Capital Campaign Questions
1. Why are we doing this now? Is there a problem?
When we entered MasterPlan in 2005, we raised around 3 million toward a 10.5 million dollar project. With the sale of Blake property netting around 1.5 million, we owed 6 million when construction was completed in 2008. We have paid down an additional $400,000 and currently owe 5.6 million. The church has grown nearly 40% in the last two years and we are currently meeting our budget needs. A second capital campaign has always been part of the MasterPlan project and was scheduled to take place after the move to Renner Road. We have principal reduction payments scheduled in November, 2010, 2011, and 2012 totaling 1.5 million. We are hoping to retire this debt as soon as we possibly can to open the doors for greater ministry opportunities in the future.
2. How will the church benefit from another capital campaign?
Retiring debt should always be motivating especially in this unstable economy. First of all, we never want the church to get in an unmanageable debt situation. We are presently managing our debt from our operating budget, but we can’t foresee or control the future. Reducing the debt as much as possible, as soon as possible will reduce the amount of interest paid and the risks of unforeseeable circumstances. Second of all, retiring current debt can open the doors for greater ministry opportunities.
Additionally, our growth has put more demands on our parking. Currently our neighbors allow us the use of their parking lot on Sundays. If they sold that property or decided to restrict our use, we’d be in trouble. We built our parking to comply with the City of Richardson’s code requirements. Our actual parking needs have proved to be greater than what the city requires. The additional 200 parking spaces will meet our maximum parking needs at our current sanctuary size and usage. It will also be a step toward required parking in our next building phase.
3. Are we looking at other ways to earn revenue?
Not currently. We have tried other things in the past but with minimal results.
4. What is the time frame of this campaign?
This campaign involves a three-year commitment to give, over and above our regular giving to the operating budget, designated to MasterPlan.
5. What is the priority of this campaign?
The first priority is to reduce our current debt by $2 million. The other million will be available for needed parking.
6. Why was the goal set at 3 million? Why not more?
Our total need is actually $5.6 million for debt and 1 million for additional parking. We subjectively felt that $3 million was an achievable goal during these economic times. It is also our intention to apply any funds given over our operating budget each year to further debt reduction. We have already paid $400,000 on our principal over the last two years from our operating fund.
7. Are we engaging an outside firm to help us with this campaign like we did last time? What did they provide?
In our past two funding campaigns we have used RSI. They have served us well each time and we are open to using them in future fundraising efforts. However, we felt since this was really a second part of the last campaign, it would be more cost productive to try and do this one on our own.
8. What is the expected giving per family?
We prefer not to break it down that way. We realize that not everyone will be able to give an equal amount. Everyone’s situation is different. Some are out of work and others are struggling. Some have been blessed with additional financial resources. We are hoping that everyone will participate according to their ability and desire. We hope that everyone will do “just as he/she has purposed in their hearts, for God loves an enthusiastic giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6. We believe if everyone gives prayerfully, generously and sacrificially there will not be equal gifts but equal sacrifice. And God will meet our needs.
9. If an individual is satisfied with his/her current giving, why go over and above to contribute to the MasterPlan?
Our church has always responded generously whenever a need is presented. Retiring our current debt is a definite need. So is additional parking. We are enjoying a beautiful, functional facility as a church family. We need to be willing to help pay for it. Our appeal is to have each Woodcreek member contribute to paying for our facility which not only serves us but will serve the next generation of the church.
10. Will you be tracking pledges and giving?
We will track the total and the individual pledges. However, the way we structure our pledges is by number not by name. That is why we ask you to fill out and turn in a pledge card unsigned. The card will have a number on it and we will track the amount under the assigned number. We believe your commitment is between you and God. None of the Pastors or Elders know who gives to this church or the amounts. We maintain a high degree of confidentiality with regards to your giving. (If you have more questions, please ask a member of the Finance Team.)
11. How will you ensure that all monies given to MasterPlan go to that fund?
We ask that all funds given to MasterPlan be designated with the pledge card number and MasterPlan on the memo. All funds so designated will go into that account and will be tracked by the Finance Team.
12. What was the pledged amount and giving results for our last campaign?
In our last campaign $3.124,000 was pledged and $2.877,000 was received (92%).
13. How much preaching will be devoted to giving and this campaign? Will there also be community groups studies involved?
We are scheduled to have five information meetings throughout the month of October. We are asking each member of the church to attend just one of those meetings. No one will be asked to make any commitments at these meetings. The first three Sundays in November will be devoted to what the Scriptures teach about stewardship and how God might lead us to be involved in meeting this need. The Community Groups will be doing further study based on these sermons. There will be other opportunities for the congregation to be involved in praying and fasting opportunities as we seek to discern God’s will for us in this endeavor.
14. After we reach this goal, when will the next campaign be?
Our growth as determined by God’s provision will determine the timing of the next campaign. We intend to complete this three year campaign before beginning another one.
