Rationale for Building Now
For more information on the Annual General Meeting, click here.
I just want to talk to you about the rationale for proceeding with the building project and voting in favour of the two motions that you will see at this year’s annual meeting. I’ve just got six things that I want to share with you:
The first of which is the land sold for $15 million with a two-fold purpose in mind:
a) Optimize and maximize our ministry opportunity at 5440 Sixteenth Ave. We have a vision to see 1800 to 2000 people being ministered to in any given week. We see a first rate multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-generational, and multi-purpose church facility fulfilling God’s Kingdom agenda, and
b) Set aside 10% of the land sale price for the purpose of a future project that honours the legacy and the thoughtfulness of our forefathers. In 1983, a very small group of people set aside $300,000 for the purchase of what was then seven acres of land. Together with the land that was already purchased and developed, the church amassed a total of 10 acres of land. The leaders of yesteryear set before you and I an example, and we intend to honour it by doing something similar.
Secondly, pre-COVID we were running at a negative impact growth rate, meaning that we were continuing to grow, but we were accommodating more people than we actually had the capacity for. Once you hit 80–90% capacity, a church’s ancillary space becomes an issue. This isn’t the first time this has happened to us. We’ve been through this twice before. The same growth factors are in play: the flow of parking, seating, the atrium, the Hub space, the children’s space, the youth space, the young adult space, Seasonal Group space, leadership meeting space, staff office space were all functioning in a deficit. Scheduling rooms for important ministry initiatives was getting more and more difficult. Every ministry initiative mentioned is a growing and burgeoning ministry. We are building for the congregation and the community of 3–5 years from now; not just for this present moment in time.
Thirdly, each time we have developed our property, our growth rate has gone up significantly. New space means new reach, new people, new ministries, and new income.
Fourthly, the coronavirus presents an opportunity. It will likely be the fall of 2021 before the vaccine begins to be distributed widely. In-person gatherings where normal interpersonal dynamics are re-established will follow. Now is an opportune time to build. If we get going now, we will have new space available just as people are feeling comfortable to begin gathering in person once again. Imagine doing this project when we are humming along in our usual full and bustling manner.
Fifthly, by any standard, we have the money—and the resources—to fulfill this project now. We have 85% of the funds in hand. The other 15% we can raise or finance. Imagine if someone came to us and offered to us this beautiful, fully functional building that addresses our ministry and our vision concerns for maximum impact for just $2.5 million. Would we not seize upon this opportunity? I think so. We have taken on larger debts with far fewer people in the past. We have a solid leadership team in our church board, we have a great church staff, and our volunteer base is excellent. Even through a virtual expression, we are healthy and thriving as a church. Our people are engaged, gathering, grouping, giving, and going. We continue to, and will continue to, grow.
Finally, a great percentage of our church has not yet experienced the blessing of a building project. There are people attending the bridge who have contributed sacrificially every step of the way through multiple capital campaigns. They walk about the halls of this church knowing that their sacrifice is what has made a way for the transformation that they have experienced, that they have witnessed, and that they share in. Every generation should be given the privilege and the opportunity to give sacrificially to God’s kingdom agenda. The bridge’s leadership desires that we—each of us—would see ourselves as the solution to the funding gap and to the completion of this building project.
We see this rhythm and way of life in the New Testament Church:
In Acts 4 it says, “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything that they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons amongst them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field that he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Folks, I’m more convinced today that this is the time; this is the place. We are the people that are being called by God to leverage this moment in our history for our King—Jesus. Let’s not hold back; let’s not shrink back. Let’s move forward. Let’s believe that God is more than able as we are “all in” for Him.
Don’t forget: it’s this Sunday at 2:00pm that we will gather together for our Annual Meeting. It’s a big one; please don’t miss it! The link for registering is provided below.