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February 2009 Letter from the Editor
By: Jill Pinheiro

Wouldn't you like to hear a builder tell you, as a church leader, exactly how he would build a church if he were a pastor?

I had the pleasure of hearing Roe Messner speak last week at a Church Growth by Design workshop here in Birmingham. Messner, a church building contractor with more than 1,700 worship facilities to his credit, gave a step-by-step outline of how a successful church construction project should go.

He pinpointed what he considers the biggest decision churches have to make before beginning a construction project: should we stay at the present location or relocate?

He identified three reasons to stay:

* It's cheaper.
* You don't have to sell a building.
* You don't have to worry about a split in the congregation.

And, he also identified three reasons to move:

* The building isn't energy-efficient.
* The existing facility would be hard to build around.
* There isn't enough parking at the current site.

If your church is getting ready to embark on building a new worship facility or adding on to your existing one, form your building committee (Messner recommends having no more than seven members) and first establish whether it's best for your church to stay or move. Once that important decision is made, it will pave the way for the rest of your project.

Additionally, Messner said, "Remember, form follows function. Know what you want to build, and get the architect to design around your program."

Having a clear idea of what your church wants and needs out of a new facility is critical to ensure your architect executes and delivers your vision.

I'm always interested in hearing from you. You can reach me at jill@rpnmag.com.

God Bless,

Jill Pinheiro
Managing Editor

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