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The Community-Centered Church

What's behind the rising popularity of multipurpose buildings?

Could your church use an extra fellowship hall? What about more space for the youth group? Do you need room to start an outreach program for community seniors? If you're asking these questions and others, then it's time to consider a well-designed multipurpose building. And if you think such buildings are something only wealthy churches can afford, think again.

No matter what you call them—multipurpose buildings, family life centers, activity centers, or gymnatoriums—these increasingly popular flexible spaces are as likely to be found on a 400-member church campus as on a megachurch campus. Churches of all sizes are finding them a less expensive and more versatile alternative to traditional space.

"It's not a trend; it's a factor of the economy," says Henry Kohlleffel, vice-president of Century Builders in Houston, Texas. "A gym holds more bang for the buck."

Many growing churches, he says, are using multipurpose buildings as a steppingstone before investing in their ideal worship ...

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