As I mentioned in the March 7th newsletter, a Master Site Planning Committee will be meeting soon. Our first meeting will take place on Thursday evening, March 29th, at 6:30 PM. Sunday School classes need to send their appointed representatives to serve on a Master Site Planning Committee. We also need church trustees and church staff to be there.
We will need to hold urgency and patience in tension as we do this work. Highway construction is a reality, as you can tell from work already in progress. The urgency is in two areas:
1. Dealing with immediate parking and facilities problems resulting from highway construction.
2. Relocating the preschool playground, as part of it now lies on state right-of-way.
We have some “sketches” of how to deal with parking and relocating the playground to get our conversation started.
The other areas will be where we need patience, perspective, and prayer:
3. Developing a master site plan on the church property that will take into account future growth and expansion.
4. Answering the question: “Who Are We?”
In recent continuing education events I attended on church growth and evangelism, I have heard the following said over and over: “ ‘If you build it, they will come’ only works in the movies.” There are many churches that have regretted building gymnasiums, family life centers, etc., finding out that they were neither community needs nor areas of mission their church was really called to do. These same churches are now often struggling just to make interest payments on underused and understaffed facilities. And in these days of climbing building costs, aesthetics often has to be balanced with usability and affordability. Most new church facilities are built on the philosophy that all space is shared space, adaptable space, and has to serve more than one function. Before we build, expand, and change – we need to be sure it is faithful rather than faddish.
As far as the question: “Who are we?” The answer to that will dictate what direction we will go in as a church, not just regarding its physical plant, but also in our mission and our ministry.