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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

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

Envision

More Than a Sunday Morning

May 11, 2017 — by Gino Beltran

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On this week’s Influence Podcast, Influence Magazine Senior Editor John Davidson talks with our VP of Development Advisory Services about maximizing your church’s space.

influence magazine

WHY IS THE CHURCH SPACE SO IMPORTANT?
WHAT IS THE LANDSCAPE OF CHURCH ARCHITECTURE TODAY?
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST WAYS A CHURCH CAN MAXIMIZE ITS CURRENT SPACE?

These are just a few of the questions John Davidson of Influence Magazine presented to our own Randall Coy this week.

From wells and cathedrals, Development Advisory Services, what environments communicate, and how your neighbors view your church, Randall offers critical advice for any ministry leader considering a church design-build.

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE CONVERSATION:

LISTEN NOW

Your site, your space, your facility – it’s a representation of who you are to your community. Offer your neighbors more than a Sunday morning experience – create space for them 7 days a week.

Randall Coy

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.

DesignWorship

2016 Solomon Award: Best Church Design for Youth and Children’s Spaces

November 28, 2016 — by Gino Beltran

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We’re thrilled to receive this year’s Solomon Award in Best Church Design for Youth and Children’s Spaces through a special project with Centerpoint Church in Murrieta, California. 

Six years ago, we were privileged to develop Centerpoint’s state-of-the-art worship center to fulfill Phase 1 of the project. Our Envision.Design.Build team built the 750-seat auditorium, while working closely with Centerpoint to ensure maximum value under a limited budget.

A 15,000 square foot youth and administration building followed this year, combining twin venues that junior high and high school ministries use. This seamless integration of space houses youth activities and after school programs, and includes an indoor/outdoor cafe. Above the combined youth building sits the new administrative offices, creating an interesting angle of three intersecting porches. 

church design

Playgrounds, courtyards, and lounge seating surround the new cafe, filling out a pavilion that will eventually also include prayer trails and gardens. This welcoming space can be seen while driving by on Washington Avenue, just southwest of the campus, inviting all in the community to come visit, relax, and enjoy one another.

We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with Pastor John Hansen, Pastor Kim Seebach, and Centerpoint in fulfilling their vision to provide a place of safety and refuge to the city of Murrieta.

You can read more on this project and our partnership with Centerpoint here.

BuildDesignWorship

2016 Solomon Award: New Campus Construction Design

November 21, 2016 — by Gino Beltran

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We’re honored to receive the 2016 Solomon Award in Traditional and Contemporary Church Building Design for New Campus Construction Design on Grace Place in Berthoud, Colorado.

After renting meeting places for several years, Grace Place was able to purchase several adjacent buildings in the heart of downtown Berthoud, as well as 19 acres of land to develop in the city’s center.  Founder Clay Peck had a vision to not only reach the “burned, bored and bypassed” in his city, but ultimately to create an intentional gathering place that could be utilized by the entire surrounding community. Through this multi-phase project, we were able to help Grace Place develop Trailhead Cafe, an outreach initiative and restaurant venue, as well as Cross Creek Commons — a $10 million development located at the U.S. Route 287 and Highway 56 interchange.

New Campus Construction Design
2016 Solomon Award: Grace Place

Our collaborative design for Cross Creek Commons includes a 26,000-square-foot, 600-seat auditorium with a rooftop deck (and spectacular view of the Rockies), Trailhead Café and bookstore, and a 9,000-square-foot children’s area called The Outpost. Completed construction will also include a 1,200-seat event center, youth facility, community garden and greenhouse, and an outreach facility to be used for food and clothing distribution, and more. The area will also be adorned with ponds, waterfalls, walking trails, and prayer paths.

To read more on this captivating project and partnership, visit Worship Facilities here

We loved this opportunity to work with Clay Peck on cultivating a gathering space for the city of Berthoud. We look forward to seeing all of the ways it will be utilized for years to come! And special thanks to 2 Fold Studio for their finishing touches on the development with way finding, children’s theming and interior signage.