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Last month, I wrote about the work that the Elder Board has been doing for the past months on a church facility project. It’s exciting to consider how owning our own facility will enable us to expand our ministry in the Fox Valley for years to come! Just think of the people who will be eternally changed by our mission of sharing good news in that place!!
I picture classrooms of young kids being loved and prayed for as they learn the truth about a God who loves them unconditionally. I picture teenagers gathering mid-week realizing that adults (other than their parents) love them and want to be with them and actually believe all this Jesus business. I picture men and women, young and old, finding hope and freedom and joy as the gospel becomes real to them and they find that their lives are transformed in every way by God’s incredible grace. And I picture all the life that happens along the way, from baptisms to weddings to dedications to graduations to funerals. That life change is what I want to be part of. That’s what I want to give my life to! Of course, a building doesn’t do this gospel ministry but is a tool for the church to accomplish its God-given purpose to glorify God and to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:18-20).
We’re grateful for those who have given us wise counsel on what the process could look like for us. After much discussion and prayer, here is what the process will be in the coming months:
- By the end of March, the Board will have several building project options for the church to consider. These options will include general details of cost, location, size, and pros/cons of building new and remodeling an existing facility. This information will be available for review/comment before and after worship.
- The church will have 4 weeks to provide feedback, questions, ideas, and concerns. We will have individual conversations, gather feedback on Sunday mornings, and hold a town-hall meeting to listen and dialog. We NEED your voice in this process!! How do you want to use a facility? What do you care about? What don’t you care about?
- After that time, the Board will take your feedback, think about it, pray over it, discuss it, and come back with a single proposal. This proposal will include more specific details of cost, location, and size for what we would be looking for. If you’ve ever purchased a house, this would be the picture you make in your mind (and/or with your spouse) before really considering available houses. You don’t look for any house—you have a pretty narrow scope of what you’re looking for. We’re hoping to work this process in the coming weeks/months so that at our next Congregational Business Meeting (on May 20) the Members will be able to vote on this proposal. If you aren’t a Member but would like to be, there’s a Discovering Membership class this Sunday (Mar 18). Or let me know and we can work through the Membership process. Congregational approval is required for this project: “The congregation shall approve by simple majority vote of members present: new elders, the call of the lead pastor, the annual church budget, the purchase or sale of property, building campaigns, and large capital improvements or outlays.” (Article VIII).
- If the Members approve the proposal, then we would start a capital campaign to raise the appropriate funds to purchase the right property, when it becomes available.
- When we find the right property and have the funding in place, then we would proceed with the purchase and build/remodel
- When the facility is ready, we’ll celebrate like crazy and relocate.
As of right now, there isn’t a property that we feel we need to rush to buy. So, we believe we simply need to work the process and the right location will become available in God’s timing. As a result, we can’t put a definite timeline on this project. However, this is a major priority for us so we will not delay in working the process, or in communicating updates to you. Thank you in advance for your input, prayers, and support for this project! We are better together.