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Are You Expecting?
by Tom Goodman
July 9, 2010

What's one of the first things a young couple does when they find out they're going to have a baby?

They work on a nursery.

Months before the baby's arrival, they paint the room, decorate the walls, and buy the crib and the changing table.  It's the rare couple who waits until after the birth to get these things in order.

It's not too different in church work.  A church that's expecting to grow will plan ahead for it.  When you see a church making plans for additional parking and seating, you're seeing an expectant church.

At Hillcrest, we're putting the finishing touches on a Master Plan for our campus.  This process started months ago with the election of a committee charged with the task of finding and working with an architect to recommend improvements to our property.

Think of it like planning a nursery to welcome new additions to your family.

We'll soon announce a date for the Hillcrest Family to see the recommendations.  For now, keep in mind that the proposed Master Plan addresses five issues.  Below, these are not listed in order of when we'll tackle them.  No, a Master Plan is meant to be a guide for the building projects we'll undertake.  Once the plan is approved, we'll decide what project to tackle first.

There are five considerations in the plan:

First: Maximum Use of the Auditorium.  As you will see in the Master Plan, there's a way to seat 800 people within the exterior walls of our current auditorium.  (Our seating capacity is 500 at present.)  We don't need seating for 800 yet, so we aren't proposing changes to the auditorium yet.  But all other decisions on the Master Plan assume our congregation has the desire and ability, by God's grace, to see 800 in a Sunday morning worship service.  So you'll see that the Master Plan suggests a way to maximize the use of the auditorium.

Second: Wise Decisions on Parking and Landscaping.  If we plan to seat 800 in the auditorium, we need to anticipate where to park the 375 cars that such an attendance will bring with them.  Also, since our campus landscaping is the first thing that people see, we need to address it as we deal with parking.

Third: More Appealing Entrances and Easier Way-Finding.  We are so blessed for the facility that we enjoy.  But 40 years of expansion have resulted in a confusing maze of hallways and building connections.  And, since almost all of our parking is far from our auditorium, attendees have to work their way through the bends and turns of our hallways to get to our worship service.  Think about it:  Our most attractive entrance (under the steeple) is the least used!  We want to keep that entrance, of course, but we want to make the most heavily used entrances more attractive, too!  And once you enter one of those more attractive entrances, we want your walk to the auditorium to be a straighter shot than it is now.  The Master Plan offers a way to do this.

Fourth: Better Security for the Children's Wing.  As you know, the children's hallway gets the heaviest traffic.  It's a shortcut from our largest parking lot, and it's the best route to the gym and the 3-story Education building after the worship service.  The problem is, the only people in a children and preschool hallway should be parents and their kids.  The Master Plan has a solution to route foot traffic around the children's wing.

Fifth: Additional Education Space.  We are blessed with wonderful education space, and we have no need for more at the present time.  But if our congregation has the desire and ability, by God's grace, to see 800 in a Sunday morning worship service, where will 800 meet for small-group ministry?  We'll run out of space for our Hillcrest Kids ministry sooner than any other ministry, and the Master Plan addresses this.

As a Hillcrest leader, be in prayer for the soon-coming meeting where we present our campus Master Plan to the Hillcrest Family.

We're expecting great things!


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