How to Evaluate Your Church Property

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1 How to Evaluate Your Church Property By Bob Metcalf for LifeWay.com Imagine you have just moved into your community. You are looking for a new church home and are visiting this church for the first time. You do not know anyone who attends this church. Based strictly on buildings and church space, how would you decide if this church would be the right place for you? What would influence your decision? Take this survey and see how your church measures up: A. Stay outside the church for a few moments and ask/answer these questions: Would you have noticed this church after moving to this community? What are your thoughts as you view this church from the road? What kind of people do you think attend this church? Why do you think this? What do the buildings and grounds say about how this church relates to God? To one another? To the community? Are you curious to see inside this church? Is it easy to enter the site from the street? Is there a clear sign identifying the name of the church to passersby? Is the parking lot adequate? Convenient to the main entrance? Is there an attractive focal point in the architectural design? Is there a convenient auto passenger loading/unloading area? Is it covered for us in inclement weather? Is it easy to locate the main entrance? Do you immediately know where to go to enter for church services? Page 1 of 6 courtesy of LifeWay Christian Resources

2 B. As you enter the church, answer these questions: As you enter what are your first impressions of the entry foyer? Rate the following characteristics on a scale of 1 to 5: Uninviting Inviting Cold Atmosphere Warm Atmosphere Cluttered Tidy Confusing Straightforward Unfriendly Friendly Is there adequate space in the foyer for people to talk and be friendly before and after worship services without blocking the main circulation path? Is the Welcome Center easy to find? Is the circulation pattern clear? Do you know where to go to get to various areas of the building? Is it clear where you should take your children? Are there signs to help you find your way? C. As you enter the worship space, answer these questions: What are your first feelings and thoughts as you enter? Is this space what you thought it would be? Does this space feel welcoming? Page 2 of 6 courtesy of LifeWay Christian Resources

3 Worship Space (continued) Sit alone in a pew for a few moments. Imagine yourself preparing to worship in this place. Does the space make that easy or difficult to do? Can you imagine contemplating, celebrating, sharing in worship with other people in this space? Do the room and seating arrangement make you feel closeness to other worshipers or do you feel isolation? Do you think you would feel part of what goes on in worship or mostly a spectator? What do you like about the worship space? What do you dislike? Does the worship space say anything to you about this congregation and its priorities? Is there appropriate quality in materials and craftsmanship? Does anything look cheap, too showy, out of place? Are there provisions for overflow or future expansion of the worship space? How do you feel about the arrangement and style of the chancel area (pulpit and choir)? What does the design and placement of the baptistry say about the importance of baptism? Rate the worship space on the following characteristics, on a scale of 1 to 5: Poor acoustics Excellent acoustics Poor sight lines Excellent sight lines Not comfortable Very comfortable Very unattractive Very attractive Not conducive to worship Very conducive to worship Page 3 of 6 courtesy of LifeWay Christian Resources

4 Rate the worship space (continued) Would not serve well Would serve well for wedding for wedding Would not serve well Would serve well for baptism for baptism Would not serve well Would serve well for funeral for funeral Would not serve well Would serve well for choir concert for choir concert Uninspiring space Inspiring space Colorless Colorful Ordinary, Unimaginative Creative, dramatic Architecture Architecture Cold, intimidating Warm, friendly space Depressing Elevating D. In the education areas, respond to these questions: What is your first reaction to these areas? Are the classrooms large enough to make them usable for various age groups and teaching methods? Is there flexibility by using some movable walls, making rooms accessible without having to go through other rooms? Does there appear to be adequate storage? Are there room identification signs? Are the preschool areas located conveniently near main entrances and the worship center? Is the preschool area arranged so children can be left and picked up without disrupting other children? Do preschool rooms communicate a sense of security and warmth? How would you feel about leaving your child there? Page 4 of 6 courtesy of LifeWay Christian Resources

5 E. Answer these questions about the fellowship hall: Is there convenient access to the fellowship hall from parking and from other areas within the building? How do you feel about this space? Does it make fellowship easy? How practical is it? Are the floor and walls easy to maintain? How versatile is it? Is there adequate technology (sound, projector, dvd) Is there a stage? Adjustable lighting? Can it be subdivided for multiple use? Is there adequate storage for tables and chairs? Is the kitchen large enough and efficiently designed? Is there enough storage? F. What about the administrative areas? Is it easy to find the church office? How easy is it to locate and get to on a weekday? Does the office have a reception/waiting area? Does it make you feel welcome? Is there a separate and convenient workroom for noisy and messy activities? Are staff offices large enough with enough shelving and cabinets? Are they efficient and inviting? Is the pastor s office adequate for administrative duties, study, and counseling? Page 5 of 6 courtesy of LifeWay Christian Resources

6 G. Answer the following questions about the music support space: Is there a separate choir rehearsal room? Is it large enough compared to the capacity of the choir loft)? How easy is it for choir members to get their music and robes on Sunday morning? Can the choir warm up on Sunday morning without disturbing others? How easy is it to get from the choir room to the choir loft? Is there additional rehearsal area for special groups like handbells, orchestra, etc.? Is there adequate storage for music and instruments? H. What about other areas? Are rest rooms conveniently located? Are there enough of them? Are they clean and inviting? How do they smell? Are the spaces and rest rooms in this building, and the building itself, handicap accessible? Is there sufficient general storage? Is it well distributed throughout the building? Are there enough janitors closets and maintenance area? I. In Summary Summarize your overall feelings and thoughts about this church. Include architectural appeal, physical layout and accessibility to people with special needs, overall strengths and weaknesses, and apparent priorities of this congregation. Are you attracted to this church as a prospective member? 2007 LifeWay Christian Resources. Permission is granted to download, store, copy, and distribute for its intended use. Distribution for sale is strictly prohibited. Visit to learn about services offered. Page 6 of 6 courtesy of LifeWay Christian Resources

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