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DesignWorship

2017 Solomon Award: Best Church Building Design

October 12, 2017 — by Gino Beltran

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We’re honored to receive the 2017 Solomon Award in Best Traditional and Contemporary Church Building Design on Crosspointe Church in Cary, North Carolina.

Solomon Award Crosspointe Church

Nearly 100 years ago, churches were rarely just a Sunday house of worship – they were known for building hospitals, schools, universities, community centers and more that served their surrounding neighborhoods. At Visioneering, we’ve been honored to partner with many churches over the years who desire to bring some of that history back into the present with multi-purpose facilities that serve the community beyond their four walls. When we first heard that Crosspointe Church in Cary, North Carolina was looking for community solutions rather than just a building, we couldn’t wait to come alongside.

In the “triangle” area of North Carolina between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, population was soaring – and with it, a surge of issues among local youth. More teenagers were getting into trouble, and more children were becoming obese at an alarming rate. The leadership at Crosspointe wanted to provide positive resources for local youth but knew they wouldn’t be as effective on their own. So, they began to develop partnerships with other organizations in the area, including the YMCA.

The location of Crosspointe would also be a key advantage in engaging people in the area. Sitting at the trail head that leads down to Jordan Lake, Crosspointe’s site was a destination for anyone walking, hiking, or biking up the trail from the lake. We began to dream together – what if those people could join a Zumba or Crossfit class when they got to the church? What if youth found afterschool programs that were actually worth the walk?

In order to provide a seven-day-a-week experience for the community, we re-designed Crosspointe’s existing spaces and expanded with reuse and activity in mind. There is a full kitchen that will be leased out by a local baker, a coffee house open daily, trails, and recreational areas throughout the campus for physical activities. Even the lobby itself was designed to house everything from exercise classes to MOPS groups. And of course, the 650-seat gymnasium that houses Sunday worship can now additionally be used for events throughout the community.

Solomon Award Crosspointe Church

The next step in completing Crosspointe’s updated facilities was to add additional space that would house a YMCA. The YMCA, open for membership, provides another 1,400 seats for Crosspointe’s services. The gym doubles as a worship center, complete with projection scoreboards that can turn on and off, and thus transform the room. The YMCA also uses Crosspointe’s nursery and Pre-Kindergarten rooms for their daycare services, thus greatly reducing the amount of square footage that would have been required with two separate building projects.

That’s not the only thing unique about the YMCA addition on Crosspointe’s campus. Thanks to the creative mind behind Crosspointe’s Administrative Pastor, TJ Terry, we were able to take the trees we harvested from the expansion site and use them as building materials on the YMCA – carrying the theme of reuse throughout both the old and new buildings. At Visioneering, we embrace every opportunity to redefine the culture around us to a movement of repurposing, and we were thrilled to partner with a leadership team that values the same responsible design.

Solomon Award Crosspointe Church

When you step foot onto Crosspointe’s new campus, the lofted ceilings and natural design elements invite you to take a deep breath and feel the endorphins – as though exercising in the fresh air. From the open concrete floors meant to withstand a lot of activity, to the hanging ropes used as seating area dividers, reflections of nature brought inside can be found throughout the buildings’ materials.

As part of our ministry at Visioneering, we feel called to do everything we can to help our church partners answer the tough questions that come along with building, and move forward with clarity and confidence towards greater Kingdom-impact. With Crosspointe, we focused on three main ideas:

1) Story – Who is their community, and what are they passionate about?

2) Soil – What is unique about their city and region?

And, 3) Stewardship – What are the next steps we can take towards their goals without exhausting their ministry budgets?

Crosspointe Church in Cary, North Carolina is a beautiful example of churches being for their
communities again, every day of the week.

