Finances are tight these days, even in growing churches. However, in the words of pioneer missionary Hudson Taylor, “God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s supplies.” So when the time comes to build a new facility to reach more people for Christ, we should anticipate receiving both God’s provision and His wisdom.
One of the most important ways God gives insight is through prayerful planning. The value of partnering with God in planning is woven throughout Scripture. In fact, more than 90 passages refer to planning. In this 3-part blog series, we'll highlight the blessings that come from the good planning for your future facility.
Planning helps clarify your thinking. Before you hire an architect or contractor, know what you can afford to pay right now for a building. Do not fall into the trap of, “If we build it they will come.” This may work in the movies. But when it comes to church buildings the reality is, “If we build it, they will visit.”
To determine what you can afford, start with how much cash you have saved. Then add the extra funds you can set aside, raise through a capital campaign, or save by holding down nonessential expenses. Then, and only then, calculate how much money you can safely afford to borrow to complete the entire project.
Do this before you put up a picture in the foyer or turn a shovel of dirt. Be sure that any loan amount you consider can be made with payments you can afford right now. One of the biggest reasons for our national economic crisis was millions of people making borrowing decisions that assumed real estate values and incomes would always go up. Bad thinking = Bad planning. Even in a ministry context that kind of assumption is not faith, it’s presumption. Your plan has a very high probablitity of succeeding if you plan with wisdom.