Can you imagine…
…the potential of God’s people when we trust Him fully with all of our resources? Nothing can stop the mighty force of God’s church, fully surrendered to Him and His will. Whether you’re committing to tithing consistently for the first time, or you’re going above and beyond and giving towards the Immeasurably More campaign, we trust that God will provide for His church.
To help people look more like Jesus every day in every way.
Making disciples is one thing you can’t do in a hurry. It always takes longer than you think, costs more than you want to pay and is harder than expected. And yet, there is no greater joy this side of heaven. As our church has grown, we have simply run out of space to continue to foster the environments we believe are necessary to live into this Kingdom agenda. Nursery and children’s spaces are full.
We’re currently running three services on a weekend with no ability to run more. There is limited space for various teams and committees to meet in order to help our body stay on mission. We have no real gathering space where relationships can be formed and people can be prayed over between services and during various events. Our student and college-aged ministries are pushing the limits of the upstairs meeting spaces. We have multiple people in each office and some people with offices in storage closets. And that’s not even taking into account any of our desires to engage the community in a better way.
See, some churches believe making disciples is a “come and see” event. They need space for all of the programs they want to offer. Faith Covenant believes we have been called to “go and tell” lifestyles. Therefore, having space and environments that train the body of believers to lean into God’s calling on their lives to utilize their spiritual gifts in a way that reaches their jobs, schools, community organizations, sports teams and more with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is our highest priority. When that happens, everything changes. Every family, every city, every state
COMMIT TO PRAY
This is your first and most important step. Ask God what He would have you give to help make this vision a reality and then listen to what He says.
PREPARE TO SACRIFICE
Think in terms of what you can give up, knowing that future generations will become disciples of Jesus Christ. God does not require equal giving, but sacrifice.
EXPECT TO GROW
Trust God to provide what He guides you to give, even if the amount is greater than the resources you can identify. Leave room for faith in your commitments!
Why build now?
Faith Covenant Church is in a very unique place. Because of God’s blessing, we have grown significantly in the last 6-7 years. When we say “grown” it means several different things. Numerically, our attendance has gone from approximately 175 on a Sunday in January of 2015 to 650 on a Sunday in March of 2020. With many churches struggling to maintain their numbers, Faith Covenant grew substantially. While everyone has not yet fully reengaged on Sunday mornings, we are now a church of approximately 800.
But again, “grown” has multiple meanings. We have grown younger in our average age. Currently, the 10:00am service is completely full in children’s ministry areas every week, and they continue to have a waiting list. We’ve had 6-7 babies born in just the last 6-8 weeks. Our youth and college-aged ministries have doubled in size. Not only that, we have grown more diverse ethnically. We have grown spiritually deeper as a church family. And we have grown closer relationally as a church as well.
So while our building is currently straining to keep up with the demands of our numerical growth, numbers are not why we believe we should build. We believe we should build because we believe a building is a tool to a greater mission and vision. If we truly believe that God is calling our church to help people look more like Jesus every day in every way, then we have to wrestle with “how” we do this and to whom we believe we are called to do this. See, when a church chooses to take this seriously and to intentionally and strategically lean into this mission, people will come. We believe people, more than ever before, want to know their Bible. People want to be in real relationships with others. People want to serve and know their gifts. They want to have a vibrant relationship with a real and living God. But are we believing that all of this can be done on this piece of property for all of the people we are called to? No.
We would never be able to build a big enough building. Nor do we have any desire to be a megachurch. And that means, rightly so, that we do not want to be a “come-and-see” church. We want to be a “go-and-tell” church. And that means we have to make disciples who make disciples. That means we have to become a leadership development hotbed for those who will lead churches, as volunteers and paid staff, all over our city and all around our state. Jesus did not come and establish one church on one corner. He invested in people who invested in people. And they planted churches all over the region because this movement could not be contained in one place. Jesus didn’t hold a rally or a conference or a crusade. He equipped people and gave them gifts. He sent them out to impact their city, their state, their country and their world. Jesus has given us a clear vision, a clear calling and a clear strategy. This building is simply an important tool in helping us accomplish these things.
