Littleton Christian Church's Next Gathering Place
At our March 15, 2015 Congregational Meeting, the elders and I presented the budget for 2015 and opened the discussion about a pending move for Littleton Christian. Here are some big questions about this:
Why are we moving? A few reasons:
- Our building owner, Kathy, has given us a very generous rate for 5 and a half years. For the last year, she's been trying to sell the building, but unfortunately the low rate she gives us has made it difficult to sell, so she either needs to raise our rate by $3000/month or for us to move. Let's never forget what a blessing she's been to us!
- Our children's ministry spaces are bursting at the seams, with an average of 50 kids each week.
- Before Kathy asked us to move, two fellow Littleton congregations invited us to partner with them in their facility - God knew our needs before we did. Isn't he good?
How will we make this decision? In a spirit of gratitude and humility. It's easy to become entitled or consumeristic in a time like this, but following Jesus is not about convenience, it's about love and service (where true joy is found). Let us never forget that the two churches offering us space have no obligation to do so - they are doing this out of love for us, believing that the whole Body of Christ in Littleton is stronger when each individual church is stronger. With that in mind, the elders will process the options in light of our vision (we won't stop celebrating and applying the gospel as we love God, love each other, and love the world!) and based on the following questions:
- What is the call of God? We're committed to following him even if his leading doesn't make sense. If this leading isn't obvious, or if he seems to be saying we can serve him in both places, we will consider the remaining questions.
- How, and from where, can we best serve the Body of Christ in Littleton? In other words, would we be a blessing or a burden to the ministry of the Body at one or the other of these options?
- How, and from where, can we best serve the City and Community of Littleton to bring about Gospel reconciliation of people with God, one another, themselves, and the world? In other words, how, and from where, can we best proclaim and spread the glory of King Jesus?
What’s Best for the Children of LCC? In other words, which option is the safest and most conducive for their growth, worship, knowledge, and trust in Jesus?
*NOT INCLUDED: What’s most convenient? What’s most attractive? Who is easier to work with? Etc.
UPDATE (3/20) : After several meetings this week, we have learned that neither option will cost more than $3000/month. That's a SIGNIFICANT reduction from our current rate. Praise God!
Option 1: Mission Hills Community Center
Mission Hills Community Church, our "mega church" neighbor, is passionate about spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in Littleton. MHCC recently purchased the above property, located just east of Savers on Datura and Littleton Blvd. The plan for these buildings has been described by the local outreach director like this: “Within the first year we are hoping to use these spaces for a food bank (warehouse), ESL (office building), addiction recovery through Celebrate Recovery (office building/warehouse), counseling (office building), and some kind of senior ministry (office building/warehouse). We greatly desire to expand these ministries and to thoughtfully meet the needs of the community that are not being addressed. We also hope to develop a transitional living and discipleship program. We pray all these ministries will be transformational, preach the gospel, and tools to get people into the church. We strive for nothing less than eternal hope and restoration.”
- We'd have nearly full-use of these facilities on Sunday mornings, and be able to keep our 10AM meeting time.
- Partnership with several vibrant, multi-faceted ministries serving the poor of Littleton out of the same building. We become a volunteer base for many of those ministries.
- Spacious meeting space for adults on Sunday worship.
- Limited use of the space the rest of the week.
- Limited office/storage space for the church (might require us to lease office space elsewhere).
- Children's Ministry and Adult gatherings in separate buildings would make having whole families together in worship more difficult.
- Children's space is not much larger than what we use now.
- Not a long term solution.
- Signage only out on Sundays.
- Monthly cost (we will update this as we get this information)
- What sharing the space would be like... would our ministry be limited or multiplied?
Option 2: GracePoint Community Church
GracePoint Community Church is our sister church in the EPC. They purchased this building from Cherry Hills Community Church over 35 years ago and have been a faithful, biblical, and loving presence in the area ever since. They view their building as a ministry tool, and it is currently used by Whiz Kids, a Classical Academy, Littleton HS, GriefShare, AP/ACT preparation, IB Testing, Save Our Youth, Operation Christmas Child, and a food bank ministry. The building is located at 90 E. Orchard Road. GracePoint has a faithful congregation who meets on Sunday mornings; they have offered us use of their building on Sunday afternoons. Tentatively, we are considering a 4:00PM service.
- Partnership with a sister church in the EPC for all sorts of ministry, including youth ministry, VBS, and community outreach.
- Plenty of space to grow in a large sanctuary and many classrooms.
- Reaching an additional demographic by having afternoon services.
- Great facility for kids with lots of classrooms in the same building, a playground, etc.
- Fellowship hall is perfect for our periodic potlucks.
- We've been given permission to keep a large banner sign in front of the building 24/7 ("Littleton Christian Church meets here. 4pm Worship").
- Afternoon service times may be a difficult shift for several families in our congregation (IF YOU KNOW AFTERNOONS WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU, PLEASE EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Limited or no office space, so we'd need to rent office space nearby.
- Because there is no handicap accessible bathroom, we'd need to help update the building.
- Cost of upgrades and monthly cost (will update as this becomes available).
- Level of difficulty in scheduling weekday or evening gatherings.
- Long-term possibilities.
OPTION 3: UNKNOWN
It may be that God isn't leading us to either of these options. At our meeting, a member suggested forming a committee to investigate what else might be available. Please email Mike if you'd like to participate.
- Present options at Congregational Meeting
- Q/A, starting today and then ongoing using the blog page on our website.
- Online survey, if necessary.
- Weekly Prayer Gatherings for this decision here at the church on Wednesday Mornings at 6:30 AM.
- A follow-up congregational meeting no less than 4 weeks out (but maybe more) to present the final decision.
QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? Please post them as a comment to this blog.