Throughout scripture we see references and prophecies to God’s plan for His creation. We also see references in relationship to the futility of man’s plans. However, consistently the Bible supports the plans of man which are in line with and committed to the work of the Lord.
As churches look at committing their facilities to the ministry needs of the Lord and plan for the future growth and education of His kingdom, they also need to be Continue Reading
It took our Founding Partner, Rev. L. Gordon Bucy three pastorates and four different building programs to realize that when it came to church architecture there was an absence of any logical progression of priorities in Master Planning by architects and little awareness of the need for a functional, transitional use of spaces by church planners. Thus resulting in church facilities scattered all over the United States that were confusing mazes of different construction phases that never took into account the previous phase or the future needs of the congregation’s ministries and how they would relate one to another. This revelation challenged him to find a general model for church planning that would function as a tool for any congregation desiring to create a quality, functional facility that would meet their ministry needs and financial ability.
In his research to determine the best approach for a congregation just starting out as well as an established one with an existing facility, Gordon focused on Continue Reading
Over the years how many church facilities do you think you have visited? As a visitor to that church how easy did you find it to not only access the site and building but to also find your way around that facility once you were inside? Taking on the persona of a visitor, how inviting is it for people to access your church facility?
In my work with churches, I have visited hundreds of them over the years. And though I have become adept in interpreting what I find, I am still constantly surprised by so many churches’ inability to accommodate a visitor to their site and facility. Most churches I visit need a map and or a personal guide just to get a visitor from the main entrance to the nursery or for that matter the bathrooms! Is this the approach we want to offer our guests, making it a challenge for them to be comfortable within our own church home?
The welcoming attitude we all want our congregations to exhibit should also extend Continue Reading
In a conversation with one of my Audio Visual Consultant, he stated that he felt a majority of churches in America have become bushel baskets, hiding the light of the Lord within their facility. In Mathew 5:15-16 we are called to let our light shine before others so that they may see our good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven, not hide it under a bushel basket.
I understand that his comment was driven by a number of factors beyond the actual church facility, such as the spiritual maturity and ministry callings of each church. As an architect who specializes in church and church related facilities throughout the United States, his comment gave me pause to consider what effect my work has on fostering his perception. As Christians we are called to go into the entire world and preach the gospel, but too many times we find ourselves within a local church facility – hiding our light. We may have the assumption that the non-churched will suddenly have the urge to walk through our doors to learn the gospel of Christ. But too many times the only people visiting are those who had an issue with their church down the street and are looking for a new, comfortable spot – to hide their light. I felt that with his simple comment my entire calling and livelihood was placed in question! I realized that I needed to take a closer look at Continue Reading
As I stood at the baggage claim in the Philadelphia airport patiently waiting for my luggage to be unloaded from the international flight I had just endured from Cairo, I paused to ponder the events that had brought me, exhausted, to this place. I had just returned home from an eleven day trip to Egypt, land of the pharaohs, home of the sphinx. I had not been there to sightsee, although what architect could not in a similar situation? My reason for traveling ten hours to and from Cairo was to aid a team of professional volunteers in the design of a multi storied addition to an existing church facility. The reality of being home started to swirl around me as the baggage carousel finally came to life. However, I could not help but ask myself just how I came to be part of this incredible experience.
It all started more than five years before when I received an email from a friend forwarding me an urgent need from Engineering Ministries International (eMi) for an architect to aid them with a project in Africa. I had never even heard of eMi. As such, I began my typical process of researching the organization and need before I would commit. I found that eMi had been established in 1982, and was a non-profit humanitarian aid organization that mobilizes architects, designers, engineers and surveyors from the western world to design projects that serve the poor in developing countries. Not only did they have offices in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom but they also had field offices in Central America, India and Africa. I immediately realized what a wonderful opportunity this organization offered. Not only for young budding professionals about to start their careers, but also for “old timers” like me who were seeking to give a little back and use our experience to help others.
That initial project never came to fruition for me, but a year later one did. It was the design of a small church in Barcenas, Guatemala. A project based out of eMi’s Central America office. It was on this trip that I got my feet wet with eMi and realized I could do this for the rest of my life. It was also on this trip that I met and became friends with one of the eMi staff members who would later head the Cairo project I had just returned from.
Still waiting for my bags to arrive, I started the process of Continue Reading