If you were to take an account of your past experiences and categorize the ones that brought back the most vivid memories, it’s likely that learning to drive a standard transmission car (“stick shift”) would make your top 10, if you’ve dared to try it at all.
The realization that you were responsible to control a 3,000 pound mass of steel and plastic by carefully coordinating hand and foot movements using 2 pedals, a steering wheel, and a knobbed stick, was overwhelming, and that was just the beginning. Next, was the dreaded first gear – getting that combo right of releasing pressure on the clutch while increasing pressure on the gas, so as to not stall out – especially on a hill! We only survived that initial gear and were able to move onto the second after much effort and practice.
We might apply that experience to FCC’s efforts to build a new center of ministry and worship. There has been an intense learning curve for this project because of the size and demands for deeper forward thinking than ever before. We have experienced the challenges of first gear- seeking to find that place where a vision for the future of FCC 50 years out is measured against present ministry needs and resources. We have had to learn and grow in our thinking and trust of the Lord, and the learning has been arduous and slower than ideal, even “stalling out” at times.
But now, we find that God has been faithful to move us into second gear. Going back to our analogy, second gear is that place where you have mastered first gear and find yourself shifting out of the pits of stress and anxiety, and into the joy of greater certainty and speed. You have the momentum required to avoid stalling out and you’re already looking forward to shifting into third gear.
What specifically is “second gear?” The following is “where we are” in our journey to build a new center for ministry and worship:
A Phased Approach – The ministry needs of the church 10 or more years into the future must be considered if we’re to plan wisely and be good stewards. Please note (See Example A page 5), the long-term site plans for FCC and give thanks for the awesome potential of our church’s (Lord willing) ministry in the community. Of course, it would be wonderful if we had unlimited resources and could build out the entire project for the future. However, that’s not the case! Therefore, we are praying that the Lord will give us the ability to build in phases with our first phase illustrated in Example B.
An Incredible Location – The Lord has blessed FCC with the opportunity and ability to secure our new land in one of the hottest growth areas in a growing county. Numerous inquiries have been made to FCC about purchasing the land and relocating our plans to other less desirable properties. The value of the property continues to increase and is a wonderful asset. But the greatest value is in the potential for greater ministry in the area.
Men Plan But God Directs – We have come to a place where the design is firm (Thank you, Lord for introducing FCC to Stephen Fuller) and beautiful. Yet, new possibilities continue to emerge as the project takes shape. Here are three examples:
Financial Status – “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
The Lord has been very gracious to FCC over these last three years by working through His people to steadily build our Building Fund. Now that we have shifted to second gear, a new date has been set for our next major offering (See “A Defining Moment”)