Relocating a Church? Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes

By | Real Estate Resources

As churches start to grow, they start evaluating their long-term facility needs. This need is most often felt in the children’s ministry. We hear statements like, “We have kids everywhere on Sundays. We keep trying to figure out what to do with them.” This often leads to discussions and evaluations of relocation or expansion. These congregations realize that facilities often restrict churches from fulfilling their mission.

If this sounds like your community, now may be a time to consider relocating a church. Begin by having the leadership team sit down to develop a specific, detailed plan of action. The plan, when in alignment with the vision God has given them for their church, will guide your efforts to find the right location for your community.

Relocating a Church Comes with Common Mistakes | Church Realty

Here are the four mistakes to avoid when relocating a church.

  • Faulty Information – Collecting and relying on estimates that don’t take into account the total cost of relocation will set the entire project on a bad foundation from which recovery may be impossible. Take your time to understand every moving part of relocation before you begin to put together your plan. Count the cost before you set out.
  • Overconfident Estimates – God is in this with you, but he wants you to be a good steward of what you have now. Understand what your capacity is and what is available to you for a new location. Don’t get trapped into thinking, “if we build it, they will come.”  That was a movie about a baseball field, not the lives of disciples God has given you responsibility.
  • No Thorough Project Plan – In thinking through a plan, the most important starting point is a communication plan. How are you going to inform and get buy-in from your congregation? They need to understand why you need to move, how you chose the new location, how it fits into the vision and mission of the church, and what their part is going to be in the relocation project.  The rest of the plan is executing the “work.”  But without a good communication plan, you will “work” more to bring you people along than to move.
  • No Team of Experts – A poorly thought-out relocation plan that fails will weaken a church and the credibility of its leadership. Save your dollars and your leadership team’s reputation by building a team of professional advisors.  Moses had Jethro to be an advisor, and you should have no less.  Hire professionals in their field that understand how a church makes decisions and have the experience to help you develop a winning plan.  Your team would include a church real estate professional, a construction company, an architect, and a project manager.

Relocating a Church in Texas? We Can Help

Church Realty helps churches just like yours buy and sell church buildings to find the space that fits their mission. If you are considering a church relocation, or simply want some real estate advice from proven professionals, our team can help. Fill out our contact form to reach a member of our team today.

Multisite Churches in North Texas: A Strategy or A Solution?

By | Real Estate Resources

Churches of all shapes and sizes are searching for locations to maximize the impact of their ministry. From the downtowns of our largest cities to the suburbs, church plants occupy schools, hotels, theaters, and shopping centers. Every church needs facilities that meet the needs of their ministry in order to share the Gospel effectively. Whether it is finding enough sanctuary seating or having classroom space for toddlers and children, the church faces questions about how to be most effective as they seek to reach people in new and different places.

Does the Facility Meet the Mission?

At the core of the evangelical church is the desire to reach as many people as possible with the saving message of the Gospel. A megachurch and a local community church must both face the same question: Does the facility allow the church to accomplish its ministry effectively? A small church building that seats 200 people may have great preaching and programs, but if there are not sufficient facilities to meet the needs of the ministry, then growth will stop, and people will search for another church that provides better programs. Likewise, a megachurch that builds a 5,000 seat sanctuary must make sure that the education space that is built is strong enough to support the seating capacity. Church leaders must consider how their facilities affect the ministry. 

The Growth of Multisite Churches

As churches evaluate their facility issues, the options of expanding, relocating, and multisite are options that are considered. In a survey of the largest 100 churches in America, there are more multisite churches than there are megachurches. In this survey, conducted by Ed Stetzer and Lifeway Research, 75% of the 100 Largest Churches in America are using Multisite, and 59% of the 100 Fastest-Growing Churches in America have more than 1 location.  When church leaders meet to discuss the mission and vision of the church, multisite is a hot topic as a strategy to reach people in different locations. So the question presents itself:  Is multisite a strategy or a solution?

