3 Intentional Strategies for Stewarding Your Ministry Facilities


In an unscientific “survey” by Sam Rainer (my publisher and eldest son of Thom Rainer) and myself (ok…actually it was more of just a conversation and not a survey) we believe that over 99% of all churches meet in a facility. Some may be an owned facility…others rented…others may be schools or store fronts, while yet others are homes. In fact, if you have an Internet based church, your servers and other IT infrastructure are likely housed in a physical facility.

Based on the above, as well as the fact that we have deep convictions that everything on earth belongs to God, and as such we are stewards of what He has entrusted to us, we must look long and hard at the means and methods by which we steward the ministry facilities God has blessed us with.

Here are 3 intentional strategies for this stewardship initiative:

  1. Use them – God did not provide you with these assets and resources to have them sit idle for hours or days on end. Physical space was meant to be utilized to fulfill a cause…in the case of the church, to fulfill a vision and mission. Can you imagine developing an office building but only allowing occupants to use it one day a week? This responsibility must come with an intentional means by which to facilitate the use. How do you create opportunities for groups, inside and out, to have appropriate space from where to assembly?
  2. Financial Prudence – We see this strategy being 2 pronged. First, do not encumber your church (and its mission) with excessive debt. With that said, I am not a “no-debt” disciple, but I am a believer in prudence when it comes to appropriate debt and its impact on the ministry. Second is future financial planning. Are you setting monies aside for the life cycle impacts of facility ownership? If you are not retaining $1-2/square foot annually in a capital reserve account, you will find yourself falling woefully short when the HVAC system needs replaced or the roof has aged out. A capital reserve fund is NOT a raining day fund. These are real costs that you will incur. Period!
  3. Care for them – Over a 40 year life cycle of a building, the cost of operations will likely exceed 70% of the total cost of ownership. When you couple the cost of construction, interest and operations (utilities, general maintenance, housekeeping/janitorial, etc) the cost of interest and construction pale in comparison to the cost of operations. If you spend $4M to construction a building, you will likely spend over $13M to operate it within that 40 year period…WOW…that is a huge responsibility!

That is a lot to take in, but we some great news!!!

eSPACE has just release a new (and affordable) software application to assist you be intentional…effective…and efficient in these areas.

Image an application that includes:

> Inventory Management – Track what you have in stock

> Vendor Management including a new Vendor PortaleSpace_Logo_Md

> User Portal for ease of requesting Work Orders

> Calendar view of Work Orders

> Document Library

> Robust Report Builder

> Unlimited Users Included with Advanced Packages

> Responsive Design/Mobile Friendly

> Single Login when subscribed to Work Order Management and Event Scheduler

> Fully configurable

If you have a facility and are intentional about stewarding what has been entrusted to you…you owe it to yourself to check out this new application HERE.

Facility Stewardship Binder - Small

Top 5 Facility Management Challenges


In an article published by Corrigo Inc, who specializes in work order and time tracking solutions, they shared the findings of a survey of the Top 5 Facilities Management Challenges based on a survey they conducted of over 1,200 organization. Here is a summary of their report…with a little commentary from me:

  • CHALLENGE #5: Vendor Management: Allocating work to the right vendors

A major trend from previous surveys was the issue of outsourcing. While this topic has not gone away, it is not the driver behind operational change.

Summary From Survey: Improved vendor management increases the control you have over your operations, and by implementing price controls, can reduce your costs.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Making vendor decisions based on performance feedback
• Recording and comparing information on vendor pricing
• Maintaining searchable records of vendor certifications

Conclusion for Challenge #5: There are a lot of details to address when considering vendors and the real cost of using outside vendors as well as staff resources…and be vigilant about the insurance.


  • CHALLENGE #4: Making changes without having enough reliable data

Approximately 30% of survey respondents considered the capturing of reliable data as one of the top two pressing needs in their organizations.

Summary From Survey: Capturing and then making use of the information associated with all your service and maintenance work equips you to make informed and effective business decisions.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Comparing spending trends across their organization
• Using historical repair data to inform new equipment and warranty purchase decisions
• Monitoring real time progress on important repair work

Conclusion for challenge #4: Historical and real-time data is critical for our ministry facilities. Develop or buy a system that can track this kind of data, or partner with someone that can do this for you. An Excel spreadsheet will most likely not work unless you have a very small facility.


  • CHALLENGE #3: Getting more work done with fewer resources

One factor contributing to the increased burden on facility management teams is the reduction in their company’s field technician staffing. This may seem counter-intuitive, but as budget cuts move more work to vendors, the burden of vendor recruitment, selection and management falls to the facility management organization.

Summary From Survey: Doing more with fewer resources is not a temporary situation. To succeed in this environment, you need tools that extend your reach and productivity.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Moving away from ad hoc communications by phone, fax and email
• Sharing a common platform with their staff and vendors to process work requests electronically
• Automating vendor tracking/assignments via intelligent systems

Conclusion for Challenge #3: Develop, buy or subscribe to a system that allows you to communicate with your vendors (not as the only form of communication) and tracks their ETA, pricing, PM work and other work order management.


  • CHALLENGE #2: Finding ways to extend the life of existing assets.

It’s not just operational budgets that are being squeezed – capital expenditures are down substantially, and that translates into keeping existing equipment and assets up and running longer.

