Count the Cost of Church Construction

One of the things that fails to concern me is the general lack of financial skills in the leadership of many churches. If I had a dollar for every time a church of 50-100 people contacted me wanting to build a church of a million dollars, I could make a payment or two on a church building of my own. I guess what brings this to mind is a call I had (again) today with a church of 55 people who wanted to build a 10,000sf multi-purpose church facility. A conservative price tag for the project was a million dollars and it had never occurred to the leadership that they could not afford it. When I told them the probable cost of the project there was stunned silence on the other end of the phone for several seconds.

In the hopes of setting the record straight for some other folks before they get themselves in trouble, let me share with everyone some basic idea of pricing. Excluding the price of the land or site development costs, a building project is going to cost $85 to $200 a square foot, and that is a church building of simple to moderate complexity and style. It only goes up from there. As of the date of this post, every $100,000 of mortgage debt will cost the church somewhere north of $800 per month, or $8,000 per million.

So, before your church decides to get into the design process, or put a concept before the church, it would be in everyone’s best interest to count the cost.


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