If you are a Five Oaker that’s new to the blog, I would love it if you would check out the last two posts.
I’m going to answer a few more questions you may have about the proposed land purchase, but first a note I received from Steve Thomas. Steve was Board Chair during the search for Five Oaks’ second pastor and now lives in the Kansas City area.
“This is very exciting. …The pictures of the old farmhouse brought back a lot of wonderful memories. We are praying for you.”
Here’s a note I received from a new member after my “Location” post:
“Just vision! Refreshing. No pleading. No guilt.”
I wrote back:
“Thanks, Jim. The pleading and guilt will start later! :-) “
How are we going to pay for this purchase?
We are going to raise all the money through a capital campaign this fall. We have enough equity and our debt load is small enough to finance most or all of this purchase, but we want to raise every penny to buy it without adding to our long-term debt. I believe we can do it. That’s our goal and our prayer.
Will this project take money away from missions or compassion ministries, locally and globally?
This question arises with every capital campaign I’ve been a part of. When I hear it, I both applaud and cringe. I love it because it is so outwardly focused. What’s there not to love in this kind of default response that puts others first, especially Christ’s mission to proclaim the gospel and demonstrate the Kingdom of God?
I cringe because I've known too many churches that were great at sending money to missionaries but neglected the mission in their own backyard. Our mission begins in our “Jerusalem”--Woodbury, Cottage Grove and other neighboring communities (Acts 1:8).
If this is your concern, I want you to know that we will not stop being outwardly focused. We will continue to serve in our communities as a church and with our global and local partners, personally and finacially. We will continue to give away 12% of our general fund no matter what. And as our church has grown, that amount has grown with it!
Additionally, we’re cheap. Oops, I mean, we're good stewards. Really, I do mean that. We’re still using the same used furniture Kevin Haley donated about 15 years ago, and it was already about 20 years old when we got it! I could give you dozens of other examples of how we have lived with less to maximize money for ministry and for ministry square footage.
Aren't capital campaigns a distraction from making disciples?
The way we do capital campaigns is not a distraction. It grows disciples.
A couple of years ago I had coffee or supper with over a dozen Five Oaks couples who are lead givers and asked them what motivated their giving. More than half of them mentioned a past capital campaign at Five Oaks or elsewhere as the primary catalyst in learning to trust God with their money. The stories were incredible and inspired my faith. I’m sure we’ll share some of them with you in the fall.
You are in for a spiritual treat if you pay attention and pray and participate over the coming months.
I’ve saved the best for last. It’s a question I received in response to my previous post. "What if 9.5 acres aren’t enough? What if we need to double our current building size to accommodate God’s blessing? Do we have plans to be able to do that?"
Love it! My answer, "It depends." The window of opportunity to buy more land around us will continue to be open for a while. The challenge is it will become increasingly expensive. We did consider going for more right now, but, like I said in an earlier answer, we’re cheap (there I go again). Actually, I believe we have honored God by how careful we’ve been with his money over the years. The last thing we want to do is become land poor. It’s a fine balancing act that requires spiritual discernment and listening to the Spirit.