Stewardship Campaign: Q & A
Find answers to common questions about the stewardship campaign by clicking on the question to reveal the answer.
What is a stewardship campaign?
A stewardship campaign is a church project that seeks financial commitments from members of the congregation to be used in paying for a major project. These commitments are a sacrifice above and beyond normal giving. This campaign represents a season of financial discipleship at TCPC. We hope the Lord will use this campaign to form in us a kingdom perspective on money.
Is a stewardship campaign Biblical?
Yes. The Bible records three specific times when God’s people were called upon to give above their regular offering to accomplish a specific ministry purpose: Moses calls upon the Israelites to give an offering to build the tabernacle (Exodus 35), David calls upon the Israelites to fund the building of the temple (1 Chronicles 29), and Paul calls upon Gentile believers in the first century to support the impoverished Jews in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8-9).
Why is it called "Foundations of a Movement" stewardship campaign?
We truly believe that we are standing on the threshold of a significant movement of God in and through TCPC. However, standing in the way of that movement are two significant obstacles: facilities and debt. The goal of this campaign is to overcome these obstacles, and in so doing, lay the foundations of this movement that we long and pray for.
What are our facility needs?
TCPC is in the midst of exciting growth. This growth has put pressure on the deficiencies of our current facility, and the need to address them has become urgent. Most significantly, we need a new nursery and early learning center to host the children entrusted to our care. Additionally, there are several key operational needs that we must address. However, even with these improvements, we still have the good but pressing problem of no more room to grow at our current location. Instead of adding a third service, we are committed to growth through expanding to another location.
What is wrong with the nursery, preschool, and kindergarten rooms we are currently using?
Our nursery does not have enough space for the children we currently shepherd and certainly not enough space for potential growth. More than anything, there are very real security concerns. Its unsecure location is alongside the only hallway connecting the sanctuary to the rest of the facilities, so our nursery is the source of our highest foot traffic each Sunday. We’ve heard from many parents, both members and guests, who simply don’t feel comfortable putting their children in our nursery.
Once our children graduate from the nursery, we do not have facilities to host their early learning education. Currently we are placing them in disconnected rooms throughout our building that were never intended to serve as preschool or kindergarten facilities. There is a significant need for designated rooms designed specifically for the purpose of early learning education.
What are the key operational facilities needs at our current location?
We have no more offices to host additional staff. With only one classroom designed for a large group, we have exhausted our space for adult Sunday School. Our music ministry does not have its own designated space. There is no boardroom for meetings in the entire building. Also, our older facility that was built in 1996 is in desperate need of several improvements.
Why are we expanding to another location instead of adding a third service?
Philosophically, we do not desire to be a “mega-church.” In fact, we believe two full services with 1,000 people in attendance is more than enough for one location. We believe the best way to reach our city is to not build a huge church in the suburbs south of Lexington, but to have a family of churches.
Practically, even if we wanted to continue to grow, our current location makes that an impossibility. We could add another service, but our classroom and fellowship space, parking, and other facility limitations could not host that large of a crowd.
Will this new location be a church plant?
No. Although we will borrow from church planting strategies, and our intention some day is to particularize, initially the site will be an extension of TCPC. The reason why that is important is because this new site will share resources with TCPC. For example, TCPC does not need to worry about losing funds, and the new site does not need to worry about raising funds. There will also be a shared session and a shared pastoral team. For example, Robert will be doing the same amount of preaching at both locations (in person, not through video!). Think of it initially as adding a new service except at another location and with a different feel.
Why was downtown chosen as the first site?
When you consider the city renewal projects taking place, the movement of young professionals toward downtown, the abundant mercy needs of our city, and our thriving ministries at the University of Kentucky and Georgetown College, we strongly believe that downtown is the most strategic choice to be our newest location. As a church that exists for “the good of the Bluegrass,” we are eager and excited to establish a redeeming presence and witness downtown where local business, art, entertainment, restaurants, and all sectors of our great culture converge together.
Are we leasing or purchasing space?
The plans for this site will not be finalized until after the stewardship campaign. We are currently exploring different options, and you will be fully informed before we make this move. We will either set aside funds in an escrow account to pay a long-term lease, or we will pay cash for a property. The session has made two commitments: There will be no new debt to acquire this site, and we will be downtown by the fall of 2015.
What is our debt situation?
Currently we have $3.5 million in debt. It costs us $242,000 a year to service this debt, and over the course of this loan, our church will pay roughly $2.5 million in interest payments.
How did we acquire this debt?
In addition to our capital campaign 10 years ago, this loan was used to construct our current facilities. At the time we took on this debt, we were meeting in what is now the fellowship hall, and we were completely out of space. This loan enabled us to build our current sanctuary and family life center, which has led to the growth we now have. While this loan was crucial in enabling us to be where we are as a church, we believe it is now time to address this debt. Fortunately, this loan is structured in such a way that every dollar of principal we pay back results in lower annual costs to the church.
Why was debt not prioritized over our facility needs?
There are immediate pressing needs that have to be met, most significantly the safety and welfare of our children and the fact that we are out of space at our current location. In the same way that we don’t think it would be wise for you to not meet significant needs in your family until your mortgage is paid off, we feel that God is calling us to first address these significant needs of our church family.
With that said, paying down the debt is very important to us, and the session has take three steps to ensure that it remains a priority: First, we will not incur any additional debt for the projects of our current location and expansion to our new location. Second, we have dramatically scaled back our original capital project that was estimated to cost us over $4 million to include only those needs which are pressing and urgent. The current plan is estimated to cost between $1.5 and $2 million. Third, in order to prevent these projects from “ballooning,” as is often the case, we have placed a $3 million cap on improving our current facility and expanding to a new facility. Every dollar above $3 million will go toward the elimination of debt.
May I see a copy of our current budget?
How much of the $3 million will be spent at our current location and how much will be spent to secure our future site?
We want to be wise stewards of the funds raised, and so we have intentionally left this decision open for now until we see what the Lord provides through this campaign. However, we believe that $3 million will be more than adequate to complete both projects in an excellent way.
How do I and my family participate in the campaign?
We are asking every family in the church to do two things: (1) Spend three weeks going through the stewardship devotional. (2) Every day, pray this prayer: “Lord, what would you do through me to accomplish your visit for TCPC? Help me discern a sacrifice that is meaningful and joyful.”
How do I contribute?
Every family will receive a Commitment Card. These cards will be received on Commitment Sunday (November 23rd). Everyone is asked to make a 3-year commitment, and the financial gifts can start being received any time after Commitment Sunday.
Is participation required or restricted to members?
Participation is entirely voluntary. All members, regular attenders, guests, and friends of TCPC have the opportunity to contribute however they feel led to give.
Is my commitment confidential?
Yes. Only the financial reporter for the church will see the Commitment Cards. This person will also provide receipts of gifts.
What if my circumstances change?
We realize that these commitments are made in faith. If your circumstances change, you can contact the church office for help in adjusting your commitment to the campaign.
How can I be praying for our church during this campaign?
Pray for wisdom and courage for our congregation as we enter this season of financial discipleship. Ask God to lead us in making joyful and meaningful sacrifices in our giving. Pray that the Lord will use this campaign for the glory of Christ and the good of the Bluegrass.