Posted by ACCU Staff ● Mar 11, 2019 2:30:00 PM

Weighing the Pros and Cons of New Church Construction


The economy is strong and attendance at your church is increasing. Tithing is up, your sanctuary is reaching capacity and the building is starting to show signs of wear…

What’s the obvious solution?  It’s time to build a new church building.  Well, maybe not.

Let’s take a moment to re-examine each of these compelling reasons to start a new construction project.

  1. The economy is strong now. We are in a recovery that started nine years ago.  Most economists predict a recession in the next two years, most building projects take two to three years to complete.  Where we are in an economic cycle should be a consideration.

  2. Attendance is increasingwhy? Apparently, your existing building is not hampering the growth of the church.  Growth occurs because a church is effectively ministering to people’s needs.

  3. Tithing is up, and the reasons are similar to the increase in attendance. However, there is a strong correlation between tithing and the state of the economy.  Low unemployment, wage increases and the improving housing market have all contributed to an increase in consumer optimism and a willingness to share more with the church.  Unfortunately, this correlation works in both directions.  One needs only to remember the 2008-2012 Recession and the impact it had on church finances.

  4. We are running out of room. This is probably the most common reason used to start the new construction dialogue.  Here are some possible alternatives: 
    • Add an additional service.
    • Reconfigure the seating in the sanctuary. Replacing pews with moveable chairs can increase capacity by as much as 20%.
    • Churches never throw anything away. There are always rooms used for storage that could be put to better use.
    • Build or rent a storage unit or a shipping container.
    • Consider minor remodeling, moving a wall or adding a balcony.
  1. Our church is showing signs of wear. Some of the most beautiful churches in America are over 100 years old.  There is a difference between an old church and one that is not maintained.  A well-maintained, older building may, in fact, have more traditional appeal than a new building.  The average cost of new church construction is about $200 per square foot (not including land cost).  Many repairs can be done in stages and financed by a targeted capital campaign, thus avoiding the need for outside financing.

For over 60 years, construction lending has been our one of our primary products. We've helped hundreds of churches and ministries from coast to coast, and we want to become your financial partner for cultural impact. If you have any questions about church construction, you can call us at 800-343-6328, tell us a little about your needs, and one of our friendly team members will help you.