Church Planning Principles

Articles pertaining to our Church Planning Principles

BETHANY BAPTIST CHURCH, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – In the late 1980’s Dimensional Dynamics, Architects and Planners had the pleasure to work with Bethany Baptist Church with the planning and design of a new Christian Education and Administration addition to their existing Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall. Please enjoy taking a look at this project constructed in 1989.

Rendering of Proposed Addition

Rendering of Proposed Addition

Lower Entrance Level of Proposed Addition

Lower Entrance Level of Proposed Addition

Main Level of Proposed Addition

Main Level of Proposed Addition

ABEC Annual Report 1990 featuring Bethany Baptist Church

ABEC Annual Report 1990 featuring Bethany Baptist Church

View of the Existing Facility prior to Construction

View of the Existing Facility prior to Construction

Rear view from Parking of New Addition

Rear view from Parking of New Addition

Addition and Existing Facility

Addition and Existing Facility

View of New Entrance Addition

View of New Entrance Addition

Over the last forty-five years, Dimensional Dynamics has served churches across the United States with architectural and planning services to meet their ministry and facility needs.  This is our main focus and purpose – to serve churches in an area where they are in their greatest need.  It is rare for a church to have expertise in church facility design, in the preparation of construction documents, and in the administration of those documents during construction.  In fact this is not what they are called to do; so when our founder Rev. L. Gordon Bucy found himself in the midst of three different building programs at the churches he served, he realized that it was not just the church who was lacking in this expertise, but also the local architects who did not know how churches function.

Churches are a unique blend of members, the Body of Christ with all its differences when done well, work together in unison and harmony for one purpose, to spread the good news of the Gospel.  But when the focus comes off of their purpose for being, Continue Reading

IMG_7554My last post was back in September of 2014 as we were in the midst of packing up and saying goodbye to a place we had called our home office for over eighteen years.  The time since has been one of excitement, frustration, joy and loss.  Though we were excited for this new chapter in the life of a company that had seen many changes over the forty-three years of existence, the frustration I personally encountered as we tried to make the move a smooth as possible was immense.  I found that even though I have been a successful change agent for so many, change in my own routine was Continue Reading

CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION

How many churches have you heard of giving all their money to the contractor and then the contractor running off? Or how many projects have you seen the church accept this wonderfully low bid only to have, during construction, the contractor rack up change order after change order after change order? This happens all the time and I feel Continue Reading

BIDDING AND NEGOTIATION

How many churches have you known that have received bids from their contractors only to realize the bid prices are significantly higher than what they have to spend?  As previously stated there are many reasons this happens.  It is not easily avoided, but with the right information and management, especially during the preparations of the construction documents, it can be hopefully controlled.

To avoid the “unknown” numerous churches have tried many of the new construction relationships that are currently at their disposal.  Some have been successful, some have not.  It is hard to say with factual certainty that one process of construction is better for a church than another, however, I personally prefer Continue Reading

CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS

How many churches have you dealt with that had construction documents prepared for a facility that is much larger than they can afford or justify?  This happens every day.  The lack of communication or understanding between the architect and the church about their financial ability concerning the project budget is the cause.  I have been asked, but I strongly urge against starting the construction document process until the capital funds campaign (CFC) has ended its pledge drive and a financial lender has met with the church to give them an idea of their borrowing potential.  I have had churches want to jump the gun for the sake of the “schedule” and request me to prepare detailed construction drawing for a phase one scope of work prior to knowing what the phase one financial resources will be.  Many churches and architects fall into this trap which leads to frustration, finger-pointing, delays and expensive drawing revisions.

On the other hand I have met with churches that Continue Reading

BUDGETING

How many churches have you met with that have never spoken with their architect about their financial ability? How many churches have you met with that do not understand the difference between construction costs and project costs? Too many times I am faced with a committee that does not want to share their finances with me or for that matter has never even discussed their financial ability with the finance officer of their church. How is an architect supposed to design a feasible solution to meet their needs if no one knows how much money there will be to build with? Or for that matter Continue Reading