DesignWorship

Want to Catch More Fish? Put Bait on the Hook

October 10, 2017 — by Tim Cool

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If you were driving down a road in your town and saw this building, would you be intrigued?  Would you want to check it out? As you look at that picture, who do you think this building is meant to attract? Who was the primary target to get sucked in by the design and amenities?

bait

If you said MEN… then you would be correct. But not just any man… a mid “thirty-something” man.  And why would a church focus on that age group and gender?  It is actually pretty simple for the leadership at Northside Christian (designed by Visioneering Studios).

For many men, there is too much talk at churches about love, surrender, “feelings,” and a whole host of other words and songs that are just not appealing. Northside Christian wanted to change that, by creating a culture and environment where men feel comfortable enough to not just attend, but to also bring their families. They became intentional about communicating a story and message to the target they wanted to attract.  They made the conscious decision to put “bait on the hook,” as they fulfilled their calling to be fishers of men.

The attractional elements of the physical campus were intended to be appealing to those they were trying to reach…just like the worm, lure, or minnow, are on a fishing hook.  If you go fishing for bass, you would not leave the bait at home.  Yes, it’s possible to catch a fish on a bare hook, but it is less likely, much harder, and far less rewarding.  So why do we think it’s wrong to put “bait” on the hook when we are trying to attract certain demographics? While I am in complete agreement that the Holy Spirit will move in a person’s heart to take action, God also gave us eyes, ears, noses, and other sensory attributes that He uses to influence us.

 

Here are 3 ways Northside Christian designed an environment to attract its target demographic:

  1. Know your materials.  With an understanding that men are more attracted to texture than color, Visioneering worked with Northside Christian to incorporate a variety of materials into the design of their campus. From the stone and wood grains to the exposed metal, every material was carefully chosen to make men feel more comfortable on campus.

bait

 

2.  Get creative with your concepts. Northside Christian and Visioneering wanted to tell the story of Northside Christian’s calling to become fishers of men through its design and architecture. To represent this mission, they built a pond for the public in front of their main building… and stocked it with fish!

bait

 

3.  Add amenities. Besides the “fishing hole,” Northside Christian was deliberate in the location of its exterior public spaces.  Even if you are not interested in fishing, there is a place to sit outside by a gentle waterfall to read. The playground is also open to the public, and the outside sitting areas and tables are inviting to anybody just looking for a place to hang out with others.

bait

 

Are you ready to go fishing for your community?  Is your church more interested in “cleaning” fish or catching them?  If it is the later, make sure you have the right bait.

Tim Cool
Chief Solutions Officer
704.507.8672
@tlcool

DesignWorship

Casino Church (Wait, What?)

September 11, 2017 — by Jody Forehand

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On my way out of Phoenix, AZ into San Diego, CA on Wednesday evening, I looked out the window of my American Airlines Airbus 321 and saw a site that looked like a big mega-church. I wondered if it was possibly a project by Visioneering Studios, since we design and build churches across the country. As we cruised by at several hundred miles per hour, I snapped a couple of pictures out the window, hoping to research the site after I got to the hotel in San Diego.

The site was a bit remote, not unlike a lot of other suburban megachurches that often have to go to the outskirts of larger cities to find enough acreage to house their campuses. This building site was right off the main highway for easy access and great visibility (another trait churches look for in selecting a site). It was surrounded by undeveloped desert scrub brush and not much else, but residential rooftops were nearby. Growing churches often seek to get out in front of the suburban expansion coming their way that will one day put them right in the middle of the community. This site had huge parking areas and the design of the building included a covered drop-off, a cylindrical tower “entry” element, and an interesting and creative layout that was reminiscent of churches we’ve designed at Visioneering Studios.

While I was too far away and passing by too fast to see any facade details or logos, I was quite certain it was a church, and I was interested to find out which one it was and if we had designed it. Later that evening, I got to my hotel room and popped open my MacBook. I was able to trace my flight path and find the “mystery” church site. As I scrolled the map east from the airport and zoomed in on the site to find out the name of the church, another name popped up instead… Casino Arizona!

casino

Wow. That was not what I was expecting at all. I was surprised, but shrugged it off and quickly forgot about it as I tried to get to sleep. The next day passed, full of great meetings with a multi-site church about changes to some of their campuses, and then it was time to head home. Leaving San Diego this morning, I connected in Phoenix again, and as the Boeing 757 raced skyward toward Charlotte, I noticed that we were backtracking along the same route I flew in on a couple days prior. I now saw the casino out the window again. This time, I already knew what it was and that’s when I had an unexpected and troubling question pop into my head: What does it say about the churches we work with, and the designs we create, that they can be confused with a casino?

