Jeremiah 29 :11
Jan and I wanted to make a few points on the possible Northwoods' purchase. We develop our friendships and relationships through working together and committing our time and talents. This even happens during our times of hardship because we need to pick each other up in faith. So, this might be a “pick each other up” moment for Pathway from the Shelton’s.
The longer a church exists in a rental space, the more we believe members will become self-absorbed and less concerned with the reason for being here. Are we self- serving and self-centered? Are we a divided Church or are we one? There is history out there that when a church goes stagnate, it starts with declining membership and then eventually will fail. We do not want to see this happen to Pathway.
Having served on the Building Team, I’m aware of feedback from churches on their growth after moving to their own building and out of a rental space. In many cases, attendance went up by 30-50% within 18 months of moving in.
We want to share our vision should the Northwoods' location come up for a final vote because we believe we should ALL vote yes. Our number one goal as a church is to bring as many people to Christ. The Northwoods' location gives us the visibility to bring more people into our services. This should be OUR church!
Some examples of what we dream of Pathway becoming as a seven-day-a-week facility: Divorce Care, Celebrate Recovery, AA Meetings to name a few. People that come to these programs need to feel comfortable to share openly; this is not going to happen in the school. When uncontrolled events happen to people, they need support and a safe place to come. We would also be able to have weddings and receptions for our own members and would be able to rent this space out for non-member weddings. Another thing that is important for church members is to have a funeral in your own church. More ideas: men’s and women’s small group breakfasts, church dinners. We would have an awesome kitchen! The pond would be great for youth fishing tournaments, and the parking lot for car and boat shows. We all can come up with a lot more ideas for this unique building IF it would become our new home.
We need our own home, so a word about waiting: I see this in my own industry when a customer is waiting to do a lighting upgrade. They decide to wait to do it at a later date and each month they do, they continue to lose the energy savings by not doing it. This is what we are facing if we just want to build on 109th. The costs for raw material and labor are going up 4-5% per year at a minimum, not including the rise in interest rates. If we wait to build, the cost will be way out of our reach. In closing, IF this comes to a final vote, we all have to look into our heart and ask what would Jesus do?