On March 7, 2013 New Venture Christian Church made an offer on the property at 12200 Lucks Lane, with contingencies included as safeguards. Within hours the offer was accepted, as presented, with all contingencies intact.
Here is a link to a brief video of the property: http://youtu.be/7U5w_9OtKRI
The question now is, where do we go from here? So, let’s look at the what, who, when, where, why and how of turning dreams into reality.
1. WHAT! Our plan is to purchase the property, upgrade and remodeled the house that currently is on the property, and build a cost effective first unit that will serve as our worship meeting place, children’s department and multipurpose facility.
There is a house on the property that consists of approximately 1500 square feet on the main floor and a full basement of 1500 square ft. The house needs lots of work. Even so, it is structurally sound and of better construction than we could purchase today. So our plan is to do whatever it takes to bring the house up to a condition of excellence. We want this house to be a positive presence on the property and not a negative factor in any way. That will mean lots of sweat equity. The house would then be used for offices on the main floor and small meetings. The downstairs could be used for teen “Edge” gathering, men’s ministry, women’s ministry and other kinds of small to medium gathering places, as well as a place to do our back pack lunches, storage and other uses. There is a lot of work to be done to the house but it is our plan, at least at the current time, to keep the house and do whatever it takes to remodel it.
The house, however, cannot in any way accommodate our main worship gathering or our children’s department. So our plan is to proceed immediately with the construction of an initial building that meets both these needs and more. We are leaning toward a building of about 50’ x 120’. The building will be two stories high. Two thirds of it would be main worship area. One third on the lower level would have a foyer area, restrooms, small kitchenette with a serving counter that opens into the main assembly area, and a large storage closet. Stairs to the upper level above this area would take you to the children’s department.
My vision for New Venture is to have a multi-use building, not a “church building” per-se that affords only limited use. Therefore, our plans are to construct a steel building with more of a warehouse type look, finished out for church purposes. This will give us multifunctional capacity as well as meet our assembly needs.
So in summary, the WHAT is to acquire the property remodel and upgrade the house and build an initial facility that accommodates our worship needs and our children’s department as well as have multifunctional capacity.
2. WHO? It should already be apparent that the “who” involved in this picture and plan is every single person connected with New Venture in any way. This venture leaves no room for spectators. It leaves no room for those who simply want to sit and soak. This is a venture that calls for every one of us engaged, stepping up, embracing the challenge, and stepping out of our comfort zones into radical sacrifice and faith.
I would even go a step farther and say that there are others within your circle of influence that you might need to invite to join us, in being part of what God is going to do in this venture, and to make a major impact for the church and the kingdom. We need “everyone” in the picture.
3. WHEN? This, of course, is influenced by any obstacles or challenges that we might face along the way. However, our plan is to move forward immediately with all of the steps, without forcing any of them to happen, seeking God’s direction, and allowing him to make the paths straight. Having said that, here are the steps as we see them. We have ordered an appraisal, since our offer is contingent upon an appraisal that supports the amount that we offered. That will take a minimum of two weeks. We will need to work out all the details of financing. It is difficult to determine how long exactly that will take, but a lot of that is determined by our financial response. At the same time as we are working out financing we will need to have a site plan developed on the property that must be approved by all the appropriate county departments. This is the lengthy step. The development of and the approval of a site plan can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months. At the same time in which we are having a site plan approved we need to have working drawings completed on the building as well as identify, through a lengthy evaluation process, the contractor that we would secure to build the building. All of these steps will take approximately six months.
The actual construction of the building is largely dependent upon weather conditions. If the weather conditions are favorable, it will take 4-6 months for the construction of the new building. So you can see that there is a lot taking place over the next 12 months. And there is a lot that we are going to be called upon for in the next 12 months. But look at what we will have, our own church campus.
4. WHERE? That almost seems like an unnecessary question to ask. However, the biggest mistake we can make at this point is having too narrow a vision. The worst thing that can happen is for us to see this basically as acquiring land and building a church building. One of the major errors that we are in danger of making is thinking that what we are doing here just has to do with here.
Just before Jesus returned to heaven he commissioned his followers to be his witnesses to the entire world. (Acts 1:8) For six months now at New Venture, we have been studying how to be his “Witnesses”. I want to call upon us and challenge us to make this venture a New Venture Christian Church step in fulfilling the command and the commission of Jesus to the entire world.
