For the week of November 07, 2005

Communication “Hub”
By: Tom Bandy
Traditional church buildings were designed for curriculums rather than conversations. In other words, ecclesiastical architects assumed worshippers would go immediately to Sunday school rooms, or return for midweek Bible study sessions, or gather routinely in community centers. Christians did not really need to converse over their coffee. They just needed to take it with them.

Today, churches stuck with traditional architecture are scrambling for post-worship conversation space. Worshippers may not be going to Sunday school rooms (too boring), nor returning for midweek study groups (too busy), nor gathering in community centers (too many options). They do want to converse.

The #1 renovation trend today is the creation or conversion of space into a “communication hub”. This is the crossroad space through which everyone must travel to alternative worship services, nurseries, study centers, and offices. It is immediately proximate to the sanctuary, and requires no stairs, elevators, or corridors to access. It is roomy, comfortable, with multiple serving stations; it is filled with TVs, bulletin boards, and images from the congregational mission field. It encourages people to linger and talk. Conversation has replaced curriculum as the primary way people learn, grow, bond, and plan.