Alan Wildes

Alan Wildes

Should our church build now?

Originally posted, January January 26, 2010

I had a phone conversation with Richard Chancy of Cogun this morning.  Cogun is a design build firm with a national presence in the church construction market.  Richard called me about a conversation he had with a pastor of a local church.  The pastor was talking about the vision of his church as it pertained to ministry and how their current campus was facilitating that vision.  The pastor mentioned the possibility of some portable units to help fill the gap for some of their space needs.  Richard asked the pastor why portables instead of conventional building.  The pastor mentioned that his people were a little anxious about moving forward with a building project in the current economy.  Richard asked the pastor how their 2009 giving ended up and what their 2010 budget looked like.  The pastor responded that they met their 2009 budget and have passed a 2010 budget to reflect a slight increase.  Richard shared with me what he told the pastor.  He made some really good points I think we all probably know, but hearing him put it all together in one conversation made a positive impact on me. 

     1.  Interests rates have never been lower.  It is more difficult to borrow right now, but if your church is able to borrow then you should consider building.  Your church should be able to borrow money if you have little to no debt and your 2009 giving was strong and your projected 2010 budget is strong.

     2.  Building costs are down across the board.  Some materials are holding their pre-recession prices, but not many.  Labor and building material costs are definitely down.

     3.  Investors have historically looked at recessions as a financial opportunity.  Tough times often cause people to be creative and innovative.  Church leaders should look at the current economy as a time to be bold in their vision.

I have heard these points made in a variety of settings, but something about the conversation this morning made me step back and look at things again.  I agreed with Richard and his comments.  What do you think?

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