The groundbreaking is an exciting step in the process of your building project. This is a turning point. Until this point, your building project has been a private endeavor. This has been a project known only to your church congregation, and only a few people in your community know about this development. The groundbreaking is the moment where this becomes a part of the community. Construction and changes will be visible for all to see. This is the time to involve the neighborhood in your church construction. Plan for it and let your neighbors know how you fit in the fabric of the area. Most churches will celebrate the groundbreaking with a dedication service. Invite the community to your service. Some of our church clients have invited the mayor, local business owners, other church pastors, and other people in the community.
Take this chance to share your church's story. Some churches choose to use social media; each congregation should make their own decision on what would work best for their community and congregation. Whether the project is a rebuilding of an established church or an entirely new establishment, the people in the community want to hear where the church has been and where it is going. Create a public Instagram or Facebook page that includes updates and testimonials. Be transparent with the project, as it will assure that the community is a part of the church’s success. Garnering public interest means more bodies in the pews once the church’s doors are open.
Other ways to involve the community:
1. Work with your contractor to hire local subcontractors.
2. Invite the community in to see your plans.
3. Offer volunteer opportunities for non-construction labor-intensive projects such as moving furniture or fundraising efforts.
4. Hold community events in your new facility to continue the welcoming atmosphere.
At the end of construction, consider holding a second dedication service for the grand opening celebration. Invite everyone who was invited to the groundbreaking. The building is complete – celebrate with the community in your finished facility. Pray over the church and the new members, as well as thanking those who aided in its completion. This lets the community know that this project was completed with them in mind and that the doors are open to them.