Church Needs & Feasibility Study

One of the many challenges faced by churches when contemplating building programs is the fact that they don’t know what they don’t know.  This challenge is further exacerbated by not having an impartial and objective process by which to determine prioritized needs.  The problem with not knowing what you don’t know is you really think you do know what everything necessary.  The old saying, “ignorance is bliss” is true, but bliss can quickly turn to dismay as you get further into the building program

The purpose of a feasibility study is to provide the church with a qualified report of objective and quantifiable information, and actionable plan. A needs and feasibility study defines a plan that will define the scope, timing and budget of a building program, and is instrumental in maintaining unity in the body of Christ. The needs and feasibility study will ask and answer the correct questions to determine the most feasible of the possible options that, within the actual financial ability of the church, best meet the needs of the ministry, the congregation, and the community.

While no two churches have all the same answers to the question, there are general questions almost every church needs answered:
  • Do we need to build, why is building the right thing to do.
  • Why is the selected church floor plan the right plan for this church?
  • What do we need to build and how was this determined from our needs?
  • What can we afford to build and how will we pay for the building program?
  • When is the right time to build with consideration to need and financial ability?
  • Where to we need to build and why is that the right decision?

In other words, the church’s needs and feasibility study will answer the question oh “how do we know what we need to build?”

If you have read Insights on Achieving a Positive Church Construction Experience, you already know a few specific benefits to the church from a feasibility study; the bottom line being that churches which did feasibility studies tended to have better outcomes.  When you are talking about projects that are commonly in the $750,000 to $2M price range, a better outcome is not only of great importance, but it has a very real and substantial dollar value.

More information on church needs and feasibility study (including additional resources):