Designing for Mission

The Crossing - A Community Youth Center Community of Joy, Glendale, Arizona
By: David Price  

Today, many churches are pursuing a wide range of ministries that respond to the spiritual, physical, and emotional health of individuals and families. The economic challenges are real. The church needs to grow organically, within the realities of economic and operational constraints. And we need to project a vision that stirs the hearts and minds of its members.It is a process that requires creativity, collective energy, teamwork, sharpened management skills, faith, and determination. To do it right, the church will have to step out of the box it sometimes inhabits so as to better understand the community around it.

What does "community" mean to the church? People, families, and individuals are on the go. Many of us have very fast-paced lifestyles. Whether we are at work or play, the historic institutions that fostered community are not there now as they once were. The "Mom & Pop" corner store, the friendly bank, the small school, the local gas station, and the safe street have disappeared. As a result, a sense of community is what people want. Many churches are responding by embracing a powerful and broad range of ministries. They are reaching out to the unchurched, addressing issues that affect people's real lives, and offering a wide range of relevant services provided in a friendly environment. In doing so, churches are building facilities that are more familiar to secular people. Such places as malls, specialty stores, food courts, themed restaurants, coffee houses, theaters, and sports parks not only provide expanded ministry opportunities, but suggest special environments that may be appropriately utilized in a church facility.

ChurchWorks is a design firm that designs church buildings that embrace creative ideas for expanded mission and foster friendlier and more inviting environments. If you have any ideas or questions you wish addressed in this column, contact David Price at (714) 832-1722, by fax at (714) 832-0738, or by email at


Your church property can serve as a platform for community outreach. Does your church property work for you in this capacity?

A community has many places conducive to social interaction and gathering. What are your favorite places? How might they be applied to your church?

First Quarter 2001 - PAGE 44 - Strategies for Today's Leader -

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