Top Six Space Priorities for a Congregation

Conversations about the office moves at Resurrection included the recognition that at Resurrection program space takes priority over office space. Here is my ranking in order from most important to least important space for a church.

1 – Missional
This is space which the congregation utilizes as part of being sent out into the world. It could be a food bank, collection area, storage for tools, Habitat for Humanity site, coffee shop or other public arena. This space may or may not be owned by the congregation.

2 – Worship
Depending on the congregation, this space or the missional space will impact the greatest number of people. Excellent worship is one of the essential components of a vital congregation. Space – including lighting, sound, and seats – can help facilitate a relevant, passionate and life-changing worship experience. Worship could be the same space as the missional space.

3 – Exterior / entrances
Exceptional exterior and entrance spaces provides a better opportunity for hospitality for the guest – first time or repeat. The exterior appearance can also facilitate a congregation’s efforts to be a blessing to neighbors.

4 – Program
Program space is necessary for teaching children and adults, meetings, and small groups. In program space, the nursery or space where children are cared for should have a higher priority than space for adults. Parents must be comfortable with a space to leave their children – this may make the decision as to whether a family continues to be a part of a congregation.

5 – Storage
Storage space can be integrated into some of the program space through cabinets, cupboards, etc. Storage for tables, chairs, and all facilities needs is critical for proper functioning of the rest of the spaces in this list.

6 – Office
I recognize that missional space has not been the top priority for any congregation of which I have been a part.

  1. What type of space did this list leave out?
  2. How would you prioritize space in a new building?
  3. What is the current priority of space in your congregation?

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

4 replies on “Top Six Space Priorities for a Congregation”

1. Kitchen space. 🙂

2. I would invert 3 and 4

3. I would say this order is what is currently happening at CoR: 2, 4, 1, 3, 6, 5

I could be wrong about the 1- I suppose that within the purpose of CoR it might be lumped with 2. Also, I am not completely aware of all of our ‘outside’ of worship missional stuff.

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I don’t think I can agree with office space being #6. It is an essential part of content and productive employees and is also a space for hospitality for parishioners and guests. Perhaps you have other space besides your office to counsel the troubled or welcome families in funeral prep or even do pre-marital counseling. But I want a place to do those things that has been given more attention than church storage.
Plus if my secretary is more productive because she can occasionally open a window–I am all for it!

deviant monk – Yes, kitchen space would be nice and I think that your suggestion on the switch between 3 and 4 is a good one. Also, I think your assessment of the current space priorities at Resurrection is accurate.

Amy – Touche. I do not have another space to meet with people of the congregation outside of my office. I hear your suggestion and agree.

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