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Building Your Church & Counting the Cost

What is the Biggest Mistake in Church Construction?

BEFORE you call the architect, builder or design-build firm for your building program, you need to know what you need and what you can afford - you need to count the cost of building.   Before you engage these professionals you need to understand both what you need to build and what you can afford to build. What you need to build to achieve the vision for your church often outstrips the financial ability of the church.  It is therefore very important to count the cost of your church building program,

Many churches can attest to the reports of churches that have had to throw away architectural church plans because the church cannot afford to build what the architect drew. Each year millions of dollars of church plans are thrown away or tossed into a closet because the church cannot build the plans they were provided. While many churches only waste $15,000-$50,000 on church blueprints, we have seen many churches that had to walk away from over $100,000 in work and start over. In one extreme case, the cost was over $240,000!


Tip: The first step of any church building program should be to understand what you can afford and then get the best building solution that you can for the money.

Before you engage the architect or builder, it is imperative that you understand three things.

  1. What do you really need in order to meet the needs of the ministry. God has promised to meet our needs our of His riches and glory, not our greed.

  2. What can the church afford to build, and

  3. How will the church pay for it.

For more information on avoiding church building mistakes, read the book, Preparing to Build.

Church Building Guide

Preparing to Build     

Written by an experienced church building consultant,

Preparing to Build provides your church valuable, real-world insight based on real-world experiences and input from hundreds of church building projects.

"Preparing to Build was an incredible value - just a wealth of
  information. The truth & his experience jump off the pages

           Dwight VanDaveer, Engineer & Church Building Committee Member

With over 160 information packed pages, this book will explain the process of building and how equip the saints for the work of building the church in an effective manner that will reduce the church's cost, risk and effort.  Click for more information or to purchase.

The process begins with needs analysis and feasibility to understand the "what" and "how much" of your building program. Get professional help to develop a rough cost budget and then financially prepare for a building program. Jesus tells us in Scripture to count the cost before we build. We tell you that doing do the first things first will save your church time, money, effort and frustration.

Given what you have learned about what to expect from lenders, you will be able to create a preliminary construction budget without having a bank loan approved in advance.  Your church construction budget is very simple, it is:

The money you have on hand


The money you can borrow, plus


The money you can raise from the sale of assets. 


Current long-term debt


Preliminary Planning Budget for church construction

If you have $60,000 in cash, can borrow $500,000 (and have no other debt) and have a piece of land for sale under contract for $40,000, your building budget is $600,000. 

Understand your financial ability before you build, set your budget, and make the building program fit the budget and you   Do this and you are well on your way towards a successful church building program.



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