Preparing Your Church to Move Into a New Building
Finding a location to do ministry in is difficult. Church plants often struggle to find willing venues and schools to host Sunday morning church in, and even after finding a venue, it’s a lot of work to setup and tear down the necessary gear every Sunday. But it’s almost always worth it – despite the work, the commute, the long hours – you do it for the community of believers that call your church, “home”, and you do it because it’s your way of giving back to God for what he’s done for you.
It should then come as no surprise that a church relocation can be incredibly stressful. What will everyone think of the new building? Will it work out? Will it grow or diminish your church’s attendance, if having any effect at all?
We understand that moving your church into a new building is a big task, so we wanted to offer a few pieces of advice to make the transition easier, smoother, and effective.
Moving Your Church into a New Building: Helpful Advice
Whether you’re just beginning to consider the possibility of a relocation, or you’re in the late stages of following through with a new building purchase, there are a few things to be vigilant of. For the most effective church relocation – that is, the least disruptive – take these steps as you find a new church:
1. Communicate ASAP
This is all about maintaining your current church attendance and members. You have people who are committed attenders of your church, and you don’t want to lose them simple from moving your church into a new building.
Your congregation needs to be in the loop right from the get-go. Much of the reason they may have chosen your church in the first place was because of the location – if it’s convenient for them and they enjoy the message, they’ll come. But once people feel connected to a church, they’re willing to compromise within reason, so long as they feel valued.
Communicating to your congregation early on during the planning stages of moving is crucial. Let them know ASAP so they have time to process it. Giving them information upfront makes them feel valued and cared for and increases the chances of your congregation staying with you through the move.
2. Be Transparent
It’s easy to communicate as little as possible, and we understand why. Rarely is a church relocation completely free of hassle or obstacles. Between building acquisition of building, legal documents, and everything else in-between, you’re bound to encounter a few hiccups along the way.
Be honest with your congregation about updates on moving your church into a new building! Even if they are brief updates – keep everyone in the loop on what’s happening so they feel valued and connected to the process. It’s a great way to build trust with current congregation members and keep them engaged during the church relocation.
3. Build A Volunteer Team
This is so important. If you are transitioning churches, your congregation will have tons of questions, concerns, and want to be in constant communication with your leadership team throughout the process. And if you’re a smaller church, the chances are you simply don’t have the bandwidth to handle all those questions alongside the tasks that need to be taken care of for efficiently moving your church into a new building.
This is where volunteer teams come in. Spend time building a volunteer team that can act as a liaison between your church attenders and church leadership. It can be helpful to give the team and designated name like “Unite”, “Forward”, “Growth”, or other names that communicate your churches goals amidst the transition. This is helpful for a few reasons. Firstly, it allows you to communicate to your congregation who they should direct their questions to in the meantime. Secondly, it creates a greater sense of responsibility, accountability, and pride in your volunteers’ work as they feel they are an integral part of the volunteer team.
This team will be integral in building up confidence, excitement, and commitment from your congregation members to stay involved in the church’s transition to the new building.
To Sum It All Up
Moving your church into a new building is a HUGE project, and we understand why it can be so stressful. It’s not just the weight of responsibility on your shoulders – it’s also the fear that your church congregation won’t follow you during the transition. You’ve built a healthy church culture at your current location and you may be both sad and concerned to move away from that. However, if you have concerns, we hope this advice has eased your mind.
As long as your congregation feels cared for, communicated to, and taken care of throughout the relocation process, they will be understanding and excited about them move. Always communicate key details around the church relocation ASAP to all members and be honest and transparent about everything happening. Build a volunteer team to act as a liaison between you and the congregation for questions and concerns, and to build up excitement and commitment between the congregation and your church as you move your church into a new building!
About the Author
Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as TAYA, Big Daddy Weave, and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the worship music scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris is the Motion Designer at Motion Worship, helping to create motion background collections and countdowns for our subscribers.