Woah! My initial reaction was negative and surprising, even to myself. I thought, “Have church facilities become ‘secularized’ to the point that they look like ‘sinful’ casinos?” That’s a charge often hurled at mega-churches by smaller, more traditional churches and individuals who look condescendingly at the broad-brush caricature that culture has painted of megachurches and their “excess.”

Having worked with churches for 15 years, I’ve learned that there will always be some bad apples out there that people can point to that fit that mega-church caricature. It’s sad that this is true, but for every bad apple I have seen or heard about, there are hundreds of others that are fulfilling the Great Commission, connecting with their communities, and sending people and resources to the ends of the earth, serving the hopeless and helpless.

I’m not one who tries to over-spiritualize every event in my life, and I don’t audibly hear the voice of God speak to me. I often wish I did. But those who hear that still, small voice are often the ones who have changed the world in the most incredible ways through sacrificing their own personal comfort and ending up in places I never even knew existed.

As the plane accelerated upward and eastward leaving the casino behind, inside I felt what may have been the prompting of the Holy Spirit as another emotion and another question suddenly bubbled up. Maybe it was because on my flights this week I brought along Mark Batterson’s new book, “Whisper,” which is about learning to be still and listen for God’s voice in your life, but the new emotion I felt was joy. The new question I asked myself was, “If a casino, whose sole purpose is to take your earthly treasures from you, can use creative architectural design to develop a place people want to go to, why can’t a church ‘redeem’ this type of engaging design and use it as ‘architectural evangelism’?” Externally focused, life-giving churches will use whatever means and methods are necessary, short of sin, to reach others for Christ because they understand and fully embrace the eternal consequences that are at stake.

I long ago realized that arguments between believers about things like pipe organs vs. electric guitars and pews vs. theater seats are all spiritually-neutral, personal preferences. Jesus never sang from a hymnal while wearing a suit and tie and sitting in a pew, as light filtered through the stained-glass windows and someone played “Amazing Grace” on the organ. He also never sang a Chris Tomlin song from words on a screen while wearing shorts and a t-shirt, sitting in a theater seat sipping a latte while haze and moving lights created the ambiance for the shredding, electric guitar solo. Neither method changes the eternal truth of the gospel message, so as long as that truth is being preached and lived out by that church, the rest is just following Paul’s example.

We’re all moved to worship, and drawn to a deeper relationship with Christ in various ways, which is why I believe that Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 that he would “become all things to all people so that in all ways he might save some” is still applicable to these discussions about personal preferences today.

So now I don’t feel bad that I mistook a casino for one of our church projects. I know that this style of facility has been used in amazing ways across the country to reach millions for Christ, and I’m glad to have played some small part in that through my work at Visioneering. I also know that this style of building is not for everyone, and not for all time. Things change. Large mega-campuses may never completely go away, but there’s been a trend in the church market away from these over the last few years toward smaller, community-based, multi-site locations. If I were to fly over one of these smaller church projects we’ve designed, I may mistake it for a great restaurant, or retail shop, or public park, or I may not be able to distinguish it at all, and that’s okay. As long as we are designing churches as engaging spaces that are outward-focused and serve others while reflecting the beauty and creativity of our Creator, I’m good with whatever form that takes.

DesignWorship

Do You Know the Health of Your Church Facility?

