Commitment Is The Glue For Success


During the interviewing process, you will probably hear Architectural and General Contractor firms defend their delivery system by warning you that the Design/Build Full Service Delivery System is like “putting all your eggs in one basket.” The reason they make this claim is that the A/GC system creates a strict separation of responsibilities between the key principle players. On the other hand, the D/B system creates a team mentality among the key principle partners. The A/GC system sees the design and construction as separate processes. The D/B sees it as one process. When you look deeper into their statement, they are actually saying, “You don’t want a team working together but working separately; also, you want limited commitments from the A/GC in case you need to end the relationship.”

When you sign a contract with a stand-alone Architect, you thereby limit the involvement of the Architect. When the Architect is done with design, you will sign another contract with a General Contractor who will then sign multiple contracts with sub-contractors. The church is convinced that signing multiple contracts with the Architect and General Contractor reduces the risk. However, what you have really done is to reduce the level of commitment from the key principles, because their responsibilities are confined to specialized areas of the project. This creates tunnel vision as opposed to a total project understanding.

The church is convinced that by separating the principle players, it will avoid “having the fox watch the hen house.” In addition, with the firms working on limited terms “in office,” there is never time to form a cohesive bond among all parties. Again, this working environment creates a division of responsibilities among the principle players in each discipline, triggering negative influences on your building project schedule and the final project cost. Some negative consequences are finger pointing and adversarial relationships. F.W. Dodge states that 70% of building projects go over budget by 30% to 50% and the main reason for this is due to separation. Church leaders need to read the Architect’s AIA agreement, as well as the GC contract with a very critical eye. These contracts place the majority of the risk with the owner.

A Full Service Design / Build company encourages commitment and does so without apologies. Every ministry that decides to expand their facilities to grow God’s kingdom is entering into a spiritual battle. The Design / Build process focuses on building a dedicated team of professionals that work with the Church’s Building Committee. Building a team first is the only way to create a united and committed front line of defense. In every endeavor, the degree of success and victory is in direct correlation to the level of commitment in the team members. Commitment is the glue for success.

The Need Always Comes Before The Money


By Thomas Walker

Growth is vital to a church, and for the membership to grow there has to be adequate facility space. Typically, the impetus for a building program happens when the church has out-grown their facilities. If ignored, the lack of room will cause people to go elsewhere to worship. Irreversible damage is inevitable when the lack of adequate ministry space reaches critical mass. Many church leaders resolve space limitations by implementing “Band-Aid” solutions. By adding more services or bringing in mobile units, you can maintain and even increase membership temporarily. The main reason for these interim fixes is that the need always comes before the money. Many times Church leaders have said that they need to expand but the funds are not available.

Every ministry I have personally worked with over the past 13 years experienced the same financial challenges in the beginning. Those ministries that successfully expanded their facilities did so by deciding on who would provide them with professional assistance. Understanding the different delivery systems available and the importance of church specialists will help churches in selecting the right firm. When the right firm is selected, 80% of the battle is won.

A firm that specializes in church design and construction will first ascertain the programmable space requirements, church’s financial affordability, and a list of specific project goals. Tools, such as a color rendering, fly-around, master site plan, are needed to raise money. The purpose for these tools is to maintain unity among the members as well as to instill a sense of ownership in the project. A sense of proprietorship is what motivates members to give financially. Without the proper graphics to cast the vision into the hearts and minds of the church members, the action from the leadership is futile. A successful capital campaign is the result of writing “the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he [They] may run that readeth it” (Habakkuk 2:2). Furthermore, it is Biblical to develop a plan of action, “For which of you desiring to build a tower, doth not first sit down and count the cost, whether he have wherewith to complete it? Lest haply, when he hath laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all that behold begin to mock him, saying, this man began to build, and was not able to finish” (Luke 14:28-30).

Any ministry needing to build should to seek counsel. “Where there is no counsel, purposes are disappointed; But in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:22). These professionals will provide a roadmap that gives precise directions to the ministry leadership. Strategic planning identifies the size, scope, and budget for the project and its feasibility.