Church Building Issues
Whether you are seeking to expand, relocate, renovate or merge your church with another congregation, it is important to understand real estate laws and have an effective decision-making process to move forward with your church endeavors.
It pays to:
- Evaluate your long-term building needs before making decisions or proposing a plan to the congregation. How do you envision your congregation growing in coming decades? What direction will your church be going in? Will social services be expanded? What populations will you be serving? Will the facilities allow you to fulfill your mission well into the future?
- Obtain plans and compare costs. If you are undecided about renovating and expanding on existing property, compare the costs of renovation expansion with the cost of purchasing land and building a church from the ground up.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. Talk to other pastors and church boards that have gone through an expansion, relocation, sale or merger. Drawing on the experiences and lessons of others can save church committees time, stress and money.
- Think about location. If you are purchasing a new site, note that parishioners for the most part like to attend church in their own community. Will churchgoers have access on frontage roads? Will the church be off of a main highway for convenience?
- Evaluate the amount of land needed. A general rule that some real estate professionals use is one acre for every 100–120 people. If you are planning day care, include additional acreage.
Talk to an Attorney Who Understands the Unique Issues Facing Churches in Transition
Lonnie Woods is a seasoned, trustworthy attorney with extensive experience in real estate law and church law. He represents nonprofit churches in all types of legal matters, including issues involving the renovation, relocation, merging, expansion, sale or purchase of a church. Mr. Woods is also an ordained minister committed to protecting the rights of religious organizations.
Talk to a church attorney at The Woods Law Firm, PC, in Arlington, TX, about your legal concerns. Call for a free initial consultation at 817-751-7111 or contact us online.