Preparing to Build is used as required reading in the Church Admin Class of Liberty University’s D.Min. Curriculum.
The following are anonymous excerpts from papers arising out of the class in 2012.
- Anderson’s desire is to educate church leaders on what mistakes to look for and how to go about the building process. It seems that his main desire is to teach others how to learn from someone else’s mistake.
- Anderson provides a defined process with guidelines and inspiration that will enable every organization to execute a building program in a manner that will maximize the effectiveness of the overall mission of the church and it will (when done correctly) protect the involvement of the pastor of the church along with the other leaders chosen by the congregation to lead the building program.
- All of the chapters in this book are easy to read and understand and are presented with a view of the practical in the suggestions of should and should not’s.
- If the church recognizes what they do not know will keep them from making costly mistake. He again stressed getting an expert in on the beginning process instead of trying to straighten out preventable and costly errors. There was a resounding theme through this book that stressed the importance of getting an expert. To avoid the snare of building by making the church consider what they want and how to get there.
- The organization of the material is presented in a logical fashion, specifically providing a foundational understanding of the vision, selection of a builder, all the necessary preparations including space planning, design, financing, capital campaigns, land acquisition, building committees and information which is specific to small churches. The book also includes appendices in the back which includes a useful assessment tool for building readiness.
- In reading Preparing to Build, one cannot help but notice that Mr. Anderson has a heart for his profession and a desire to assist others in understanding building projects. He understands, from firsthand experience, the burden to guide ministers and others through a quagmire of complex situations and confusion within the church building process. Anderson’s response to this confusion is to suggest that the individual have a comprehensive working knowledge regarding the building process, which includes retaining experts in the field, and to follow specific, sequential steps in order to avoid costly mistakes in time and finances. This book overall, shows strength throughout its entire content with examples allowing Anderson to expose some of the common problems churches encounter in building projects, but more importantly, how to prevent the problem before it arises.
- Stephen Anderson wrote an absolute masterpiece in his focused book Preparing to Build. It is a high-level guide for any and every church preparing to build new facilities. If churches used Anderson’s work before beginning the process of building, they would save themselves a whole lot of headaches, actually be prepared for what is upcoming, and ultimately make better and clearer decisions throughout the course of action. Anderson comes from an extremely practical angle of the church’s building project. He is clearly a godly man, and certainly believes in the power of prayer; but this book focuses less on the spiritual state necessary for the building of God’s church and more on the literal facts, figures, and procedures necessary to actually get a building constructed.
- The single greatest strength that this work offers to its readers is that it gives them valuable insight that is only available to those who have learned it from trial and error. Anderson is more than experienced as a church builder, and his passion and wisdom have successfully been transferred onto the pages of Preparing to Build.