Summary From Survey: Spending the right amount on preventative maintenance and being able to back up that decision with accurate data can turn a facility manager into a cost saving hero.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Comparing preventative vs. repair costs on all asset types and adjusting PM spending accordingly
• Using accumulated repair data to implement intelligent, PM schedules
• Applying proactive maintenance on mission critical equipment

Conclusion for Challenge #2: Preventive Maintenance, rather than corrective repairs, is a far better approach to caring for the resources God has entrusted to us.



#1 for from this survey was, without a doubt, saving money. When asked how they would like to accomplish this objective, the responses of facility managers tended to be grouped into one of three general categories:

  • Call avoidance
  • Warranty work management
  • Price control

Summary From Survey: Facility Management may be considered a cost center, but it also holds tremendous potential to impact a company’s profitability. A dollar saved by a facility management team goes directly to the bottom line. Which is why cost savings is the bottom line concern for facility management professionals.

What Facility Managers are Doing:
• Avoiding unnecessary repair costs through client self-help systems and knowledge bases
• Flagging all assets and equipment under warranty to prevent unnecessary payment
• Establishing and monitoring not-to-exceed pricing agreements with vendors

Conclusion for Challenge #1: I believe that in today’s economy (frankly it should be in EVERY economy because we are stewards of something that does not belong to us) we are looking for ways to save money. Sometimes we cannot see the obvious items that will allow us to be more efficient and effective. The principles addressed in this article are right in front of us.

These are not rocket science, but you do have to be intentional!
Facility Stewardship Binder - Small

10 Reasons to Tear-up Your Old Event Scheduler

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Are you still using a paper calendar to schedule events and rooms at your facility?

When we developed eSPACE, our team thought for sure that our biggest competition was going to be the large scheduling systems.  However, over 50% of our net new partnering opportunities are from organizations that still use a paper calendar, wall calendar, or sundial (just kidding about that last one).

Some have graduated to an “electronic” based tool like Excel, Outlook or Google Calendar (quasi schedulers). While that is a step in the right direction, you may still be functioning in the Dark Ages compared to how proactive organizations manage the use of their facilities and what solutions are available to assist you.  Many of our clients and churches and we have learned that that not every facility opens their doors on just Sunday AM, Sunday PM and Wednesday nights and nearly every organization has a slightly different schedule. The more diverse your organization, the more likely the complexity of space utilization is magnified.

In order for you to meet the demands of your organization, you need to re-think how you schedule your facilities/events and what tools must be incorporated into your systems and processes.  Don’t fall slave to the dreaded “7 words of a dying organization”  (you know – We Have Always Done It This Way)…there are better ways to schedule your facility…and it won’t break the bank.

Here are 10 reasons why it may be time for a change:

1.  A cloud-based calendar can be accessed anytime, anywhere. The cloud is here to stay…embrace it.

2.  Identify and manage scheduling conflicts…this is so critical and is a key component that paper schedulers and “quasi” scheduler can not provide.

3.  Team members and stakeholders can view a calendar of activities in the facility in real time.

4.  The organization determines who “controls” and has access to the calendar.

5.  Event requests go through an approval process before being finalized on the calendar.

6.  Avoid two groups needing the same space at the same time. Nothing worse than double booked spaces.

7.  Intentionally plan events to ensure all necessities are available for the event and already placed in the appropriate part of the facility (tables, chairs, sound system, child care, etc).

8.  Push the responsibilities to request events and determine the spaces, resources and services by those who need the space and not just a single contact person. The day of the “gate keeper” is quickly passing us by.

9.  Empower staff, team members and  leaders to resolve their own scheduling conflicts before “the boss” has to get involved.

10.  Reduce the duplication of entry…let your scheduling software also populate your website calendar(s) so you only have to enter data once.

BONUS: The right scheduling solution can also schedule your HVAC systems!!! Wouldn’t that be nice?

Now…those are just the top 10 (and a bonus)…we assure you there are many more.

If you are looking for an easy to use and yet cost effective room/event/resource scheduling tool, consider eSPACE. You can try if for FREE for 30 days…or you can just KICK THE TIRES.

What do you have to lose?????


5 Needs Facility and Event Scheduling Software Can Remedy

Solving a problem highlighted in blue under the heading Solution

With rare exception, church facilities are a tool God has entrusted to us to steward. Part of stewarding is the utilization and use of these facilities.  If your facility is only used on the weekend, I would question the need to have a facility at all. If all you need is a place to meet on Saturday or Sunday, then why invest so many Kingdom Resources to construction and maintenance of a physical structure.

Buildings were meant to be used. And as such, their use must be properly planned and coordinated. Have you ever shown up for a meeting, not just at your church facility, and learned that another group was also planning to meet in the same space? Awkward!

So, why should your church implement the use of facility and event scheduling software? What are the real benefits?  Won’t Google Calendar, Outlook or the endangered paper wall calendar suffice?

Here are 5 needs that facility and event scheduling software just might be able to remedy:
Continue reading “5 Needs Facility and Event Scheduling Software Can Remedy”

Welcome to eSPACE


In 2008, Cool Solutions Group developed its first SaaS software applications.   The first released application was called MINISTReSPACE, which was a room and event scheduling software, and the second entitled FACILITeSPACE  geared toward work order and facility management.

Now…in 2015, we are excited to release a unified application… Continue reading “Welcome to eSPACE”