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July 21, 2021

Moving into a Permanent Building

By New Churches Team

Advantages to Starting Portable

Chris Highfill launched Grace River Church in 2014. They were a portable church for five years using school and YMCA locations. Highfill shares that there were three key advantages to being portable:

  1. The teams that you create for setup and tear down typically aren’t mobilized when you are using a building. These are often men who wouldn’t feel comfortable serving in a place like kids’ ministry. They may be in need of discipleship. Creating this team allows them the opportunity to serve the church and spend time each week with a group of Christians.
  2. As a church plant you want to connect with people in your community who are spiritually disconnected. You aren’t trying to just get Christians to move from another church. Many spiritually disconnected people are more likely to attend a church that meets in a non-church building like a school, YMCA, or movie theater. Being portable allows you different evangelism opportunities.
  3. By choosing to be portable, you have the opportunity to save money toward a future building. Begin saving before you start a capital campaign so that you will be ready when the right opportunity presents itself.

Motivating Through Fatigue

Anyone who has experienced a portable church plant knows that eventually your teams will begin to feel fatigue with the setup and tear down process. Starting a capital campaign gives your people a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you don’t already have a property identified, they know that you are working toward a permanent property. When your people face fatigue, share with them the rewards of being portable and take time to celebrate your tear down and setup teams as a church.

Transitioning to Permanent

One of the biggest challenges of transitioning from portable to permanent is what to do with the volunteers who were serving on the setup and tear down teams. These volunteers do not usually want to serve in an area like kids’ ministry or guest services. A great opportunity for them to serve could be your parking team. They get to be outside and may experience other perks like driving a golf cart. All they need to do is be willing to smile and wave as people enter the parking lot.

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New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.


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