Why do it? Why begin a $2.4 million project that's gonna take hard work, sacrifice, patience, endurance? Churches that take on building projects endure a lot of stress. Tim Blake was reminding me (Bill Clark) of an article that the average church construction project results in that church losing one staff member. YIKES! (I hope it's not gonna be me). The truth is that construction projects can be very stressful on churches. There's the balance of managing the construction of your building while not making it all about the building. There's securing pledges from church members and raising funds. There's managing relationships with architects, construction managers, and subcontractors. Okay, you get the picture.
So why are we putting ourselves through this? CHANGED LIVES! Specifically, changed families. I was just perusing through the most recent demographic data (2016) from Independence. The stats are still true that the most populous 9-year age bracket within a 3 mile radius of our church is 0-9 year olds. God has planted Hickory Grove in the midst of a community teeming with young families who are searching for safety, joy, hope, and love for their children. Our mission statement is that we are gonna do whatever it takes to help every person (i.e. child, teenager, parent, grandparent) take their next step with Jesus. Our facility was tired, aging, and filled with less than excellent spaced when it comes to safety and practicality. So we decided back in the summer of 2017 that we are going to "Rise Up and Build" together. These artistic renderings are what keeps my motor running. This is the finish line we are striving for: kids, students, and families having a safe, excellent space to be led in worship, to be discipled, to be loved on with the love of Jesus Christ.
So we are changing our building in an effort to see God change families. In fact, in a meeting we had with Turner Construction's design-build team and our team just last week, we even made some tweaks to what you see in these renderings. Why? To make it better! One of our core values is to do just that. We want to make our space better so that these families can experience God's best for them. Thanks for letting me re-cast our vision in this blog post. Enjoy getting re-acquainted with these renderings. But remember, it's not about the building; it's about changed lives. And we are going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.