Preparing to Build: Practical Tips & Experienced Advice to Prepare Your Church for a Building Program

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9780615138053: Preparing to Build: Practical Tips & Experienced Advice to Prepare Your Church for a Building Program

Today's church is essentially unequipped either experientially to enter into a building program. From concept to completion, the church will not undertake a more demanding and complicated task in terms of money, risk, and effort than it will in a building program. The proof of this can be found in the number of horror stories about church building programs. A building program needs to be run right the first time. Preparing to Build provides the process, guidelines and inspiration to execute a building program; and do so in a manner that will maximize effectiveness while protecting the pastor and other leaders. Customer Testimony: Preparing to Build was an incredible value, just a wealth of information. The truth and his experience jump off the pages. As a member of a small church we have many challenges. Steve's book explained them simply and prioritized them in a matter of fact format that starts the discussion down the right path.

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From the Author:

If you are looking for common sense and practical information to prepare your church for a building program, this may be the best investment you make in your church building program. This book has been used in the D.Min. program at Liberty University (see testimonials on website with same name as the book) and other Seminaries. I would highly recommend this book to any church contemplating a building program anytime within the next 3 years.  

From the Inside Flap:

Foreword 
In church ministry, the phrase "Building Project" can raise emotions of both excitement and dread. The excitement comes because a building project has the potential to grow a congregation's faith in God like nothing else can. They tend to dream about the ministry potential of the new space and what God is uniquely calling them to do for His kingdom. The congregation will often pray, sacrifice, and invest in the life and ministry of the church in such a way that the on-looking community can't help but notice. Yes, building projects are exciting.
While exciting, building projects can also evoke some serious emotional dread. They have the potential to be poorly led, put excessive financial strain on a congregation, and severely damage relationships. Too often, we hear the horror stories of churches that split and projects that never get completed. Building projects also can strain the pastoral staff! One statistic thrown at me when we were starting our program was that 83% of pastors leave their church within 12 months after the building project is completed, either because of personal burnout or the relational damage during the project. Maybe dread isn't a strong enough word...
Factually, pastors and their leadership teams often lack the "nuts and bolts" know-how of building programs. The concepts of budgeting for construction, reading architectural plans, leading capital campaigns, and working with contractors are foreign to many church leaders. This leaves us wide open to poor decisions; which could cost a congregation thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs, months of extra work, and compromised relational trust. 
That is why both Stephen Anderson and his book, Preparing to Build, are such a blessing to the Church. From personal experience, Stephen's insight and principles helped us realize the purpose God had in our building project. Stephen first laid out the realities of a building project, and then gave us practical and orderly steps to take. He showed our church leadership teams how to lead in such a way our people felt a strong sense of ownership in the project. He stressed cultural sensitivity and gave us latitude to make the process personal. Ultimately, he helped us discover the answer to the all-important question, "What is God calling us to build for the sake of vision fulfillment in the context of what we can afford?" And he did this while never letting us forget what we are about is truly is "Bigger than a Building!"
Like Jethro being a blessing to Moses, Stephen's insight, experience, and principles will be a blessing to so many pastors and church leaders who believe God is leading them to trust Him in a building project. Before entering into your building project, as a leadership team I urge you to prayerfully read and apply Preparing to Build to your unique ministry context. It will be the best first step you can take if God calls you to believe in him in for a building journey that lay ahead.
 
Dr. Paul W. Smith
Lead Pastor - Warner Alliance Church, Lewiston, ID

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