Don’t Just Raise the Bar; Be the Bar

I love the new television commercials for the Ford F-150 that ends with: It Doesn’t Raise the Bar, It is the Bar.

The obvious connotation is that Ford is not raising the bar…but they ARE the bar that everyone else chases and tries to obtain.  I love that.

Now, let me be clear, I am not a Ford guy…in fact…I am not an any “brand” guy. I have owned Fords, Chevy, GMC (I am still driving my 14 year old Yukon with 198,00 miles), Toyota and others.

I do like Ford’s confidence and guts to claim to be the best. Is it true? I am not getting into that discussion. But what I do want to look at is being BEST-IN-CLASS…more than just bravado or words, but in actions and deeds. I have used the analogy that you can get a chicken sandwich (and a taco and a burger and…) from Jack-In-The-Box, but if I am looking for a “best-in-class” chicken sandwich, I go to Chick-fil-A.

Our team has made a very INTENTIONAL decision to be the Chick-fil-A of the church software market.  We are not trying to be all things to all people. It is not our competency. We are FACILITY PROFESSIONALS that have developed best-in-class Facility Management software solutions for those responsible to steward their ministry facilities. PERIOD…end of story. No if, and, or but!  We are here to serve the church as it relates to their facilities usage, management, maintenance, integration, controls, training, services, and life cycle planning.

eSPACE does not accommodate member management, child check-in, small groups, accounting, missions trip planning, worship service planning…we are all about FACILITIES.

As we shared last week, given our conviction, we have integrated with many of the “best-in-class” Church Management Software applications…you can see the whole list HERE.

If Facility Stewardship is important to your church, then you owe it to yourself and your congregation to give us a look and see how we can assist you to be EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT and INTENTIONAL with the facilities God has entrusted to you to steward.

We ARE the Bar!


eSPACE integrates with the tools you use to manage your church. You can now integrate your Church Management Software with the industry leading suite of Facility Management applications including HVAC Integration, Event Management, Work Order Management, and Capital Reserve Planning

Welcome To Your Dirty Clean Building

You have probably heard that first impressions of your facility happen very quickly when a first-time guest comes in. So, we push our facility team to keep entrances clean. The concern is, what does clean mean to you? Clean is one part of a proper cleaning program in your facility, and while it is the most visually impactful, it doesn’t mean you have a “clean” facility.

Clean is one of the “Big 3” of a proper understanding of what it takes for a great custodial program. The other two are Sanitize and Disinfect. Let us look at their bios and see why they are all important.

Clean

Clean means free from visible dirt, marks, or stains. Keeping the trash picked up, wiping up Brother John’s coffee spill (again), wiping little Susie’s handprints off the glass door; that is cleaning. Keeping an area clean is very important to the program, but what if Brother John spilled his coffee on the table you are about to eat that donut on? Oh, and the rag he used to wipe up the spill is the same one he wiped his hands on after putting the raw chicken in the crock-pot for the potluck. Then, you hope that Sanitize is part of your program as well.

Sanitize

Sanitize means treating food-contact surfaces by a process that destroys vegetative cells (cells that are growing) of microorganisms of public health significance, and in substantially reducing numbers of other undesirable microorganisms, but without adversely affecting the product or its safety for the consumer.

“Clean is one part of a proper cleaning program in your facility, and while it is the most visually impactful, it doesn’t mean you have a ‘clean’ facility.”

That last is important, because it means that the sanitizer will get rid of some nasties (99.999% of those that cause food-borne illness), but is (relatively) safe for you if you touch the residue.  Sanitizers that are food contact rated are certified by the EPA first, and maximum use level for direct use on food contact surfaces are set by the FDA; they will be labeled as such. Most sanitizers will state that the first step to sanitizing is cleaning the surface of debris and spills first.

So, that makes the donut break at the table better, but what about little Susie’s handprint that got on the glass because she was wiping her runny nose? That is where Disinfect comes along.

