We’ve enjoyed getting feedback and questions regarding the prospective building. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to answer in one place for your consideration. Don’t forget to review the building meeting recap to catch up on all is happening. Remember, as elders we think the Lord is using this process to challenge the way we operate. Whether or not it leads to a new building, we have opportunities to operate more effectively as a body and to be more strategic, consistent, and deliberate in what we do and how we do it.
What are you asking Normandy, as a body, to do?
Our plan is to attempt to lease and build out the space at 9090 Skillman. In order to do that, we want to know if you, our church family, are with us. We are moving forward unless there is an outcry from the church of “no”.
We want you to pray, fast, and ask the Lord what He thinks and what He wants. Additionally, we want you to ask the Lord how much money to give to the building. We care more about you hearing from the Lord and obeying what He says than giving a lot or a little.
November 1st - 3rd: Pray and fast
November 2nd: Pray at 9090 Skillman at 6:30 PM
November 5th: Giving Sunday & church lunch. We are going to do giving Sunday a little different. We will have a normal church service and then we will provide lunch for everyone. YOU HAVE TO SIGN UP FOR LUNCH! During the lunch we are asking you to bring your checks and pledges and we will count it and announce the number to the church. If you are not going to be there, we want you to email the number you feel like the Lord is asking you to give to email@example.com.
The week of November 6th we are going to sit down with an asset manager to discuss our options.
On November 12th we will give the church a report on next steps.
Why are we fasting?
We want every person in our body to fast. Whether it’s one meal or the full 48 hours, whether it’s putting your phone down or refraining from a favorite treat, we want you to fast and position your heart to hear from God. We are asking for your voice and your heart as we move forward.
How much money are you looking to raise?
We hope to raise $450,000.
$375,000 in upfront cash for the build-out.
$75,000 in pledges from 2018-2019. This means if you give on average $200 a month to Normandy, we want to know how much in addition to that $200 you are able to give for two years.
$450,000 is a lot of money - what is it for? And what happened to the money we raised last time?
We want to raise the cost of the build-out for the space on 9090 Skillman. Michael Gooden and Miles Durham put together a quote that is $30/square foot. To date, $345,000 has been raised (way to go, church!) and that money goes to cover a few things:
Three months savings for operations (think an emergency fund a la Crown Financial)
Money to cover the cost of rent for two years (we get six months of free rent - we still pay triple nets during that time).
We want to “prepay” rent for two years so we do not have a constant pressure to meet the monthly payment
Can we afford to pay for the rent? All in, it is around $20,000 per month. What about growing the staff and paying them well? (Thanks for asking that!)
Our average monthly giving in July and August was 60 households, both single and married, giving $526 a month. That is $31,560 per month.
With the increase in rent our monthly budget need will get to $57,000. This means we need to increase monthly giving, get new givers, or raise enough support to cover the budget need prior to moving.
This is why we want both the upfront cash and pledges. The purpose of both the cash in hand and the pledges is to give us two years of a runway to grow into the space without needing a ‘Giving Sunday’ every other Sunday.
As for growing the staff, our projections, our cash on hand, and our staffing needs led us to our ask of $450,000. In other words, we are projecting what it will cost to move into the building and grow our staff and church. We did not employ a monkey to throw a dart at a number. We employed Patrick Tam (CMA, CPA) and Jackson Thomas (BBA, MBA, FPU) to give us healthy projections that include attrition and growth. And by employed, I mean we volunteered them.
Are we actually growing? Do we need more space? Are we being faithful with what we have now? Is there a plan for staffing and growth?
Some Sundays, church attendance can be light. Some Sundays, we are adding chairs. Some Sundays, you had too much wine the night before and didn’t show up to church. From January to June, over 24 Sundays, we averaged 92 adults and 42 kiddos at church. Once we got our kids ministry in order and limitied the number of children per kids worker, we saw a dramatic decrease in attendance from our core families and guest families due to new new restrictions on numbers in each classroom. If a family can’t get their kids in, they typically didn’t come to the service.
