James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
Where will you be five years from now? To answer the question is impossible because only the Lord knows the future. Not knowing where we will be in five years does not mean we cannot plan for the next five years. Our church will soon begin building a new education building that will include over twenty thousand square feet of Sunday school classrooms, a fellowship hall, kitchen and more. How does one plan for the future in expansion?
1. Pray –
First, the pastor must spend time in prayer about the future that God wants his church to have. Asking God to save souls, give wisdom and prepare hearts. secondly the pastor needs to get his key men to help and pray with him about the needs of the church. After the pastor prays and gets the key men to pray he need to get all of his men to pray and share the vision with them for the growth of the church. After all the men are praying you need to get up and share the whole vision with the church.
Take time to evaluate your current needs. Do your current facilities need. Does your facilities need attention before expanding. You might need to spend 12 months updating your current buildings. Do we need more Sunday school rooms? Fellowship space? Our auditorium is 60 to 70 percent full right now so we realize we want to grow in the next 5 years then we need to start the expanding process right now.
3. Prepare –
For two years I have Occasionally mentioned my vision for future expansion. I have slowly prepared people for this big project. Be wise in how you share with people the project you will do. Some of your church members will not want to tackle a big project because of the expense, strain and time it will take a toll on them.
4. Plan –
When is the time to start a building fund? The answer is right now. Before building our currently facilities in 2010, I had asked our church family for three year pledges towards the building fund. We called this time of giving ” Faith in action”. Not equal giving but ” Equal sacrifice” was our motto for the giving program. We did have to borrow money to build the building. But our people gave freely, and we only borrowed a third of the buildings value. Now is the time to encourage your people to give. The giving might not be much at first, but should increase as you get closer to breaking ground.
5. Purpose –
A new building or addition should have a purpose everyone like new, but we should not make that our reason for building. In our situation, I understand that if we continue to grow in number , we will need more Sunday school space and eventually more auditorium seating. When sharing my vision with the church, I have shown the past five years of growth with the purpose of showing them the need five years from today. We do not need this education building this Sunday, but if the Lord is willing, we will need it five years from now. After the education building is complete in five years we are already discussing plans for the next five years which will include increasing our auditorium seating by another forty percent. Every space in God’s house should have a purpose. Do not plan a building project to impress other pastors or just to say that you have built something new. Have a purpose in your building. Seeing souls saved and training those who are saved is our purpose as a local church. If you are busy fulfilling your purpose, there is a great possibility you will need new facilities in the future. Now is the time to pray, prepare, plan, and fulfill your purpose. May the Lord help us to have the spirit of Nehemiah. As he challenged the people to build they responded, “Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”
Pastor Brian Patrick
Calvary’s Grace Baptist Church | Ailey, Georgia