Frequently Asked Questions
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General Questions

I know the congregation voted in favor of beginning a capital campaign with a vision to expand and remodel our current building, but how did we get to that point?

Great question. Years of planning preceded the recommendation from the Building Committee and the Church Board. During that time many options were considered. Discussions with our ministry groups, board, and staff were ongoing and we received assistance from Jeffrey Parker and AssociatesJeffrey Parker and Associates in this Master Planning stage. We've concluded that building the Building that occupies the building may require more building wink.

What determines if we go forward with the project?

We desire to make sure that everyone clearly understands the project and the reasons for it. That’s the purpose of the process which we’re going through right now. As a church, we’ll have more opportunity to comment on the project through phone interviews and a church-wide survey. Assuming we have a “green light”, we will then vote to proceed or not with a capital campaign, which will determine our financial commitment to this vision. Above all, let’s keep holding this entire process before the Lord seeking His direction and provision.

How and where will we meet while the building is being constructed?

Our plan is to construct the addition before beginning renovation work. That way, Sunday School classes will have a place to meet while we are expanding the sanctuary space from 400 to 600 seats. We think it will take around one month for the sanctuary renovation to be completed. We’ll do our best to clean up between Sundays.

Will we go back to one service or continue with two?

We intend to continue with a two service format. We think this approach allows us to keep expansion costs down while still giving us a chance to remove facility barriers to people coming to Christ and growing in Him.

Will we be selling or keeping Midtown? What is our plan for Wednesday ministries?

Ideally, we’d like to centralize Wednesday ministries to one campus simplifying transportation for parents and leaders. If we had the financial resources to add an extra 1000 square feet to the north it would set things up nicely for all Wednesday ministries taking place at the main campus. Right now, it may be too soon to tell. Plus, we’d still need a buyer for Midtown!

What are Pastor Shaw’s thoughts on this project and what kinds of future plans does he have?

“My future plans are to be here as long as the Lord allows me to serve here. Diane and I love this church family and we believe the Lord has things for us to yet accomplish. I would like to work until I’m 70…which means 15 more years. Of course, life is fragile and none of us know how many years or days we have but our intentions are to serve the Lord by serving this body and this community.” – Pastor Shaw

Is/will the project be "people led" or Lord led?

Yes. This should not be an “either/or” question. It is a “both/and” question. We are trusting the Lord to lead His people. He will not do this without us and we cannot do it without Him. We should all be praying regularly about our response to God on this matter. Since we have a congregational form of church governance our members will vote on whether we move forward or not. Our board will bring a recommendation if it comes to a vote but this church family should be asking the Lord, “What would you have us do?” The Holy Spirit is not schizophrenic, we should seek to be of one mind with Him.

Have we considered a church plant instead of expanding our building?

Yes. We have prayed about this, considered demographic information, consulted with missions and church planting personnel and scrutinized our own capacity. We do not believe this would be the best time for our church family to plant a church and we do not believe it is best for the area. A church is being started at MidTown and we are “for them.” As we develop leadership and financial means, a church plant will remain on our list of missional opportunities for the future.

How and where will we meet while the building is being constructed?

Our plan is to construct the addition (to the north and the west) before beginning renovation work. This means “normal” church life will go on until the addition is built. Then, we’ll move kids, students and adults into their “new spaces”. At that point, we’d tear down the big walls in the sanctuary (to the north and south). Our best guess is that redoing the sanctuary space will take a month. It should be exciting to see the difference week by week. We’ll do our best to clean up but it’ll be a work in progress. We don’t think this will hinder us very much as we walk through the transition.

Will we go back to one service or continue with two?

We intend to continue with a two service format. We think this approach allows us to keep expansion costs down while still giving us a chance to remove facility barriers to people coming to Christ and growing in Him.

Will we be selling or keeping Midtown? What is our plan for Wednesday ministries?

Ideally, we’d like to centralize Wednesday ministries to one campus simplifying transportation for parents and leaders. If we had the financial resources to add an extra 1000 square feet to the north that would set us up nicely for Student ministry to take place at the main campus. Between the renovated fellowship hall (2300 S.F.), the educational space (when moveable partitions are opened up there could be 2400 S.F.) and the flexibility to use part of the sanctuary there would be ample opportunity to reach more students for Christ in the Greenville area. If we choose to sell Midtown our desire is for the building to be used for Kingdom expansion in Greenville.

