Focus Group Feedback from the Building Committee


Focus Group meetings were held Oct 31 through Nov 13 at SUMC as the Building Committee (BC) sought congregational input on a new sanctuary building and expansion. 116 responses to questionnaires were received, reviewed and analyzed. We’d like to let you know the results of your feedback.


Question 8 - Would you be willing to commit financially to this new beginning in fall of 2017?
This question received 64.7% affirmative responses, 9.5% uncertain, 3.4% negative and 22.4% left this question unanswered. The BC is encouraged by the very large affirmative response. Research within our own district indicated an affirmative response of 64.7% is extremely positive for new building programs.


Questions 7 - What spaces are you most excited to see expanded? Your responses to this question validated the BC’s findings to date and our previous reports to you. “Sanctuary & Worship” received the greatest number of #1 priority votes, followed by “Greeting & Hospitality”, then a tie for third with “Children’s check in etc” and “Youth Areas,” followed by “Adult Learning” in fifth. Don’t worry; on a ballot with five important options the fifth place finisher cannot be considered a “last” place finish. Adult Learning is an important piece of making disciples for Christ and the BC plans to accommodate adult learning space in the design.


Responses to Questions 1 – 6 were also very positive, they validated the BC’s previous work, and are valuable for continued guidance in the design of the sanctuary expansion.  Some often-repeated words and phrases describing your desires include: 

Atmosphere: inviting, welcoming, comfortable, flexible,

Characteristics: well-lit (bright), roomy, accessible, open, safe, excellent signage

Dedicated space for: youth (MS, HS) areas, adult classrooms, youth classrooms & play

Technology: high quality, interactive, easy to access and operate

We believe these ideas will aid SUMC’s ministries to win people to Christ, nurturing children and adults to become dedicated disciples of the Lord, and reaching out to our communities and beyond with the demonstration of Christ’s love.


Many other ideas were received around topics such as pews or chairs, natural or artificial light, a sanctuary “tuned” for traditional and contemporary music, expanding the kitchen area, additional provisions for the “Respite Ministry”, ensuring adequate storage space and more. The BC is encouraged that we have had previous discussions around these ideas and their impact on the projected cost of the project. We will make every effort to reach the best decisions for the sanctuary expansion design through research, discussion, expert input and, most importantly, prayer. Church is where Christ is. This will be our guiding thought as we move forward to finalize the design. 

Rebecca Wade,
Mar 30, 2017, 6:16 AM