Why Seek a Permanent Church Building?
While we know that the church is not a building but in fact the people of God who gather together for worship, discipleship, friendship, ministry and mission, “It is reasonable for a church to plan ahead and to be sensitive to the growing needs of the church family. It is also reasonable to imagine what could be accomplished in reaching others for Jesus Christ if permanent facilities were available. Many church growth experts believe that when a church grows to 70-80% of capacity, it will not sustain any more growth without plans for expansion.” From “When to Build A New Church Building.”
Church buildings function as strategic places for the church family to come together for encouragement and refueling and to enjoy a sense of identity as a particular expression of Christ’s Body. It is a place that is known in the community as a home for Christian ministry and discipleship.
It is also a place to invite others who don’t know Jesus to experience the life-changing power of the gospel. Church buildings can be excellent tools for facilitating the Kingdom work of the church.
Portable Church Challenges:
- Portable church demands significant time and energy in setting up and tearing down so that other Kingdom endeavors are not pursued. Many people are hesitant to lead and serve in others areas because they are already serving the church heavily on Sunday morning. For those that do serve in multiple areas, burnout becomes a real issue, as the demand for physical labor never ceases for setting up a Sunday worship service.
- Portable church limits what can be done with the physical space in order to maximize worship, discipleship, outreach and fellowship experiences within the church. Ex. Limited hallway space for children’s and youth ministry on Sunday could force us to go to two services before we have enough adults to offer that ministry successfully.
- Portable church communicates “temporary” and “un-certain” to both the church family and the surrounding community in our particular culture. That message can prevent some people from ever considering our church as a possible home for faith and growth.
Advantages to Permanent Space:
- Communicates permanence and ministry commitment to the surrounding community and to those who call The Vineyard their church home.
- Allows more time and energy to be spent on worship, discipleship, friendship and outreach endeavors.
- Allows the church to maximize the space to facilitate ministry objectives and removes limits on creativity for worship and discipleship.
- Reduces the potential for burnout among people serving in the church.
- Allows people who are committed to the gospel and committed to each other to experience being part of something bigger than themselves.
- It facilitates the coordination of resources, spiritual giftings, leadership and training for the work of the gospel within a singular space for greater effectiveness.
- It also provides a place for people exploring faith to come and experience what being part of the family of God is all about.
Why $750K as a goal for the giving campaign?
This amount was arrived at through months of prayer and then analysis of the church’s current annual offerings, growth over the last year, the cost of real estate in the Katy area and the cost of construction to build out new and existing space. $750,000 will not fund the purchase of land AND the construction of a new building. That would take at least $2.5 million in this economy. However, it will provide significant capital for moving towards a permanent home for this church family.
Honestly, $750,000 is a big number for a church our size. It is a God-sized goal that will require God’s intervention and favor. But that’s exactly what we want. To live in a way that we must trust God as we seek to help people everywhere find life in Jesus Christ.
How long will the campaign last?
We are structuring this as a 2-year pledge campaign where everyone will have an opportunity to give towards the $750,000 goal over a twenty-four month period starting November 2012 through November 2014. We will ask each person or family in the church for their total pledged amount for the 2-year period during our Celebration Service on Sunday morning, November 18, 2012.
What will the money be used for?
The $750,000 dollars will provide the capital needed for whatever the next step is that the Lord is leading us to. We currently have a search team that is looking into both land and existing building opportunities in the Katy area. $750,000 could purchase land OR build out existing space either in a retail center, existing church building, light industrial space or other facility.
How does a permanent space fit within the church’s mission?
The mission of this church is to help people everywhere find life in Jesus Christ. According to scripture, that life is found and experienced in His church – the gathering of people whom the Lord has poured His Spirit into for the sake of bringing His gospel to the world. The church is called to nurture people into a relationship with Jesus Christ by bringing them into a relationship with His people.
Relationships grow in spaces made for people. A permanent space simply facilitates our ability to nurture and grow with each other as people who are finding life in Jesus Christ and inviting others to do the same.
What is the decision making process for how pledged funds will be spent?