We believe we are being faithful. We know there is a ton to grow in (communication being one area). We believe we’ve maximized the use of the space Scofield has given us. We will begin looking at adding a second service soon. Additionally, there is a plan for the staff that we’ve been working since our board meeting in July. We are getting our team in the right position, clarifying roles and expectations in order to better fulfill the mission of the church. In addition, we are planning for future roles.
What if we don’t get the $450,000? Can we phase into the building? Can we “whitebox” the sanctuary and finish the kids space? (When I say whitebox, I am referring to the concept of having to top floor completely open without walls for the sanctuary. In this scenario we would phase in walls for offices and sanctuary.)
There is some “value engineering” we can do to cut some costs on finish out if we do not raise the desired amount. However, for the most part we cannot phase in and we cannot whitebox the top floor which consists of three offices, the sanctuary and gathering space.
We cannot whitebox the top floor in an effort to save money. The primary reason being we would not be able to get a certificate of occupancy (CO) unless we made massive changes to the building. Simply having a whitebox upstairs would increase our occupancy from 500-2200. The cost to get the CO for a whitebox would cost more than our original design because we would have to:
Add bathrooms to hold more people
Build out more stairs for fire safety (adding staircases to an existing building is cost prohibitive)
Factor in structural engineering costs to ensure 2200 people do not collapse the 2nd floor
The mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) alone would cost over $200,000 - just under 50% of the total cost.
To phase out some electrical and plumbing work would cause us to have to pay more later (we would essentially pay twice for work). We would have to get a new CO each time we made additions to the space.
What if we don’t get the money? What do we do?
Regardless of the amount of money we raise, we are going to sit down with the asset manager the week following our Giving Sunday to see if we can work out a plan that is beneficial to both parties. We are going to take our oil and flour and see what God does. In addition, we are going to begin exploring the option of two services at Scofield regardless of whether or not we get the space.
Will the building have enough space for our kids?
We currently have 75 kids coming to Normandy. We are fruitful and we multiply. Gracious. The space will allow for 85 children and we are looking to add more rooms when we talk with the asset manager.
What about a kitchen?
No. Not yet. We will have space to fellowship and eating, but we will not start with a full blown kitchen.
Have we explored all the other options? What about buying? What about other churches? What about getting more space at Scofield? What about two services? More kids workers?
Okay, settle down, one question at a time.
We’ve looked at buying a piece of raw land. No dice thus far.
We’ve looked at doing a land lease and building. Again, no luck.
We’ve asked other churches (which doesn’t really solve our problem). And they said no.
We’ve asked schools (public and private) with the same answer.
We’ve talked to churches that are… slowing getting smaller -- the answer is no.
There is no more space at Scofield we can use (they have given us everything! So generous).
Going to two services will alleviate kids’ space issues and help us grow. More to come on this one.
Everyone is serving at our church (at least upwards of 85%). Y’all are doing well. We’ve started paying temporary workers to help serve our children. This gives us more space so that families are not turned away and brings more order for our kids volunteers.
Are we going to become a fancy church that simply gathers church people from other churches because we are new and shiny in this fancy building? What about the lost, the hurting and the poor?
Yes! Wonderful question! We want this building to become our home - a place we can train and equip people to carry the presence and purpose of God into a lost and hurting world. The way to Life is narrow - that means we have to fight the temptation to become like the world. We are doing this by seeking counsel, hearing from the Lord, walking in community, and fasting. Additionally, we think our revamped membership process (to be launched in 2018) will help further move our body into Dallas to carry the presence and purposes of God. This means people who aren’t typical ‘church people’ should, by the grace of God, start coming. Finally, we are typically not a good place for church-hoppers. They tend not to stick around.
John, how are you feeling?
I am so excited! I do not know what is going to happen, but I am so excited to see what God is going to do. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. And my faith is rising - not that we get the building, but rather that God is setting us up for something new and refreshing and hopeful.
The book of Joshua comes to mind - “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
It’s going to be great.