July 28, 2017 — by Tim Cool

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church facility

How often do you get a physical? For the past 20+ years, I have gotten one every year. The poking, the prodding, the blood work… you know the drill. There is critical bench-marking done during this annual ritual including comparisons from the previous procedures, as well as discussions about “best practices” for a person my age, height, and family history. I learn things I need to work on for the upcoming year and behaviors I need to improve, add, or terminate (like weight… sodium…fatty food). This is all meant for my good and longevity — none of the suggested changes are done to hurt me or shorten my life span, but rather to extend my life and productivity. Besides, we are the temple of God, right?

So, what about a “physical” for our ministry facilities (the other temple)? Are you:

  • Spending too much on utilities?
  • Investing enough to keep up with the natural rate of deterioration?
  • Properly staffing for your facility needs?

If  you cannot answer these definitively, then you need more information. At Cool Solutions Group, we’ve developed a Church Facility Evaluator that we’d like to offer to you for FREE. This simple tool will provide you with a snapshot of some key indicators associated with facility operational costs.  This 2-3 minute evaluation will give you some real-time data based on national averages as to whether you are GOOD TO GO, or in need of some help.

Don’t wait… get started HERE!

 

Tim Cool is founder of Cool Solutions Group, but more importantly, the husband to Lisa and father to 20 year old triplets. His passion is serving churches to be intentional with their facilities… and he loves hiking in the NC Mountains.

BuildDesignEnvisionWorship

Behind the Build: Centerpoint Church

June 16, 2017 — by Gino Beltran

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LOCATION: Murrieta, CA
DIVISIONS: ENVISION, DESIGN, BUILD
SERVICES: Master Planning, Architecture, Interior Design, & Construction

Centerpoint Church

 

Last year we were honored to receive the Solomon Award in Best Church Design for Youth and Children’s Spaces with the second phase of construction with Centerpoint Church in Murrieta, California.  Pastor John Hansen and his team invited us to envision a property where families, high schoolers, and junior high schoolers could gather and have a sense of belonging, as a tribe of their own.

The result was a state-of-the-art, 750-seat worship center, and a 15,000 square foot youth and administration venue, housing youth activities, after-school programs, and an indoor/outdoor cafe. We were able to take Pastor John’s concept for the space, and bring it to the next level of purpose, all while working within Centerpoint’s budget.

 

We have a place now that we are able to use for a dynamic explosion of ministry that’s fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit.

–Pastor John Hansen

At Visioneering Studios, we can’t wait to see how Centerpoint’s campus continues to evolve into a safe and welcoming place for families in the Temescal Valley. Take a further look below Behind the Build of Centerpoint Church:

 

 

Worship

A Container for Community – A Building’s Purpose

June 8, 2017 — by Drew Tilton

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When does a building become more than a pretty facade?

a building's purpose

Note from the editor:  Drew is the new Youth Pastor at my church, Mountain View Church, in San Juan Capistrano, CA.  When I read this from him this past weekend, I felt that it needed to be shared beyond our church’s email list.  His heart for the new facility is exactly the reason why Visioneering Studios does what it does.  It is not just about the building — it’s about what Jesus is doing inside the building, in the community, and in the lives of the people who attend a service or an event.  Although we may not be doing the work for this new facility, we are fans and celebrate the work being done by MVC.  These are the types of servant leaders we love to work with.

 

What is impressive about a cup? It’s a cylinder with the top-end open and the bottom closed. Sure, one can be styled to look ornate, perhaps even to attract some praise. But no matter how beautiful it is, a bottomless one is of little value — a cup exists to hold something. A house is the same. There are certainly incredible mansions and beautiful dwellings, but if one sits empty, is it truly meeting its intended potential? Its purpose, first and foremost, is to serve as a container for what is inside. When a cup is best fulfilling its purpose, it is an afterthought to what it contains.

 

At one time, I was part of a church with a beautiful campus (that’s right, not a building — a campus). In fact, I am not sure I’ve seen one more incredible. Often people visiting would comment, “Oh, what we could do with a campus like this!” or, “If we could just have a building like this one…” I wasn’t always sure why, but often these comments would rub me the wrong way. It wasn’t that they were completely off-base. It was an incredible space that I often took for granted, but somehow, I knew that they were missing it.

