By Nai Kanell
Director of Marketing
SpaceIQ

Churches are gathering places. They’re not only for worship, but also serve as areas for people to come together as a community. A church welcomes hundreds (even thousands) to services, but throughout the week it becomes a place for everything else: weddings, fundraisers, town hall meetings, clubs, and fairs. The space a church offers lends itself to so many events, which is why organizers need facility management software for churches.

A church’s space may be versatile, but that doesn’t make it automatically ideal for every event. A craft fair requires numerous tables and a natural flow to move people. A town hall meeting may use pews, but require a space for media in front of the pulpit. Each new event brings new demands.

There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into utilizing church space. An organization tool like space management software makes it all possible.

Using the features of the space

Church facilities management software is great for recognizing space-use potential. Unlike other multipurpose venues, churches offer key features that broadly lend themselves to occupant needs. Understanding what these features are, where they’re located, and how they’re used is what can makes a church more useful than a rec hall or a community center.

  • Sound system: Most churches have a built-in PA system. This naturally lends itself to events with featured speakers or audiovisual requirements.
  • Pews: Pews offer ample seating for larger gatherings. Planning accommodations is much easier when you know how many pews are in the church and how many people each accommodates. As a bonus, they’re instantly focused on the stage.
  • Stage: The stage is paramount for weddings, presentations, speaking engagements, and plays. Unlike other facilities that require risers be brought in, churches have an ideal focal point that’s readily available.
  • Architecture: Nothing beats the acoustics in a church. Moreover, houses of worship are inherently designed with a focal point (sanctuary), centralized gathering area (nave), plenty of open space (narthex), and various offices and classrooms.

Even for organizers intimately familiar with the layout and opportunities of the church’s floor plan, facility management software illustrates the many possibilities from a top-down view.

Planning around the church’s layout

Why use facility management software for your church? The simplest answer is for diagramming.

Where will the craft fair vendors set up in the narthex? How will you plan the wedding processional so the groom doesn’t see the bride before her entrance? How many entrances are there to the nave and where will speaker X, Y, and Z enter and exit during the presentation?

The layout of a church offers so many possibilities not just for space utilization, but for the logistics of actually using the space. Planning ingress and egress, preventing crowd bottlenecks, establishing prop and fixture locations, and arranging the dynamic elements within the space requires no small feat of facilities management.

Accommodating diverse needs with diverse space

There’s virtually no end to the practicality of using church facility scheduling software. For as many different types of events a church can host, there are important logistics unique to each one.

Facility management software is instrumental in coordinating the changeover between events. While parents attend the town hall meeting in the nave, there’s daycare in one of the offices and a Cub Scout meeting held in the basement. Again, planning and scheduling software ensures each group has the right space for the right time.

Churches offer the full gamut of space. The grandeur of the nave compared to the simplicity of a classroom. The versatility of the sanctuary vs. the possibilities of the narthex. Miscellaneous rooms of all sizes cater to every possible need of groups using them.

For churches, the value in space planning software comes in providing accommodations for as many people and groups as possible. Read more on space planning buyers guide. Leveraging the unique layout of the church in new and efficient ways gives the building broad purpose outside of regular services. Whether that opens a revenue stream or strengthens ties to the community, the result is positive for the church and anyone using it.

Creating the right gathering space

Whether it’s nuptials or a debate, community or worship, people naturally congregate in churches. Ensuring they have the right space for the occasion is important. Living up to the concept of the church as a gathering place distinguishes it from a rec center or a banquet hall. When church facilities seamlessly meet the needs of the people using it, there’s no reason for them to gather anywhere else.

Keep reading: How to select facilities management software.