Disinfect

Disinfect is like sanitize, except for the control issue. Disinfect does not want to leave anything alive on a surface it is on. Depending on type, wet dwell time may need to be 30 seconds to 10 minutes. A disinfectant can be tested and rated as a bactericide (kills bacteria), viricide (kills viruses), fungicide (kills fungus), and mildewcide (kills mildew). Many are rated for a great deal of things based on concentration and dwell time. Just like sanitize, most disinfectants require cleaning as the first step.

 

Fun Fact Time

Sanitizers and disinfectants that are registered with the EPA fall under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) because they are pesticides. They kill living organisms. Overexposure and improper use and handling can cause a great deal more harm in your facility than not using them.

So how do we keep the facility healthy with Brother John and little Susie running around? Simple, we get intentional in developing and training on a comprehensive cleaning procedure. We make sure our cleaning procedures utilize the proper mix of the “Big 3”. If you need assistance, Cool Solutions Group stands ready to partner with you and help you develop the program that welcomes guests to your clean (and sanitized and disinfected) facility.


Does your church meet in a facility (rented or owned)? Do you believe God has entrusted the care and stewarding of those facilities to you (or your church)? Are you proactive and intentional with these efforts? If any of these relate to you, then you need to get your copy of the Intentional Church Series: Facility Stewardship Manual.

Is Your Technology Actually Helping You Minister Better?

By: Neil Miller of KiSSFLOW

On the Monday Morning Church podcast, I speak to Executive Pastors and Church Administrators about the monumental changes in technology over the last 15 years.

It is amazing to hear how churches are using tools that few could have dreamed of earlier. Technology, like church management software, has allowed churches to scale their impact like never before.

But the same church leaders are also worried that technology is eating too much time from their staff.

Think about your own setting. How many hours a day do ministers at your church spend in front of a screen? How much of that time do they spend manually updating information, editing volunteer profiles, and transferring data from spreadsheets? How long does it take them to respond to all the emails piling up in their inbox?

When it comes to facilities, how much time is spent updating logs, checking HVAC schedules, and sorting through work orders?

Technology has given us amazing benefits, but it also demands a lot of our attention.

What if there was a way to retain all the benefits of technology, while at the same time freeing up ministers to actually have more time to spend with people?

“There’s a sweeping trend that has taken the business world by storm, and churches are smart to open their sails to it.”

Automation.

While it may sound like an imposing word that your church isn’t ready for, it’s likely exactly what you need.

With automation, a church can take a deep look at the workflows of their regular processes – both those that involve the whole congregation (e.g. communication approval, facility requests, and volunteer registration) and those focused on how the facilities run (e.g. work orders, purchase requests, and event scheduling).

By automating a workflow, you not only set up a standard way to handle the process every time, you can also eliminate manual tasks such as sending notifications, updating calendars, and transferring data.

In addition to giving pastors and ministers more time back in their schedules, automation can also:

  • Standardize your core processes to ensure consistency across campuses
  • Reduce the number of errors that happen because of manual transfers
  • Give an audit trail of every request
  • Track the current status of any item instantly

Take a standard Facility Usage Request. A manual workflow can have lots of holes in it. There could be missing critical information, the request could miss an important approval, and it could take hours to figure out the last person who acted on the request.

When you use automation tools like eSPACE and KiSSFLOW, you can set up a standard process to run with consistency and efficiency. You can even set up conditional workflow paths, requiring additional approvals for larger spaces or additional steps if the requester needs to pay for the usage.

Automation is a way to keep the massive scaling benefits of technology without having to dedicate so much time to it.

Companies around the world have already embraced automation and use it to improve their processes. Churches can do the same to reduce the administrative burden on pastors and free them up to connect with people more.

For a full overview of automation and some tips on your first steps, download the free Beginner’s Guide to Church Automation. You’ll learn how other churches are using automation and why it’s more accessible than ever before.

Neil Miller is the host of the Monday Morning Church Podcast, presented by KiSSFLOW, the church automation solution. To learn more about KiSSFLOW and see how churches are using automation, visit http://church.kissflow.com.