Avoiding Church Planting Failure

At the inception of starting a church, it is essential to understand the mission and vision of the church. Many church planters start their church based on a call from the Lord and begin with a small number of resources and the prayers of the people or church that sends them. Today, traditional church plants have a failure rate of close to 50%. Despite great church planting organizations like Acts29, church planters face an uphill battle. Church planters work hard to plant a church on limited funds, in rented facilities, and with minimal staffing. Often a young Pastor and his young family enter a new environment with limited organizational or financial help from a sponsoring church. On the other hand, these great church planters go out into their personal “Jerusalem” and get plugged into a community and build relationships that help build the foundation for the new work, the church plant. Church planting is key to the great commission, yet many are starting to question there a better way to avoid seeing 50% of church plants fail and see a Pastor burnout.

Multisite Churches as a Ministry Strategy

Traditionally growing churches have started church plants as the church seeks to Biblically spread the Gospel and start new works in new locations. The model of a church sending out a Pastor with their prayer, blessing, and some form of financial support is changing. 

Today, many healthy churches are exploring multisite to begin new “church plants” in new cities, states, and even around the world. Multisite has become an option that allows churches to plant new starts with strong leadership, financial strength, and better resources. As churches explore multisite, they come to realize that multisite enable the church to be a better steward of resources.  

Mike Buster, the Executive Pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, called the move to multisite “an issue of stewardship.” As the Plano Campus grew and members were being added from cities 25 minutes away, the leadership found that many were driving a great distance to church but that those people were not as likely to bring their neighbors with them. The first multisite came as a result of seeing a large number of members in the “380 Corridor,” which was a strong growth area. The “North Campus” would enable these members to reach their neighbors in their community. The addition of the first multisite for Prestonwood, allowed the church to “leverage their resources” and to be a better steward of those resources to reach people for Christ.  The decision to start multisite falls in line with the mission statement of the church, and Buster indicated that pursuing the multisite model must line up with the mission of the church.   

There is a great need in the church today for the church to be “in the community.” The trend of home groups and multisite both point to the need that the church must be local in its ministry.  Multisite can be a successful strategy to reach people by activating each member to be more fully engaged in their fellowship. At Church Realty, we have heard many Pastors talk about the members that are willing to drive long distances to the church they love, but they struggle to bring the people they live with to church. The strategy of multisite allows members to be ministers and actively engage their community and reach people for Christ. 

Multisite Churches as a Facility Solution

Often, a church committee considers expansion plans yet determines that the budget is not workable. More churches are starting to consider the option of buying an existing building that is affordable and operating it as a multisite. Many churches start their first multisite as a way to solve a facility issue. started their first multisite in a theater as they had reached capacity in their six services at their church campus. The church could not afford to build as it would cost too much and take too much time. This is a real situation for churches of all sizes.  If a church has already reached capacity and wants to start considering a building program, it will be necessary to count the actual cost to build the facilities. It will also need to count the cost in terms of ministry space and the ability to sustain membership in an already maxed out facility.

Kevin Penry, Operations Leader at, said the first multisite came as a solution to a need to provide space for more people.  Similarly, The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, realized that they had reached capacity at their campus.  Brian Miller, Lead Pastor of Ministry Services, said they had reached capacity in multiple services and were praying through their next steps to address the issue. In discussing the steps that led to multisite, Miller said, “We did everything we could with our building; multisite was not a part of a plan, but rather the provision of God provided through a church about 30 minutes away that approached the Village about a merger”.  This enabled members that drove from a great distance, to shorten their drive and become active members.  Miller stated that multisite had not been a strategy; it has been taking the ministry to the members allowing them to be intentional within the communities where they live.

Other smaller churches have started their churches with the multisite model at a very early stage.  A church that is less than 200 members, leasing in a shopping center that is considering a multisite as a solution, would be wise to count the cost and talk to others that have done multisite before fully pursuing multisite.  Kevin Penry commented that “if you can do church where you are and don’t need to do multisite, don’t do it.”  The wisdom in this statement is as follows:  1) Multisite is not a fad that everyone needs to try 2) Multisite is a tool of the mission, not THE mission 3) If it is worth, do it well and then replicate.  The decision to start a multisite as a solution must be made by a strong home church that is solid in membership, grounded in its mission and vision, and financially secure.

Is a Multisite Church the Best Fit for Your Ministry?

While many churches embark on the multisite experience as a solution to a facility problem, the repeated theme I have heard from each of them is that multisite is about discipleship.  Multisite is about mobilizing members to be more active in their community and focused on a mission to bring their friends and neighbors to church.  “Multisite is a strategy for growth based on discipleship,” says Brian Miller from The Village Church. 