Are we talking about planting also?
We really only have a couple of options. We can set a number and then tell people they cannot come in because we’re full, essentially capping our growth. We can keep building bigger buildings to try and accommodate on this piece of property every person who wants to come. Or we can strategically look to plant in neighborhoods. But even as you read those last 3 sentences, there is something fundamentally wrong. That’s still accommodating the “come and see” mentality. What if we intentionally started targeting specific neighborhoods with the Gospel. What if we started taking evangelism seriously? What if we really started inviting the people in our schools, workplaces, sports teams and community organizations? We will never be able to be all that we believe God has called us to be if we only stay on this piece of property.
Have we looked at moving to a new location?
We have contacted various real estate experts to discuss the possibility of simply selling our current land and purchasing something larger or better suited for our current and future needs. After much prayer and investigation, a move like that is simply not feasible for us.
Do we have to build it all?
As the architect shared at our congregational meeting on July 18th, no, we do not have to build it all. But there are several things to consider in this discussion. First, building in phases will be substantially more expensive. Early estimations could be 30% or more. However, there is a bigger discussion to be had. First, if we build the worship center then we would need to build the children’s area as well. You can’t put more families on property without a change here as it’s already full. Second, if you add the children’s ministry expansion, that would mean our office would need to be relocated. At that point, all that’s left is the student ministry area upstairs, so it seems the savings would be negligible. We could build the offices and the children’s wing and wait on the sanctuary and student ministry area. However, this will require us to plant faster as we already run 3 services now and adding a 4th or 5th is not an option at this time, even on alternative nights.
Is there a way to keep the field?
When the church property was originally purchased, and every building program since, the field has always been intended to be the worship center. And while the field is an amazing asset, difficult choices have to be made. While the field does serve our neighborhood, function as green space for our kids to play games, and currently serves as parking; perhaps across the street (where our ministry houses are located now) we can have unpaved, grass parking. We also have to acknowledge that we’ve been blessed to have a grassy space this close, for this long. Most churches do not and have to utilize neighborhood parks. We are fortunate to have Jack Puryear Park about ½ a mile away. We also have Denver Park in the Shore Acres neighborhood and a YMCA that we are hoping to see break ground soon. That means we have tennis courts, racquetball courts, pools, soccer fields, playgrounds, baseball fields, basketball courts, and more all less than 1.5 miles away. While these are not as convenient as having it right outside our back door, we have no other location option for a worship center on our property.
How would we pay for this?
The short answer is….sacrificially. Something like this is going to take all of us, not just some of us. It’s going to take God moving in the hearts of all of us to truly give beyond what we think we can or have ever given before. We love the picture given in 1 Chronicles 29. We would encourage you to take a moment sometime soon and read this passage. David calls together all of the leaders of the nation. He paints a vision for them and encourages them to join him in sacrificial giving. Once the leaders had given, David and the leaders invite every man, woman and child to come and join them in this important moment. In this passage, the people come forth in impressive ways. In fact, 1 Chronicles 29:9 – “And the people were full of a sense of celebration—all that giving! And all given willingly, freely! King David was exuberant.” How great is that? Our prayer is that we, as a body, would find so much joy and so much delight in giving that we would have to say to our church family the same thing Moses told the people in Exodus 36:6-7 as they were building the tabernacle, “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.”
However, this question speaks to debt as well. Your Church Council is currently prepared to discuss a short-term bridge loan in order for us to begin building before all of the money has been received. Many people will be spreading out their giving over a 3-year period and, therefore, some sort of short-term financing might be needed. But let us be clear, Faith Covenant Church is not exploring debt options beyond this 3-5 year commitment period. Our prayer has been, and will continue to be, that God supplies “immeasurably more” than we can ask or imagine.