Church Facility Projects – You've Moved In…But You're Still Not Done

You’ve moved into the new facility and are enjoying the “new car smell” and excitement that comes with seeing the vision become reality.  As you celebrate this momentous occasion, there’s still work to be done to keep this new building running at peak performance.

Capital Reserves

Start setting aside money in a Capital Reserves Account.  Ideally, this is a separate bank account used only for facility maintenance and repair expenses.  At the very least, it can be a separate line item in the general ledger.  Don’t forget to include reserves for IT and AVL (audio, visual, lighting) equipment.  How much should you set aside?  For a new (or fairly new) construction, save $1.00-$3.00 per square foot each year.

Maintenance-Related Expenses

Add or update the maintenance-related expenses in your church’s annual budget.  Expect to spend roughly $2.00-$2.50 per square foot annually on general maintenance.  You’ll also need to budget for additional facilities staff to handle those general maintenance tasks.  Plan for one FTE (full-time equivalent) for every 25,000 – 35,000 square feet.

Utilities

Update the budget to account for the change in utility costs at your new facility.  A good place to start is $1.00-$1.50 per square foot each year.

Janitorial Services

Whether you handle this in-house or outsource janitorial work, you’ll need to budget approximately $1.75 – $2.50 per square foot each year.

Handling these behind-the-scenes tasks will help keep your new facility running smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Intentional organizations plan today for tomorrow’s costs. That’s why it’s critical you establish a capital reserve account now. Download our FREE eBook to learn more.

Church Facility Projects – Before You Move In

The facility is almost ready and it’s easy to see what the final product will look like.  As you make plans to move in and use the new building, there are several items left to manage.

1. Request the “as-built” drawings from the builder.  These are different from the initial plans the architect provided as they show exactly where the construction crew placed ducts, plumbing, electrical wiring, and more (in other words, all the supporting elements hidden behind the drywall). You’ll want these drawings in the future when you need to track down where a water leak is coming from, what electrical wires to reroute for a remodel, etc.

2. Think through what service providers you’ll use for ongoing maintenance and repair work. Who will maintain the HVAC systems? Who will handle janitorial work? Who is your preferred plumber? Which vendor will you purchase your paper products from? Create this list and keep the contact information of each vendor in a central location.

3. Interview vendors and get new or updated preventative maintenance contracts (and other contracts for cleaning services, paper products, etc.).  Preventative maintenance helps you avoid a catastrophic breakdown of any key system.  What would happen if your air conditioning stopped working during a Texas summer and you can’t get it replaced for a week?  That’s not an ideal scenario for Sunday services. Preventative maintenance contracts could include maintenance for roofing, elevators, HVAC units, commercial kitchens, fire extinguishers, and more.

4. Once you’ve selected the vendors you want to use and have contracts with them, enter that information into the system you plan to use to manage ongoing maintenance (such as eSPACE’s Work Order Management application).  The General Contractor should provide you with a list of all equipment (an owner’s manual of sorts).  You’ll need to enter that list into your maintenance system as well.

5. Other factors to consider before move-in:

  • How are we going to key the building?
  • Who will have access to those keys?
  • What security plan do we have in-place?
  • What’s our facility use policy for the new facility?
  • Do we have certain rules?
  • Will we charge for certain types of facility usage? If so, what’s the rate and criteria for usage?  You’ll need to document this information and communicate it to the church staff.
  • Inventory – Consider taking and maintaining an inventory of certain supplies.  This list may include light bulbs, paper products, HVAC filters, cleaning supplies, and others.
  • Outsource vs. handle in-house – Will we outsource janitorial or other facilities maintenance work?

6. Re-review your operational budget for the new facility and start to make “payments” for these costs (to yourself) to start to get accustomed this new spending reality.

7. From a funding perspective:

  • Keep the vision of the project alive and celebrate it.  Keep it at the forefront in the hearts and minds of your congregation.  This helps them stay enthusiastic about the project and provides a gentle reminder to keep their financial pledge.
  • Take any milestone moment that’s connected to the vision and celebrate that moment with the church.  Share why the project is mission critical to achieving that vision.