It is obvious that the impact of what we are entering into will be enormous in our own community, but that is not enough. We must have a much bigger vision than just the community in which we live. I want to challenge us to make this faith step part of an effort to get the message of Jesus out to the entire world.
Here’s my challenge and proposal. In 2015 the International Conference on Missions is coming to Richmond. The nondenominational independent Christian churches in Virginia, in conjunction with this conference, are committing to planting a new church on every continent. That means the Virginia churches are going to engage in planting seven new churches in conjunction with the 2015 conference. I want to challenge us, to incorporate into our financial plans for this property and building plan a way to be part of partnering with the planting of these seven churches. Perhaps tithing the resources we gather to these church plants.
And them, my dream is that we select one of the seven churches for a delegation from New Venture to travel to and be part of for the launching of this new church when that time comes.
The last thing we need to do is to think and see this as purely a local venture. The best thing we can do is to make this a worldwide mission.
5. WHY? Why in the world would we take this huge risk? Why would we embark on such an enormous step of faith? Why would we put it all on the line? Let me give you three reasons. We are taking this enormous step of faith and putting it all on the line first of all to establish permanents in the community, secondly to expand ministry to the community, and thirdly to exponentially share Jesus with the community and the world.
These are the facts. We have existed in this community for over 8 ½ years. This community is filled with new church endeavors. Therefore, people are highly hesitant to connect with new churches because they don’t know if they are going to be here today and gone tomorrow. We have pretty much maxed out our ability to connect with the community and draw the community to our church setting. If we are going to move forward and enlarge ministry and exponentially get the message out we need a permanents in the community. People need to see us as real and long term. Once they do they will begin to take us more seriously. We desperately need permanence.
When it comes to enlarging ministry, new property and new facilities brings us limited potential. We can not only expand what we do in reaching out to the community but we can also highly increase what we can do in gathering together to teach, training, equipping and serving the community through the facility that we will have. As it stands we are tremendously limited in this area.
All of this opens us up to be able to exponentially communicate the message of Jesus in more and more settings to more and more people.
6. And the final question, HOW? How are we going to go from where we are to a completed facility as well as partner in planting churches on seven continents? Time does not permit all of the details on this but I do have some figures that can give us the overall picture. Here are the numbers as best we can estimate at this point. These are certainly subject to change as we move forward. But, here they are$150,000/$300,000/$900,000.
- We need to raise a down payment of $150,000 within five months.
- We need to also have a capital campaign in which we raise a total of $300,000. (The $300,000 includes the $150,000 down payment.)So we would need to have an additional $150,000 besides our $150,000 down payment. This is in addition to our regular church operating budget.
- Then, the cost of the total project, as best we can figure, would be in the range of $900,000. That would include such things as the purchase of the land and current facility, cost of appraisal, site plan and drawings, paved parking lot, (Minimum of 75 spaces at $1000 each), remodeling of the existing house, tree, stump removal and excavation work and the cost of the new facility. The new facility would give us approximately 8300 square feet of usable space in addition to 3000 square feet of usable space in the house.
Catch your breath. This is big. I would even go so far as to say this is bigger than us. But it is not bigger than God. And if we are going to attempt something that is only as big as us, then we don’t need God. We need to attempt something that only God can make happen so that once it happens we can say, without a doubt, God did it. I have no doubt that God will continue to provide a way.
In 4 to 8 weeks we will engage in a capital campaign. I am asking you to begin to seek God now with all of your heart as to how God wants to use you to make this happen. I would also encourage you to look around in your network and identify others that you might invite to be part of what God is going to do here.
I don’t think we can begin to imagine how much of an impact taking this step will have on this community and far beyond. This is going to open up the door for this church in this community and in the world in a way unlike anything that we have ever experienced. It is the most courageous step we have ever taken as a church and we need to do it and do it well.
But that’s not the biggest thing that’s going to happen. The biggest thing that’s going to happen is what God is going to do in your life. Here’s what we need to understand, this is not a land purchase project. This is not a building project. This is not about developing a permanent identity and location in the community. This is not even about planting churches in the world. This, above all else, is about what God is going to do in your life. Over the next few months and years God is going to use you in ways that you cannot imagine. God is going to do things in your life that you could not have dreamed of. God is going to change you exponentially. This is about the HUGE things God is going to do in the life of every single one of us.
So would you begin to ask and invite him to do just that? Would you begin to pray this prayer EVERY day? “God, would you do something in my life and in the life of New Venture that is so big that it can only be explained as a move of God?” Go ahead, pray it right now and see what God begins to do.