“A New Home for CrossPointe“
Passage: 2 Corinthians 5:11–5:21
Since CrossPointe began on April 17, 2005, we have met in the Old Mountain Hill Schoolhouse. This building has served us well and has been a wonderful place for the church to gather. But, as we have grown, it has become clear that we need a more functional space for the church. For the past several years, we have been searching for a building that could serve as a ministry hub for the church. After a very thorough and at times frustrating process, we believe that the Lord has opened up a very exciting door for us. Below are some answers to many of the questions we have asked ourselves as a leadership team during this process.
Obviously, you may have many more questions about this move and we are eager and willing to answer all of them. Thus, we are having an informational meeting this Tuesday, February 2nd at 6:30pm at the Pointe to answer any and all questions that are not answered below and are certainly willing to answer your questions after that on a one on one basis.
Why do we need to move?
There are both tangible and intangible reasons why it is imperative that we find a more functional space for the church. First, we are virtually out of space for our children’s ministry. Currently, our elementary kid’s church meets in the New Mountain Hill cafeteria. As of the end of this school year, we will no longer be able to use that space. Secondly, we are almost to capacity in the sanctuary. Thirdly, the inability to use our worship space for times other than Sunday mornings has become increasingly challenging. As a church, we need a hub for our life together as a tribe. In short, as a growing body, we need more room and a space that we can occupy full time.
Where is the building?
It is the former Mansour’s department store and most recently the Zoo City building located in the Harmony Place shopping center behind Stevie B’s Pizza on Airport Thruway and Whitesville Road.
Why this building?
During our search over the past few years we have looked at and studied numerous buildings and potential locations. Over time, we came to realize that there were three essential issues that became deciding factors in evaluating each space. These factors were 1) the square footage of the building (was it big enough for us?) 2) the monthly lease terms (could we afford the rent?) and, 3) the cost of renovating the space (how much would it cost to remodel into a church?). This building was the only one we studied that was favorable in all three important factors. After a time of evaluation and prayer, our building search team and leadership felt that God was opening the door and leading us to this particular building.
Why are we moving into Columbus after being in Harris County?
As the church has grown, a majority of the growth of the church has come from Columbus and Muscogee County. Currently, approximately 80% of the regular attendees live in Muscogee County. In addition, there is virtually no commercial space available in Harris County with the square footage necessary for us.
Why are we renting instead of buying a piece of property and building new?
After doing much study on the cost of new construction verses renovating commercial space, it became clear to us that it was wise for us to rent and renovate rather than buy and build new at this stage of the church. To just duplicate the space we have now at the Schoolhouse in new construction would cost us at a minimum 3 to 4 million dollars. It would be very unwise for us to go into such debt at this juncture of the church’s development. We see this next five years as a time that will serve as a springboard into growing the church spiritually, numerically, and financially so that we can accomplish whatever the Lord has next for us regarding facilities. Ultimately, equity for us is not found in buildings, but rather in the souls of people that we might reach more effectively with the Gospel. At this point in our history, renting seems to us the most appropriate way to maximize our ability to do that.
Will there be enough ministry space for the youth and children?
Yes. There will be much more space for children’s rooms than we currently have, and an additional 12,000 square feet of unfinished space that can be built out as needed.
What about the proximity to Evangel Temple?
Our leadership team went to the church board of Evangel Temple and explained to them our circumstances and need for a solution to our space problems. We also explained to them that while we realize this building is less than ideal in proximity to Evangel Temple, it has been the only building feasible for us to renovate according to the factors mentioned above. The board of Evangel Temple graciously gave us their blessing and we are very thankful for their understanding and remain extremely grateful for the role they played in the planting of CrossPointe.
What was the process that brought us to this building?
For the past several years, we have informally but consistently been looking for another more functional meeting space for the church. About a year and a half ago, a more intentional team was formed to start analyzing buildings and properties in a more systematic and thorough way. During this time, numerous other properties and buildings have been studied extensively. About three months ago, we became aware of the availability of this building and began a feasibility study.
What other buildings have you looked at in this process?
We have looked at numerous raw land options off of River road, Fortson road, Veterans Parkway, Smith road, and Hwy 315. Regarding existing buildings, we have looked at a car dealership off of Box road, the Jumpin’ Jax building on Milgen road, the Bradley theater on Broadway, 2nd Baptist Church on 2nd Avenue, the Hughes Plumbing Supply building on Veterans, and numerous empty warehouses such as the one next to the UPS building and several others around town.
Who was involved in the search?
About two years ago, we formed a team from the church of men with experience and wisdom in the real estate and property business. From this team, a smaller group comprised primarily of David Blanchard, Dykes Blackmon, Reynold Counts and myself would evaluate potential properties initially for feasibility. As this smaller group found properties that had merit, we would gather the larger property team to discuss and analyze the pros and cons of each possibility. The staff and finance teams were also involved in analyzing the affordability and functionality of each potential location. In particular, we owe a great debt of gratitude to David and Dykes for their leadership during this process. They have put in many hours of hard work and have served the church very well.
How are we going to do this?
We have hired a very experienced and reputable church building consultant and architect firm, CDH Partners, to assist us in this process. They have been on board for about six months and have been instrumental in helping us determine our needs. Likewise, John Teeples, a friend of the church and local contractor has been assisting us on a voluntary basis for the past several years as we have examined numerous properties. John will serve as our general contractor for the build out.
How much is it going to cost?
We estimate that all total this project will cost us between $650,000 - 700,000. Currently, we have just under one million in our money market account.
How long will it take?
Approximately 4 months. Our goal is to be in the building by July.
What is our philosophy about how to build out this space?
We want to do things with excellence, but not extravagance. We understand that environments can serve to advance our ability to do ministry well, and we certainly want that to be the case with this building. Our goal is to create a space that honors the Lord through its functionality for Gospel ministry, not through how comfortable and cool it is for us.
Will we still use the Pointe?
No. All of our offices will relocate to this building.
Is this going to be our permanent home?
No. We have signed a five-year lease with the owners of the building. We see this space as an excellent and much more functional near term home that will serve as a bridge for us as we continue to search for property that will ultimately be the long term home of CrossPointe.
What can you do?
1. Pray. We are naïve if we think there will not be challenges for us. 1 Peter 5:8-10 reminds us that our adversary the devil prowls about like a lion seeking to devour us. Pray for unity among the body, for wisdom during the process, provision along the way, and ultimately God’s blessing on this move.
2. Prepare your heart for change. This move will change the feel and culture of our church. We will no longer be the cozy family in the charming building. We will likely have many more new visitors. We will need to get out of our comfort zones and social circles and help new people connect. This is a good change, because it means we will reach more people with the Gospel.
3. Contribute. If you call CrossPointe your home church and you’re not serving in some capacity, we need you to get in the game. Make doing life as a church tribe a priority in your life. Examine your heart. Do you see church as a place primarily to consume, or to contribute? Ask the Holy Spirit to push on you and burden you and give you a place to connect, serve, and contribute if you are not already doing so.
4. Give. We have the finances to renovate this space, but our desire is to not deplete all of our resources so that we might remain poised to pursue a long term home for CrossPointe. In addition, our operating costs will increase significantly. If you consider CrossPointe your home and are not yet a consistent and generous giver, our prayer is that God would move you towards a life of cheerful contribution to the work of the ministry.
For the Gospel,