Vlog: 19 Things to Check Before Signing Your Church Rental Venue Contract

Last Updated on: May 1, 2019 @ 10:05 am

Being in the business of portability, there are a few things that we have picked up when it comes to working with and finding a great venue for your church plant or multisite church.

In this Vlog we discuss in detail some the important things to go over before signing on the dotted line with a venue. They include…

  1. It may seem obvious, but is the venue even willing to sign a longer term contract? Some venues may not want to commit, but you will want to lock a contract down before sending out marketing materials.
  2. Make sure you are working with the appropriate venue contact. We have worked with more than a handful of churches that were moving fully ahead based on a principles or owner approval only to be denied last minute by a district/board. 
  3. Make sure you’re not getting a deal too good to be true. It might sound like a great deal on paper, but if the person who originally signed that contract leaves and another person comes in and doesn’t agree to the terms, it could be bad. 
  4. Double check the venue has HVAC, that it works, that it will be turned on during Sunday services in the summer, and that it is included in your contract. 
  5. Determine start & end time constraints. Are there hard times you need to be in and out? Especially consider this if you are hoping to eventually run 2 services in this venue.
  6. Make sure the lobby is included in your contract (for theaters). You may be asked to start tearing down the lobby before your service ends if movies start showing at a certain time. This isn’t typically a deal breaker, just something to be aware of. 
  7. Check to see if you can use the venue’s internet. If you can, make sure they don’t have security features that will lock you out. Or you may need to bring in your own Wifi equipment. This is a big topic so stay tuned for another vlog on this. 
  8. Figure out trash and facility clean up logistics. This will add time, responsibilities and potentially costs to you & your volunteer teams.
  9. See if there is room for future growth in that facility. Are there more rooms you could use if you grow and what would be the cost of those?
  10. Determine if you are paying hourly or daily rates. This has surprised churches in the past. 
  11. Talk about blackout weekends. If there is a basketball tournament in the gym that you rent or a high school production in the auditorium you use – these are things you need to know. 
  12. Find out if other churches meet there or learn if they would allow a second to meet there if another church asked. It happens…. but we’ve only met one that welcomed it.  
  13. Drive by the venue on Sundays and learn how the parking lot gets used on weekends. Talk to your rep and see if the lot is ever used for other events, or by other companies, etc on any given weekend. 
  14. Is onsite storage an option? Can you drop a shipping container? If those are options, is there a cost?
  15. If planning to use the venues equipment, are there additional costs?  (Talk to a PCI Church Launch Coach for reasons this MAY not be a good idea)
  16. Also if using the venues equipment, are you required to hire (and pay) their technical staff to run your service? (Watch the vlog to see WHY this would be good)
  17. Does the venue have chairs or do you need to buy them? Will you also need to get a floor covering? Who sets them up and what are the costs for using / setting up chairs?
  18. Does the venue require you to carry extra insurance while you meet at their venue? If yes, talk to an insurance professional to make sure you get your bases and costs covered. 
  19. In cold climates, make sure a snow removal process is determined. Will it be done on the weekends? Who is responsible for that and who pays for it?

What is missing on this list? What has caught you or others in your affiliations off guard? Comment below!

Not sure what facilities to assess in your community? Check out this resource. And download our eBook How To Choose The Right Facility.