Developing the Master Plan
The final phase of the research feasibility analysis process is the documentation of a Master Plan for the implementation of the proposed improvements to the church facilities.
- Once the “consensus solution” has been presented to the congregation, the Architect will document the results of the previous phases in a stand-alone document that provides a framework within which the people of the Church can realize their vision and mission as the family of God.
- With the proper involvement from the congregation and creative and professional work by the architect, this Master Plan will be an important step in the life of the church.
HOW LONG DOES THE MASTER PLANNING PROCESS TAKE?
The duration of the master planning process varies greatly by congregations. Factors that affect the length of this process include the number of present facilities, the number of committees and ministries that need to be consulted, and the schedules of the church, the committee and the congregation. The most significant factor in the length of the process is how the particular church members are most comfortable discerning the kinds of decisions required for this process. Some congregations have been mulling over and discussing their future plans for years and are eager to start putting things down on paper and moving forward. For other congregations, this process may be entirely foreign to them and it may take quite a but of time for them to feel comfortable with the process. Because of these various factors, we have seen Master Plans completed in anywhere from six months to two years.
WHAT COMES AFTER MASTER PLANNING?
The Master Plan provides a framework for the future steps in this process. Some churches see the need for other internal work before they embark on the implementation of the Master Plan. Many other churches are energized by the excitement of the Master Planning process and are eager to move directly into the implementation of either all or part of the Master Plan. If they are ready to proceed, the next step is usually a capital campaign to see what funds are available for implementation of the Master Plan. If money is already set aside for this work, the actual design work that is necessary for making the dream a reality can begin immediately. In any case, if properly executed, the Master Plan process will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the church and its members, as they have learned more about themselves and each other through this inclusive process.
If you missed the first part of this series on the Master Plan Process, click on the “Master Planning” category below to see all five steps.