 

What was special about that place had never been its outside shell (as incredible as it was). Rather, it was the space it created. Space where people walked me through the best and worst moments of my life (and everything inbetween). Space that fostered a community that produced my best friends, my pastors, my mentors, and my wife. Space where we all worshiped Jesus together. Space that allowed me to cry with, shout at, and be transformed by Him. It was a space where I grew, ministered, experienced breakthrough, experienced freedom, was baptized, was married, where my brother and I baptized my dad, and mourned the loss of my dad. I know that those buildings were made most beautiful by the stories played out inside of them.

 

The Purpose Of Our New Container
As I thought about our new building and the kind of space I desire it to be, I reached a realization.

 

A building that finds its greatest honor in itself, is an empty cup searching for purpose.

 

It is a house that has never been a home. Instead, a building, like all other containers, is meant to find fulfillment in what it holds. Don’t hear me wrong — this building and its design are of the utmost importance. We need a place that is designed with community in mind and Christ at the heart. A space that communicates God’s embrace of the wandering and the weary. A container to hold a community of people striving to love God and love others well. We want it to be a place where we feel comfortable to laugh with friends, cry with family, pray for the hurting, welcome the lost, and worship the Lord our God.

 

I pray that this container is God’s pouring-out-point for his Spirit on every kind of person. A place where our sons and daughters will prophesy, our young people will see visions, our elderly will dream dreams. May it be a cup that does its job so well that it is merely the backdrop to the incredible work that God will do in it. Not just on Sundays, but every day, in new and creative ways.

 

And like no other cup, the contents of this container are intended to overflow. We pray that God will send the love incubated here out across all of our cities. That the freedom found here be sent like shockwaves throughout our lives and the lives of those we encounter. And that His kingdom come and will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

 

A Beautiful Humble Purpose
My hope in communicating the humble purpose of our new space is not to devalue it at all! Rather, I hope that in this we can value it all the more. That we would see beyond the external beauty that it will undoubtedly have, and look more to the internal beauty that it will undoubtedly hold.

 

So as we approach the excitement of our new building, I hope this will shape our enthusiasm and vision for the future. I envision a space that will be the stage for Jesus to declare good news to the poor, deliverance for the captive, sight to the blind, and freedom for the oppressed.  I pray for a cup that overflows with the beauty of God’s Church. It is in this that we will find that our new house has become our home.

 

Drew Tilton is the Youth Pastor at Mountain View Church in South Orange County, CA. Drew has his Masters degree from Talbot School of Theology and has many years experience in youth ministry. He and his wife Marissa enjoy hanging with good friends, sports, and street dance battles. Get in touch with him at drew@mvc.life

BuildDesignEnvisionWorship

Behind the Build: The Father’s House

April 19, 2017 — by Gino Beltran

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Location: Vacaville, CA
Divisions: Envision, Design, Build
Services: Master Planning, Architecture, Interior Design, Construction

the father's house

In January of 2016, The Father’s House in Northern California celebrated the Grand Opening of Phase 1 of our partnership, which included a brand new auditorium and children’s building. Over the last 19 years, this powerful community has grown from just a few people in a living room to now three campuses, including Napa, East Bay, and the newest — Vacaville.

Pastor Dave Patterson had a vision for the Vacaville location to take people on a mindful journey of God’s presence, no matter where they went on campus. “When we started this project, we had a verse in Exodus 33 that says, ‘God don’t lead us up from here without Your presence.’ Visioneering took that verse from Exodus and created a storyboard that took us from the Wilderness, right into the Promised Land, through the Red Sea with a Cloud of Glory — all of which was represented architecturally. It was quite enjoyable watching that process come to fruition.”

From the flaming “Pillars of Light” to the Children’s Ministry area called “The Passage,” every detail incorporated into the design and architecture of The Father’s House helps tell the story of God leading His people out of Egypt from a life of slavery to a life of freedom. It’s Pastor Dave’s desire that every person stepping on campus would feel the same hope of God’s chosen people in that story of Exodus.

