Three months after I began pastoring full-time, our church, which had been renting facilities for nearly 20 years, did the improbable: it won an auction for a deserted plastics factory. Suddenly, the church needed someone to manage the renovation process, to immerse himself in parking substrates and asbestos removal and sprinkler heads. I was chosen.
Realizing my knowledge of construction, on a good day, registered exactly zero, I called Dave, the executive pastor at a nearby church. "You've built two church buildings," I said. "What do I need to know about building a church?"
Dave paused, I think weighing whether I was ready to hear the truth. "The six months before you move in and the six months after will be hideously expensive."
I hung up and stared at the wall, overcome by the two painful realities of church construction.