Intentional organizations plan today for tomorrow’s costs. That’s why it’s critical you establish a capital reserve account now. Download our FREE eBook to learn more.

Church Facility Projects – So You Want to Launch a Building Project?

Whether you’re renting a facility or want to expand the one you already own, the decision to embark on a building project isn’t one to take lightly.  This effort will require a significant amount of time, energy, money, teamwork, and prayer.  If you don’t have prior experience in the construction industry or an unlimited budget (who does?!), then this is time to pause and consider what you’re about to do as a church.

It’s always helpful to have a road map or GPS available before you set out on a trip into unfamiliar territory.  With that in mind, we’ve developed a series of posts to guide you through key milestones in the construction journey.  From architectural drawings to financing and more, we’ll walk you through the major issues and point out potential pitfalls.

To get started, let’s address what you need to do first.  There are lots of behind-the-scenes details to manage as you start planning this significant effort.

Determine Your Why

The first phase of any construction project starts way before you hire a construction crew or start moving dirt.  You have much planning to do before you can get to those steps.  In fact, the first thing you should consider is “why”.

  •      Why do we want to do this project?
  •      Have we outgrown our current facility?
  •      Do we see a need in our community that this project could fill (that our current facility can not)?

Getting clarity on the vision behind the project is a pivotal first step.  Without a clear vision, you’ll have trouble making decisions and communicating why people should donate towards this project.

Gather a Team of Advisors

As we read in Proverbs 15:22, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.”  Unless you are fortunate enough to have people within your congregation with these specialized skill-sets, you’ll need to bring in outside experts to give you wise counsel.  This is the time to start talking with potential architects, lenders, and capital campaign consultants.  It’s tempting to think you should start with an architect before talking with potential lenders so you know how much money you’ll need.  However, talking with lenders as you meet with your architect can help you determine what a lender is willing to loan to your church.  That can have a significant impact on what you can afford to design with an architect. Remember: You can do a building project in phases as your budget allows.  Trying to do it all at once isn’t necessary.  Check out “If it’s Phase-able, It’s Feasible” for more insights into that approach.

Get Your Facilities Manager Involved Now

Whoever is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your current facility needs to be involved in the planning process from day one.  This is the person who knows the constraints of your current facility, who hears the complaints from staff and volunteers, and who has to figure out where to store everything for multi-functioning rooms.  Even if you’re renting a facility, this is the person who knows how your congregation uses a building and what you’ll need in a new facility.

One example of where you’ll need to involve the facilities manager is in discussions with your project management team.  Here are a few questions your facilities manager may want to ask:

  • How can we setup the lighting and HVAC controls so we can save money by making the use of electricity more efficient?
  • How are we accounting for storage?  Consider how you’ll use each room.  If a room is multi-         functioning, decide where you’ll store extra tables and chairs for various room configurations.
  • How will we maintain this new facility?  If we have lights 20-30 feet in the air with pews or theater seats below, how will we replace the bulbs?

Consider the Total Cost

The total cost doesn’t simply include what it will take to build the facility.  Construction costs are just one piece of the overall puzzle.  Construction costs typically don’t include design elements such as theatrical lighting, sound, furniture, décor, flooring, paint, environmental graphics, IT components, etc. You’ll also need to factor in what it will cost to operate and maintain the facility once you’ve moved in.  This includes monthly utilities, maintenance and repairs, janitorial services, and maintenance staff.

Another item to consider is your long-term life cycle planning.  This is your plan for stewarding the new facility and the equipment associated with it so you can maintain and replace items as needed.  Each item has a life cycle or amount of time it will last.  HVAC units eventually stop working.  You’ll need to replace the soundboards and flooring at some point.  Consider the cost of replacing each item and what you should set aside in a capital reserve fund each month so you can easily pay for those replacements when the time comes.  eSPACE provides a free Life Cycle Calculator you can use to start this planning process.

Add up the monthly mortgage payment, what you’ll spend each month to maintain the facility (including insurance costs), and what you need to set aside for capital reserves.  Is that amount something your church can comfortably afford?  If not, now is the time to adjust plans and expectations before you’ve invested any money into the project.