All monies collected through this giving campaign will go exclusively toward a permanent space for The Vineyard Church. This means that we will hold the funds in a separate account for however long is necessary until we discover the place where God is leading us to.
Where will the new facility be located?
The new location could be anywhere within the greater Katy area. Roughly this means from Barker Cypress on the east to Fulshear on the west to land just south of 1093-The Westpark Toll Road and Morton Rd to the north. Our search team will explore all options and present the best ones to the leadership team of the church for prayer and consideration.
How does this affect our use of The Link Activity Center?
We are in year two of a three-year lease with Mason Center for use of The Link. We expect to finish the lease and possibly renew on a year-to-year basis in mid-2013. We may continue to lease the space as an outreach center indefinitely as we begin our After School Activities for Junior High children along with other local outreach events there. Ultimately, the church board will look at the finances of the church along with the dynamics of the new space to determine what will happen with The Link.
When do we hope to occupy this new space?
As soon as possible! If purchasing a particular piece of property is the next best step for this church family, then we will have to wait a while as we will need to do a follow up campaign to raise funds to build a building. That could push us to three more years as a portable church. If existing building space is discovered or land is donated (miracles do happen!) we could be in permanent space within two years or less. We may not need to collect all of the pledged monies from this campaign to either purchase land or build out existing space. We may decide (carefully) to borrow money against the pledges to begin construction or buy the property right away.
What is the church’s philosophy regarding debt?
The Vineyard Church has never carried debt. In our six years as a church, we have always paid cash for everything. We have also maintained a reserve fund to cover all of our expenses for at least 3 – 4 months out. That says a lot about our philosophy regarding money in general. Our leadership team is extremely conservative when it comes to debt. We will seek to avoid any debt if possible, though we are aware that it is possible to take on debt very conservatively as a means of expanding ministry opportunities. That said, we would consider debt as a last option for accomplishing our ministry goals.
What happens if we raise more/less than our goal?
This is God’s ministry. He will fund what He desires and He invites us to join Him in the incredible adventure that is yet to come. If we raise more than $750,000, we will see that as God’s provision to do more than we expected. If we raise less, we will use whatever comes in to expand His Kingdom through building a permanent space for this ministry together. We will not worry one way or another. Because we cannot fail, as long as we are committed to helping people everywhere find life in Jesus Christ!
How much should I give? How do I decide on an amount?
Only the Holy Spirit can help you answer that question. But to really know the answer, you MUST seek Him seriously about your participation. Please DO NOT GIVE without praying first. A lot.
“The most important thing you can do in a giving campaign is to give yourself to God – entirely.” Rich Nathan, Vineyard Columbus.
God is not going to call you to give leftovers. He is not going to call you to give what you think you can live without. He is probably going to call you to give in a way that completely changes you from the inside out. Where you come face to face with your real relationship with money. Where you see clearly how much you actually trust Him with your life and future. It may be painful – honestly. But the fruit of it will be an experience of God and His Holy Presence and Lordship and Provision that will absolutely blow you away. Some people will walk away after this campaign wondering if they ever really knew Him before – as they experience Him in ways they never dreamed of. Seriously.
What if my circumstances or ability to give change? Is this a contract?
You are not signing a contract by pledging to the giving campaign. You are making a commitment to invest in the ministry of Jesus Christ in this church, which we hope you will fulfill. If your ability to give changes in either direction, whether you cannot fulfill your pledged amount or you find you can actually give more, simply contact the church office and let us know. Your giving will always be held in the strictest confidence.
Will there be campaign updates or other communication about the permanent space?
Yes, we will provide monthly updates regarding the pledge campaign and our search for permanent space. These will come as emails from the church so please be sure we have your correct email address!
Will new people who come into the church during this time be asked to participate?
Absolutely. We would not want them to miss out on the opportunity to join Jesus Christ in expanding His Kingdom through the ministry of this church. Everyone who goes through the Discovering the Vineyard class will be educated about the campaign and invited to join us. Everyone who enters into membership in The Vineyard will also be asked to pray about their contribution and join us as well.