Building churches for the future – Exploring trends in worship facilities

We have a large portfolio of church projects, having completed more than 50 church projects in the last decade alone. While churches continue to build, add on and remodel even in tough financial times, we have identified some trends over the last few years.

Balancing space needs and quality with budget restrictions is more important than ever before. The congregation is growing, but how big of a sanctuary do you need, and will it feel too big or too small depending on average attendance? Would you be better off adding space elsewhere and offering more services instead? No one wants to spend more than they have to for quality construction either. It’s a delicate balance. That’s why it’s important to get the whole team involved from the beginning. We recommend teaming with a general contractor, such as ourselves, and an architect right away because we can help you make some of these tough decisions. It’s absolutely fine to start with a big wish list. With our team’s expertise, we can help you make sound financial and programming decisions. We understand you need to be good stewards of the church’s money. We’ll help you get the very best value for your money.

Some of the trends we’re seeing are more emphasis on gathering spaces and multi-purpose areas. Churches are trying to reconnect with people and encourage interaction among its members. Two of the best times to do this are before and after a service. Many churches are building welcoming, open areas that foster this communication. They are adding comfortable furnishings for more of a living room feel, coffee shops and wide open spaces that can be configured differently for special events as needed.

Another trend we see is with the children and young adult areas. Children’s programming is no longer limited to just a typical classroom or daycare room. Churches are incorporating very interactive amenities into extremely colorful and lively environments. Some have theaters or music areas built into their children’s space. Others have indoor playgrounds. Congregations are also working much harder to keep the young adults engaged, and not just on Sundays. They are building high-tech gathering spaces with entertainment features like dance floors, gaming areas, lounges, etc. The goal is to make this a go-to spot for adolescents all week long.

Finally… gone are the days when a basic laptop/projector/screen set up was considered adequate. Everything in society is more technical now; religion is just keeping up with the times. Now we see a significant portion of the budget being spent on extremely advanced audio visual equipment. Sound experts are often consulted to achieve premium output in the new space. Churches are definitely “upping the cool factor.”

While trends come and go, there are some things that will never change. We at Rinderknecht truly understand how important it is to work as a team with your congregation and building committee. We pride ourselves in our quality service and ethical business practices. We’ll make you comfortable with the construction process, and even make it fun! If you’d like more information about our church experience or how to get your own project started, please email us via InMail or, or call 319-366-7781.

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