The Building Begins

I wanted to give everyone an update on where we’ve been and where we’re going with our building project as we hold our groundbreaking on the 22nd.  Over 3 years ago, as we were continuing to experience steady substantial growth, we knew at some point we would need some extra space. That need had to be balanced with our commitment to starting new congregations as an end goal rather than just focusing on getting bigger and bigger at our current location. The reason behind that decision was the knowledge that new congregations reach new people at a faster rate than existing churches, and that multiple smaller congregations allow for better involvement in both service and relationships.  We wanted to use the best tools at our disposal to reach people for Jesus, not just build “our” congregation.

After speaking with many other congregations and discussing with our people here at MPC, we came to the conclusion that we would have to be a congregation of about 500+ to have the resources to start a new congregation in a way that was healthy. So we began thinking about what we would need from our facilities here at MPC to provide for that growth. Our first thought was to build a lobby connected to our current kids building (to open up more space for weekend service seating) and a renovation of the kids building for better use of the space for our youngest children. As we continued to grow, we expanded that idea to possibly include a new building add-on that would give us new pre-school and nursery space along with storage space and even a possible second gym to provide more room for both weekend services and activities during the week. That was the plan we started exploring.

Through the process we had a 6 month delay at the county level due to confusion on their part and within the last few months we’ve finally been able to get back to the actual plans for building. Through that process we found there would be county required work that we were told wouldn’t be needed when our planning first started. This included, among smaller things, a much larger paved parking lot than first thought and a fire system that was beyond what was initially expected. At this point, the budget we had planned was rising significantly. As you may know, we have committed to giving away 50% of what people commit every year to outside ministry partners (LifeNetwork, Karios College ministry, and Mision Caribe in Honduras), and that commitment drives us to keep our focus on running a tighter budget and always trying to use our resources to the fullest.  We look to accomplish what we think God is calling us to do with the best use of the resources He provides through those who give financially to the ministry of MPC.

With that in mind, here is where we are at. The overall goal is still to reach that 500+ range at this facility to be able to start new congregations effectively. We primarily need more room for both our weekend services and our nursery and pre-school areas in order to accomplish this goal. To keep the cost responsible we are going to think in phases for building.

To start we are going to add an attached lobby to the maximum size we can without being required to add the fire system. This will enable us to use our entire gym space for weekend services and provide room for more growth. To allow for full use of our current gym for activities during the week, along with having built our new stage that folds completely out of the way, we will also add  unattached, but easily accessible, storage just off our current gym to clear out all our chairs and other equipment. With the money we will save on the smaller new building, we will completely redo our pre-school and nursery space in the kids building. Walls will be totally replaced and rooms expanded almost doubling our current area. The area will be made much more secure including a seperate lobby with glass windows so parents can see their children are safe and yet access can be limited.  We will also re-carpet, paint the area, upgrade the lighting, and make other improvements for a more appealing space. Finally, we will have a new paved parking lot that will present a nicer presentation of our property to our community.

This plan allows us to do several things. We can still expand in the future when needed; we can stay within a reasonable budget in the present; we can remain financially flexible to give generously to others; we can have room in our budget to respond to new opportunities; and we can move more quickly to our overall goal to start new congregations.

I really think God is directing these moves and I am excited to be a part of a congregation that focuses on a bigger vision and not just bigger buildings.  As I’ve said many times… we want to be building THE Church not a church.

Thank you for your continued support both financially and in using your areas of giftedness to serve God’s family and those who have yet to follow Him. If you have any questions, thoughts, or comments never hesitate to get ahold of me.

Barry

 

 

 

Get On with It!

That’s pretty much how I’m feeling right now 🙂

     It seems like we’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for the new building to get get going. BUT, after the 4 month delay brought on by the county, we are now back on track and moving full steam ahead! We’re turning in plans to the county, getting initial approvals, and hope to be able to plan a ground breaking soon! I know it’s hard when we can’t see the “visible” progress, but we’re moving!
Wade and Nate S. are busy getting the new stage built. It is a little bigger than our current stage and will be able to fold up and out of the way against the wall so we can better use our building during the week. Once the new building is up we will have room to store everything currently in the worship area. The new lobby will also allow us to add more seating for our services. The idea is to get the most use as possible out of our space so we aren’t sinking everything we have into building. I’ll have drawings posted at Church this week so you can take a look!

I want to ask a few things of you while we wait…

1) Be praying for fast approval of things through the county

2) Invite your friends. If you believe in what MPC is doing and the impact we can have, make sure to invite those who don’t have a Church home. Be praying for opportunities and then take advantage of them!