Do current attendances really suggest the need to expand the sanctuary now?

No. We are usually 80% in one service (which seems full) with plenty of room in the other. However, this is the least expensive part of this project and if we do the educational expansion it will only be a matter of time before we’d need to do the Sanctuary expansion anyway. But, the direct answer is, we could wait on this part if money was short.

Has the contractor been chosen who will build the project? If not, what will be the selection process used to make that decision

We have not made a decision about the contractor. We’ll compare the cost of General Conditions, Contingency Fees and Profit with other contractors and make a decision at that time. The costs for sub-contractors will probably not be substantially different from what we already have…except they might go up in this current market. 2007 was the least expensive time to build…we’re currently in an expensive time to build.

What are the main elements of a capital campaign and will they be appropriate for our congregation?
  • The most important part of this answer is that there will be NO pressure, personal requests or manipulation.  We will simply be praying and asking the Lord what we should do…and do that.
  • The next step…We plan to vote on February 5, 2017 in the AM services on whether or not to proceed with the capital campaign.
  • Like this document, we’ll continue answering questions and informing the congregation of next steps.
  • Eventually we’ll make Commitments according to God’s provision.  A chart of gifts is being developed to help us remember that some can do more than others…
  • Giving will commence
  • Once we know how the giving is going, we’ll vote on whether or not to build.
  • Drawings will be completed.
  • Building will begin
  • Giving will continue for three years or as long as individuals desire.
How many years of growth do we anticipate this project will provide to us before the next major facility expansion is needed?
  • This is hard to answer in terms of years but easier in attendance. This model will create enough space for 1100 people. It took 8 years to get to this point, whether it would take 8 more is yet to be seen. We are trying to balance ministry needs, budget and building design. We believe we have found that “sweet spot” in this design.
  • Bill Walter mentioned to one of our Elders that it is not unusual for healthy churches to have to build every 7 years.

Building Questions

Can we add on easily to this expansion if we have future needs?

Yes, We'd expand additionally to the north (education wing) and west (children's wing).

What will the "flow of people" be like if we expand in this way?

A good number of people would continue to use the existing entrance but a lot would naturally enter by the new entrance where the children’s wing and some adult education classes are located. This would more than double our connection space because not only the foyer but also the renovated fellowship hall would be regularly used.

Where will we put additional parking?

If we add “a little” asphalt to the east (toward the road) this will allow us to turn our spaces from an east to west direction to a north to south direction. This creative approach allows us to gain an additional 50 spaces at a lower cost than normal.

If we expand the auditorium will our fellowship hall space be adequate?

Yes. We’ll not increase the fellowship hall but we’ll be adding an educational wing to the north. That space will have moveable partitions which will give us the flexibility to open that area up to be used as a second fellowship hall for tables and chairs. Plus, for special situations we could also use the children’s worship/game area as needs arise.

Will the kitchen and library be addressed in the expansion?

Yes, we’d like to expand the kitchen and change where the window is so that it is more directly accessible to the fellowship hall. The library would be located where our current Pre-K Sunday School classroom is. We intend to put a door next to the fellowship hall as well as a larger picture window to increase visibility and use.

What areas would be expanded and by how much?

Here are some approximate numbers for square footage “from” and “to”.

  • Proclamation Space. From 4350 SF to 6000 SF.
  • Education Space. From 3200 SF to 5100 SF (this doesn’t include the Children’s Worship/Game Area which is 2500 more SF).
  • Connection Space. From 1800 SF to 5000 SF.
  • Check In Space. From 150 SF to 800 SF.
  • Bathroom Space. From 550 SF to 1350 SF.
  • Storage Space. From 500 SF to 1300 SF.
How would this proposed expansion be useful as a tool?

Those of you who were at Calvary 2007 and before remember that we were “stuck” at the 300 mark for six or seven years. Our facility was like a “ceiling” restricting the number of people we could effectively minister to. When we moved to Montcalm in May of 2008 we essentially raised the “ceiling” to 600. Right now we are beginning to experience the same effect. We think that this project would provide us a balanced facility to minister to as many as 1100 children, teens and adults in our community.