15. What is our current membership?
16. What is our current budget?
17. Will this campaign hurt our missions giving?
They are not connected. Our giving to missions is funded out of our operating budget. However, retiring debt will free up more funds to be directed toward Evangelistic opportunities both here and around the world.
18. What is our biblical view of debt?
Nowhere in the Bible is going into debt identified as sin. In fact, God made provisions in the Mosaic Law for the Israelites to be able to borrow in times of need. The restrictions were against the lender to prohibit them from taking unfair advantage of their brothers or the poor by exacting interest from them (Ex 22:25; Deut 23:19). They were allowed to charge foreigners interest (Deut 23:20). Debt was always seen as something to be temporary and any unpaid debt was to be forgiven every seven years (Deut 15:1-12).
The Bible does caution against unwise borrowing (Prov 22:7) and identifies those as wicked who borrow without the intent of repayment (Ps 37:21). Paul instructs believers to pay whatever is owed to others whether it be in taxes, revenue, respect, or honor and directs them not to be under continuing obligation to anyone except to love them (Rom 13:7-8). Scripture does speak very clearly against greed and the love of money so acquiring debt could be sinful if its goal is to fulfill those unhealthy desires that become a distraction from following God (Matt 6:24; 1 Tim 6:10; Heb 13:5). As in all things, believers should seek God’s wisdom and examine their hearts before entering into debt.
The elders did not take the decision to acquire debt for the building of Woodcreek lightly. We prayed earnestly about it and believed it was part of God’s plan to enable His church to grow in this new location. We are trusting in His provision and it is our desire to pay off the debt as quickly as possible in order to prepare the church for further ministry.
19. How are we currently addressing our debt?
We are presently managing our interest payments in our operating budget. We have also reduced our principal on the $6 million by $400,000. Our debt is currently $5.6 million.
In November, 2010, 2011 and 2012 we are obligated to pay a total of $1.5 million in principal reduction which is not part of our operating budget.
20. What is the plan to completely pay off the remaining debt in addition to this campaign?
Our goal is to completely pay off the debt in the following ways:
Continue praying that God would raise the funds to pay off the debt as soon as possible
As God provides, we will continue increasing our debt reduction line item in the operating budget each year (currently at $60,000).
As God provides, we will apply any increased giving over budget toward reducing the principal.
21. How will the monies be used as far as the amount for debt and the amount for the parking lot?
As the funds come in over the next three years, our commitment is to put the first two million given toward debt reduction. Therefore, the new parking lot will probably not be built until end of the three-year period. That priority may change if we lose our ability to park in our neighbors parking lot during the next two years. Our first priority is to meet our principal reduction obligation to the bank.
22. What happens if we don’t reach our goal of three million?
Our intention is to pay the first two million toward the debt. We’ll trust God and pray for creative alternatives for our parking needs.
23. Is our goal to pay off our debt before we add any new buildings?
Not necessarily. We’d like to be able to do that. God will determine when the next building phase will be. In the meantime, we need to be retiring that debt as aggressively as possible so that when it’s time for the next building, we’ll be debt-free or in a manageable debt position.
24. Why didn’t we go debt free when we built on this property?
We tried to raise as much of the needed funds as possible. We realized that a congregation our size would be unlikely to raise 10.5 million. We raised more than the experts said we could. We were growing as a church but also realized that we were out of room at Blake drive and couldn’t grow anymore there. We prayed earnestly about going into debt. We believed that debt was necessary at that time to take the step we believed God wanted us to take. So we moved forward trusting God and here we are. We believe God blessed our faith and continues to bless us. We also believe God wants us to completely pay off this facility.
25. Why the push to pay off the debt faster than the structured time of the loan?
This is all part of the original MasterPlan that we would have a second capital campaign after experiencing growth at the new location. This was previously communicated, but with the body 40% larger than before it is probably new to some. We are also committed to paying off this debt as aggressively as possible given our current budget needs. We hope this campaign will cut the remaining debt almost in half. We will then try and structure additional principal reduction into our operating budget. We will continue to communicate the need and give opportunity for God to move individuals to contribute to retiring our debt.
26. How do we increase our giving when the economy is so bad?
That is between you and God. We will offer some helpful suggestions but in no way do we want to coerce or pressure anyone to give more than they are willing and able. We are committed to wisely manage what God provides.
27. How can I get excited about getting out of debt?
Getting out of debt is always exciting. It frees up funds to be used in other ways – in our case for greater ministry opportunities.
28. Why do we need the road at such great expense when we have so much debt to pay attention to first?
We don’t currently need the road that will connect to Breckinridge on the back of our property. When we add additional parking on our property, we will need another ingress and egress point to keep from putting to much pressure on Renner Road.
