Is Deferred Maintenance Killing Your “Church?”

deferred maintenance of church

We have written about deferred maintenance and spoken about it on numerous occasions. The need for a Facility Condition Assessment has also come up in conversation many times. Facing the facts of current realities related to the condition and operation of your facility is crucial to understand. And do you know one of the most critical aspects to come to grips with and plan to address is? You guessed it — deferred maintenance.  

Our team continues to perform FCAs all across the country for churches of nearly every size and shape. Over the past 10 years, we have done assessments for churches that have one campus and less than 15,000 square feet to multi-site campuses of more than 350,000 square feet. Plus, single campuses that are larger than one million square feet. These assessments have presented alarming data to our team that, as facility stewards, we feel it is our responsibility to address them. 

This is Not a Drill: Deferred Maintenance is Money

If you have kept up with previous blogs, you know that we harp on deferred maintenance being a serious issue. Our research and real-life experience have shown us that. Even studies performed by others on public school facilities have revealed that deferred maintenance is rampant.

Let’s dig deeper. In the past three to four years, our team has assessed over 3.8 million square feet of church facilities. Among that, we have identified almost $50 million in deferred maintenance. In turn, that averages over $13 per square foot. Not to mention the highest was over $40 per square foot — ouch. 

This all leads us to believe that if your church facility is 100,000 square feet, you will likely have $1.3 million of deferred maintenance. But it could be as much as $4 million. 

Now, let’s pause and think about what that means for your church facility. Are you the rare church that has less than average? Are you in that average range? Or are you at the top — maybe worse?

Facility Condition Assessments and Deferred Maintenance

Regardless of where you stand, it is critical you know how much money you may be wasting as well as how much money you may need to just get back to a breakeven on deferred maintenance. Facing reality is a critical role of every leader, especially church leaders. For an organization (Church - capital ‘C’) that claims to be committed to stewardship principles, this is not a very good representation of stewarding what God has entrusted to us.

Facing the reality that you may have some issues is step one. The next step is having your facilities assessed. But don't stop there. You need to also develop a plan to eradicate the deferred maintenance while still planning efficient operational budgeting and capital reserve planning. I understand that this is going to feel overwhelming — I get it.  But the more you delay, the worse it will get.

You do not need to do this alone.  Our team is here to help!

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