Before signing your rental agreement, ask these deal-changing questions.
Church isn’t about your building, but your building can help or hinder your ministry.
Don’t be caught off guard after you’ve committed to a church plant location. Learn from those who’ve gone before you and make sure to ask these questions before you sign on the dotted line.
3 Questions Church Planters Say They Forgot To Ask
1. Do you require gymnasium floor covers?
Think of the investment a school or community center makes when they install a gymnasium floor. Wood flooring gyms cost $13 per square foot, not to mention the investment they made having it installed!
It’s no wonder that some facility managers ask renters to provide a floor cover system to protect their gymnasium flooring.
Choices include covers, tarps, tiles, and more, with varying prices. When you configure your budget, make sure to include the cost of storage racks for your chosen solution. These impressive solutions can be an investment. Along those same lines, come to an agreement with your landlord about the storage of the cover system — do you need to transport it to the facility weekly, or can you store it there?
The point is, there are solutions. The requirement of a floor covering doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker — you just have to make sure it’s not a budget breaker.
This free ebook contains venue ideas we don’t see on other lists. Check it out.
2. Do I need to bring my own chairs?
Since your potential landlord knows you’re renting the facility to temporarily seat hundreds of people at one time this question might seem redundant, but it’s not.
Ask whether or not you can use their chairs, which of course you’d expect to pay for as part of your rental agreement for your church plant.
But, since some landlords will prefer to reduce the wear and tear on their equipment and decline the request, it’s important to determine if chair rentals or purchases are in your budget.
- Are there rental companies in your area to provide chairs on a weekly basis? Although the cost of renting exceeds the cost of purchasing, consider the long-term storage and manpower costs, too.
Pro tip: Negotiate a deal with the rental company. It’s quite likely they’ll offer you a discount since you’d be a committed, weekly customer.
- Chairs for purchase differ greatly in quality and price. Read reviews, get online and ask other church planters, and be sure to purchase a “trial” chair. (Be sure to test it accurately by sitting in it for the same amount of time your attendees sit every week to give it an honest review!)
Again, it’s not an unsolvable obstacle. It’s just one that takes consideration and possibly a different portion out of your budget.
Learn the factors that led one church to purchase higher-priced chairs for their church plant.
3. Are there blackout dates for the facility?
This seems obvious, but sometimes the most obvious questions get overlooked.
It’s not unusual for a school to schedule maintenance or flooring repairs during the summer months which would close the facility for a week or two. Or a local community center might host an annual weekend tournament that turns your Sunday facility into a temporary cafeteria. Make sure you get these dates far enough in advance that you can plan for alternate meeting locations.
INNOVATIVE VENUE OPTIONS
Have some fun with your blackout dates! Here are some creative ideas we’ve seen other churches choose:
- Hold an outdoor worship service. Reserve the pavilion at a local park and gather together during seasons of favorable weather. Meeting in a casual, public space makes inviting friends and family especially easy, too.
- Plan a church activity in place of your worship service. Host a church picnic or camping day, encouraging everyone to gather casually with the hopes of building connections. Don’t worry about the food — just reserve a food truck to bring it to you.
- Of course, renting an alternate facility is an option, but make it your own by putting a positive spin on it! If you decide upon reserving the local arts center, use the opportunity to showcase your church’s creative side and artistic members. Or if you end up in a local college gymnasium, bring sports equipment and encourage families to stick around for some playtime after the worship service.
In a nutshell, use your “new” location to your advantage.
And speaking of advantages, here’s one more: If your church runs multiple services, these options can be especially appealing since they’ll give your attendees and members the unique opportunity to gather at one time, in one sitting. If your church culture allows, consider this a “family” service and invite the kids into the worship service along with the adults.
Need flexibility? 5 Ways Flexible Space Will Solve Your Space Issues
Almost every obstacle you face upon securing a rental agreement is solvable. Whether it’s gym floor coverings, chair options, or blackout dates, you and your team are likely to find solutions that make your decision clear-cut.
And when it’s not, we’re here to help. We’ve worked with hundreds of leaders to find solutions for their varying equipment needs.
Next, grab a copy of our ebook, How to Choose the Right Facility to help you pick a venue that works with your vision, not against it.
What questions have you missed? Will you leave a comment and share?