What is the New Model of Building Church Buildings?

When I was growing up and being nurtured in the church my home church went through tremendous growth both in the size of the congregation and also the size of their facilities.  I did not pay too much attention (since I was a youth) about the process it took to build.  Yet, as I got older and learned that the church was still paying off the debt for this building it didn’t take a genius to figure out the church put some money down and mortgage the new construction.

This seemed to be the old model of church building.  Plan it, build it and pay for it later.

Now we know, after 2008, that this model will no longer work.  1. Loans are not that easy.  2. Giving is down.

My question is what is the next model for building a new building?  How are church handling this new financial landscape?

I am asking because I think my current appointment will be heading in the direction of a new building in a few years, out of desire and hopefully growth but also out of necessity.  I am wondering what this process will look like now.  I know the model of “If you build it they will come,” is long gone and my fear is building a building we can’t afford and would remain empty.

For those who have gone through this process post-recession what advice do you have?  How much of a nest egg do you start with?  Do you attempt to have 50% of the cost as cash on hand and get a loan for the other 50%?  What percentage do you allow building projects to soak up in the budget?

Seeking insights and any help would be appreciated.

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