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


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.