Impact Stewardship: Church Growth Essentials

By: Chuck Klein, Impact Stewardship, NACDB Member
A three-part series originally published for Church Executive Magazine. To read more, click here.

Late last year, Impact’s President Chuck Klein and Education Coordinator Dean Byler teamed up to contribute a three-part series to Church Executive magazine. We are pleased to announce their recent publication of the e-book containing all three articles!

Below, we highlight the “Key Takeaway” from each article.

To download the EBook of “Church Growth Essentials,” visit the Impact Stewardship Blog here.


Article 1:  Understanding the “BIG Picture”
(click to view the Sep/Oct Issue)

KEY TAKEAWAY:  Transform the heart, and the treasure will follow.

Viewed as a group, the hearts of the individual believers comprising a church body represent the heart of that church. Individuals need the transformation God offers them so they can experience more of the promised divine nature. Romans 12 encourages us to be transformed, not to conform to the world, and that He desires to mold us to progressively reflect the heart of Christ. The path to a vibrant, passionate, missional, empowered and growing church lies in reaching the heart of the body at the individual level.


Article 2:  How Generosity Fuels the BIG Picture
(click to view the Nov/Dec Issue)

KEY TAKEAWAY:  One can be generous without being a disciple of Jesus, but one can’t be a disciple of Jesus without being generous.

Generosity alone will not build new sanctuaries, fund missions work or expand ministry. When understood as the fruitful outworking of Christ’s character in us, our generosity helps to bring about “more than we could ask or imagine” (Eph 3.20).


Article 3:  Creating Momentum for the Generous Heart
(click to view the Jan/Feb Issue)

 KEY TAKEAWAY:  Clearly communicating vision provides both the roadmap and the destination for the generous heart.

Over-and-above giving will be sustained in your congregation only when individual motivation aligns with corporate vision. Generous people must know where you’re going as a ministry, while grasping a clear understanding of the process you propose to get there.


ABOUT IMPACT STEWARDSHIP: Since 1999, Impact has helped raise over $950 million to expand ministry space, enhance mission outreach and retire unnecessary, excessive church debt. Their brings together decades of experience in stewardship teaching and curriculum resources, capital stewardship campaign consulting and capital campaign media. For more inforamtion on this NACDB member, visit their site at:




Starting construction, whether renovation or ground up, can be a daunting task for those who don’t have experience in the construction world. Knowing what the path ahead looks like will help ease tension and set you in the right direction, so we have outlined the three main construction delivery methods below, so you can understand how these services differ from each other and how they will affect you and your congregation.

The three basic delivery systems are:

– Traditional Delivery: Design-Bid-Build

– Construction Management (CM)

– Design/Build

Derrick St. Joseph 2The three basic delivery systems defined:

Traditional Delivery: Design-Bid-Build

Under this method, the owner contracts with an architect, who designs the project and prepares bidding documents, which eventually leads to the selection of the general contractor. The selection is generally based upon a lump sum price.

Under this model the architect receives direction from he church/school (ministry), a wish list if you will, on the design. It isn’t until later, as mentioned above, when a design is complete that actual project costs are determined. This comes after bids are sought based upon the completed design.

Presuming that the costs provided are deemed affordable, the lowest qualified bidder is usually awarded the project thought another separate contract. Should the bidding process show that the costs are not affordable or over the anticipated budget, as it is often the case, the design process starts over again to modify the design. Then the project again goes through the bidding processes seeking a contract value affordable to the church. The architect, or another separate entity, under yet another separate contract, observes the construction and administration of the contracts. This usually entails a closed book approach, meaning the price of the subcontracts is not necessarily disclosed as this method is a lump sum method.

Construction Management (CM)

A Construction Manager, or CM, as an agent of the owner, builds the project form construction documents prepared by an architect. The CM is compensated based upon a fixed fee or percentage of construction costs. When structured property, the CM usually enters the project early-on an provides value engineering, budget and schedule input. The subcontracts are still competitively bid, but there are no markups of the subcontracts form the CM to the owner. The project is open book, as all numbers are known to the owner. Generally in this arrangement, the owner assumes all responsibly for he design and engineering documents.


To start, in an era long ago, when castles and cathedrals were being built, the projects sometimes lasted for years – sometimes as witnessed in scripture, they were life-long projects for the King. These projects came under the auspices of one person, the master builder, who designed and built the castle, or cathedral.

This is important to mention because that master builder system is still with us today in the form of design/build. This system stands out as a seamless stress relieving method, the design/build method will provide ministries the ability to have as little or as much input as is desired at all stages of the project without detracting from day to day ministry responsibilities.

Design and construction services are packaged under one contract, as a single source of project delivery for all design and construction services. Similar to CM, the project remains an open book throughout the project. Under this method, the design/build firm assumes one hundred percent responsibility.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the differences in types of construction delivery methods. You can also find more information on our website:

This information is taken from: From “Faith Building” By NACDB Member PBS Church Visioning Group/ Dale Reiser. More information about PBS can be found here. More information about “Faith Building” can be found here.


