Bridging The Gap 

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Building Meeting Manuscript

 
When we set out to build the building, we concluded that doing it in phases was the only way that it would be possible. We decided that the gym and the classrooms were the parts of the building that could be used for the largest variety of activities, so we built those first and set goals for building the sanctuary and finishing the campus.

Immediately after completion, the building was appraised for $2.4m

At the beginning of 2020, we began to see that the goals of completing the campus and sanctuary were coming into reach, so we began doing the groundwork for starting on the sanctuary.

One of those benchmarks was the bank telling us that we needed $300k in the bank.

Our preliminary estimates projected the project at $1.5-2 million which would leave us with a total indebtedness at $2.8 million when we rolled in the remainder of the indebtedness on this building.

That would increase our monthly payment from $8,250 to approximately $14,000, and that $5,700 increase would be well within our monthly margins.

As we were moving through this process, Covid hit. Building materials have increased 170% across the board and lumber has increased approximately 400%

The final numbers from our preconstruction services (Pat Stinson) factoring in the updated cost of building materials is $3.1 million for the building, and when we add our current indebtedness to that total, we land at $3.9 million which would yield a monthly payment of approximately $23k.

That is outside what we are willing to consider and outside the $3m that the bank is willing to loan us.

Without Covid, we think that this would have been a fairly straight-forward decision to move forward with building the sanctuary, but the pandemic has changed the math.

Up until covid and through covid our church has continued to grow. We regularly have over 500 in attendance on Sunday mornings pre-covid and we are beginning to see that again, and our online audience through the live stream runs between 400-500 people (200-300 homes/ip addresses). Our small groups are growing, our children’s ministries are growing, and our youth group is growing.

The finances have also grown so that we have been able to add additional staff and maintain our margins attempting to save toward the building project. We currently have $395,586.21in our account as of Thursday.

We are at a place where we need to build to accommodate the growth of Sundays and programs throughout the week. We need to free up this room to be used as a gym, both for church ministries and community outreach. The amount of equipment in this room to support the live stream and the service has grown so that it takes great effort to use this room as a gym at this point.

I asked the staff to come up with a list of ministries and outreach activities that we could do with the addition of a sanctuary and the freeing up of the gym, and the list extended to two pages.

So, this is where we are, there is a $900k gap between where we are and where we need to be to move forward.

I have made a commitment to never take us into a place financially that we cannot manage without a “building campaign” and thermometers. To never take us to a place where our ability to do ministry will be hampered by the building payment…the building is a tool to use to accomplish the mission of the church…it should be a tool for that purpose and not stand in the way.

My plan is to reach out to people that might be looking to make a donation to a non-profit and see if they would be willing to help us bridge this gap. I also want to ask you if you want to give toward that gap or if you know someone that I could reach out to to help.

I am completely open to the idea that the landscape has changed and we need to wait, but if we wait too long all the figures that we worked to come up with will be obsolete and we’ll have to start over, and we will have to figure out how to deal with the growth of the church in other ways.

We can add a third service, but that will put additional weight on those serving and will only solve our Sunday morning issue.

That is where we are right now. I want to open up for questions, but first let me give you a list of names of some people that might be here and I may call upon to help me answer your questions.

Our church and pastor’s council is: Brad Bostic, Chris Wood, Bobby Sanger, Ed Hendrick, Billy Bolen, Jamie Coalson, Shannon Dickens, and Tim Taylor

Our advisory committee is: Hunter Wade, Bill McClanahan, Herb Atha, Steve New, and Betty Moore

Of course, Pastor Sam is the Executive Pastor and handles the day-to-day financial operations.