Planting a church? Looking for a venue? Here are a few “do’s and don’t’s” to finding just the right place for your new church to meet:
- DO clarify your target area. Has God called you to a specific community or neighborhood? Is there one part of town where you just know you’re supposed to be?In searching for a meeting location, you don’t want to venture much further than 5-10 minutes outside of your target area, so you need to have that target area fairly well-defined.
- DO look for locations that are familiar to the people you’re trying to reach. Ask around and observe people’s patterns, then use that to give you some ideas. Since you’re brand new, people won’t be familiar with you so you want to make sure they’re at least familiar with your location. The familiarity factor is why some of the best meeting locations for a church plant are schools, movie theaters and community centers.
- DO ask God for eyes to see beyond the “obvious.” Sometimes an answered prayer for “fresh eyes” is just what you need to find your next meeting location. There is a tendency to lock in on one or two potential meeting spaces to the neglect of dozens of others. Block out some time, take a drive and ask God to open your eyes to the possibilities.
- DON’T make a rush decision on a meeting location. Your new church’s meeting location is very important and not to be decided lightly. If God has called you to this area, then He has also picked out just the right meeting place for His new church!
- DON’T ever stop looking for meeting locations. It’s a good idea to keep a running list of potential places to meet for as long as your church is portable.You never know when a sudden growth in attendance, a school board policy change or an excessive rental rate hike might have you scrambling for a different space, so it helps to stay ahead of the curve.
[from Nelson Searcy - Renegade Pastor - Church Leader Insights - Church Growth and Evangelism by nsearcy]