What is the goal of Pressing In..Because People Matter?
It is the same goal we have had for the last 24 years. It’s all about reaching people for Christ and bringing healing into their lives. We believe we are now to finish the job on our East Ave. campus we began 14 years ago. The most notable new ministry space is the construction of our new worship center and an accompanying low profile parking garage. Our present buildings at East Ave. were built in 1990, often used 15-18 hours everyday and they are in need of serious refurbishment. Renovating them will allow us to maximize space that today goes unused, improve access, and safety for our children, as well as create more functionality for creative ministry. It will allow us to address major capital issues such as our air conditioning, which is in disrepair throughout our campus and needs to be replaced in order to remain functional in the future. The 2-story building was renovated into classroom space which will support seminars, classes, large and small gatherings, and serve our school with classrooms as well. By completing the task here we believe it will allow us to continue to expand offsite campuses on permanent sites around the Inland Empire.
We have been attempting to add space now for almost seven years. Our lack of space has severely impacted our ability to reach, touch, train, and disciple people. God has certainly blessed us with the Sierra property and we believe what He has done with that land indicates this is His time for us to move forward. We are financially stable and excelling at touching the world for Christ. But, we know we have been approaching or exceeding capacity during optimal service times for years. At current growth rates, we will have to turn away hundreds if not thousands of the lost and hurting people God is bringing to Water of Life if we don’t reach out in faith now. Water of Life Community Church remains in a growth mode and we see great opportunity to expand East Ave., plant churches and extend venues in areas that make sense as we move forward.
Isn’t this church big enough?
When Water of Life began we never concerned ourselves with size. Jesus keeps bringing people to us that we need to find seats, parking spaces and children’s space for. When a lot of people experience life transformation through our church, our church is going to grow. People keep telling others about how God is changing them through relevant biblical teaching that can be applied to real life: growth is the result.
When will we be finished with these projects?
The 2-story renovation is now complete. Our goal is to complete all the projects during 2014 and into 2015.
WOW! How much will all of this cost?
Though it is an aggressive plan, it breaks down into three phases. The first phase has been comprised of securing offsite administrative offices for our staff, which is located at Cherry and Miller. The move allowed for renovation of our 2-story building. This phase has been paid for through our operating budget. The second phase, the construction of the new Worship Center, looks to be in the $23 million range. This includes cutting a new driveway into the East Ave. property. The third phase will include the parking garage, offsite parking, the renovation of our 1-story building, as well as amenities which will support the new sanctuary. This will cost around $10 million. Yes, it is a huge undertaking but we presently have the Sierra property in escrow at $20.7 million, and, as stated, we have used general funds and savings to fund $2 million worth of building projects this year. We believe we can continue to do the same for the next year or two, which will add an additional $3-4 million for the projects. This leaves us $10 million short of completion and $8 million still owed on our present mortgage. Our goal in the next 3 years is to save and raise $18 million in order to complete our campus and become debt free. Once we have the results from the Pressing In… campaign, we will need to determine the timeline for all of this.
I thought we were going to be debt-free if we sold the Sierra property.
We expected to be debt free, until we were surprised on several fronts. First, due to circumstances beyond our control we lost an escrow resulting in a $3 million decrease from our original sales price. The original buyer planned to develop the land into residential use and the city voted to develop it into light industrial property. Second, the condition of our present buildings on East Ave. was worse than we anticipated. Air conditioning is worn out and the cost for replacement is very high due to new state regulations. Third, we ran headlong into state regulations for educational space which far exceeded our present use when we determined to continue to allow our school to grow into our new facilities. The cost was surprising. Fourth, we will need to build a parking garage to meet the city’s requirements and adding an additional $4 million to the cost. All in all, it is huge but far less than we would have spent to develop the Sierra property and certainly not something beyond our capacity to do if we join together, and in a surprisingly short number of years become debt free at East Ave.
What about our commitment to the poor?
It’s our calling from God. City Link, our site in downtown Fontana continues to thrive and our Global outreach is extensive. We will continue to invest heavily each year in helping people with real needs, both here and around the world. We can be in a position to do that with even greater impact after providing more space.
Will people just come from other churches?
Our goal, and our mission, is to reach people who don’t know God or who have walked away from Him. Although sometimes other churches can feel like we’re stealing their attenders, this is never our intent. We have always been intent on touching and transforming people who are lost, broken, hurting, and searching for answers. When we look at the Inland Empire demographics the potential for every church to reach people is enormous. We all need each other. The harvest is plentiful. The reality is, there are so many more people than there are churches to reach them. This is why when we look for locations for future venues, we locate areas where we have a concentration of Water of Life attenders who we can gather in that area and through them extend ministry into the community. New momentum and growth can then happen at that new site, as well as at our East Ave. campus.
What are we asking?
We are asking everyone commit to going through the process of this spiritual journey, and then simply respond as God directs you. We’ll trust God for the results, and move forward in the timetable which makes the most sense. To start your journey view the Journey Guide, fill out a commitment card or give online.