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GROWING WITHOUT BUILDING

Faced with the costs of a building project, many churches go into "blueprint shock," somewhat akin to "sticker shock" for new-car buyers. With costs close to $80 per square foot, growing churches are looking for alternatives to construction. Here are some of the creative approaches.

Extra use from present space

The most cost-effective alternative is to maximize the use of the present facility.

Russell Rosser pastors First Baptist Church in Flushing, New York, which has grown to nearly a thousand in a plant where the sanctuary holds four hundred. Every square foot gets multiple use. A secretary's desk is in the hall, worship overflow space is used by four classes during Sunday school, and a congregation of two hundred meets in the basement while another congregation of five hundred fills the sanctuary and overflow.

"Our congregation is committed to utilizing facilities rather than protecting them," Rosser explains. "We had to give up the fortress mentality. It's impossible for groups or individuals ...

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