Chapter 3



"Chapter 3" is a three-year campaign to pay down the existing debt on our building. This is a critical time in the life of our church and your support is extremely important. As of July 9th, we have raised 1.25 million in faith pledges. 

“Chapter 3” provides an opportunity to position Community Fellowship to free up the resources necessary to address the deep spiritual and social challenges of our community through more robust ministries focused on evangelism, discipleship, and mission/outreach. It will allow our new pastor the freedom to begin his ministry without the burden of long-term debt. By paying off our debt we will free up an additional $258,000 per year for discipleship, evangelism, and mission without increasing our budget. 

To this end, we hope to raise 3 million dollars over a 3-year period, over and above our regular giving. Contributions given to “Chapter 3” will be applied to debt reduction. The more contributions that come in right away, the more we can front load our principal to pay off the debt more quickly.

If you have not yet made a faith pledge, it's not too late. As you consider your part in Chapter 3, we encourage you to pray this prayer:

 "Lord, what do you want to do through me to accomplish your will for Community Fellowship?" 

   
Gifts to Chapter 3 can be automatically deducted through online giving
 

ANSWERS TO THE MOST PREVALENT QUESTIONS 
ABOUT THE CHAPTER 3 CAMPAIGN...

Chapter 3 Capital Campaign is in the planning stage. 

During the last several months a great deal of planning has gone into the implementation of the Chapter 3 Campaign. Campaign teams are being enlisted, communication materials prepared, and venues for information distribution established. You will not be asked to consider commitments until you have had an opportunity to review the facts and pray. 

This campaign positions CF for the future.

Chapter 3 is a capital fund campaign specially designed to pay off the 2.32 million dollar debt to position ourselves for the next chapter in the life and ministry of CF. Paying off the debt frees up $258 thousand a year for kingdom purposes and gives the new pastor an eventual clean financial slate for the enhancement and development of ministry. 

This is the best time to pursue a campaign. 

The Elders believe that this is a unique opportunity to leverage the legacy of a retiring pastor in order to provide for the ministry of an incoming pastor with additional financial resources gleaned by a debt payoff. The new pastor will be able to focus not on debt but on issues of growth and outreach into the community. The truth is that there is never a “good” time for a capital campaign, so if not now…when? It is not wise for a new pastor to be tasked with leading a capital campaign. It will be two to three years before the new pastor could be effective in this kind of leadership. There is strong agreement among leadership and ministry partners that we should move now. 


Economic concerns have dictated waiting till now. 

Keep in mind that the church incurred a $4.8 million mortgage during our last capital campaign to build our present building. Since then we have been paying our debt down consistently through general fund giving. Because of the economic hardship of the past few years, we did not believe it to be the appropriate time to initiate a campaign to eliminate our debt. Many church families were struggling. It was even necessary to lay off staff and put the remaining staff on a furlough system. Even then, we did not miss a mortgage payment. Presently our giving pattern has stabilized and we have a favorable interest rate for the next two years. In two years, we will have to restructure our loan at a much higher rate. Therefore, we believe that this is the appropriate time to pay it off completely. 

All Chapter 3 funds will go first to debt reduction. 

Debt reduction is our main concern because when it is paid off, it automatically frees up an additional $258 thousand per year for ministry without increasing our budget. The first receipts of your contribution over a 3-year pledge period will be applied to debt reduction. The more contributions that come in right away, the more we can front load our principal in order to pay the debt more quickly. Whatever money exceeds our debt elimination will be put toward our lobby build-out over and under the deck. 

The build-out portion of the Campaign will enhance ministry. 
An expanded lobby will provide increased space on Sunday mornings, less crowded venues for hospitality, storage space for auditorium chairs which are kept in the lobby, and adult classroom space to create more opportunities for adult learning on Sunday mornings. This facility is used to its capacity throughout the week and larger meeting spaces are at a premium, so the build-out would help meet that need. The under-the-deck component of the build-out provides additional storage and classroom space on the lower level. It could be used as a community room, for food/clothing distribution as well as a warming/cooling center for the community. It would be secured from the rest of the building and be accessed from the outside. 

The new pastor should speak into any future plans. 

No implementation of a new direction will take place without the key involvement of the new pastor. The capital fund campaign is not setting ultimate direction, it is positioning the church and its leadership for the planning of that direction and generating resources by freeing us from debt. 

“Phase 2” is still part of the future.

 “Phase 2” was the next step in the overall master plan of the use of our property culminating in a large 1500-2000 seat auditorium for worship. It is important that facility expansion be an extension of an overall strategic plan for the mission. Soon after the new pastor is settled, a task force will be commissioned to do an assessment of community needs and internal ministry needs in order to determine the most critical needs for ministry expansion. 

It is not a question of can we. It is a question of will we. 

We would not consider such a challenge if we did not believe that the resources are available to meet these needs. CF has proven itself to be a generous church. Generosity is more dependent on the size of the heart to give than it is on the size of the church. 

Establishing ministry priorities will be a collaborative effort.

Implementation will be a collaborative effort with the pastors and elders working together along with input from the congregation.