Additionally, for the first time ever in TFH’s 19-year history they have a campus that’s publicly exposed — allowing them not only to thrive and grow in the area, but further their vision of reaching more people who are far from God.

“Since we’ve been in this new auditorium, we’ve seen close to 1,000 people added to this location. We’ve had people come who have never attended church, and we’ve been able to do some nights of worship and events at a brand new level.”

At Visioneering, we can’t wait to continue our partnership with Pastor Dave’s team into Phase 2 of the Vacaville campus, and keep revealing the God-story their community has to offer. Take a further look below Behind the Build of The Father’s House:

 

LeadershipWorship

Never Say Thank You

March 31, 2017 — by Dave Milam

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What if I told you that a leader should never say thank you to his team? You probably wouldn’t believe me, would you?

thank you

Even if you grew up with deadbeat parents, you were probably taught to parrot the words “thank you” every time somebody did something nice for you. Every kind word and every Christmas gift required a gracious “thank you” as payment for services rendered. After a while, those words become a part of our regular, mindless vernacular.

But have you ever stopped to think about what the words “thank you” imply? Think about it. In the most subtle way, “thank you” suggests that I appreciate what you just did for me. “Thank you” infers that you just did me a favor.

So, I guess “thanks” is perfect if you someone gift-wraps a new sweater for you. But if you’re a church leader, do you really want your team to believe that they’re doing you a favor by volunteering– that their service was for you? Wouldn’t you rather have your team serving God and be driven by the mission of the church than helping you do your stuff?

Look how Paul shows his appreciation for his team in Romans 1:8 when he says:

“I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you.”

In other words, “God has done me a favor by putting you in my life.” Or maybe, “I am so grateful that God has put you on my team; I’m so blessed to be serving with you.” Paul’s language is so inclusive.

So next time, instead of saying “thanks,” use language that conveys gratitude for the gift of serving or working beside exceptional people. Your volunteers are not doing you a favor. And they’re not serving you.

BuildDesignEnvisionWorship

Get Your Fields Ready

March 3, 2017 — by Chad Stafford

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Blog written by Chad Stafford, Lead Pastor of Coastal Church in Daphne, AL.

Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.
Proverbs 24:27 (NIV)

I spent 2 years of my life traveling and interviewing the top churches in the country about what kind of building we should build. We finally designed it, had an architect draw it, and created our master plan for all of our property. The only thing was, I never felt a peace about building this thing.

My wife and I planted Coastal Church in Daphne, Alabama 4 years earlier and it had taken off like a rocket. We had three Sunday services running over 1000 people every weekend, and looking to add a fourth service to handle the growth. Everything in my head said that a building was the next thing, but I just couldn’t get it in my heart. I prayed and fasted for 2 years for direction, but I had no clear direction from the Holy Spirit to proceed.

Then one day, while sitting in my recliner, a thought entered my mind: “What if we built all of our toys first?” What if we build something that celebrates the beautiful Gulf Coast and invites the community to come and do life together with us? When I said that, the direction from God that I sought for 2 years came and creativity began to flow. My wife loved the idea (always ask your wife — she will tell you if your idea is idiotic). Our trustees loved it, and our lenders actually said to me, “Chad, if you guys do this, it will change the way people build churches everywhere.”

As Pastors, we are taught in seminary and Bible college to build our sanctuary first. It went against all of my training to build a mile-long walking trail, a baseball field, 2 basketball courts, 2 playgrounds, a 5,800 square foot coffee house, and a splash pad first! Before I presented this to everyone, I asked for a scripture that I could stand on and God, who is rich in mercy, provided.

get your fields ready

“Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that build your house” (Proverbs 24:27). Upon reading this, I laughed and whispered through my tears, “Yes sir, Jesus!”

