Rick Thurman is President of The Trinity Group, a project management company serving as an in-house design and construction team for large and small commercial organizations, as well as non-profit groups. In his Synod 2017 workshop, he’ll discuss why only ten percent of church building projects are completed without difficulty, and how churches can overcome this.
What are some of the more common or difficult obstacles that prevent churches from finishing a building or renovation project?
There are a myriad of obstacles that churches run into that either hinder projects or cause them to fail. Most of the obstacles reveal themselves as financial challenges and are a result of not properly preparing prior to engaging in a project. We are all familiar with Jesus’ parable on the cost of discipleship in Luke 14, where he uses the illustration of counting the cost before engaging in a building project. That simple illustration is far more complex than you could imagine in the world we live in today.
Why do churches so commonly run into these problems?
Churches don’t develop property and build buildings every day. They are not experts in doing all the due diligence and preparation that must take place prior to engaging engineers, architects, and builders. To complicate things even more, preparing to do a project as a church is a very different process than a typical project. I have seen experienced professionals fail miserably on church projects, because they didn’t understand the unique challenges that a church must address, prior to starting a project.
What will leaders take away from your workshop in order to plan and complete a successful renovation or building project?
They’ll learn the things that church leaders must do in order to have a successful project (measured by quality, budget, and schedule), the things that an engineer, architect, or builder can’t do, and the things you must do prior to engaging these professionals. Also, what the church’s role should be in the execution of the project, as well as how to engage in a project in a way that insures that the church’s best interests are being served, rather than the interests of the professionals doing the work.
Registration is now open for Conference & Synod 2017: Mission Matters. Join us November 3-4 as we explore how local churches can be on mission in today’s world, reach out to our communities with the Gospel, worship, re-connect, learn, and discern together!
Visit the Conference & Synod 2017 site to learn more about speakers, workshops, lodging, and the weekend schedule.