How does our building plan fit with our mission?
Church buildings exist for ministry to people.
Good church buildings contribute significantly to gospel work. They provide spaces for the word to be preached and responded to, for people to pray, for people to sing, for people to love each other, for people to connect with the community and minister to each other. Buildings can help or hinder the ministry we want to do.
Buildings, for better or worse, also make a statement. They communicate our theology and values – what is important to us. They also contribute to the culture of a church – segmented or connected, open or closed, welcoming or forbidding, neglected or cherished.
Church buildings are long term investments; a legacy from one generation to the next.
We want to provide a building for ministry both now and into the future. We want to see more and more people living for Christ Jesus. Our hope and prayer is that over the years thousands of people will use the new facility, hear of Jesus, experience the love of his people, and turn to follow him as Saviour and Lord.
There are five particular reasons we want to improve and extend our building:
1. To help us reach people around us
In the 21st century most of our connection with the community happens through the week as people come to our outreach activities (eg. kids and youth groups, Playtime, ESL, Jesus Club). These activities need spaces for hospitality and activities, and use far more than the main church meeting area. The new foyer will provide a pleasant, functional and non-threatening space for people to connect with us. The kitchen will be on hand for serving food and drinks. It will also link the ministry centre, yard and church building, providing multiple spaces that suit the needs of each group.
The new areas will also improve our ability to welcome people to our church services. The new entry and large glass doors will create a sense of openness. It will draw people in and out of the church through the one spacious area, making it easier for us to be hospitable.
For occasional large services such as weddings, funerals, Christmas and confirmations, the foyer will also provide an overflow area, and a functional area for serving refreshments.
An improved ramp will make our building more accessible for people with limited mobility and parents with prams. It will not only bring us up to speed with Australian standards, but will make us a more welcoming church to our community.
These improvements and extensions will give a positive impression to newcomers and we pray will help Jannali Anglican Church to continue to grow as a local centre of outreach and mission.
2. To help us build each other
Our new building will facilitate better relationships, helping us to know, love and serve each other.
The new foyer will enhance our community life. It will provide a space where our larger congregations can gather over morning tea or supper and better interact with each other. It will also enable parents to be with other adults while watching their children play in the yard. The new playground will provide a clean and safe place for toddlers to play and for parents to interact.
A key element in our life together is sharing light meals and refreshments together. The new kitchen in its central location will enable more and easier catering. It will reduce the need to transport food and drinks to other places, as these will be able to be served direct to the new foyer and to the hall. This will enable us to plant more ministries with regular meals, as is the norm for many Asian congregations.
For church services, the opening of the rear wall will create a sense of space and will enable people to enter and leave from the back of the meeting area. The improved stage, seating, heating/cooling and aesthetics will enhance engagement with ‘the front’ and with each other. The new cry room will be bigger and less conspicuous at the back of the meeting area.
Bible study groups increasingly want to meet on the church property. Other ministries (eg. children and youth) break into multiple groups, occupying all the available spaces on our site. The new facility will better accommodate multiple groups meeting simultaneously. The new plan also means groups meeting in some of our medium sized rooms, which are presently thoroughfares—including the blue room, the hall and parish room—won’t need to be disturbed.
Children and youth ministries will benefit from the refurbished hall, and enclosure of the present parish room. Although the yard will be slightly smaller, the new foyer will significantly enhance its usefulness. The new foyer will provide a covered verandah/shelter at one end of the yard, easy access to the kitchen, and amphitheatre styled steps for people to sit and talk. The new kitchen will enable SNAC and kids’ church morning tea to be served direct to the hall.
3. To help us multiply disciple makers
In the past local ministry was focused on clergy running public services for the local community. These days there is more emphasis on relationships, and ministry is conducted in more personal ways by a wider group of people. Our new building will provide new spaces for more of us to minister.
Leaders of children and youth need multiple spaces for discussion groups to meet, and larger spaces for joint activities. Leaders of connection ministries (eg. ESL, Jesus Club) need spaces to welcome the community and to divide into classes/groups. Leaders of Bible studies need spaces to gather their groups. Individuals need spaces to meet for one to one Bible reading and prayer.
4. To fix present problems
For some time we have been aware that areas of our building require attention. Our current access ramp does not meet requirements. Our kitchen is cramped and inadequate for weekly catering needs. Our hall is rundown (although recently spruced up with new paint and temporary carpet). Our main meeting area is worn and showing its age. Our yard has only limited shade from temporary structures.
Our goal is not to provide a building that is impressive but one that meets community expectations for a safe, pleasant and contemporary facility. We want it to be accessible to all ages and degrees of physical ability. We want it to be friendly, functional and flexible in order to help rather hinder our ministry.
5. To provide for future ministry
Jannali is changing before our eyes. Units are being built. Houses are being knocked down and rebuilt. Over time we expect our suburb to become more multicultural. We need a building to accommodate a new generation of people.
Although in the short term we will benefit from the new building, it’s those who will use the building in 10, 20 and 30 years time who will benefit most. Just as we have enjoyed facilities built by previous generations, our plans will serve those who come after us.
We plan to bring a 35 year old building into the 21st century and use our land in the best possible way, so that disciple making may thrive for decades to come.