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Grace Community Church

December 7, 2022 jill Blog
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When the staff and elders of Grace Community Church sensed the need and leading to expand their current ministry facilities, they recognized this project would require more than just a builder, they needed a partner to lead them on the entire journey. The desire was for a long-term ministry solution that would not only give them the next step, but future plans as the church continues to expand ministry and grow.  Grace Community member, Kent Stroman who is an author and consultant on institutional fund raising was invited to give advice to the elders on how to proceed, Kent recommended they reach out to Rodney James, president of Master’s Plan Church Design and Construction.

The call was made and the meeting was scheduled where Rodney and his team sat with the staff and elders to discuss how this partnership might look.  It was apparent to the leadership that Master’s Plan was the partner that could lead them through each step of the complex process of funding, designing, and constructing their future facility needs.

Throughout the initial process many hours were spent dreaming, visioning, and discussing the ministries of the church, the needs that were evident, and uncovering needs that were not so obvious.  When planning for the future, we must look beyond just the immediate and consider how each step of facility growth will flow, work, and serve the ministry needs in years to come.  As the church’s team shared, the Master’s Plan team began creating the concepts that would bring to life the vision to serve the community and the church family.

The initial phase of expansion would include a greatly enlarged gathering area with café, a new secure space for children’s ministry, and new worship and classroom space for student ministry.  The church quickly identified these as the top priorities for the next step but the details of how all that would fit, flow and prepare for additional expansion in the future was the challenge.  After several iterations of design concepts for a multiple phased approach the church leadership knew they had a plan to present to the congregation to share the vision.

However, building plans and concepts are not enough.  Rodney introduced Chuck Klein of Impact Stewardship to the church leaders to guide them through the process of sharing vision in the right way at the right time. When it comes to funding a ministry facility project, it is not about raising money, it’s about raising stewards.  The Biblical pattern God established in His Word is that leaders share vision and God stirs the hearts of His people to fund the vision.

Pastor Rod MacIlvaine led the charge sharing the process, the concepts, and the plans for taking a bold step into the future.  The people of Grace Community responded with cheerful support, financial resources, and prayerful hearts.  The journey was well underway.

The team at Master’s Plan went to work putting all the details into the plans that would provide the best tool that would empower the staff, leadership, and volunteers to fulfil the mission and vision.  Several meetings with the local city officials were held to ensure the project was a win for the community as well as the church.  The objective was to take the responsibility off the church staff for the building project so they could continue to serve and lead in the capacities where God had called them.   Pastor Dale Willis, church administrator became the point of contact for decisions that needed to be made along they way.  Dale’s gracious spirit throughout the process made every decision, challenge, or adjustment a joy.

Then the day came to break ground and for the vision and the plans that were on paper to come to life.  A groundbreaking service that included everyone involved in the process and the church family, young and old alike, set the tone for the coming months of construction.  Many prayers had been lifted for each step of the way and many more would be needed to face the challenges of construction in a post-Covid world.  The design and construction of ministry facilities is a spiritual process.  To avoid specific, intentional, and consistent prayer is to open the process and the project up to attack.  Grace Community and the Master’s Plan team prayed, and God answered.

A new 16,000 square foot facility was built that met the identified needs for this first step of expanding toward the future.  An inviting welcome area for children and families, a secure children’s wing, a new café which allowed space for intentional connections before and after services, and a worship area that provided a dedicated space for student ministry all flowed together from the expanded gathering.  This type of expansion is culture changing for a church.  There is space now for fellowship, connection, and intimate conversations that before were impossible inside the building.

Even during Covid and a post-pandemic economy, the project was completed under budget.  The favor from the city, the subcontractors, and vendors made it possible to deliver this new ministry tool to the church for less than anticipated.  Again, the goodness of God!

As the project was completed the celebration service was scheduled to recognize and give credit to the only person who made it all possible, Our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Pastor Rod recalled the past, celebrated the journey, and gave compelling vision for the future.  We build ministry facilities for the people and the ministries they serve.  They are a means to accomplish the commission the church has been given and we should not lose sight of that purpose.

As this phase of the project enables additional ministry and growth, the concept for the next steps is already in place.  When the Lord leads to accomplish further expansion, there is no need to start over, the path is mapped out before the church because ministry vision guided the overall process.  The where and how for the future are ready to be completed.

Master’s Plan Church Design & Construction is a nationwide design/build firm that offers a unique trademarked process that walks clients through the entire process from vision and need to a fully completed project delivered on budget,

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