The Church:

A Mission-Driven Enterprise

By: David Price, AIA  

What do you get when you blend the qualities of an auto showroom, a Cineplex stadium-styled theater, and a passion for mission? You get a mission-driven enterprise called Point of Grace Church where an adventurous spirit and entrepreneurial ingenuity are creating a new church model.
In the western suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, Point of Grace is planning to build a large "warehouse" ministry lab which will contain a 700-seat theater with cushioned chairs on retractable platforms, equipped with concert sound and lighting equipment, complete with banks of computer-controlled lights. They've also scheduled a sound and video production studio, and plenty of space for children's and student ministries.
Families and guests arriving at the "warehouse" will first enter a hospitality center -- The Point Café -- containing a coffee and juice bar, the ChurchWorks Store, and an indoor garden patio, complete with fireplace and lounge. The hospitality center will be a highly efficient and socially interactive area with generous circulation, visible steel roof decking and trusses, open mechanical HVAC systems, suspended flat screen video monitors, and maximum use of glass. Parking will be abundant and convenient.
The Point of Grace model reflects a transformation which is occurring in the church. Successful churches are exploring new formulas which embrace the idea of a mission-driven enterprise. Churches like Point of Grace are building environments that are sometimes secular and more familiar to people. In doing so, Point of Grace is seeking an approach which connects its ministry to the nature and culture of its community. It is a new-town, new-church model inviting and challenging others. Check out their website at
The unchurched and faithful are found across the American landscape. Opportunities for mission-driven enterprises exist in downtown, uptown, new town, and small town.
The mission-driven enterprise church is important work. It is a journey of faith. The expanded functions of the mission-driven enterprise church can create centers of community life where love and faith prosper.

  • Urban Church - can turn abandoned buildings into laundry stores, restaurants, and gymnasiums by challenging business and civic leaders and fostering partnerships.
  • Uptown Church - might be part of a theater district, or sponsor new senior housing apartments, or special family and adult counseling services directed to the needs of city dwellers.
  • New Town Church - often ministers to a busy, sometimes transposed, array of individuals looking for a place which responds to their many needs in a manner that is friendly and inviting.
  • Small Town Church - nowhere is the passion for mission deeper than in our small towns. But old ideas and the old guard sometimes become obstacles.

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

Fourth Quarter 2001 - PAGE 16- Strategies for Today's Leader -

©2001-2006 David A. Price Architects, Inc., all rights reserved