Start Planning for the Capital Campaign

Unless you’ve already been saving for years, you’ll likely need to run a capital campaign to raise money for this project.  Before you announce anything to the congregation, you will need to do careful planning on how and when to cast this vision.  Brad Leeper from Generis offered these tips:

  • Start talking with church staff, leaders (elders, deacons, etc.), major givers, and small groups to align leaders before presenting the campaign to the full congregation.
  • Make sure you’re clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing.  You’ll raise more money by taking a longer view of the capital campaign process.  This is more about creating a culture of generosity and leveraging that cultural change than a short-term campaign.

This planning phase is vital to the success of your building project.  Don’t shortcut or skip anything in this phase.  You’ll end up having to deal with these tasks at some point anyway, so it’s best to handle them now before you’ve invested considerable time and money.

In addition, we have recently developed a FREE Church Facility Evaluator. This simple tool will provide you with a snapshot of some key indicators associated with facility operational costs.  This 2-3 minute evaluation will give you some real time data…based on national averages…as to whether you are GOOD TO GO…or in need of help.

Don’t wait…get started HERE!

Top 5 Facilities Management Challenges – PART 3

Today we will look at Part 3 of our series on the Top 5 Facilities Management Challenges.

Today we are going to look at the 3rd challenge (Remember we are reviewing these in reverse order…to see Part 1 and 2…which are numbers 5 and 4 on the list…go to our BLOG). As a reminder, the research we are quoting from was published by Corrigo, Inc who specializes in work order and time tracking solutions. There article lists the Top 5 Facilities Management challenges based on a survey they conducted of over 1,200 companies.

Challenge #3 Getting more work done with fewer resources

Not a single company surveyed indicated that an increase in work load was the least of their concerns – for nearly everyone, it was in the top three. Given these belt-tightening times, this comes as no surprise. 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.

According to one property manager, “My biggest worry is finding dependable vendors at reasonable prices.” This sentiment was echoed in various ways by others. “Many of our smaller contractors aren’t around anymore. It’s a lot of work finding new ones, and then the work is just beginning because you have a new relationship to manage, pricing agreements to set up, and a lot of paperwork to get straight,” said a restaurant facility manager.

In addition to on-boarding new vendors, the task of ongoing communications with existing ones was identified as a big part of the day-to-day work load placed on the shoulders of facility managers. “We work with literally hundreds of service providers,” said a facility services director for a government organization, “and on any given day, my team is not only dispatching them, but also tracking their work progress, making sure invoices for completed work match up with work orders – it adds up to a lot of phone calls, emails, and faxes.”

SUMMARY FROM SURVEY

Doing more with fewer resources is not a temporary situation – in a competitive market, you’ll always have pressure to keep operational costs as low as possible. 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 clients and vendors to process work requests electronically
• Automating vendor job routing via intelligent systems

COOL SOLUTIONS GROUP APPLICATIONS

  1. I have seen many churches reduce staffing over the past year. Most has been in the area of business/financial administration and facilities related staff. This means that the staff left in the wake of these cuts are having to do more…with less. Less budget…less resources…less money. Yet their organizations expect the same level of work to be accomplished or that their facilities remain in the same, if not better condition. This is a juggling act that is becoming very challenging. I have met with several FM’s that are frankly overwhelmed with the level of tactical responsibilities that are now on their plate which robs them (and their organizations) from their ability to think and plan strategically. They have become “firemen” and not managers. If we need firemen…then we can hire them for far less than the cost of a professional FM…so what do we, as the church, want our administrators and FM staff to really do? Each ministry needs to ask and answer this questions and face the realities and ramifications of their answers.
  2. As I indicated in PART 2, most churches do not have a good system or process for tracking real costs of PM and repair. This also applies to scheduling work of PM, repairs, capital improvements etc. This then bleeds over into how we schedule work orders and our vendors. While I do not subscribe to the notion that e-mail, fax and phone communication is loosing its effectiveness (In fact, I believe we need to pick up the phone more often than sending an e-mail…this is a shift for me). However, I am a firm believer of documenting salient discussions and communications. It is far to easy to get busy and not document what was discussed, what was the agreed upon ETA for the work or the anticipated cost, does the vendor have the adequate insurance and so on. Having a system for documenting vendor interaction that interfaces with your historical tracking is critical for the understanding of the issues associated with your vendors; their performance, their costs and their reliability, their insurance. There are several good tools on the market that we would suggest you explore.
  3. Vendors are going to come and go…particularly in today’s economic environment. What is your plan for interviewing, qualifying and utilizing new vendors? Are you merely going to let your “fingers do the walking?” I like the quote, “Dig your well before you get thirsty.” That applies to this as well. Have a plan as to how you address vendor turn over (or even church members who are doing work that leave the church). Don’t wait until the last minute.

