive for excellence in the presentation and up-keep of the new facility.  Many pastors expect the people to just know what to do and how to do it. The wise pastor spends time investing and teaching people the “how’s” and “why’s”:

  • Teach them to take care of the building.
  • Teach them to see things how you see them and instruct them how to deal with issues.
  • Teach them to take ownership and care for the contents of the buildings.
 
2. Delegate

Many pastors and pastor’s families become the default maintenance and cleaning crew! While we are more than willing to do these jobs, they can quickly become all-consuming and cut into family, outreach, study, and resting time. Learn to delegate—don’t just let everyone do what everyone wants, rather develop plans and procedures and then implement them into the ministry. Remember, you cannot delegate effectively until you have taught thoroughly!

 
3. Remind

Without question, during the past building project God did many wonderful and miraculous things on your behalf.  Don’t forget these things, and often remind the people as you are enjoying the benefits of your building about all that God has done!

 


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