How many adult/teen classes will we have in the new structure?

In our present 9:30 am Sunday School hour we have four spaces for teens and/or adults to meet if we use the fellowship hall. This floor plan would give us up to five spaces to meet without using the fellowship hall. Plus, the typical classroom would be substantially larger.

When would we build if we did? When would it be completed?

The project schedule would depend on a lot of variables but if we reached our capital campaign (giving) goal this spring then we could be ready to break ground in 6 months or less. This may require obtaining a short-term construction loan which would be repaid from the proceeds of our capital campaign. The project could be completed before the end of 2017.

Finance Questions

What is the project cost?

The overall project cost is $2,000,000. This includes 11,500 square feet of new construction, renovation of various parts of our existing building, technology costs, the addition of 50 parking spaces, furniture and architecture fees.

What is the basis of current construction cost estimates for the project? Have they been validated with firm bids? If not, when will that happen?

The estimates are based on WielandWieland’s “process.” Our preliminary plans were sent by them to 3 sub-contractors in 23 different disciplines to arrive at the $2 million figure. The sub-contractor estimates are firm but not fixed since this estimate took place several months ago.

Has the contractor been chosen who will build the project? If not, what will be the selection process used to make that decision?

We have not made a decision about the contractor. We’ll compare the cost of General Conditions, Contingency Fees and Profit with other contractors and make a decision at that time. The costs for sub-contractors will probably not be substantially different from what we already have…except they might go up in this current market. 2007 was the least expensive time to build…we’re currently in an expensive time to build.

How do we plan to pay for this and raise the funds?

We have “seed” money which could be used of $250,000. And, depending on our sense of the Lord’s leading and cooperation with Him, we could conduct a capital campaign in the spring to identify the amount we are willing and able to give toward this project over a period of three years. This is entirely voluntary. It is also an amount we commit to give over and above our current gifts to the general fund.

What happens if we don’t raise enough money to proceed with the project?

We are committed to minimal or no extra debt. If we don’t have funds to proceed we’ll continue to make disciples using the tools the Lord has provided.

How are we currently doing financially? As attendance is increasing is giving also increasing?

Giving is doing great. This year looks to be another record year financially and we give God the glory. Thank you for your faithfulness. And, yes, as more and more people are calling Calvary “home” giving is also increasing. Because of your gifts to the Lord and careful stewardship we continue to reduce the debt and put money away for whatever God may want us to use it for in the future.

Is there a certain amount of money that each family will be asked to give to the project?

No. We will certainly not ask each person or family to do the same amount of giving. That’s not practical or even biblical. We believe that any giving to the project should be proportionate to the unique individual financial circumstances of each household. The goal is not equal gifts, but equal commitment.

What is expected of my family in making a financial commitment?

Every family is being asked to pray about its commitment. No one will be pressured. No commitments will be published. We want everyone to do what they believe God would want to do through them. If God owns everything and we are simply managers, then we believe that God will provide everything we need to effectively do His work as we listen to and obey Him.

Can we make one commitment for our entire family?

Yes, you may. We encourage you to involve your children in some way, either by individual commitment or by their participation in the family giving.

I already tithe to the General Budget and feel like that is all I can do. Am I wrong?

Only you and the Lord can decide how much you can give. This program has been designed so that everyone can give something, no matter what the size. Our goal is equal commitment, not equal gifts. If each one does as God directs, then we know we’ve pleased Him and that’s the big deal.

Can I divide my current giving between the General Budget and the Capital Campaign?

We encourage you to make your commitment "over and above" any other giving to our church. The ministries and missions that we currently support still need to be funded.

Do I have flexibility in making my financial commitment?

Yes, there are three categories under which you can make your commitment:

  1. Immediate gifts from accumulated cash.
  2. Regular weekly/monthly gifts of a specified amount over the next three years.
  3. Non-cash assets such as property, stocks, bonds, etc.

 

May I give assets other than cash?

Yes. There may be tremendous tax advantages to giving assets other than cash. One of the members of our committee will be happy to discuss this with you, or you may choose to consult with your personal tax advisor.

When and where will the commitments be made?

Most commitments will be made on Commitment Sunday, May 7th, during our church services; however, we’ll be receiving advance commitments from ministry leaders anytime between March 26th and April 23rd.

