Winning Ways Special - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Introducing Our Renovation Project
by Tom Goodman
March 24, 2011

We're sending out this "Frequently Asked Questions" Sheet to everyone on our newsletter email list.  Please be in prayer as Hillcrest gathers this Sunday night, March 27, 6:45 p.m., to consider some improvements to our Worship Center.  Color images of our renovation proposal can be viewed here.  A full-color brochure of the following report will be available this Sunday.

It's time to renovate our Worship Center!
On Sunday, March 27, our deacons will recommend that our church take up this challenge.  The members of our former "First Impressions Team" will second the motion.
The renovation will provide a clean updated look that preserves the character and heritage of Hillcrest while introducing a touch of Texas hill country flair.  Major improvements include:

  • a striking new focus on the baptistery
  • state-of-the-art sound and video systems
  • energy efficient stage and house lighting
  • improved seating quality
  • upgraded flooring
  • expanded stage and instrumentalist platforms

Here are some answers to the questions you may have about the project....
Our church adopted a campus-wide Master Plan, and there are a number of areas that need attention.  Why start with the Worship Center?
There are three reasons we should turn our attention to the auditorium at this time.

It's an act of worship.  God expects us to give as much attention to where we worship as to where we live and work (See Haggai 1:1-15).
It's an act of fellowship.  It is the one place our entire congregation gathers weekly.
It's an act of outreach.  First time visitors have an hour to draw an impression of our church.  We want that impression to be a good one!

Shouldn't we update the adult wing and the kitchen before working on the Worship Center?
Good news! Plans to use available funds to improve the adult wing and the kitchen will be presented to the congregation in the quarterly business meeting on April 20!  The proposal includes raising the hallway ceiling, installing drywall and trim over the cinder block in the classrooms, painting, hanging new window treatments, and laying new flooring in the hallways and classrooms (including the Parlor).  The kitchen will get new cabinet doors and countertops.  All of this can be done with funds on hand, but renovation of the Worship Center will require capital fund raising.
How was it determined that the Worship Center will cost $1 million to renovate?
A design firm, Acoustic Dimensions, was hired to provide a clean updated look that preserves the character and heritage of Hillcrest while introducing a touch of Texas hill country flair.  A contractor independently reviewed the project and concluded that the design was within a $1 million budget.
A $1 million project is a big challenge!  Are you sure we can tackle a campaign like that?
There are two principles that good campaigns follow.

First, a church can be expected to raise at least the equivalent of its annual budget in a three-year campaign.  Since our annual church budget is $1 million, we're following the first principle by limiting our capital fund-raising to $1 million.
The second principle that good campaigns follow is "Not Equal Gifts But Equal Sacrifice."  In other words, we don't evenly divide the total challenge by the number of families who should participate.  Instead of asking for equal gifts, we ask for equal sacrifice.  Each household prays about their participation in the campaign, they hear from God, and once the sacrificial giving from each household is brought together, the congregation can celebrate what God has done through us.

I understand that we have a large donation from an estate.  Why not use that money for Worship Center improvements?
We are so grateful for the generosity of Bob Flaherty, who wanted his estate to go to his beloved church.  After our church committed 10 percent of his donation to missions, we have about $570,000 left.  However, there are two considerations to keep in mind regarding the Flaherty estate.  First, we propose that $70,000 of his estate go to the renovations planned for the adult wing.  This will be decided by our church in the quarterly business meeting, April 20.  Second, we propose that the remaining $500,000 be retained for a little longer in hopes of entering into an agreement with Anderson High School for additional parking.  As 2010 closed, we were very close to a long-term lease with Anderson that would enable us to park over 100 cars close to the Multipurpose Center.  We need to be in a position to act quickly if God moves the AISD leadership to enter into an agreement with us.
So, has the church already decided to spend the estate money on additional parking?
No, and if we don't use the Flaherty estate for the Worship Center renovation, that does not imply any obligation to use the estate money for parking.  However, we believe the church should have the funds to act quickly on a land-use agreement with Anderson if it can be considered in the near future.
Keep in mind that we will run out of parking outside long before we run out of seating inside.  We estimate that it will only take 50 more cars before we'll have to choose one of four options: (1) hope the city will change its mind and let us prepare our pervious ground for parking, (2) build a parking garage, (3) run a shuttle service to off-site lots, or (4) enter into a long-term lease with Anderson.
Any of these options will require funding, and we expect to ask the church to use the Flaherty estate for one of these four options very soon.  However, if we enter into a capital fund-raising campaign to renovate the Worship Center and then later decide that we will not use the Flaherty estate money for parking solutions, the church can vote on the best use of the estate then.  There are many areas of our facility that need improvement!
Will we be hiring a fund-raising consultant for this campaign?
No, Pastor Tom designed a capital fund-raising campaign in his last church, and the church raised $1.7 million in three years.  (The church's annual budget was $1.2 million, by the way.)  Our pastor has adapted this campaign for Hillcrest and is ready to lead our church through this faith-stretching experience.  Miracles happen in campaigns like this:  It's time to see what God can do with a fellowship fully yielded to him!
When will renovation in the Worship Center begin?
The renovation can be done in phases, and as we've raised enough money for each phase, we'll tackle the work.  In other words, we don't plan on taking out a $1 million loan in anticipation that pledges will be fulfilled.  Many of you will recall that the church voted to take out a small loan at the end of the construction on the 3-story education building nearly 10 years ago.  Should we need to consider an option like that to get us through a particular phase of our Worship Center remodel, the option would be presented to the church for approval.
Who will be responsible for overseeing the renovation?
Our Committee on Committees will enlist church members for a Project Committee in the next quarterly business meeting, April 20.  This Project Committee will be responsible for making decisions over the upgrades to our adult wing, Parlor, kitchen, and Worship Center.  They will represent the church on the design decisions, and they will keep the church informed with regular updates on their work.  When there are specific decisions that require the action of the entire church in a business meeting, the Project Committee will bring their recommendations to the church for approval.  They will work closely with Gene Chappell and Herb Ingram, who have years of experience at leading improvements to church facilities.

Do you remember the story of the woman who anointed Jesus with a container of expensive perfume? You can find it in Mark 14:1-9.

The apostles said, "Why this waste?"

But Jesus said, "No, she has done A BEAUTIFUL THING to me."

Now it's our time to do A BEAUTIFUL THING for Jesus.

Our Worship Center is the place we gather to praise God's Name and to study God's Word. The attention we give to it says a lot about how important those activities are to us!