Our Turn Update #4

Church Family,

A little over six weeks ago, we celebrated our one-year anniversary of the launch of the “Our Turn” campaign. That weekend, we came together and had a time of prayer devoted to asking God for the necessary provisions in the days, weeks, and months ahead as we planned to break ground. In the weeks following this event, we have encountered a significant hurdle that has delayed our plans to break ground that I want you to be aware of as we process how to move forward.

As we approached the time to close on the loan with our bank, the appraisal on the project (including our current building and land) came back significantly lower than anyone, the bank included, expected. The portion of the appraisal that was most surprising was the assessment of our existing facility, not the new construction. For a little perspective, our current facility at our Sunwest Campus was appraised at $3.5 million in 2006; the appraisal a few weeks ago came back valuing the current structure at $2.6 million. With the way that property prices have increased over the last decade in Waco, particularly in the Woodway/McGregor area, this was obviously not something that anyone expected.

To put it plainly, this appraisal has made closing with the bank impossible until we get more cash and we are able to put more money down up front. After receiving this news, we have been working through what this means for the project and how to move forward. It’s clear that we still have the ability to make the project happen, but it is going to take a little longer than we expected.

As we look at how our finances have been trending, things are going incredibly well. I am very encouraged by where things stand and how sacrificial so many people have been in their giving. I have attached a detailed breakdown of how the first year of the “Our Turn” campaign is trending so far in a separate sheet for you to review.

While our financial situation is looking incredibly solid right now, we also have some clear challenges that are right in front of us in order to get this project to the construction phase and continue to move forward. The challenge we are facing is that waiting much longer to close with our bank would mean running the risk of increasing the cost of the project and significantly delaying the timeline for construction. Just so I am clear: we don’t necessarily need more money than you pledged; we need as much money as you can feasibly provide as soon as you can possibly provide it.

I know that mass communication on a project of this size and scope can create some fears and doubts that are unnecessary, so I want to close by reminding us of an important story in Scripture that can help frame the task at hand in a helpful way. In Numbers 13-14, Moses sent representatives from each of the 12 tribes of Israel to scope out the Promised Land. When they returned, Joshua and Caleb saw a clear pathway God was making for them to inherit what He had already promised. The problem was that the other spies evoked fear, doubt, and panic from the people of God and made them question God’s promise to them. In Numbers 14:11, God asked Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?” The question wasn’t if the feat was possible. God had already called and equipped them to accomplish the task at hand. The problem was their lack of faith. The reason God was frustrated with them for their lack of faith was because He had already proven Himself to be faithful every step of the way.

We are more than able to accomplish the task God has set before us. Don’t be afraid. Don’t get frustrated or jaded. Don’t dream about going back to a place that we’ve already left and wasn’t where we were supposed to be anyway. I am asking for you to operate out of joy and with an “abundance mentality,” rather than acting out of fear and from a “scarcity mentality.” Press forward, simply do what you can, and be someone with a “whatever it takes” mentality. You won’t regret it.

 

In Christ,

Brady Herbert

 

If you missed the update on Sunday, check out the video below.

Our Turn Update #3

Church Family,

On Sunday, we had a quarterly update on the “Our Turn” initiative to help keep you aware of the progress. This update is unique because we are nearing the one-year anniversary of the “Our Turn” campaign and have some significant updates across the board to share with you. In this update, I will share an update on giving and the construction timeline regarding the Sunwest Campus expansion project. I also want to share some news concerning our Training Institute: United Kingdom.

SUNWEST CAMPUS EXPANSION (GIVING UPDATE)

We are nearing 10 months of giving data when it comes to how we are trending on the giving front. If you read our monthly publication called “Keeping You Current,” you already know that our monthly finances are doing well right now. This means we are covering our operating budget on a monthly basis and managing costs really well. To put it another way, our proportional giving seems to be on track and healthy.

When it comes to expanded, or sacrificial, giving, we are seeing a little lag with a sizeable number of people. There are 105 “giving units” (families or individuals) who have fulfilled less than 35% of their pledged amount. As we near the halfway point in this two-year process, we really need everyone to revisit your commitments to see how you can stay on track. We are approaching the time to close with the bank on the construction loan and needing to make some significant financial decisions based on the pledges that were made. If you can revisit your commitment and let us know if anything has changed, this will help us update our records and make fiscally sound decisions. The easiest way to update your commitment is to email Kelly Merritt (finance@harriscreek.org) and let her know of any changes in your circumstances.

SUNWEST CAMPUS EXPANSION (CONSTRUCTION UPDATE)

On the construction front, you will see a new rendering of the expansion project at the entrance of the Sunwest Campus. We have received 100% of our construction documents from our architects and are now getting final bids from our general contractor. The goal is to break ground on the project within the next two months, sometime in November.