The George Barna statistic that 50% of American churches have a set of plans that will never be built is an unfortunate testimony to how difficult the design and build process can be. Thom Rainer of Rainer Research determined that the top two things that a successful building program must possess is:

1. Leadership Readiness: A unified Core Team of leadership that fully understands the Mission and Vision, the DNA of, and the need for facility expansion to accomplish the Ministry’s goals.

2. A Compelling Call: The church must know how God is calling them to reach their community and how they are uniquely gifted to do it.


Three elements need to be understood prior to beginning any type of building program: The Passion of Leadership, The Gifts of the Congregation and The Needs of the Community. What has been lacking is a cost effective system, process, or tool to help church leadership analyze their situation and be prayerfully led to make well-informed decisions. The Ministry Action Plan or MAP fills that need.

The Ministry Action Plan (MAP) covers seven critical areas that the church should understand before design or construction should begin, and most important MAP facilitates the critical element of congregational involvement. Upon completion of MAP, the entire church body will clearly know the Mission and Vision of the church, and why a building project is necessary to fulfill the Calling that God has made. What does MAP cover?

Ministry Analysis
A detailed survey that covers everything from Purpose, Vision, Mission, Values, Attendance, Finance, Growth, Long/Short Term Plans, Strategy, DNA and Goals.

Leadership Survey
A detailed audit of the 17 key areas of the Church from the perspective of Leadership.

Percept Demographics
Typically, a thirty page report that integrates data about religious attitudes, preferences and behavior found within the Outreach Area of the Church.

On-Site Observation & Review
A detailed report from the perspective of the first time visitor that covers their first impression as they arrive and then enter the church facility.

Space Review & Analysis
A detailed survey of existing spaces, how they are used, how they might be Re-Purposed, and what type of space is further needed for Ministry growth.

Site Challenge Analysis
A detailed report about the condition and challenges that every property has, such as zoning, utilities, parking, egress/ingress, storm water drainage and green space.

Financial Capability
How much can the church really afford to build, re-purpose or renovate? Money is not everything…but…it is kind of like oxygen. This analysis will help discover how much “oxygen” the church has.
The Ministry Action Plan (MAP) is not easy, quick, or the magical “silver bullet”. MAP is a tool which will require some soul searching, some in-depth leadership discussion of who you are (Your DNA), who you want to reach (Target Ministry Groups) and what you will need to get there (Strategy).

To speak with an NACDB Certified Church about MAP, please contact us! Plus, You can always learn more on our website:

Used with permission: T&W Church Solutions, JH Batten

There’s More Than 1 Way to Use That Rendering!

Created by Voigt Creations, NACDB Member

Created by Voigt Creations, NACDB Member

Written By: Bart Voigt, Voigt Creations, NACDB Member

Visuals have always been a part of the design/renovation process. Today that form encompasses 3D rendering in addition to the traditional means. (But that’s really an understatement.) 3D rendering has become the primary means for architectural visualization across the globe.

Traditionally only very large projects had the capital to make use of renderings for the visualizing process – this is no longer the case. Every major architectural design application has some form of 3D visualization built-in. There are also additional applications that can provide a simple representation of a project at minimal cost. Even the higher-end 3D rendering applications have advanced to the point where a project no longer needs a high-end budget to allow for a high quality pre-construction representation of the project.

What Rendering to Request

When considering what type of rendering to request, the cost of that rendering is secondary to the value it will provide to the project. A high quality representation will go a long way to answering a lot of questions about the scope and design of a project. When properly developed and presented, a rendering can serve to relieve fears and concerns about design decisions.  More importantly, it allows everyone to see the same vision. Every project has those “I didn’t think THAT was going to be there.” moments upon completion. Renderings can go a long way to preventing misunderstandings and fostering discussions for the project committees and congregation.

To accomplish this, renderings need to be presented early in the process. Typically early process renderings are low in detail and represent only the information that is being discussed at that time. Once all the major decisions have been made a very high quality can be produced, typically through a professional 3D artist, which shows all of the fine details.

The final rendering should be true to life with accurate lighting, materials, and architectural details for the best overall result. The purpose of a rendering is twofold: First, to provide an accurate impression of the design intent; and second to foster excitement for the project to help in fundraising.

Given the nature of 3D renderings, it can be very easy to reverse those two points and present something that is substantially more impressive than what is actually designed or intended, which can bring in funds, but results in a demoralized congregation when it is all said and done. Sometimes this can be simply an oversight, such as forgetting to include an A/C enclosure or exposed piping. (Which is why it’s important use an artist that understands the entirety of the process, and how much of an impact renderings can have.)