Not only were we able to build all of this by God’s grace, we now have 5 campuses with over 2,000 people attending each weekend. We are still packed and adding services again very soon, but the same God who led us here will show us the next step to take, and the next seed to sow for our future. In the meantime, we are having the time of our lives!

Worship

4 Rules to Curating An Intuitive Guest Experience

February 24, 2017 — by Dave Milam

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Even if your church building may need a complete overhaul, here are 4 ways you can begin to curate a better guest experience now.

What would it look like if this coming Sunday morning, your church’s entire Guest Services Ministry Team didn’t show? Imagine no neon-vested minions directing traffic or overcaffeinated greeters guiding guests. I wonder if the scene might border on apocalyptic, with panicked pastors pacing the hallways, pandemonium in the parking lot and zombie-eyed parents with kids in tow left to fend for themselves?

 

What if you were forced to rely solely upon your facility’s design to guide each guest?

 

Think about it: could every visitor flawlessly navigate an entire Sunday morning experience intuitively or would the self-guided experience result in a blundered debacle? And what happens to those people, often first-timers, who want to navigate your building on their own and manage to skillfully evade your welcome team each week? You know it happens.

 

Here’s the cold hard truth: if newcomers are unable to intuitively navigate your facility, it indicates you’ve got a huge design problem on your hands. Because good design always makes usability more intuitive. And intuitive environments empower great guest experiences.

 

Often, churches use their guest services ministry as a duct tape to patch the holes of defective design. It’s true– your building may need a complete overhaul. But maybe you could begin to curate a better guest experience now by making your building a little more intuitive.

 

Here are four of the most basic rules to curating a more intuitive guest experience:
1. Point the Way

Thoughtful “way-finding” and quality signage is absolutely the best way to curate a more intuitive experience. Clear and strategic directional signs that guide and move people through ministry environments will empower guests to take control of their own spiritual experience from day one.

Guest Experience
Eastside Christian Church – Anaheim, CA

Keep in mind that “way-finding” doesn’t always demand a huge ugly directional sign mounted to the wall. Sometimes, the best label is a strong branded space that intuitively directs your guests. For example, your main entry door should be unmistakable – no sign required. Four-year-olds should intuitively know where they belong and be naturally drawn to your kids’ environment.

Guest Experience
Eastside Christian Church – Anaheim, CA

 

2. Simplify The Options

Some of the best apps on your phone only contain 2-4 buttons on your screen at a time. The app may organize the library of a billion songs, yet there are still only 2-4 choices available. Simplicity is what makes complexity usable.

 

The parking lot is a great place to begin thinking about simplifying the user’s options. Add a dozen orange cones to reduce a driver’s turn choices and forge a unified traffic flow (and for the record, the need of traffic cones could indicates poor parking design).

Guest Experience
Calvary Baptist Church – St College, PA

 

3. Develop Ministry Districts

Another way to simplify complexity is to consolidate what you have. Think about it, grocery stores group all of the dairy, meat and bread into their own individual districts. It’s what makes finding hamburger so intuitive. Home improvement stores have both plumbing and painting districts. It’s even likely that your socks and jeans don’t live in the same dresser drawer but have their own “districts.”

 

If you want to make your building more intuitive, then your ministries should also be grouped into similar districts throughout your building. For example, children should all be together in their own secure district that is visually differentiated from all the other parts of the building. Additionally, there should be a youth district, worship district, admin district and connecting space.

Guest Experience
Calvary Baptist Church – St College, PA
4. Favor Clarity Over Creativity

Guests crave simplicity and clarity. So, for heaven’s sake, make sure the names of your environments actually describe what they are. As a guest, I just want to know where the coffee is and where to drop off my kids. So when you use the greek word for “coffee” to name coffee corner or some creative nonsensical jib jab to brand your kids check-in, it’s not helpful (even though it may be super creative).

Guest Experience
Bayside Church – Roseville, CA

Know where to get creative and where to use common sense design patterns. And when it comes to creating intuitive spaces, always favor clarity over creativity.