The exterior doesn’t look much like a church. Why?
Again, we are walking a fine line here. Some people are concerned that the building doesn’t look like a church. Others are concerned that we be a resource for our community and our building not simply sit empty all week and function like a museum. Well, as we’ve spoken with various groups in our community, they don’t always want to meet in a facility that looks significantly like a traditional church because many of their members or constituents are not believers. If we want to have our worship center used as a performing arts stage for various community plays, then we must take this into consideration. As schools use our facility for teacher in-service days, HOA’s use our facility for gatherings and so on, we need to make sure that we understand this perspective if we want to be who we say we want to be. Otherwise, we will just need to be satisfied with usually serving only the Christian community in our city and neighborhood.
Also, the design for the church was based on a desire to make sure it was aesthetically pleasing not only today, but also for the decades to come. The design trends change and we are trying to meet the desires and preferences of the Silent Generation, the Boomer Generation, the Millennials and Gen Z. An intergenerational church like ours is going to have some difficulties in meeting everyone’s specific preferences in regards to designs, especially since we’re trying to project into the next 20+ years as well.
Where will we meet during construction?
There are currently several options that could be a possibility. One possibility is the preforming arts theater at Northeast High School. We also have a great relationship with Shorecrest and have met there in our past when needed. How much we build will determine the number of weeks we might need to be out of the building, but our current architect specializes in churches and their unique meeting needs. We are sure they will do their absolute best to minimize our need for relocation.
What happens to the houses across the street?
Much like the field, we will have to make some difficult choices. Currently, the plan is to remove all three houses and the city playground in order to meet our parking and water drainage needs. We are still keeping our eyes open for houses that might become available for purchase on that same block but we know these will be on a case-by-case basis.
What is the seating capacity of the new worship space?
Our current sanctuary holds 288 chairs. The new sanctuary will have approximately 500 chairs. The new gathering space will be able to seat approximately 200 people around round tables.
Will our life group be able to meet in the building again?
The strategy behind life groups has never been to meet on property. There is something special and important about meeting off-site in homes, condos and community centers. It provides relational evangelism opportunities and a relaxed atmosphere for discipleship. While there may be unique situations where a group would need to meet onsite for a short period of time, our small group model currently does not lend itself to this sort of building usage.
What will the new building be used for?
The building is designed to address many of our growing needs. It is designed to better foster our student and college-aged ministries small group discipleship strategy. It will meet the needs of the school that currently meets here weekly. It will also allow us to have discussions with various groups about community plays and productions, not to mention our own plays and productions. It will allow for an indoor seating space for approximately 200 chairs around round tables. It will allow us to handle the ever-increasing children’s, nursery, youth and college-aged ministries. It will allow us to continue dreaming about the implementation of a leadership training strategy. It will allow us to expand our administrative capacity, and it will allow us to be better suited to launch church plants all across our city and state.
What if we don’t raise all of the money?
First, we will not be disappointed. We believe God is going to supply the perfect amount of money for this project. And what He supplies will be celebrated, and we will rejoice. God is the giver of amazing gifts and fully expect to be blown away. Second, if we do not receive the full amount needed for some reason, we will pray and seek God’s guidance for what He would have us complete in this project. We will continue to discuss with our church family the various options and we, together, will make a decision that is obedient to God’s calling and for the unity of our body moving forward.
Does everyone need to give?
If we vote as a church family to build, then our hope and desire would be that everyone give. Even if an individual were to vote no at the family meeting, we believe that this is an “all in” moment for our church. Sometimes, what we think or want is not what is decided. But a family sticks together once a decision is made. They move forward together believing that personal preferences can be set aside for the unity and future of the group.
However, we do believe that the amount given will need to be prayerfully discerned as you and your family seek God’s guidance and wisdom. We would never want to tell you how much, but we do believe that everyone is needed.
How long will the project take to complete?
Our best estimate is 18-24 months once the go ahead is given to the architect, engineers and construction company.