CONCLUSION: 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, insurance and performance. Analyze how you will address needing to get more done with less…and if outsourcing is another option that can reduce cost and give you, the professional FM/administrator, the time to be strategic and not tactical. And finally, do not become lulled to sleep thinking that your vendors will never go out of business or stop wanting to serve your facility. Remember, the only constant is change…so be prepared.

Stay tuned for Part 4

Also, if you missed the first 2 posts, check them out on our BLOG.

Does your church meet in a facility (rented or owned)? Do you believe God has entrusted the care and stewarding of those facilities to you (or your church)? Are you proactive and intentional with these efforts? If any of these relate to you, then you need to get your copy of the Intentional Church Series: Facility Stewardship Manual.

Top 5 Facilities Management Challenges – PART 1

I recently read an article published by Corrigo, Inc who specializes in work order and time tracking solutions. This article lists the Top 5 Facilities Management challenges based on a survey they conducted of over 1,200 companies.

For the sake of space, I will plan to divide their findings into 5 separate blog posts starting with the 5th challenge and work our way up to the top challenge (according to Corrigo). We will explore their findings in the commercial markets and then draw similarities to ministry facilities.

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

A major trend from previous surveys was the issue of outsourcing – companies trying to figure out their strategy for the amount of work they self-perform versus the amount they manage through vendors. While this topic has not gone away, it is not the driver behind operational change. According to the Director of Facilities at one restaurant chain, “Outsourcing work is a given – we know we’re always going to do it to some degree. It’s dealing with the changing amount of work and the churn in our pool of vendors that’s the challenge.”

The ability to evaluate vendor performance was an issue that was repeatedly raised as a major management challenge. Multiple survey respondents indicated that their most pressing need was tracking vendor performance and enforcing pricing agreements. “Too often we just ‘go with who we know,’” said one respondent. “To make better decisions, we need to get feedback from the stores where the work is being done, and also from accounting where invoices are processed.”

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 accumulated performance feedback
• Recording and comparing information on vendor pricing
• Maintaining searchable records of vendor certifications

COOL SOLUTIONS GROUP APPLICATIONS

  1. Having the right vendors working on our facilities is important. Are they qualified? How do we qualify them? Where did you find them? The phone book? Do we know what their fee structures are? When was the last time you explored other vendors? These questions should be examined on a regular basis to ensure that we have the right people serving our facilities needs.
  2. When was the last time you explored the “real” cost of your vendors? The real costs include not only the invoice from the vendor but also include the cost of locating a vendor, scheduling the work, coordinating the work with your facilities scheduled events, overseeing the work, inspecting the completed work, reviewing the invoice, paying the invoice, addressing “call-back” issues with the work, etc, etc, etc. In addition, do you know what the real costs are when you have on-site staff perform certain tasks? It may appear that it is cost effective to have an on-site staff member address certain repairs or tasks like painting or the like. But is it really, or are you only making that leap based on just part of the information? What is the wage of that person? What is the cost of the labor burden/benefits? Do you also provide items such as a computer, vehicle, uniform, etc? How much does it cost to manage that person? Does the simplest of tasks take longer to get accomplished than if it was performed by a paid professional in that trade? It is critical to understand these real costs to determine if you are actually paying more than you realize.
  3. Having insurance on all vendors on your site/facilities is critical. Not only is knowing that the vendor has insurance important, it is even more important to have a copy of the insurance certificate and track the expiration dates of each. It is recommended that you obtain a Certificate of Insurance on each and every vendor including General Liability, Workers Compensation, Vehicle as well as an Umbrella rider. This is for the church’s protection from significant expense in the case of a claim as well as potential legal action. Then, you should keep a file of all vendors along with a a log of expiration dates. It is recommended that you require vendors to give you a copy of an updated certificate prior to expiration.

