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A Church Needs & Feasibility Study May Not Be What You Think...

(and why you almost certainly need one)

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On this Page

What a Church Building Needs & Feasibility Study is *Not*

The Purpose of a Needs & Feasibility Study

How Your Church Benefits From a Needs & Feasibility Study

When is the Best Time to Do a Church Needs & Feasibility Study?


Recommended Resources

Download Free Slide Show Presentation - Great for meetings with the building committee, board, leadership team, or the whole church. (PDF Format)

Church Consulting Resource (external link)

Download White Paper: Insights on Achieving a Positive Church Construction Experience

Quick Facts

w  There is no right way to build the wrong thing!

w  Most churches do not think they need a feasibility study (65%), and

w  Many are not properly equipped to perform an effective and impartial study.


w  A feasibility study may not be what your church thinks it is, and

w  Churches that do feasibility studies are typically more satisfied with their building programs(1), and

w  Churches that do feasibility studies tend to have less conflict when they build(1), and

w  In most cases, a feasibility study pays for itself by reducing the time, effort and cost of  building.

Supporting Documentation

Read the following references and see if there is not a common thread of common sense and good practice.

w In 2005, the Rainer Group was commissioned by The Cornerstone Knowledge Network to study the impact of building programs on churches. From the resulting study of 321 churches came several interesting facts that need to be taken into consideration for any church that is contemplating a building program.  Read more...


w Read the book, "Preparing to  Build: Practical Tips and Advice to Prepare Your Church for a Building Program" to learn how to properly prepare to build. View Table of Contents or Sample Pages


w A Word from the Word

Job 18:7-8

Isaiah 5:21

Proverbs 11:14

Proverbs 15:22

Proverbs 18:13

Proverbs 20:18

Proverbs 24:3-6

What you Should Expect to Receive:

w A clear understanding of the vision and mission of the church, how the current facilities do not meet the need and how the proposed plan addresses those issues.

w A factual estimate of the churches financial ability to build.

w An experienced estimate on what you can reasonably afford  to build, given your finances, location and land issues.

w A preliminary review of current or proposed land to identify issues that may significantly impact your building program.

w Assistance in understanding project variables and reviewing viable options.

w Conceptual floor plan and elevation that meets ministry, budget and aesthetic needs.

w A written report and  recommendation that provides a plan with drawings to present for vote.

This sounds interesting, please contact me


Save 50% or more on Church Architectural and Design Services by using existing church plans.

w  Full Working Drawings ready to build on your location including PM&E.

w  Proven plans from churches that have already been built!

w  Customizable

w  Quick Turn-around

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Sitting on the Fence!

Going Around in Circles!

Going Nowhere Fast!

These are all phrases we've heard from churches about their building plans.

Has your church been meeting about building for months or years  with little to show for it? 

Let us show you a process that will either bring your building program to life or put it to rest for a time - whichever is the right answer!

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  What a Church Needs & Feasibility Study Is Not

A church feasibility study is not someone just saying you need to build and whether you can or cannot build on your property. A feasibility study for your church is also not designed to rubber stamp a decision or proposal already made by church leaders.

A Study is Not:

  • Just an financial estimate

  • Just a review of land and land use

  • Only based on generic building guidelines

  • Based on feelings, hunches or instinct

  • Looking at a plan and asking if it can be built on your property

  • Another name for long range planning

According to Wikipedia, a feasibility study is a preliminary study undertaken before the real work of a project starts to ascertain the likelihood of the project's success. It is an analysis of possible alternative solutions to a problem and a recommendation on the best alternative.

  Purpose of a Church Needs & Feasibility Study

The purpose of a feasibility study is to provide the church with a qualified report of objective and quantifiable information.  A feasibility study is a plan that will define the scope, timing and budget of a building program, and is instrumental in maintaining unity in the body of Christ.

The feasibility study will ask and answer the correct questions to determine the most feasible of the possible options that, within the actual financial ability of the church, best meet the needs of the ministry, the congregation and the community. 

While no two churches have the same needs, there are general questions every church needs answered

  • Do we need to build, why is building the right thing to do.

  • Why is the selected church floor plan the right plan for this church?

  • What do we need to build and how was this determined from our needs?

  • What can we afford to build and how will we pay for the building program?

  • When is the right time to build with consideration to need and financial ability?

  • Where to we need to build and why is that the right decision?

In the final analysis...

the church will benefit from a professional, objective and qualified report (based on much research and church input) that clearly answers the questions of "who, what, when, where, why, and how much".

Request more information ...

  Benefits to the Church

If you read Insights on Achieving a Positive Church Construction Experience, you already know a few specific benefits to the church; the bottom line being that churches which did feasibility studies tended to have better outcomes.  When you are talking about projects that are commonly in the $750,000 to $5,000,000 price range, a better outcome is not only of great importance, but it has a dollar value

Each church may benefit differently from a needs & feasibility study, as each have different needs, risk factors and skills, but you should expect your church to derive most of the following benefits:

  • Increased overall support for the building program.

  • Congregational unity on an appropriate action and timing.

  • Reduced conflict in the planning of your facilities.

  • Increased confidence in the plan, timeline and budget.

  • Reduction in time commitments for the church leaders and building committee.

  • Elimination of dead-end ideas that waste time, money and effort.

  • Reduced stress on the leadership wondering if they've made the best decision

  • Reduced cost in architectural and engineering fees.

  • Reduced costs in avoiding preventable mistakes.

  • Reduced risk: financial, legal and relational.

  • More realistic expectations for the building program, a major factor in overall satisfaction.

  • A faster, easier, more efficient building program.

Do you really think its a coincidence that 2 out of 3 churches rated their building experience as less than excellent when only about 1 out of 3 churches did feasibility studies?  You shouldn't... 

There is a strong correlation between churches that did feasibility studies and the reultilng overall satisfaction with the building program.

Request more information on benefits to your church

  When is the Best Time to Do a  Church Feasibility Study?

It is hard to do feasibility studies too early in the church building process.  If your church is planning on building in the next 3 years, the time may be appropriate.  A feasibility study can be tailored to just about any circumstance, timeline or budget.  One of the things that often comes out of a feasibility study is the need to execute a capital stewardship campaign in order to meet the financial commitments of the building program.  The earlier you run a campaign, the more money you will have for your building program. 

Many churches are surprised to find out how much cash they need to get to the point of being actually being ready to build.  Once in construction, the church can start drawing against a construction loan, but before then the church need a not insignificant amount of cash.  A feasibility study will not only highlight the financial issues, but provides the background information necessary for a successful capital campaign. Conceptual drawings of church floor plans or master site plan can be part of the feasibility study, or done later, depending on the individual situation.  Normally, concept plans are delivered as the final part of the feasibility study, which can dovetail nicely with the capital campaign.

If you are prepared to start building immediately, the feasibility study provides a plan, budget, and concept drawings for church approval.  Upon the church's approval, the concept plans can be easily converted to full working drawings, usually at a significant discount.  The amount of time that the church would typically spend reinventing the wheel trying to learn how to run a building program and then trying to do it right the first time is greatly lessened.  This translates into lower cost, faster results and better buildings!

Have a consultant contact you to for a free, no obligation phone conference to answer your questions 


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