On Monday, November 11, 2013, I met with our Real Estate Broker to discuss the status of the contract on the shopping center. It was like a recurring nightmare. Once again, the deal fell apart due to several economic realities of the current marketplace. My immediate reaction was one of a strange calm and incredible peace. I simply said, “Okay. That plan didn’t work. But there’s more than one way to meet your goal!”
I did what anyone should do when you hit a wall to your dream:
1. EVALUATE where you are.
We started this whole journey when we bought the shopping center in 2006. We wanted the land next to us to expand on. When we first purchased the shopping center it was not fully self-sufficient. We borrowed $9.5 million. Seven years later, the debt is now $4.4 million and the shopping center pays for itself!
2. ESTIMATE what you have.
The second step was to to look at what we actually have to work with. It’s like I heard a voice in my head saying, “Hey, we own the whole shopping center. Take a second look.” When we did this we realized that we have expanded a lot since 2006! We now are using 50% more space than when we began this journey. That means we have about 45,000 square feet to work with, the only problem is that it’s spread out and disjointed because we added by piecemeal.
Another thing we looked at in this step was our adult worship methodology. In 2006 there was only one adult worship option – the sanctuary. Today we have two adult venues in Salisbury and one in Seaford.
3. CONTEMPLATE alternatives.
This past summer I was part of a small group of pastors from all over the US who met together at Saddleback to discuss church training strategies. I made a friend at that meeting who is one of the world’s top experts of multi-venue. I called him to discuss ORBC’s current situation. After some significant conversations (and a little painful) I was convinced that we have all we need to do all God wants. In other words, we do have the space to accomplish our goals but in order to effectively use what we have we need to make some adjustments. Specifically we need to focus on two changes:
- Re-launch our adult multi-venue options with the same strategy we used to successfully start them. I’ve allowed our multi-venue strategy to fall apart waiting on the “new building.” Now that we know that we are not building a new building in the immediate future, we can strengthen our multi-venues by adopting a simpler model for success.
- Once the venues are running smoothly with the new model we can then look at how we should re-purpose the 45,000 square feet to accommodate a growth pathway that can double our weekend capacity.
So, has the DREAM changed? No. The dream of this church is about reaching people who are far from God. Our dream is not about buildings, it’s about people. Our goal is to reach 10,000 disciples teaching them to love God / love people. We are fully committed to use everything we have to reach everyone we can to the glory of God. I’m willing to give my life for this dream and I thank God I serve in a church filled with hundreds of crazy Christ followers who dream the same dream!
I love you guys,