Recently, the Elders retreated to pray and seek God’s guidance for CFC. Humbled by recent events in our world, they laid everything on the table, current plans, assumptions, the comfort of our current paradigm; and asked the Lord direct their steps.
Here is what the Elders concluded:
God has been at work during a global pandemic. We’ve been able to connect online, to meet in community groups, to picnic at local parks, to lead Community Kids Camps in our backyards, and even to begin meeting for worship in-person. So many CFCers are growing in their love for Christ and reaching out to people in need.
Online ministry is a lifeline of connection for so many people in these difficult days. High-quality digital content is here to stay and we have been investing time and resources toward improving our online presence.
There is power in physically assembling God’s people. Therefore, our building will be an indispensable tool for future ministry.
In faith, we are moving forward with our healthy growth plan, because the vision that God gave us before the disruption is still intact. Our building addition and renovation will provide space:
- for young people to engage in God’s mission
- for congregation-led ministries to meet
- for CFCers to gather safely on the weekends
- for staff to work with increased efficiency
We are committed to staying on mission and preparing for the next season. CFC exists to create committed followers of Christ and there is an urgency to Equip our people.
We believe wholeheartedly that people matter to God and that every seat matters. Our focus is:
People on a journey. Some are lost and far from God, others are healing from a tough past, and many are hungry for a deeper connection with Jesus.
Building healthy communities. The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone. While it’s always powerful to worship together in a weekend service, spiritual growth often occurs in the context of community groups and other small gatherings.
Making committed followers of Christ. We see God at work here and we want to make space for people to join us.
A building is a “ministry tool” that can either empower or hinder the fruitfulness of church ministry. Like any ministry tool, the building should be regularly evaluated and adjusted to maximize its effectiveness in helping us to make committed followers of Christ. God has been steadily growing our church and we’ve been innovating solutions to meet our changing needs, especially in our Community Kids ministry. Except for the minor projects and maintenance, it has been 15 years since CFC has received any significant updates.
CFC has a unique building in a wonderful location and we have seen God transform countless lives in and around East Hempfield. In its current form, however, our building presents serious hindrances that negatively impact the experience of visitors and the effectiveness of our ministries. The building project will ensure that the facility supports rather than detracts from CFC’s commitment to welcoming people and making committed followers of Christ.
It will allow CFC to operate more efficiently and opens up more seats to welcome newcomers into our vibrant community.
Our Community Kids Ministry will have increased space for programming in a more secure wing with improved hallways for circulation and a larger check-in area.
Our Student Ministry will have dedicated ministry spaces.
Our cafe and upstairs lobby will once again be ideal places for conversation and connection.
Our staff and congregation-led ministries will have more spaces to meet on prime evenings and after Sunday services.
Our growing staff will have improved office and work spaces.
The sanctuary shape and size will largely stay the same with a few modifications. Once social distancing measures have been eliminated, a 4th service we will increase CFC’s total capacity to between 1100-1200. This provides significant room for growth while we prepare to launch our second site. Because we are committed to retaining a “medium-size” feel, we will expand our impact by growing out rather than in.
Following land development and blueprint approvals with East Hempfield Township and our final negotiation with the general contractor, we will be able to begin the project. At present, we anticipate construction to begin in October 2020.
Following construction and the launch of the 4th service, we will begin a search for a site pastor to join Bobby’s preaching team. We plan to “greenhouse” this pastor at CFC while developing a core group of 150 enthusiastic CFCers, who are ready to embrace a new level of discipleship and growth. In truth, it is our membership and regular attenders who will determine when we launch beyond Bethel Drive
The total cost of the Bethel Drive building project is estimated to be $2.5 million. By limiting our costs we will provide useful ministry spaces and position ourselves for future growth.
The future cost of our 2nd site has yet to be determined, and like the building project, will be voted on by the membership.
There are three avenues of funding, and CFC will likely be utilizing all three:
Current Assets: CFC is blessed to be in a strong financial position, and we will devote a large portion of our savings into the Bethel Drive building project.
Loan: We also plan to take out a loan to help finance the remainder of the project. For the past few years, we have maintained a line item in our budget for future growth, therefore loan payments will not adversely affect daily operations or missions giving.
Capital Campaign: A capital campaign is a process of raising funds through pledges, primarily within the church family to fund God’s work. We will not run a capital campaign for our “right-sizing” building project, but will plan a campaign prior to launching a second site.
We are so thankful for questions, comments, and suggestions from our congregation. Input came from two church surveys, two focus groups, several member meetings, and numerous emails and face-to-face conversations. Our people have shaped leadership conversations and helped us to determine the stakes we are putting in the ground. As a growing church CFC will continue to uphold (a) Modern worship with biblically-based preaching and teaching, (b) an intimate gathering space, with a “medium-size” feel, and (c) authentic living in community groups.
CFC members affirmed the financial proposal with 97% approval during special membership meetings on September 7 & 8, 2019
When we paid off the original mortgage in 2016, we steadily increased missions giving. Our commitment to invest in the mission of God both locally and internationally continues on. In fact, we have locked-in missions giving at 10% of our annual budget. Most of you know that our current missions giving has exceeded initial estimates, largely because CFC has been growing faster than we projected. As our church grows so too will our missional impact.