“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Prov 27:5-6 (KJV).
by Thomas H Walker
In the book publishing industry there has arisen from the ashes of failed dreams. . . Self- Publishing companies. First time authors find it nearly impossible to be published by tradition publishers. There are some success stories with the traditional approach, but the failures out number the successes. All the commercial publishers will tell you that they receive thousands of manuscripts a month and they accept less than 4% for publication. This creates a need for the other 96% for which gave birth to the vanity press. The problem is that not everyone should write a book. Many Self-Publishing companies do not give an honest analysis of your book. The reason for this is that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They use false flattery coupled with “kisses of praise” to get you to pay them to publish your book. If it doesn’t sell, (and by the way the odds are great that you will not sell except to family and friends) the publisher loses nothing. All manuscripts submitted to a Self-Publisher are accepted for publication. There are a few exceptions, but very few. The author assumes all the risk.
How does this relate to your vision to expand your facilities? Sixty percent of all church building projects fail and only forty percent see their project to fruition. However, 70% of the 40% go over budget by thirty to fifty percent. In other words, out of ever hundred building projects only twelve complete construction in budget.
The conventional delivery system has intentionally structured their process so that the church assumes the maximum risk. The size and scope of the project is usually the responsibility of the Church’s leadership. It is imperative that a verification analysis be done to determine the church’s financial capability. The budget is what drives the size and scope of the project. This needs to be done by a professional firm that has the years of experience as well as the resources so church leaders can make sound decisions. Not every church that wants to build can or needs to. Maybe a more efficient use of their existing facility can eliminate the need for a building project, or can substantially reduce the size and scope of the new facility. An honest evaluation may dampen the dreams of the Leaders, but it can save them heartache and financial ruin. A critical analysis will separate the individual wants from the church’s needs. “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Prov 27:5-6 (KJV).
The best way to see the heart of a company is to measure the amount of risk they are willing to assume. There are many hazards to a construction project and confronting these risks as to who will be responsible, will bring to the surface any self-serving agendas. Finding a company to design and build your facility is not hard. Finding a company that is willing to have as much “skin in the game” as you, will be your biggest challenge. Remember, the company that has the ministry’s best interest in mind, will be up front with the realities of construction, regardless of how unpopular it may sound. These firms want their clients to be pleasantly surprised, as opposed to terribly disappointed. There accomplishments are measured by the number of successfully completed projects that came in on time and under budget. These results are the consequences of a company that has a heart for the ministry, not their bottom line.