Where Should a New Church Meet?

newchurch01.jpgEd Stetzer sent over his recent insights for Church Planters:

Church planters have a million issues to consider as they start a new church: what music style do we use, how do we let the community know about us, and when do we get started (to name just a few). Yet they may now be able to cross one more worry off their list—whether it hurts them to not meet in a "church" building.

This is something we had to think through as a church. Kaleo Church has met in a church, an office building, a theater, a warehouse and we are only a couple years old.  We've found that guests increased when we moved into the theater, but the downside it is hard to build community and do the family ministry. 

Our experience would agree with Stetzer's research, finding a church building is not important.  According to the survey of 1,200 people  asked, If you were considering visiting or joining a church, would knowing that the church does not meet in a traditional church building impact your decision?

  • It would not make any difference  73%
  • It would negatively impact my decision 19%
  • It would positively impact my decision  6%
  • Not sure      2%

Read the full article: Where Should a New Church Meet?

  • Rick

    May 30, 2007, 6:15 am

    This a great, insightful article. It’s encouraging for us as we plant a new church in our community. We started our church in a local coffee shop, held our first Sunday service in a hotel conference room, and now rent an office building. We’re seeking the unchurched in our community and I like to think that we’ve taken down some traditional walls that kept them away. Our main struggle though, is in finding a set up in these non-traditional buildings that allows for us to expand, i.e. separate classrooms, youth center, etc. We’re still looking for a balance in this area after just over a year as a new church.

  • Tom

    May 30, 2007, 1:11 pm

    Have you tired a movie theatre? Sometimes you can find that flexibility with the right theatre.

  • D. Goodmanson

    May 30, 2007, 1:28 pm

    Rick – A lot of this depends on your community. As Tom said, movie theaters allow for growth. We meet in a 20 theater complex so we can move up and down as needed and add theaters as we’ve added classrooms for kids.

  • Sean LeRoy

    May 30, 2007, 3:24 pm

    Good insight…
    I’ve found it helpful to talk to some people who are really in the know as far as vacant space – community / civic leaders, real estate folks, etc. They can really be a church planters best friend, and help us think out of the box.

  • cavman

    May 30, 2007, 6:25 pm

    Whether or not you “need” a church building also depends on the community.

    We had a few complaints that our building didn’t look like a church (whatever that is). We were in a storefront, in an area with lots of retirees. The families wanted to church that already had all the children’s ministry.

    If I could do the restart over again, I’d push for using the Christian school.

  • Sean LeRoy

    May 31, 2007, 7:55 am

    Were their complaints more to do with programs or the facilities, or both?
    What did they feel the storefront was missing – classroom space?
    Just wondering…