February 3, 2016
Dear ThatChurch.com Partner,
Thank you for your generous contributions over the past few years to the Establish the Central Campus campaign. When we began the journey, we had a dream of creating a place that would be a multiplier of what we are already doing. We have seen unprecedented life change at ThatChurch.com and we believe God isn’t finished changing lives here. We also see our Central Campus as a launch pad for church plants. Nothing changes more lives than new church plants. Deep in our heart is the belief that we need to be a training hub for ministry leaders. We see the need to equip, prepare, and strengthen active leaders, aspiring leaders and leaders of the future to live on mission as we serve a God that is on mission. That dream is still white hot and I am excited to inform you that we are pressing forward into phase 2.
Our original hope was to occupy a brand new facility on the 50 acres where we held the option to purchase, by 2016. Today, we realize that our time line has to be extended. Our lead team has been faced with the prospect of keeping this timeline and redirecting ministry monies toward that goal and digging a deep hole of debt, or we can extend the time line, continue changing lives and enter our future with a much smaller debt burden. We believe, after much prayer, we need a ten year plan and a large helping of God’s favor to accomplish our future move.
We have learned so much during phase one. Large commercial construction projects cost, BIG time. After we worked on the design of the new campus, we discovered the cost was about $175.00 - $185.00 per square foot. At that price point, it would cost almost $6 or $7 million to simply reproduce our current building (33,000 sq ft) and not even cover the cost of the land. Most experts agree that until a church can double its seating and serving capacity they should wait to build. With this model, we would need to consider a facility that is closer to 70,000 square feet. This is obviously a huge undertaking.
So what does phase 2 look like? As you know we are well underway in expanding our Sherwood campus to create space for another 500 seats in our worship center, upgrading to a state of the art media, light and sound. We are also adding additional kids space, larger restrooms, and creating another 418 parking spaces. We are adding a west entrance and an east entrance that will make getting in and out of church much simpler. With this effort in front of us we are moving away from the Establish the Central Campus Campaign, and embracing our new future as we are launching the Greater Campaign. The vision of the Greater Campaign is simple, eliminate the debt on our current facility to better position us for what God has in store for our future. Again, thank you for your generous contributions over the past few years to the Establish the Central Campus campaign, God hasn’t said “no” to this vision, but He has made it clear that his answer is “not now”. Equally clear is the vision to eliminate debt, expand where we are now and continue with passion to Know Jesus and Make Him known in Sherwood and beyond.