Plan FAQ

How can DCEF help with our church building and facilities planning?

Do your building and facilities enhance or detract from your ministry? Do you find yourself making your programming and ministry fit your space? DCEF advisors bring many years of experience working with Disciples congregations from all across the country, and in all sorts of buildings. You can be confident that when you call Disciples Church Extension Fund we will look at your space together and come up with a plan.

Should we arrange a consultation with a Disciples Church Extension Fund advisor before planning our next building project?

Yes. Many logistical questions arise when considering a project of any size. Experienced Disciples Church Extension Fund advisors can help you navigate the process. Therefore, we recommend that an initial consultation is your first step before any construction or renovation project. The initial consultation is a DCEF service available at no charge to all Disciples congregations.

What will my church get from an initial consultation?

The initial consultation provides an opportunity for your leadership to share their hopes and dreams for your church’s ministry and the initial ideas behind your building and facility needs. From the initial consultation, your DCEF advisor will help you identify the financial capacity for your congregation’s fundraising and borrowing, a basic time frame for completing your projects, and next steps you should take to prepare your facility to reach your ministry goals.

When is the best time to schedule a consultation?

Initial consultations are most helpful when scheduled as soon as your congregation’s official decision-making body/committee/board believes that a building project is needed, and before your congregation sets its necessary organization/teams in place. To schedule an initial consultation, your board should take formal action to invite Disciples Church Extension Fund to send an advisor. One of your official representatives or officers can review and complete the request form here.

Who should attend the meeting(s) with our DCEF advisor or consultant?

Representative leaders of your congregation should be present, such as the pastor(s), board chair/moderator, relevant team leaders, and those responsible for the resources and ministries related to your project. Your DCEF advisor will be able to advise you on which representatives are needed for your particular context and project.

Do we have to have a ministry plan in place before we can call DCEF?

Generally, DCEF highly recommends that your congregation has a ministry plan in place that puts your mission priorities at the center of your building project. If you currently don't have one, we can help you develop that plan through our partners at Hope Partnership Services. Speak with a DCEF advisor to discuss your church’s vision and building plans, by contacting us today.

Are there charges for DCEF planning services?

Disciples Church Extension Fund offers an initial consultation at no charge to Disciples congregations. If your congregation would like to move forward with additional services, there are modest financial charges that will be applied to some of our specialized services. Your DCEF advisor will be able to provide you with a cost breakdown of all the services you might consider in moving forward. Plus, all service fees can apply toward loan fees if you secure a loan through Disciples Church Extension Fund for your building project.

Will DCEF provide an architect for our project?

Yes, and no. Disciples Church Extension Fund provides consulting architects only upon request through the architectural consultation service. We have a relationship with several architects and architectural firms across the country who will come in and provide recommendations for a specific church project. DCEF offers the architectural consultation so that a church can meet with an independent architect who understands church needs and who can help identify and address the issues, before committing to a long-term relationship with a local architect or firm. Generally, our contracted architect will provide a report that could include sketches (not drawings) of how an issue might be addressed by your church. Our contracted architects won't do the design work needed for a project but will instead give you an unbiased opinion in his/her report of what you can do and how to go about doing it. Your congregation can then use this report when you meet with a local architect or general contractor that you have hired.

Does DCEF offer "feasibility" studies?

Disciples Church Extension Fund offers a feasibility or projection survey before beginning a Capital Fundraising Campaign. The feasibility survey is used to determine how connected to and excited about the project church members are and what the campaign’s financial goal should be.