April 8, 2024

Avoiding the 5 Flaws in Multi-Use Church Space

avoiding the 5 flaws in multi use church space

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Imagine walking into your church on a Monday afternoon. Instead of an empty hallway echoing with yesterday’s sermons, you hear the laughter of children from a child development center, see a group of local entrepreneurs setting up for a workshop in the fellowship hall, and notice a community yoga class gathering in what was once a seldom-used meeting room. 

This is the power of a multi-use strategy: Transforming sacred spaces into bustling community hubs throughout the week.

But as promising as this vision sounds, diving headfirst into the world of multi-use without a parachute can lead to some hard landings. 

Here are the five common flaws to avoid when implementing a multi-use strategy at your church, ensuring both improved stewardship and a greater community impact:

1. Empowering the Underqualified (a.k.a. The Sister Susie Effect)

Let’s talk about Sister Susie. She’s amazing with kids, no doubt. But running a child development center? That’s a whole different ball game. It’s like expecting someone who loves cooking at home to suddenly run a five-star restaurant. We adore Sister Susie, but being the leader of a venture that could easily turn into a $1.5 million operation requires a bit more than enthusiasm. It’s about matching passion with capability.

2. Space Inefficiencies

Optimizing space sounds straightforward—until you realize that the devil is in the details. Those minor oversights during renovations? They turn into the pebbles in your shoe that just won’t go away. Sure, multi-use is about making the most of every square foot, but it’s also about doing it wisely. When we miss the little things, they can snowball into big issues, affecting both our business model and our ability to deliver quality services.

3. Premature Launch

Ah, the thrill of jumping into the unknown! But here’s a not-so-fun fact: Jumping without looking can lead to a messy landing. The whole “we don’t know what we don’t know” concept can really be a problem if we’re not careful. Whether it’s a lack of leadership, inadequate planning, or not thinking through liability mitigation, launching prematurely is like setting sail in a boat made of Swiss cheese–eventually, you’re going to sink.

4. Assumed Buy-In

Ever decided on a movie night with friends, only to find out halfway through that nobody actually wanted to watch a four-hour documentary? That’s what assumed buy-in feels like. In a multi-use strategy, assuming everyone is on board without actually checking can lead to tension and confusion. People wonder why they have to share their precious space and worry about being taken advantage of. 

When adopting a multi-use strategy, communication is key. Obtaining buy-in is not just about sharing the vision but having your leaders repeat it back to you with clarity and passion. 

Obtaining buy-in is not just about sharing the vision but having your leaders repeat it back to you with clarity and passion. 

5. Developing Distraction

Even great leaders can’t juggle everything without dropping a ball or two. Or three. Diving into a multi-use strategy without equipping and empowering your team can lead to distractions and an overburdened staff. It’s like trying to play a piano concerto with one hand tied behind your back–possible, but not pretty.

These are the kinds of challenges we’ve seen undermine churches’ very good intentions to become better stewards of the facilities they have. We created Phase Franchise so that your church can embrace a multi-use strategy without feeling like you’re going it alone. 

Recently, we had the privilege of partnering with a great, multi-site church in Austin, Texas. They were already having a positive impact in one of their communities through a child development center but when considering what it could look like to include childcare at other locations, it became an overwhelming endeavor. Since partnering together, we’ve converted and optimized their current child development center and have started the development of three more locations. As their leadership team has put it, “We believe God brought Phase to our church in the perfect season.” 

In the end, avoiding these five flaws isn’t just about dodging bullets. It’s about embracing a strategy that enriches your community, empowers your leaders, and ensures that every square foot of your sacred space serves a higher purpose. 

We can be your co-pilot, guiding you through the turbulence of design, licensing, hiring, marketing, and ongoing operations. 

With the right approach and a bit of expert guidance, your church can become more than a place of worship—it can become a beacon of community, service, and hope. 

Discover how it works at phasefranchise.com.

Frank Bealer

Co-Founder & CGO, Phase Franchise Partners

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