Change can be a lot of things: exciting, curious, uncomfortable, comforting, and a little scary. More often than not, change is hard. So then, why change? In our case, as Heritage Church, why should we change from meeting in our current facility and embark on the journey toward a new facility?
There are a handful of pretty good reasons to stay put. Plenty of people have been meeting together in this location for many years. The Lord has done some really wonderful things in and through the lives of folks that have gathered here. The building isn’t broken, and we’ve remodeled it 5 times in 7 years. It’s paid for. Those are all good reasons to consider NOT changing. So, why should we?
If our shared passion were to preserve the present – then we might be able to accomplish that goal by staying where we are. It’s possible that we could maintain our current attendance and ministry programs. It’s almost certain that we would continue to enjoy God’s presence and power (all He’s looking for is our continued faith and yieldedness). We could continue to work to make our presence known and convince folks to find us on Hazel Dell Avenue. We could consider investing serious money in renovating and improving the facility. All this is possible. If, that is, we fixed our focus on preserving the present.
However, if we lift our eyes and allow faith to fuel a fresh dream for Heritage; if we asked the Holy Spirit to help us paint a fresh picture of a preferred future for Heritage – would it look like what “is”? Is “this” all there is, or all there should be? Or, is there more?
Right now, in two services, we are able to accommodate a couple hundred adults at a time. I am thankful for each person in each padded seat. But what if we could accommodate even two or three times as many? What could we accomplish? While it is not difficult to maintain a minimum budget in a small, paid-off building, it also isn’t possible to accomplish much of anything else.
Sure, moving will cost us. We’ll have a mortgage. We’ll spend money on renovations and improvements. But let us not be like the 10 spies who looked at the challenges beyond the Jordan and retreated in fear. Let us be like those of faith. We are well-able. We don’t have a huge slush-fund or giant surplus currently. But we do have solid, consistent income. And we can adjust spending to accommodate increased expenses as we need to, if we need to. I believe that where God guides, He provides. I am willing to believe that the same God who calls us to dream big will supply all we need for those dreams.
A larger capacity, with more people working, serving, praying, and giving together would allow us to accomplish so much more locally and around the world. We would be able to provide family-raising-wages for our staff. We would be able to fund larger missions and relief projects. Further, we could host regional conferences and events – inviting more people and impacting a great deal more people. The benefits of increasing our capacity are many.
What if we had the kind of building and location that could facilitate better, weekly ministry to young families? What if we had indoor recreation and outdoor play areas for kids? What if we could run a Faith-Filled, Christ-Honoring, Family-Affirming Preschool? What if we had a place, during the week, where mommies with little ones could come and connect over coffee while their kiddos had a fun and safe place to play?
What if we had the kind of building and location that could better facilitate teaching, training and development? What if we had different sizes of meeting spaces that allowed us to host smaller seminars and workshops? What if we had space and location to develop and offer a Certificate in Bible / Ministry Leadership program?
What if we had meeting space that allowed for more growth in elementary, middle-school, and high-school ministry? What if we had the space to host regular, week-day morning devotional services for our more “seasoned saints” who enjoy potlucks and hymn-sings?
What if we had a facility that made better use of contemporary technology in order to serve and communicate with congregants and the community?
What if we grow large and strong enough to begin to see past just filling up and using one church building, and instead set our sights on planting many churches? What if we had the resources, personnel and plan (I have the last part already) to plant a new church every two years?
In the end, a facility is not just about current or future capacity, but about current and future calling. What are we called to be and do in our city? In our region? In our world? As Heritage Church, what legacy will we leave?
As we stand and banks of the Jordan and consider the cost of crossing over, I invite you to remember why. We move forward because we have concluded, after years of prayer and preparation, that there is more for us to be, and more for us to do. We must keep our eyes on the picture of our preferred future and say, “that is why.”
Yours for “more,”