As we work with churches that are considering facility decisions, we hear the discussions about expanding, relocating, and/or start a multisite.  Multisite can be an effective solution for a church that has reached capacity.  The churches in this article that used it as a solution had more than 2,000 in weekend attendance before embarking on the multisite road.  While it started for them as a solution, it quickly became a strategy that allowed the church to reach more people, and it empowered the members to be more involved.  If your church is considering multisite, please take a moment to count the cost, consider your mission, and begin to take steps to be the best steward of your resources as you use them for ministry.

Contact Church Realty in Plano or Houston, Texas

When you need experienced real estate help to expand or relocate your church ministry, contact our team at Church Realty — with locations in both North Texas and Houston.

Downsizing a Church? Tips for Finding the Right Space | Church Realty

Downsizing (or Upsizing) a Church? Tips for Finding the Right Space

By | Real Estate Resources

Most church plants and multisite campuses launch in a temporary space. In the beginning, they simply do not have the resources or loan capacity to buy a 50,000 square foot building. And a temporary space can be a smart strategy for the initial season of ministry. As a church plant grows, they begin to offer additional ministries and have more children. To continue serving the church community, there’s often a natural movement toward a facility with certain security and safety needs. 

On the flip side, a church that built 50 years ago when the church had more than 1,000 members may not fit the same congregation that is now under 200 members. This scenario often involves a community that is going through a significant demographic change. Just as a 50,000 square foot building would not fit the church plant, a 50,000 square foot church may not meet the needs of an aging congregation of less than 200 senior adults.

The Building Needs to Match the Ministry

We all know the church is not a building. That being said, most churches will build or buy a church building. At times, buildings built 40+ years ago no longer fit the current ministry, and both the church and the building decline. Our team had the great privilege to serve Royal Haven Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. This church was, at one time, a growing and thriving congregation. But over the years, as more people moved to the suburbs of North Dallas, the demographics changed significantly. A sanctuary that sat 900 now had a weekly attendance of 70 people. This church struggled to make decisions about their facility issues for ten years. At long last, a buyer came along and an opportunity to relocate from their 80,000+ square foot building to a 30,000+ square foot building. The church right-sized its facilities, and within two years, they were growing and had more than doubled in size. They were able to merge with another church and began new ministries in their new neighborhood.

Like the established church at Royal Haven Baptist Church, church planters need to evaluate their facility as a critical ministry tool. 

Whether they use a one day a week space or an exclusive lease space, the church must consider if the space they have fits their ministry. The church that started in a community center without a defined worship room may need a new space that has a larger worship area and a better area for children. A simple move from the place you met when 50 people were coming to a space that fits a congregation of 150 can create a better opportunity for your guests. I’ve had several conversations with church planters recently that said their current worship space was full and a little awkward for a new guest. Church in the Center in Houston previously used a spot in the medical district. They recently moved to a local YMCA and, in just a couple of months, are seeing an increase in attenders. Leaders must continuously evaluate the tool and how it fits your ministry. You may need to consider a relocation like Church in the Center, while another church may just need to add additional service times. 

A Vision for the Future, Not the Past

Recently we met with a Pastor that has been at a church for four years, following the 20+ year ministry of the church’s founding pastor. The new pastor has the vision to plant churches. The church started with plans to be a megachurch in the community, with room to build and receive thousands of people. The pastor understood that they could try to be the church that the building was built for 20 years ago, or they could be the church that they have a vision for today. If they are going to be the church that they have a vision for today, they need half the building they currently have. They need to right-size their facilities to maximize their ministry effectiveness. This is a counter-cultural thought. Many leaders are pushing to be the next big church and build out a campus or multiple campuses. This pastor pressed into who this called out people, the ekklesia, is called to be and is leading his people to right-size so that they can most effectively accomplish the ministry that God has set before them. 

Is Your Church Building Serving You?

Do you have the right tool to maximize ministry? Does your facility facilitate ministry, or does it limit ministry? Growth and measures of success should be contextualized in your context. Your facility, location, staffing, and debt are all factors to consider based on your ministry. Are you positioned well? Is your facility, staffing, or debt right-sized for your budget and your ministry strategy? Right-size your ministry and be the church — whether downsizing a church or upsizing.

When you need help downsizing a church, finding more square footage, or relocating your church building, we can help. Contact our Church Realty team today.


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