“Hmmm – where do we file THIS?”
For those of you who attended AC3’s annual meeting on June 21st – you know that one of the big agenda items was a discussion about purchasing the “main” building (where we have church services and where Kreek Kids meet).
Our Board of Directors has long recognized that if we purchase that building, we would realize a significant savings in monthly costs (estimates are that a mortgage payment would be between $1,500 and $2,500 less per month than our current lease payments). Other benefits would include the relative security of owning our building rather than renting, capturing the investments we have made in building improvements over the years, and other less tangible benefits.
But like any big decision – there’s another side of the coin: We would be on the hook for major building repairs, we would be in “debt” (which AC3 has never been before), we would have to raise an additional $100,000 cash to make a down payment…and again: other less tangible down sides.
The point being: this is not a slam-dunk decision.
Our Board of Directors has been earnestly praying about this for months (each of them prays daily at exactly 2:30PM where ever they are – it’s a little startling to be in the same room with more than one of them when their various electronic reminders go off!). Needless to say – God has not provided a clear answer, and it was decided to bring the issue before the membership again (it has been a perennial topic now for some time) to get a sense of how the whole membership was feeling.
We gave attendees an informal ballot with the question “Should we buy this building?” and four options plus room for comments.
The results of that balloting are:
Let’s do it NOW:
I’m not ready yet:
I don’t think buying the building is a good idea:
I need more information:
At first glance – it seems like an overwhelming call to buy the building. But as your Board, Staff and Elders read the comments, took part in conversations and prayed, the message became more nuanced. For example – read some of the anonymous comments below:
· I wouldn’t say I’m not ready so much… Just that I’m not really sure. I feel like I’d need more time to think and pray… I could go either way…I just don’t have a strong feeling one way or the other at the moment.
· I don’t feel the timing is right…Let’s dive deep into Dave Ramsey’s buy your church plan and see if God wants it. But I’m not ready.
· Love to pray, but still a bit uncertain.
· I am willing to purchase, just not sure we have the resources as of yet. We will continue to be prayerful and give. I do like the idea, so the proposed question could have said “Let’s do it” without including “NOW”
· I feel like God will provide the money if His plan is for us to buy the building – our focus should be on praying for a miracle not ANOTHER capital campaign
· Maybe in 6 months
· Are there other creative ways to raise money? Fundraisers-partial help from our other programs
· I want to see this conversation more intimately, not just at the business meeting. Maybe create smaller discussion group times where the Board/Elders can communicate the heart of the matter.
· I don’t believe that God is calling us to buy this building. Our permanent [home] is not this building. The vision I keep getting is that our permanent home is tied in with the community center home.
· Just not sure if this is the right building or right time BUT I trust you guys if you think it is. I’m just not afraid to keep waiting 🙂 Do we need different/bigger? IDK- Just some thoughts
· [We] are willing to do anything we can 🙂
Here’s what we we’re seeing:
- There is a solid optimism about AC3 and a growing future
- The Community Center vision is strong and discernible amongst the people of the church.
- The concept of buying for the purpose of monthly savings is supported / fund raising campaign not so much.
- People want to be a bigger part of the spiritual decision making process.
- Timing is an issue for many.
- There are lots of questions about this specific building being the right one / right size.
- A number of the “dissenting” opinions had more to do with debt than with property ownership.
Taking all of this into consideration – it seems that more dialogue and prayer are in order.
I’m reminded of the Council in Jerusalem (Acts 15) where the process of making big, important decisions involved “meeting together”, “listening” and then “making judgments”.
AC3’s Elders will be pulling together a plan to facilitate further discussion, prayer and brain-storming for this Fall – so stay tuned. In the meantime, please continue to pray with these things in mind. Also, remember that the “Own the Home” fund (which was established several years ago to fund the purchase of the building) is still open and you can contribute to that fund right now , even as we continue to seek God’s will.