How will commitments be received?

Your financial commitment will be placed in a sealed envelope so that the confidentiality of your commitment can be maintained.

Why do I need to make my commitment in writing?

The total amount of commitments will be used to forecast future income and to establish a realistic construction budget and timetable.

Why is my name requested on the Commitment Card?

The three main reasons for having names on commitments are:

  1. Confusion. Sometimes there may be confusion when interpreting a Commitment Card. Having a name allows the person tabulating the commitments to get the issue clarified before reporting totals to the congregation.
  2. Loan Requirements. If our project funding plan requires bank financing, it’s not unusual for the lender to ask whether the church has signed pledges in hand (unsigned pledges would be less positive for the lender).
  3. Pledge Validation. The church needs to know that the pledge is valid. Strange as it might seem, there have been known instances where a well-meaning teenager mistakenly completed a large pledge with dire consequences to the church campaign. Without names, you have no way of knowing whether the pledge has validity.

 

How will the commitments be reported?

Your sealed Commitment Card will be received and opened by our financial secretary and treasurer. A total dollar amount will then be reported to the congregation.

Will I be asked to publicly state my commitment?

No, your commitment is a private matter between you and God. We will not make these commitments a matter of public knowledge in any way, shape, or form.

If I should fall behind, will the church take steps to make me pay?

We’re not going to sick the Baptist Mafia on you smiley. Our purpose in this Campaign is to provide adequate facilities so that we can continue to make forward progress in accomplishing the mission of our church. We are simply asking that you pray and seek God's guidance as to what He would have you commit to Him. We have provided Commitment Cards for us to plan wisely.

When am I supposed to start giving toward my commitment?

We anticipate giving toward commitments to begin on Commitment Sunday, May 7th. Of course we recognize that not everyone receives a weekly paycheck. Therefore, you may begin honoring your commitment based upon the timing that you designate on your Commitment Card and according to your income schedule.

Will I have opportunity to revise my commitment?

Certainly, since this is a commitment between you and the Lord, you have opportunity to revise your commitment. It would be helpful if changes could be communicated in a written manner so church leadership can revise their projections.

What happens if we don’t raise enough money to proceed with the project?

We are committed to minimal or no extra debt. If we don’t have sufficient funds to proceed we’ll continue to make disciples using the tools the Lord has provided.

Will we take on additional debt to fund this project?  Will we pay off our current debt before starting this project?  What is our current and future debt elimination plan and over what period of years?

It depends on the capital campaign.  We do not think it prudent to pay off our debt before we build for the simple reason that counsel has suggested it is more fiscally responsible to have reserve than to have no debt.  Both businesses and households keep cash on hand.  We try to keep 90 days operating expenses on hand and we have seed money available for the building process.  We currently have the cash-flow cushion for additional debt if necessary but our goal is minimal to no debt.  It would however be unrealistic to make a promise of “no debt” at this point.

We have been paying down our debt quicker than scheduled over the past eight years and we would like to continue to do that.  Our debt amortization is in the general fund and we have realistic scenarios on paper that would allow us to be debt free by 2027 even if we borrow more money for this project of up to $500,000.

Will volunteers be used during the building process?

Yes. There will be parts of the process that we’ll be able to identify and do ourselves. However, we’ll be hiring a Construction Management/General Contractor to assist us in the majority of the choices of who gets hired and for what so that we can focus on our calling of equipping and assisting people in becoming flourishing disciples of Jesus.

What steps are being taken to minimize our financial risks should something unexpected happen to Pastor Shaw?
  • The number one reason people come to this church is “a life-giving atmosphere.”
  • The area of the church that is greatest need of expansion is not the Sanctuary (see earlier question); our Children/Teen ministry is flourishing and is a principal “draw” to this church.
  • That said, we believe people are making more of Pastor Shaw’s role than they should (we think he's pretty great smiley). However, to answer the question directly, we are working toward minimal debt AND we are maintaining realistic monthly cash flow margins should a leadership transition ever be necessary.
  • We are continuing to build the Building that occupies the building so that if there is some kind of “personality dependence” we can eliminate it.
  • We believe life insurance or so called “key man” insurance is incongruent with our worldview smiley. This is God’s church, we are God’s people. We are endeavoring to be wise and to trust Him.

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