South Union Christian church
Our Dream Team consists of members of the leadership, staff & congregation who's goal is to pray and seek God's guidance over the future of our church. This includes discussing the ministries that we provide and support, our facility planning and balancing the needs and wants of the church in a fiscally responsible and Godly manner.
A message from Elders, Eric Gilpin & Bob White
(Shared with the congregation on Sunday, April 8th 2018)
In the summer of 1998, South Union broke ground for the building we have currently been benefiting from. This was not by happen chance. A group of individuals dared to get together and call on God for a BIG dream. I won’t go into too many details, but the vision for the building came before that first Dream Team had the money or the land. That didn’t stop God from giving them that dream and honoring that dream.
Two years ago the staff and elders met on a summer weekend in Nashville, In. Out of that weekend, a second Dream Team was established. This Dream Team 2.0 began meeting and calling on God for our next BIG dream. After months of meeting, the Dream Team recognized that God had placed on our hearts two dreams. One dream focused on making disciples who make disciples. Another dream focused on our facilities. We divided the Dream Team 2.0 into two groups. The one team would focus on making disciples who make disciples. You have already begun to hear and see some of the things coming from that dream and will continue to hear and see more in the near future. We recognized that in order for us to do this first dream that is focused on carrying out Matthew 28:18-20 we would need to need to do something about our facilities. Our second dream team then focused on the facilities.
During the Dream Team process we determined our challenges both short term and long term. The Facility team’s purpose was to find the best method to solve our challenges.
Short term challenges and solutions – our Phase One –Things we need to do now!
1. Our youth have outgrown their space. It is difficult to effectively teach in the current space. – Solution is to create a temporary space for our youth to meet for study on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings.
2. The Children’s worship area is overcrowded and under cooled and needs to be expanded. – Solution is to use the vacated youth room, make some minor changes and turn it into a large check in area with a welcome area and worship area for children’s worship.
3. We will also fill in the area over the Foyer to create an additional flexible classroom for children or adults.
4. The building restrooms are tired and need to be updated and require excessive monthly repairs and maintenance. – Solution is to remodel the downstairs bathrooms and replace the current fixtures and correct many of the plumbing issues.
All of these solutions can be accomplished with our current funds on hand.
Long term goals
Our long term goals are more challenging. We are at or nearing capacity in the worship area, children’s area, youth area and the Pre-School.
As we began to look at adding more space to our existing structures we found out that adding to this building on this property is just not feasible. The existing septic is at or over capacity and there is no room to expand it. In addition if we increase the size of the building at all we will need to update the rest of the building to current code which is cost prohibitive.
The good news is we own the 9 acres across Duvall Road! Our current plan is to build on the property. Based on discussions with church experts we need approximately 40,000 square feet total to accommodate the growth we would like to see. We currently have 18,000 sq. ft. total. Our plan is to build approximately 25,000 sq. ft. across the street to include a new Worship area seating 600 to 700, a large Foyer/Gathering area, Restrooms and a secure Children’s wing. We will design the building so we can add additional phases in the future for Offices, Adult meeting space, kitchens and such.
Our Youth, Pre-school and College Age Ministry will take over this building once the new construction is completed.
Where are we in the process?
We have interviewed 2 companies that come highly recommended to help us work through a Charrette process. A Charrette is defined as an intense period of design or planning activity. After 60 days we will have a floorplan, artist renderings of outside and inside, and a budget we can afford. We will make a final decision on Charrette providers in the next few weeks. Each of the candidates submitted a list of churches they designed, built or thought it would be helpful for us to tour before our Charrette process. Our leadership, staff and Dream Team visited 7 churches around Indiana in the last 2 weeks.
We plan to begin the Charrette process next month with completion by the end of July.
During this process we applied for a Grant from the Center for Congregations, they offer grants for non-construction activities such as Charrettes, Capital Campaigns and Architectural Fees. The grant is a matching funds grant and is for $15,000 and our check for this year should arrive in the next 2 weeks. This grant is available annually and I am sure we will apply every year!
Now that I have explained our plans, I need to present an option and ask for your help. I have been praying for 2 years that if God wanted us to move our campus to a different location that he would make the Kmart West building available…and most of us know they are closing. I don’t know that the Kmart building is something that would be available to us or if we could even afford it…but there could be another building that is or could be available.
Please understand we feel very good about our plans to build across the street but we could also get excited about moving to another location if that is what God wants us to do because this is all His anyway. So what we asking everyone is to participate in a 2 week period of prayer and fasting beginning today. Please fast with us the next 2 Tuesdays. Fast from food, media or talking or whatever for 24 hours. Pray for His will for South Union Christian Church and to make it clear how we are to proceed. Pray for God’s will, don’t pray to stay on Rockport Road, or to move to a specific location, but pray for God’s will! We are excited about what is to come and the message we will receive from God.