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.