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Design Refresh

It’s the holiday season and there’s an uptick in traffic–in the malls and at the church! But what’s happening with your church’s design? Are you ready for guests?

Design— by definition: to do or plan something with a specific purpose or intention in mind.  Tony Duffy in a recent issue of Florida Design, mentioned the influx of migration into Florida and addressed the expanse variety of home buyers. He identifies there are those looking for spectacular waterfront homes and those buying horse ranches. He suggests that whatever the buyer is looking for, there’s design help available.

Within the church, “design” can entail many different components. And design in ministry can cover everything from the entry to the wallpaper in the bathroom.  We have visited churches who are on top of this in every aspect, and on other occasions, churches who are living in the 1980’s. It can be easy to become complacent within our settings.

Design and furniture centers are constantly re-arranging their interiors to create interest for new or returning clients. They are fully aware of the importance of the “first impression.” In their world, sales depend on it.

There’s a church on every other block offering a variety of worship and ministry. There’s likely something that each of those churches is known for within their community.  Many are known for a great VBS, powerful worship, community service, big events, a Harvest Festival or Trunk or Treat. Christmas brings a variety of additional choices. In recent days in our community, a few churches were known for their outreach in response to Hurricane Ian. But beyond the events, what first impression does your facility make as a guest arrives to your property? 

A few thoughts on practical church design components.  

When we attend a new church, we are noticing much! It begins with the parking lot and front door greeters. We quickly notice designated guest or handicapped parking and look for directional signage.  

Does the building get regularly “refreshed” in landscaping, exterior and interior furniture, pictures, or wallpaper/paint?  Is the roof in good condition or do you need to put out buckets in a rainstorm. Building updates can be easily overlooked as years go by and trends change. A few gallons of paint can create a fresh look and revitalize an entire area. Adding fun chairs and a small sofa can quickly create a level of interest and a new hang-out spot.

Our son’s church just repaved their large parking lot. This was a huge investment but it speaks volumes about the church. According to Frank A. Macchione at Paving Plus, “Broken and crumbling asphalt looks terribly unprofessional, and it sends a clear message that whoever’s in charge of maintaining that particular property doesn’t consider it important to provide an attractive and welcoming environment for visitors. On the other hand, providing a clean, clear, and unblemished parking lot with gleaming paint striping is an attractive beacon.”  

If your carpet is burgundy or green or worn and torn, it’s time for a renewal.  Is your platform screen easy to see and read? Are the children’s ministry classrooms freshly painted with appropriate age-level furniture? And have you taken a good hard look (or smell) at the restrooms? This can be an easily overlooked space. Guests notice all of these things.

What makes your church stand out and what do people in the community say about it? What is the impression a guest will have on their first visit? What makes that initial interaction comfortable and memorable in your setting?  Do you follow up with a phone call to inquire?  With the upcoming season of holidays and potential guests, perhaps it’s time to review the design of your facility and get some feedback.

We want all aspects of your ministry and facility design to be a win.

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