On a related note, we will have an opportunity to revisit the vision behind this campaign and celebrate all that God has accomplished over the past year during our morning worship services on Sunday, October 16. We will also host a special gathering that evening for everyone in our congregation from 5-7p at our Sunwest Campus. This event will provide some unique ways to envision the future and spend some time in prayer as the beginning of the construction phase gets closer on our Sunwest Campus expansion project. It’s going to be a great weekend and an important moment for our congregation that you won’t want to miss!

Finally, the last quarterly update included a request for prayer regarding the outdoor baptistery. I wanted to let you know that we got approval from the City of Waco to move forward with the design, and we are thrilled! We have some amazing people helping us with this portion of the project, which we see as a gift from God. We also knew that it would take a certain amount of divine favor to make this happen, so we are grateful for your prayers and for the good news.

TRAINING INSTITUTE: UNITED KINGDOM

The “Our Turn” campaign has been about far more than a building from the outset, and part of our expansion strategy included starting a cross-cultural equipping opportunity in the United Kingdom. Our first team from Harris Creek returned from the Training Institute in the UK in August, and they had an incredible experience. The team worked with a church in Brighton, England, for the summer. The experience was extremely fruitful, and we’re looking forward to expanding the Training Institute in the coming year by sending more people and adding more partner churches/para-church organizations. Our entire congregation will also have a unique opportunity in the coming months to connect with the work going on in the Training Institute: United Kingdom when Dave Steel, the pastor of One Church Brighton, preaches at Harris Creek on Sunday, November 6.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

In closing, I would say there is a ton of positive momentum and groundwork being laid across the board right now, so be encouraged! I hope you will continue to pray about how you can take more steps to contribute to all that is happening through the “Our Turn” initiative. It’s clear there is a fresh movement of God in our city, and the work He is doing through Harris Creek is part of this new chapter being written. Exciting days are right around the corner!

In Christ,

Brady Herbert

 

If you missed the update on Sunday, check out the video below.

Our Turn & Kids

As a reminder, the Our Turn campaign is a “one fund” approach, which means every dollar we give goes into the ministry budget of Harris Creek. In other words, your generosity can help us pay off the note for a building but it can also purchase Goldfish for kids or reduce the cost for students to attend a Youth Ministry event. To give you an idea of what your generosity is involved with, here are a couple of exciting things to celebrate in our Kids Ministry.

On June 2, we celebrated our 2nd annual Navigate Family Fun Night where kids brought their parents to the Sunwest Campus. The evening gave our parents the opportunity to experience how their kids worship on Sundays. This summer, our Life App is Faith: believing what Jesus did can change me. We sang fun songs together, met a silly professor and heard about how Saul met Jesus and how it literally changed his life. We left our families with the question: How can we see Jesus the way that Saul did and allow Jesus to change our lives? Following the family experience, we enjoyed pizza, played on inflatables, and enjoyed community. It was such a fun evening!

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Just a few days after, Pine Cove’s Camp in the City came to Waco and invaded Harris Creek. Our kids had an AMAZING week learning about Jesus, playing hard and hanging with the best counselors around! On Thursday evening, staff and host families had the opportunity to hear stories—from the counselors—of things they had observed during camp. Here are a couple stories I wanted to share:

Continue reading “Our Turn & Kids”

Up for A Hike?

 

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Any trail that I have hiked (granted, there have only been a few in my life) has always contained at least two vivid realities – a hopeful destination and undoubtedly a painful switchback or two. We all have the idea of the destination firmly in the forefront of our thoughts as the journey begins. Legs are strong. Lungs are good, and confidence is high. But as the elevation climbs, and the trail gets more difficult, the prize at the end seems to be a distant goal at best.

Continue reading “Up for A Hike?”

Our Turn Update #2

Church Family,

This past Sunday, I started my message with a quarterly update on our progress regarding the “Our Turn” initiative. Like last time, if you want to watch the video of what was said, we have that available online as a resource for you to use in order to stay informed. As I said during our first update in March, we will include a quarterly statement with these updates so you can track your progress based on your commitment made last year. Each update will continue to focus on two key areas of interest: giving progress and how things are developing on the construction timeline. There have been some exciting and important developments that we’ve been waiting to share with you.

GIVING PROGRESS

Continue reading “Our Turn Update #2”

For The City: Waco (an update from intern Caroline Thornton)

“Our group signed up through For The City: Waco to partner with Arrow. […] The beauty of this service opportunity for our group is that we do not have to organize every person’s schedule to line up for one big event, but instead, one of us or a few of us at a time can respond to Arrow and offer to take a meal, clean up a house, install a ceiling fan, or join a family at the park.” Continue reading “For The City: Waco (an update from intern Caroline Thornton)”