3) Consider your giving. Our progress is only limited by the resources God provides through His people. As we move closer to building obviously our budget will need to increase. If you are able to increase your giving it would be greatly appreciated. But, I don’t want you to give just because we are building. I truly believe giving, either to a local congregation or to other Christian causes, is a great way to develop a healthier relationship with God. We are committed to working with the resources God has given us, giving away 50% of everything committed at the beginning of each year to outside ministries, starting new congregations because they are the most effective way to reach new people for Jesus, and living within our means.  As always if you give and then find you can’t meet the needs of your family we will give you everything back no questions asked (other than if there is any other way we can help!)

4) Commit to finding a way to serve. It’s been AMAZING to see so many people stepping up recently. From the guys who have been working hard to make our property look  fantastic, to those who work in the Cafe, greet on Sunday mornings, and teach our kids. You are making a difference! If you haven’t found your place yet let me know and we”ll help you find a place to serve with joy!

I think the reason I’m so impatient is because I can’t wait to see what God has in store. I hope you are eagerly anticipating our future too! As always let me know if I can answer any questions you have or if I can serve you in any way.

It’s so good having you here as part of the MPC family!
Barry

Building Update (December)

I wanted to bring everyone up to date on what’s been happening with our building project. Here’s a summary of where we were in October:

We are going to split the overall project into 3 phases. Let me share them in reverse order.

Phase 3: A new gym facility. We are going to put this phase on indefinite hold. This was the most expensive and time consuming part of the project. We believe with the money saved  from placing this phase on hold (500k+) we can make improvements to our current property and facilities that may allow us to get to that 600-800 goal without spending the extra money. If we find later on it is still needed we’ll revisit it.

Phase 2: As soon as we can begin to build the new pre-school/nursery/lobby/storage addition we will begin. This will also now include a county required new parking lot.  Our goal is still to have this done by the Fall of 2015 but the speed of which we can move is out of our direct control for the time being.

Phase 1: Do everything that doesn’t require county involvement ASAP. So, we are beginning ASAP, general improvements and expansions to our current facilities. With the money saved by holding on the new gym we can update and repair our kids building, add a better “facade” to our current building to match a new parking lot, make our current space even more portable and conducive to community use and our various functions, and finish our playground. The funding for this phase is already in hand and the speed at which these things get accomplished is only limited by the amount of volunteer help we can get for the non-contracted projects.

With this revised plan we believe we can accomplish 80% of the original plans goals at almost half the costs. It will still require increased giving and a little more creative use of our space but we believe it is good stewardship of what God is providing.

Here’s where we’re at today:

  • The “playground” is well underway. The walking trail is in process with gravel being laid down, playsets have begun to arrive and will soon begin going up. Volleyball courts, an outside basketball court, and roof work on the pavilion are all in the pipeline. The plan is to have a “Grand Opening” in the spring and possibly host a 5k on the new trail!
  • Renovations in the Children’s building. New H/AC has been put in and the old baptistry has been take out and new storage space has been added. We will be transferring much of our current sound and video equipment from the current building to the kids building soon. Painting is in process. Eventually, when the new addition is finished the nursery/pre-school areas will be transferred out of this building and the basement will be converted into High School/Jr. High space.
  • Improvements to the current building are underway. We have begun to make the whole area more easily “clearable” and usable for big events. This has included redoing the front wall, adding a sound booth, going wireless with our sound and rewiring things. In progress are a stage that will fold up against the wall, new projectors (the old one will go ), a cry room that will broadcasts our services, nice portable basketball hoops, and mounting our speakers on the walls. All of this will give us more space for more people, make it more conducive for church and community events, and lessen our set-up and tear-down needs.
  • Facade for current building. The outdoor courtyard has been 90% finished and starting next week a new facade will begin on the current building. Since we are going to be required to put in a new parking lot we thought we would make the front more appealing also. This will include painting the outside of the kids building and making it more clear which building is the “main church” building. We often hear people have driven by for a long time but think we’re just that “little old church”. The new facade should help end that confusion.
  • New addition. The requirements for the county for some zoning issues should be finished by March which will allow us to begin moving quickly on the new addition. The new addition will contain a large lobby/gathering area, nursery and preschool space and also storage.
  • You may also have noticed we didn’t have our kids program this year or do the “live Nativity” event we had talked about in late summer. That is because we realized in mid-fall that our building and property was going to be right in the middle of all this work  during the Christmas season. Never fear! Next year we have big ideas on how to invite the community to our new property and facilities to share Christmas together!

A big thanks to Wade Williams, our Property/Project manager, for his work on being a good steward of our resources! God continues to give us pretty miraculous ways to further the project for less than we expected. When all is said in done we are looking at having no more than a $1 million mortgage with the Solomon Foundation (that includes what we already owed with the current and new property). That is a savings of $500,000-$600,000 over the original planned on project while still being able to accomplish our goal of getting to a point we can plant new healthy congregations!

So, that’s where we’re at. Never hesitate to ask questions or share ideas! We continue to ask for your prayers, generosity, and service. It’s exciting to be together in God’s family here at MPC!

Barry