29. Why are we trying to raise funds to lower debt?
This was part of the original agreement with Legacy Bank in order to reduce our debt to a more manageable level and because the debt needs to be paid off. Our current budget is able to manage the interest payments and God has blessed us with additional funding to reduce the principal by $400,000 during the time we have been here. Raising additional funds, though, in order to specifically lower debt is the best way to reduce both the principal and interest on the debt.
30. How much is the current debt?
31. Is there a chance to refinance the current loans to get a better rate?
Our Finance Team is working on this. We have a very good rate and relationship with our Bank.
32. Is Woodcreek in good financial shape right now?
Woodcreek Church is in excellent shape right now. Our giving exceeded our budget in 2008 and 2009. Our current giving is slightly ahead of budget for 2010. We have been able to pay down our debt by $400,000 over the last two years.
33. Why is the new parking lot going to cost $1 million?
It really is Site Development and Parking and both of those are expensive. Because of the natural drainage of our property and the water from the adjacent properties, the city will require covered culverts to maintain the drainage where part of the parking lot needs to be and this adds to the cost. The estimated $1 million includes rising costs three years from now, the civil work, the lighting, landscaping and connecting our parking out to Breckinridge Drive on the south side of our property with a two lane road. This will be necessary to take pressure off of Renner road on Sundays and provide an additional ingress and egress for the future expansion.
34. How many parking spaces will the parking lot have?
35. What is our parking space/attendance ratio?
Our current ratio is about one car for every 1.7 people attending the worship service.
36. Why doesn’t the new parking lot wrap around the building?
As future buildings are added, they will be connected to current building and will follow the line of the creek. That is why the proposed parking is extended along the south western side of the property
37. Will there be shuttles in the parking lot? It seems like a long way to walk.
We will do what is needed to fully utilize our parking.
38. What about a parking garage instead of extending parking lot out so far?
It was cost prohibitive. We did a preliminary analysis and it would cost 3 times as much to provide a covered garage.
39. Where do we stand with the Rockwell parking lot? Can we still park there?
Currently, they allow us to park there on Sunday mornings. We have an open and cordial relationship. However, for whatever reasons, that could change. We need to be prepared in the event that we lose our ability to park there.
40. Will there be additional motorcycle parking?
If needed. We will address this need when we get into the detailed planning of the parking lot.
41. Will we make considerations to make the new parking as “green” or as environmentally sensitive as possible?
42. Are our neighbors pressing us to quit using their parking lot?
No. We have their permission to park there currently.
43. Will the parking lot extend any further to the south?
Eventually as other buildings are added in the future. We have master-planned the maximum growth potential for this site that includes the location of future buildings as well as parking expansion.
44. Will there be any median work on Breckinridge, turn outs, etc?
45. Have we already gotten bids on the parking lot and/or road?
No (Just estimates which will certainly change by the time we are ready to build)
46. How much is the road costing?
The estimate for the project is $800,000 to $1 million. Of that amount, the road to Breckinridge Blvd. is approximately $150,000.
47. Can we build the parking lot without the added expense of the new road?
Yes. But 200 more cars would put tremendous stress on Renner road. The road is also in our long-term plan and will definitely be needed. It will enable us to utilize more of the property God has provided.
48. When will construction on the parking lot/road begin? Soon or after the end of the campaign?
We are committed to using the first two million that comes in on reducing the debt. So the parking could not be built until the end of the three year campaign. If, however, we lose the ability to park on our neighbor’s parking lot, we may have to adjust that priority.
49. Will the parking lot be lit?
50. Can we park in the grass?
Future Plans and Additional Buildings
51. Are we adding new buildings in the future? When?
God provided this 27 acre tract and we fully expect, as the Lord grows His church, we will need to add additional buildings. Based upon our Master Site Plan, we know where they will go and how we can we build out in future phases. We do not have a timetable which will be based on how God grows His church and how fast. We are continually praying and exploring various growth opportunities both on and off site. We do believe God wants us to maximize this property He provided.
52. What is our next phase?
We do not know for sure at this time. We will continue praying for God’s leading for our next step(s) and will prepare as much in advance as possible.
53. Do we already have our building plans or will there be more architect fees?
We have a site plan of where the buildings and parking will be on the property. We do not have detailed drawings, etc. Yes, there will be more architectural fees in the future.
54. How do we plan to handle continued growth? More services? Other options, etc.?
We are preparing to go to a third service beginning in December, 2010.
55. We are already experiencing some crowding in Kidcreek during our second service. What is the plan to deal our space problem for the children?
We will be going to three services in December, 2010 which will give some temporary relief to a full Kidcreek in the second service. We are also looking into other options for more space for our kids.
56. What is our projected growth?
57. Are we trying to become a mega church?
No. We do not have plans to become a Mega church. This is God’s church and we will follow His lead on providing the ministry He wants. He controls the numbers of people His local church will impact. We have not decided how big we want to be. As God brings growth, we believe it is our responsibility to minister effectively to a growing number of people. We also believe God will provide creative options for continuing to have a greater impact.