Hoping to make some big changes to your ministry but don’t have the budget to match? Many churches are struggling to renovate their buildings and connect more with new members of their congregations. For example, according to South Coast Today, St. Anne’s Church in Fall River, Massachusetts is facing a whopping $13.5 million in renovation expenses. The damages, such as peeling plaster walls, leaking ceilings, and deteriorating pews, may have caused the decreasing attendance the church has faced in recent months.
If you suspect that your own church or sanctuary is quietly pushing away new and long-time members alike, there are steps you can take to overcome structural problems without breaking the bank.
Here are three simple tips to improve the appearance and function of your church to re-engage your congregation.
- Focus on Structure
The top budgetary priority for repairs should be big structural issues, such as plumbing, roof leaks, or electrical issues. Any aesthetic updates or less-than-critical changes should wait until the important problems are addressed. Otherwise, your ministry might face greater costs in the future, or be questioned for not prioritizing church funds appropriately. Focus on needs before wants when starting any renovation project.
- Keep All Members Comfortable
When embarking on church facility updates, be sure to keep members of all ages in mind– the sanctuary isn’t the only important space. Be sure that nurseries, family areas, and Sunday school classrooms are in good condition to show that your ministry cares about families as a whole. Also make sure that heating, cooling, insulation, and ventilation are all in good order for the congregation’s comfort. After all, one study by Cornell University shows that productivity levels are highest at a temperature of 71.6 degrees. A comfortable congregation leads to a focused and engaged church service.
- Use Technology to Reach the Greater Community
If your facilities are up to date, it might be your lagging tech that is lowering attendance. Keep new and seasoned members engaged by bringing new media platforms into your services. Today, 77.32% of churches use Twitter, while a huge 98.97% of churches use Facebook. Though social media is not essential to good worship, trying new ways to connect with the community is a great way to share your church with new people.
Some churches only renovate every 25-40 years. In contrast, most businesses update facilities every 4-7 years. To keep your church growing with God, focus on making your place of worship structurally sound and current with common technologies. And, as Facts and Trends advises, remember to include your congregation with the changes and celebrate the accomplishment together.