What's Next for our church campus in 2018?
(NOTE: This article is taken from our 2017 Annual Report)
In 2018, our church will continue the next phase of our plans to maximize our church campus. Ministry space is an important tool in our endeavor to make wholehearted followers of Christ, and currently, our Youth and College ministry spaces are reaching capacity. Meanwhile, the Watkinsville/Oconee and greater Athens community continues to grow. We recognize the need to build adequate space to gather, encourage, equip, and send as many people as we can.
In 2017 the church voted to begin the design phase of a new facility that would meet our ministry needs. We formed a construction advisory team of experienced church members to help move us forward in the construction process. We conducted internal preliminary design sessions with teams of staff and lay leaders in Kids, Youth, College, Adult and Worship ministries. These “SEEK Teams” were charged with seeking the Lord’s heart and giving input into the design of their ministry spaces. The church was poised and ready to move forward with the design of the new facility.
So why the delay? In May 2017, as the Pastoral Team prayed and discussed the new facility, it became apparent there was still work to do in matching the ministry needs to the design of a new building. This question was asked: “Are we building exactly what God intends, when God intends?” The Pastors could not, with good conscience and conviction of heart, answer yes to this question. More study was essential to determine exactly what type of ministry space was needed and the right timing to begin the work. At that time, with many changes still to come (a new Church Constitution, staff structure changes, a new Executive Pastor) the Pastoral Team wanted to be sure nothing would inhibit the building process. To address these concerns, church leadership delayed the construction of the new facility in order to perform further space utilization studies on our property. This study was completed in early fall 2017.
Because of this season of prayer and study, we are now even more confident that this is God’s timing and know more fully what type of space is needed. The construction advisory team has now resumed the design process and this spring our church will begin a season of vision-casting and challenge as we take this next step to maximize our church campus for ministry. Following the challenge, the church will vote on whether to move forward with construction. If the church votes to move forward, construction will likely begin in late summer of 2018.
Chip Riggs (Executive Pastor)