- God is able to far more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). To raise $1.5-2 million is a very big challenge for us. However, we believe that under God, with a combination of pledges and borrowing, it can be done.
- We will be prudent. We wont enter into any building contracts until 100% of the funding is secured, and identified risks are carefully mitigated. In Luke 14:28-20, Jesus used the negative example of people who failed to calcualte the cost of a building before starting work.
- We are wary of long term debt. Although we recognize that it is reasonable to pay for this work over time, we are also conscious not to create a burden of debt that might cripple the ministry of future generations. Ideally we could raise the full amount and be debt free. However, there may be a need for some borrowing within the bounds of what we are reasonably able to repay.
- We will need to be sacrificial. The scope of this project is many times bigger than what we have done over the past decade. It will take the kind of giving shown to us by Jesus, and demonstrated by the Macedonians in 2 Corinthians 8:1-7.
- We remain committed to our ongoing ministry. While we will work hard to keep ongoing costs down, the funds for this building need to be raised from giving over and above our regular collections.
- We will be creative. We will examine all possible options (including tax deductibility, interest free loans, potential grants, etc). In this Jesus gave us the example of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1-13).
- We will be sensitive. The ability of members to give varies considerably, and we will be conscious of encouraing each one to give as they are willing and able. God is more concerned with our hearts, and our sacificial generosity, then he is with the amount (Luke 21:1-4, 2 Corinthians 8:12). He loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
- We can take heart from God’s provision for us in the past, and for his people through the ages. The time when the people of Israel sought to build the tabernacle is instructive. As commanded by God they took up an offering from “everone whose heart is willing”. So much was received, beyond what was needed, that Moses had to tell the people to stop giving! (Exodus 35:5 & 36:4-7).
- There is much potential in this for us to grow in Christ-likeness (2 Corinthians 8:9), to grow in faith as we seek first God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:25-34, 1 Timothy 6:17-19), to please God and store up treasure in heaven (Philippians 4:15-20, Matthew 6:19-24) and to experience the joy of working side by side in the cause of the gospel (Acts 4:32-37, Philippians 1:3-8).
- In November 2017 we will seek pledges (for contributions over 3 years) to cover the full cost of the work.
- If we have sufficient pledges, and also an approved Development Application, we would then ask members to start giving.
- If we don’t receive sufficient pledges, we will need to review the situation. A shortfall may be able to be covered by borrowing within the limits of what we could reasonably repay from general funds. Alternatively, we would need to abandon this project for the time being.
- We will not sign any building contracts until the work is fully funded.
Will we leave a legacy of crippling debt for the next generation?
- Not if we can pay for it ‘up front’ and/or pay of a reasonable loan quickly.
- We are the beneficiaries of the investment made by past generations. They stretched themselves to provide a facility that has lasted 34 years. We aim to leave a positive legacy for the future of gospel work in our area – a great building for ministry.
Shouldn’t we try to stage the work?
- We will look further at staging the work, but the advice we have received is that this will increase the total cost.