When beginning a church building project, the earliest and most essential step is assembling your team – both your internal committee and the external partners you’ll rely on.
Start with your pastor and consider key administrative staff and leaders of important ministries. Then, recruit from your congregation members with diverse expertise. In addition to construction, target those with financial, legal, and marketing, communications or fundraising backgrounds. A variety of knowledge and perspectives is intrinsically valuable, but professional members can also provide checks and balances, save costs, and ensure nothing is overlooked.
External team members
Your multi-faceted committee should then seek out professional service partners to begin the preconstruction, or construction planning, process.
There are many benefits of involving a contractor early. Contractors offer budgeting throughout the design process and value engineering (devising more affordable ways to accomplish an objective). If you wait to involve a contractor until construction documents are complete, you may discover that your project is over budget and waste valuable time and funds.
It’s also important to choose the right architect for your project. The size and resources of the firm can impact fees, flexibility, and efficiencies. You’ll also want to consider the importance of industry-specific expertise. For a larger sanctuary project, for example, the architect may need to understand the impact of design on sound during worship.
Of course NCI-Roberts Construction would love to be your first call, and to help you select an architect. But we’re happy to join an already established partnership, as well. There are many ways to contract among team members.
At NCI-Roberts Construction, we like to think of this team as a “Trinitarian partnership,” with relationships among the church, contractor and architect, and God at the center of it all. Our goal is to be a part of teams where all members of the partnership share the common goal of ministry.
In it for the long haul
Preconstruction typically takes between four and 18 months, not including time needed for fundraising. Add to that your construction timeline, and you can see that the team you assemble will need to work well together for an extended period of time. Choosing both internal and external team members who already have or can create positive, cooperative relationships can make all the difference.
The next Step
After you’ve assembled your team, you’ll need to assess the feasibility of your construction goal. Resources abound to help your team determine a realistic project size, whether you’ll need to borrow and/or fundraise, and more.
ANOTHER good place to start
If you are exploring a building project, consider downloading NCI-Robert’s A Building Committee’s Guide to Success, featuring 14 questions to start your internal team working together. It’s also a great reference for leaders still weighing the pros and cons of taking on a building project. If you don’t have all the answers, don’t worry. A building project can feel daunting, but we are here to help. Contact us today.