This is certainly an exciting but challenging time to be a Christian in our culture. Our challenge to be salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16) seems more appropriate and needed now than ever before in the history of Christianity in America. True believers in Jesus Christ, who adhere to the Truth of His Word, are being targeted for ridicule and rejection. In addition, those most vulnerable to this attack are our little ones, our children.
In a Family Meeting before the congregation on Sunday morning, Sarah Cinnamon and I shared our renewed commitment to make these little ones a greater priority in our church family. We talked of strong programs, increased budgets, and the need for more volunteers. Many of you stepped forward and by doing so confirmed for us that God is truly leading in this direction. He too has a heart for the least of these among us.
In our vision to give more attention to our children and their families, we have moved a large portion of our Kids Ministry to the center of our campus. Our Ministry Center is one of the best equipped and most secure buildings we have. Starting this fall, our children will be in that location both on Sunday mornings and evenings. While it will certainly be available for other things throughout the week as a multi-purpose venue, we have made the decision to give our children first consideration for its regular usage.
Now to the point of this letter. We need your help! Once we made the decision to move our children to the Ministry Center, it became immediately obvious that we need another large room that will serve as a multi-purpose center for the many other ministries that are also very important to the life and health of our church. Our Student Ministry, our Young at Heart Ministry, our para-church ministries (Kid’s Fort and Child’s Day Out), and all the many other organizations that we enjoy here at Old Fort need a place where they too can meet and thrive. A careful evaluation of our campus led us to the gymnasium.
Our gym is thirty years old and in desperate need of renovation and repair. It currently needs a new roof, new HVAC, a new floor, fresh paint, etc. As we have considered its current use and our vision moving forward, we feel it is to our advantage to renovate this room to serve as a multi-purpose facility; including staging, sound system, audio-visual equipment, lighting and other improvements that will serve a larger component of our congregation’s needs. Our best estimate on the total renovation project is between $150,000 and $200,000.
We do not have the necessary funds in reserve for this project, nor do we desire to go into debt in order to accomplish it. Therefore, we have adopted a two-step process in order to move forward as good stewards. First, we are proposing that we phase this renovation out so that we can pay as we go without putting an unnecessary strain on our budget. Minor renovation is already underway. Second, we are establishing a Christian Life Center Renovation Fund so that all of us together can own this project and support the greater vision of our church.
I am asking you to join me in giving above and beyond your regular tithes and offerings to help make this vision a reality. A one-time gift or an ongoing pledge until it is complete will help us move forward with this much-needed project. By pulling together as a family, we can do all the work that needs to be done and enjoy a beautiful new room for many years to come. I am so excited to see what God is going to do!