If a project has good support from the congregation, addresses necessities, and has a good overall design, you will have the support you need and details in the renderings will be properly understood. When you finally present to the congregations and ooo’s and ahh’s are heard, you’ll know your renderings were worth it.

Leave us a message below or email with comments/questions.

Voigt Creations is a member of the National Association of Church Design Builders(NACDB), whose goal is to serve the church as experts in the educational process, the architectural design and construction of church related facilities.

Consider More Than the Sound of That System

In a recent interview Doug Hood, President of CSD Group, Inc., offered a behind the scenes glimpse into considerations that influenced the design of our Fellowship Missionary Church project. On first glance AVL System design appears to be about noise, imagery and how bright you can make the stage, but Doug gives great insight into the broader thinking that characterizes CSD’s commitment to realizing the customer’s full vision.

Interviewer Roger Maycock describes Fellowship Missionary Church as, “a multi-cultural, multi-generational, mission-minded church that is deeply involved in the community, [taking] a contemporary approach to its worship services in an effort to bring greater relevance to its congregation.” (Click here to read the full article by Roger Maycock)

Importance of Aesthetics

CSD had the privilege of partnering with Fellowship on the construction of a new chapel facility. The space seats about 500 and is designed as a multi-purpose venue for concerts, special events, guest speakers, classes, weddings and funerals. Doug describes the considerations that went into the AVL design for the project

“For this installation, we wanted the system to be as streamlined as possible. That meant going with a self-powered setup so as to minimize cabling while eliminating the need to find storage for a rack of unsightly power amplifiers. Given these criteria, the WorxAudio TrueLine X5i-P installation line array and TL218SS-P subwoofers fit the specifications of the job perfectly.”

“The equipment’s built-in power amplifiers simplified the signal chain and the X5i-P’s single cabinet, multiple line array form factor gave us a very clean install, which was important to the design team. We purchased the arrays unfinished and the client custom painted the enclosures to match the décor of the room.”

Build Toward Your Vision

Doug’s comments bring out the importance of more than technological performance in the design of your congregation’s AVL system. Aesthetics and the consideration of the broader vision for the space make some determinations for you. In church settings it is important to remember that worship, community, and spiritual growth are all functions of experience not events. Technology serves the experience and should, in most cases, be transparent.

When planning your next AVL project consider a consultant that integrates more than technology, but considers all facets of your larger vision. Technology should enhance your experience, not distract from it.

CSD is a Corporate Sponsor of NACDB. Contact Doug Hood today to discuss your vision.

Used with permission, Custom Sound Designs, Inc. Indianapolis, IN. 2013. To view the original post, click here

Where did the Church Library Go?

Granger Community Church, DJ Construction

NACDB’s DJ Construction built this facility for Granger Community Church.

Where Did the Church Library Go?

Written By: Enos Yoder, DJ Construction, NACDB Member

So many changes have occurred in the structure of the church in the last decade. Not just physically like multi-site or mega churches, but also in a generational sense. Expectations and use of spaces are continuing to evolve, and it seems that in the shuffle, we might have lost the church library.

Every inch of usable space is vital for growing congregations. In many cases the church library occupies prime space – either the room is needed for another purpose or the walls need to come down for the remodeling project.

When was the last time you checked out a book from your church library?  The days of small, windowless rooms with shelves and shelves of donated books, cataloged and dusted monthly are coming to a close. With so many changes in technology and demand, it rarely makes sense that a growing congregation would be able to sustain that library structure.

So the question is: where do we put it, and what does it look like?


Where do we put it?

The library is intended to be a source of education and encouragement to people in all walks of life. But it cannot be that source if it never reaches the crowds. The challenge in today’s climate is to bring the books to the people, not the people to the books.

We should put the library where the people already are. Where do they gather before or after services? Are they technically savvy? Do you have a location that is open for more that just services?

What does it look like?

This answer will depend on your church style and building constraints. Many churches libraries have evolved to feel like a hybrid of Barnes & Nobel and Starbucks, with audio of the services available for purchase just minutes after the services end. They also have the latest in other types of media available for purchase and areas to sit and read while sipping a latte.

Some others have online stores, where you can purchase books, ebooks, CDs and download seminars and other audio.

There are also kiosks available for uploading book club information and payment options (much like kiosk tithing).

So perhaps the church library isn’t lost after all – it’s just changing to fit the demands and expectations of the ever-evolving congregation. And it still remains a source of source education and encouragement.


We want to hear from you!

We would like to know how your church library has evolved and what new techniques you are using to fit the demands of your congregation. How do you manage transition, volunteers, content management, storage, etc.? How do you “take it deeper” by providing a service?

Leave us a message below or email with comments/questions.

DJ Construction is a member of the National Association of Church Design Builders (NACDB), whose goal is to serve the church as experts in the educational process, the architectural design and construction of church related facilities.