CONCLUSION: 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.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

Does your church meet in a facility (rented or owned)? Do you believe God has entrusted the care and stewarding of those facilities to you (or your church)? Are you proactive and intentional with these efforts? If any of these relate to you, then you need to get your copy of the Intentional Church Series: Facility Stewardship Manual.

Thom Rainer Interviews Tim Cool

It was such an honor to sit down with Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe to talk “shop”…at least “shop” from my perspective and paradigm. But even more than the honor of doing the interview is the fact that top level church leaders are seeing how critical it is to steward the ministry facilities God has entrusted to them.  I have been beating this drum for over 9 years and it thrills me to see the attention churches are now giving to the life cycle and capital reserve initiatives needed to properly steward their ministry tools.

Take a few minutes and check our this interview.  It covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time…such as:

  • Everything on earth has been entrusted by God to us to care for.
  • Stewardship in the church isn’t just about money.
  • The expenses needed to take care of a facility are not an optional thing, they are an inevitable thing.
  • We know facility issues will come up in the church, it’s prudent for us to plan for them.
  • Facilities won’t save souls. They are tools for us to use to see people saved and to disciple the saints.
  • Churches need four master plans—ones for ministry, finance, facility, and sustainability.
  • Church utility costs should average between $1 and $1.50 per square foot annually.
  • Effective facility usage can lead to more effective ministry because you’re able to put more resources into ministry.

Click the image below to listen…and then apply what you hear!

 

Bloomfield Hills Schools + eSPACE = WOW Experience

Many of you who follow us or read our blogs, generally will associate our products and services with churches and Houses of Worship.  For the most part you would be correct.  However, what many of you may not know, is that we also have a large consortium of private schools, colleges, universities and yes…Public School Districts.

Let me introduce you to one of these public schools – Bloomfield Hills Schools

According to their listing on Google, they are “one of the best public school districts in Michigan for students ages 6 weeks to graduation.”

While I cannot confirm or refute this claim, I can tell you that they are passionate about serving their community and the students (and their families) that attend their schools.

Bloomfield Hills School district is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. They are highly respected for their teachers and staff, commitment to creating opportunities for their students, encouraging them to explore a variety of unique experiences, providing hands-on activities, and having a diverse set of course offerings to help each student achieve their own unique goals.

This school system is comprised of 3 Preschools, 4 Elementary Schools, 3 Middle Schools, a High School and a variety of other programs, buildings and opportunities to meet the needs of their community.

Early last year, Shira Good, Director of Communications & Community Relations, reached out to our team to learn more about our eSPACE Event Scheduler, as they wanted to make a change from the “dude” they were using. They were frustrated with the lack of support, customer service and development initiatives. After an extended vetting process, Shira pulled the trigger and moved all of Bloomfield Hills event and facility planning to eSPACE.

Since that time our team has collaborated with the school district to develop several features and enhancements that have benefited not only Bloomfield Hills but many of our education and church clients.  It has been a great partnership. But…don’t just take our word for it.

Here is what Shira has to say about us!

“Oh. My. Gosh. We could not love eSPACE more!!!! You all ROCK!”

Moving to eSPACE has been everything we’d hoped and dreamed it to be.  Their staff is extremely responsive and supportive of our unique and growing needs.  They are flexible, thoughtful, and the best company we work with hands down.  We only wish the team at eSPACE would take over the internet world and build software for everything so we could work with them on every digital need we have!  Their customer service is far superior to anyone we’ve ever worked with!”

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