When is My Church Ready for a New Building?


Many church leaders dream of the day when their ministry grows enough for them to be able to move to a new building. It’s an exciting prospect! Having the chance to search for a place that will be the ideal building and location for your ministry is huge.

But knowing when the day has arrived can be tough. You may be financially ready for the move, but is that the only thing that matters? If you’re struggling to figure out when your church is ready for a new building, here are a few thoughts:

When Is My Church Ready for a New Building

There are several factors that contribute to the “readiness” of your church to move to a new building. Of course, we all want to move into our own building, but knowing when it’s genuinely appropriate to relocate your church can be tough.

Here are a few thoughts on how you can know when your church is ready!

Space is Negatively Impacting Ministry Effectiveness

Space is incredibly important. If you’re packing your available space full of people to the point you can’t comfortably expand, it’s probably time to consider moving to a new location. It’s also not uncommon for kid’s ministry rooms to get overcrowded as a church grows. This is unfortunate, as the state of a children’s ministry is one of the primary reasons many families change the church they are attending.

If you feel that the actual available space (or lack thereof) is impacting your ministry negatively by inhibiting it from properly functioning and/or growing, it’s probably time to start looking at new buildings.

Service Capacity Is Maxed Out

This ties in with the last point but is more focused on actual attendance over physical space. If you are continuously maxing out the capacity during your worship services, your church is more than likely experiencing some growing pains.

Of course you can always add additional worship services to spread people out, but if you’re already doing two worship services and seating is getting to an uncomfortably packed state, you may want to consider moving your church to a new building.

Your Facility is Inefficient, Dangerous or Distracting for Guests

People want to attend a church they feel comfortable at. Do their kids have to go up two or three flights of stairs to get to their AWANA program? That can be draining, require parents to get to church quite a bit early, and even pose a safety risk for kids falling and getting hurt.

Is your worship sanctuary easily accessible for congregation members? Is parking convenient? These are all questions to consider as your church begins to grow. While you may have a small and committed following now, growing your church can be difficult if new members feel they are being continuously inconvenienced by your location.

Also, a peripheral thought to note is that congregation members want to feel comfortable and “cozy” at their church – especially if they plan on staying there for a while. If your location inhibits you from creating an inviting atmosphere through lighting, furniture, coffee stations, and other aesthetically welcoming elements, it may be a sign to start looking.

Expanding Your Current Location Isn’t an Option

This is almost always the case when it comes to churches who are looking to move buildings. For church plants that are renting out a gymnasium, school, or community building, expanding their location is probably not an option.

Of course, there are instances in which growing church plants are already positioned in a small building on property they own, in which case expanding your current location may be the most cost effective and appropriate option for maintaining and growing your congregation. However, if you are running out of room, operating out of an inconvenient location, and growing rapidly without the ability to expand your building, it’s time to look for a new building for your church.

In Summary

As church plants grow, pastors often get impatient waiting for a new building. And of course they do! The idea of moving to a new building – your own location – is incredibly exciting. But it’s all-to-easy to make a move at the wrong point in time. Just because you’re financially ready for the move doesn’t necessarily mean your ministry and congregation are ready for the transition.

Make sure you are moving for the right reasons. If you feel that there is not an adequate amount of space to carry out your ministry objectives, and the available space is negatively impacting your church, it’s time to start looking. If service capacity is being maxed out and the building you are in is inconveniencing members (inconvenient parking, flights of stairs, hard-to-find sanctuary, etc.), that may call for reason to consider a new building.

Of course, with every big decision make sure you are wrapping everything in tons of prayer, as well as consulting your leadership team for their input on when the right time to move your church to a new building is.

Chris Fleming, Author

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.

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