by Abraham Cremeens
The church is not a building. We learned that quite effectively during the shelter in place last spring. Fruitful ministry continued even while we didn’t meet together on Sunday mornings. However, during that same season, we also recognized how much we missed gathering in our building. That sounds funny to say, but it acknowledges an important tension: while the church is not a building, we thank God for a space to meet together in life-on-life ministry. That being true, how do we steward our property for maximum impact?
Thank you for participating in this process regarding the Building Revamp. Voting to spend up to $40,000 for construction documents toward a $625,000-700,000 renovation project is no small matter. Some of you may choose not to vote in favor of this opportunity. We as elders certainly respect that. But allow me one more moment to share why we think this is worth pursuing and to give a sense of our vision.
God calls us as his church to life-changing gospel ministry in the context of deepening relationships. God designed relationships as the bridge on which the gospel travels. Revamping our building must serve that purpose and help us gather, grow, and scatter as a church family. But how?
We love gathering together each week in worship. Several other ministries take place each Sunday morning that help us grow in Christlikeness as well. Yet intentionality is required to help visitors and even longtime members effectively connect. Studies show that guests make a decision within the first 7-10 minutes of whether or not they will return to a church they visit. That’s before engaging in our worship gathering around the Word and in song. In fact, most of that time is spent in the foyer. Yet it is overcrowded and lacks signage to connect people to life-changing ministry in which they can grow and be equipped.
It’s time to be strategic with that space and open it up for gospel-saturated and relational ministry. By removing the coat rack walls, adding signage, and creating intentional seating for people to connect, the foyer shifts from a passing zone to a connecting space. In the remodel, we now see pockets of conversation before and after gathering in worship where church members take advantage of God-ordained moments in conversation. It becomes a place that says, “Welcome, stay awhile; let’s connect.”
We prize being an intergenerational church because that is God’s heart. We value the laughter of children and the wisdom that comes with gray hair. We want multi-generational ministry. We are healthier for it, and yet not every ministry is accessible to every member of our church. That’s a problem.
Last winter, the women’s ministry determined to design a homerun Connection Hour just for women. It contained great content and the high value of connecting women to women across generational gaps. The opportunity took place upstairs for multiple reasons, and yet a few of the women could not participate because physical limitations prevented them from using the stairs. That is heartbreaking. If we want generations to interconnect, then our whole building needs to be accessible.
It is time to open up the second level by installing an elevator. This would meet current needs and casts a vision for our future. Lord willing, we want more and more of the oldest in society and those with physical limitations to become “all-in” as a part of our spiritual family. An investment like this truly cares for all kinds of people.
We also love investing in the youngest in our midst: rocking babies and pointing little 2-year-old minds to Jesus. We thank God for the buzz of new life in that wing of our building.
There are some concerns to address, though. For one, we have the wonderful problem of having outgrown some of that space. Year after year, we have too many two-year-olds! That’s a great “problem.” Further, while we have an effective Child Protection Policy in place with wonderful volunteers who abide by that policy, this remodel presents an opportunity to upgrade our structures to support even more safety and security.
It’s time to open up this wing by expanding the 2s room and moving the check-in desk out to the front as a checkpoint between adults and kids in those rooms. We would also create an overhead door so the whole wing could be closed off in the event of an emergency lockdown.
Thank you for participating in this process. We are a community of disciple-makers toward the Great Commission, and times like these present the opportunity to seek God together.
Be sure to come to Family Gathering at 6:00 pm in the auditorium on October 4 to vote and help us discern the way forward. On that date, you will vote on whether or not to authorize spending up to $40,000 for construction documents. However, please only vote in that direction if you also see the merit of pursuing the whole project once we get a guaranteed maximum price. We don’t want to spend any more money unless we intend to see this through. Another vote will come in December regarding the overall project.
As you prepare, you can access artist renderings, the overall layout of the proposed remodel, and the recording of the September 13 informational meeting below. Please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us personally. See you on October 4.
God bless you, Kossuth!
Artist Rendering: Foyer 1
Artist Rendering: Foyer 2
Artist Rendering: Nursery check-in
Proposed Remodel Floor Plan
September 13 Informational Meeting