Project Jordan Information Series

Part II: What is the Master Planning Stage?

Posted by: The Elders

This is the second article of our series on what the architectural design and construction process involves.

The Master Planning Stage for Project Jordan should answer the question: “What is the Vision to spread God’s word in our community and beyond?” A vision is...the time for gathering ideas, dreams, goals, visions, present and future ministries, etc.

Think not of the confines of existing space that we already have, but of the possibilities of our ministry inside, as well as outside, of the physical building.  A building is only a tool to help our ministry...because the church is our people,  not a building.

The intent is to think and plan as far into the future as possible for programs, needs, and vision. Budgets will certainly be considered as part of this process, but should not dim the vision. The Master Plan created as part of this journey, will allow for the possibility of future spaces to be incorporated into the vision even if it is not possible as part of the first phase.


The results of Master Planning should be a unified design:

  • One which incorporates the many diverse ideas into a well-planned, functional, and affordable facility.
  • It is sensitive to the personality and unique dynamics of our ministry.
  • It puts the priorities of our ministry first.
  • It has the total support of the organization, both from a ministry and financial perspective.
  • It is totally unique to what our church is trying to achieve with our ministry.

Master Planning is the first Major Stage in the overall larger Project Jordan. It begins with the seed of an initial ministry vision. The information, and input gathered during this stage from Ministry leaders and users, informs the initial schematic sketches, budget, phasing, and scope of work. It is not typically a detailed exercise involving skilled professional Engineers, but rather the manifestation of a vision created by an Architect. This concept is used to frame and inform the beginning of the more technical stages of Pre-construction and Construction.


The Master Plan deliverables are:


  • Program - Defines specific requirements, space needs, and goals for each and every ministry area.
  • Sketches - Site and Floor Plans which describe the proposed renovations and/or additions in the Master Plan.
  • Cost Estimate - Our goal is to be as accurate as possible, based on today’s construction costs, to create as realistic a budget as possible. The Master Plan estimate is based on a cost per square foot value, at this stage.
  • Scope of Work - A general list that describes the construction methods, materials, and finishes that are included in the Budget, itemized by trade.  The Scope of Work also lists the items that are excluded from the Budget that the church must also plan and provide for.


Note: A Facility Master Plan is NOT:

  • A set of technical architectural drawings
  • A plan that is set in stone or permanent
  • A hard bid or actual costs for a project
  • An unachievable fantasy