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5 Church Design Trends Making Waves in 2024

April 8, 2024 jill Blog
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“Well, looks like we’re back in style!” Pastor Joel laughed as he looked at his 75-year-old church building in the middle of a quaint neighborhood.

Huge, cathedral-like windows adorned the northern wall. A wide-open sanctuary with a highly vaulted ceiling welcomed worshippers and provided space for remote workers.

Some repairs were needed, but the congregation didn’t have the budget for full-scale renovations in their church building. The previous generation couldn’t afford to hire a church construction company.

“Turns out, if you just wait long enough, your outdated building might become fashionable again!”

Joel isn’t passive or lazy. He understands that all buildings require repairs and maintenance.  He’s also eager to embrace the emerging technologies that enhance the church building’s ability to serve people.

Church design trends are constantly evolving, sometimes repeating. This year has the potential to position church buildings as a refuge and resource for their community.

If you’re looking for some church interior design inspiration for your church building, you’ve come to the right place!

In many ways, the church design trends of 2024 are blending the best of the past with the opportunity of modern technology and culture.

Here are the top five trends carving a new path for the future of the faithful.

  1. Modern Church Design That Is Inviting, Not Foreboding

Cultivating spaces that invite community is at the top of the list. Emily Schulte with LS3P points out several trends that lean in this direction.

Location: Churches are looking for locations in well-trafficked areas. This is a shift from the days when churches sought land removed from their community.

Indoor/Outdoor Spaces: Functional outdoor spaces with easy access to the church building are being created to cultivate an inviting atmosphere.

Removal of Commercial Kitchens: Churches maximize square footage by removing underutilized and expensive functions like commercial kitchens. This frees up space and money while embracing innovative opportunities for hospitality.

Intentionality with Kids’ Spaces: Prioritizing the importance of the entire family during church gatherings is increasing. Churches are creating engaging, safe, fun spaces for children to worship in age-appropriate ways.

  1. Multipurpose and Flexible Interior Design

Many churches are capitalizing on the seemingly endless opportunities their buildings provide.  A church construction company can help transform a singular space for multiple purposes.

Flexible Seating: Churches are rearranging their sanctuaries to host more than weekly worship gatherings by utilizing chairs instead of pews.

Collaborative Office Space: Cubicles and isolated offices are being replaced by community-oriented workspaces. This provides an opportunity for collaboration among church staff, other businesses, and leaders in the community.

Local Hangout Space: People are craving community like never before. Churches are responding. Many display community art, create cozy corners for coffee and a book, and open public seating for private conversations.

  1. Design with Technology in Mind

No surprise here. When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He commissioned His followers to reach “the ends of the earth” with the gospel.

Little did those original disciples know that in just 2,000 short years, any church with an Internet connection could share the Good News across the globe without leaving their zip code.

Churches are prioritizing technology, streaming, and studio spaces in 2024. The benefits are manifold. Through streaming services, people can stay connected to their church even when they can’t leave their homes. Or hospital room. Or hotel.

Beyond this, churches are benefiting from smart technology. In some situations, technology eliminates tedious tasks, like adjusting the thermostat.

In other cases, technology allows convenience, like remote access to check security systems or footage without being physically present.

Technology has transformed the way churches operate, with many embracing new technologies and construction companies prioritizing tech in their builds.

  1. Steward Creation with Eco-Friendly Design

Energy and earth-saving decisions are at the forefront of modern church design. Churches in 2024 are utilizing solar panels, installing EV charging stations, large windows for natural lighting, and more.

Church construction companies can help churches take steps to go green. Funding is available to assist churches in making significant, eco-friendly adjustments.  But there are numerous, smaller ways churches are demonstrating their stewardship of the earth.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing offers 17 simple suggestions to empower churches to go green. From simply recycling bulletins (or utilizing digital bulletins) to planting trees or gardens, 2024 promises to be a great year to go green.

  1. Create Clarity and Inspire Worship with Simplicity

Apple paved the way, and the culture has responded. Sleek, simple designs have become preferred for cell phones and church interior design.

Churches are embracing simplicity in 2024. This helps them care for people and maximize their impact.

People are decluttering, and so is the church. It isn’t easy to experience transcendence when you’re overstimulated.

Further, complicated or unclear church interior design is not helpful for visitors. As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Designing a church building is a beautiful, inspiring, intricate process. You must balance functional needs with aesthetic preferences. You also must consider personal preferences, ecological responsibility, and community needs.

As Catalyst Construction’s director of pre-construction, Eric Williams brings over 20 years of experience as a Chief Estimator in the construction industry. Since 2007, Catalyst has been guiding churches in creating and renovating their church buildings,