What is the state of the facility; have we sought expert opinion about current state and cost of renovation?
An inspector has examined the property and produced a favorable report on the state of the facility. Nonetheless, it is an older facility and there may be some underlying issues that were not revealed upon initial inspection. By the time of our January 13th vote, we will have bids for the repairs to the foundation, HVAC, electrical and a few other key areas. Initial estimates indicate that we will be able to successfully bring the building to viability for $150,000 or less. Our approach is designed to bring the building to a minimal operational level so that we can verify the sustainability of the new campus. We will not address every need prior to launch, but the building will be functional. Our strategy is not built on the appearance of the building; rather we will depend upon the content, depth and quality of the community of people who will grow together.
What staff personnel will be required to launch our second campus?
We would hire a full-time Campus Pastor (trained church planter), part-time Worship Leader and part-time Children’s Director. This campus will lean heavily on a trained and invested volunteer base to get off the ground. We intentionally designed a ‘lean’ personnel strategy in order to maximize available funding. Naturally there will be some new responsibilities for our existing staff, especially pre-launch, but we anticipate minimal long-term impact.
What will be the style of worship at the Flint campus?
We want to leverage the existing charm of the building and build the kind of worship service that will connect with the community in Flint. This decision will be finalized as we get closer to launch and begin to have our launch team, campus pastor and worship leader in-place. They will drive final decisions on matters like this. However, given the nature of the facility (more traditional) and the community in which it resides, it would make sense for us to utilize a slightly more traditional model of worship than we experience on our main campus. While it will not be a high-church style, we also will not be able to do everything we currently do with a full band and expansive audio-visual system.
What are we risking if this venture is not successful.
Our strategy is designed to minimize the risk to our main campus until we are confident in the viability of the new campus. If we were to experience a complete failure, we would lose a portion of the financial investment ($150,000 in initial renovation and the annual operating cost to Dayspring of $110,000). However, some or all of this financial loss could be offset by the sale of the property. It is also possible that our main campus could experience a temporary loss of momentum after the failure of a major initiative like this.
Will this negatively impact other United Methodist Churches?
We believe the opposite will be true for two reasons. First, you have heard the phrase that all ships rise with the tide. We believe that our success in this mission field will facilitate growth in the other United Methodist churches, just as their success would facilitate our growth. Our church’s metric of success is not how many people come to Dayspring; rather, our goal is the reduction of spiritually disconnected people in our mission field. Whether or not they come to Dayspring is not the most important measure of success for us. Second, the other United Methodist churches in this area are connecting with a different kind of person/family than the kind of people to whom we connect. Deploying more diverse approaches in this mission field gives us all a better chance to connect with more people.
What will be the financial impact on Dayspring’s 2019 operating budget?
This will have a minimal impact on our 2019 budget, but we will see an impact on the 2020 budget. Our Finance team intentionally left an un-budgeted surplus in 2019’s budget to allow some ‘cushion’ that would cover any unforeseen costs. When coupled with the Conference’s financial investment, we should not be impacted until 2020. At that point, the cost to Dayspring will be $110,000/year for the first 3 years (the Conference is investing $300,000 over the next 3 years). Keep in mind that part of our growth in Flint would include the giving of new attendees.
What would we name the church in Flint?
This will be an important decision that will require research, prayer and discernment. If we move forward with this proposal, a team of staff and lay leaders will conduct this research and discernment and make a decision in the Spring of 2019.
What about parking?
According to our architects, the current property has enough room to park 54 cars if we maximize the available square footage. This includes the lot to the right (east) of the sanctuary and the lot across the street from the church (to the south). We will not be able to pave either lot initially, but we utilize volunteers on Sunday mornings to ensure that parking is orderly and efficient.
Is this property large enough to accommodate growth in the future?
This is an important question to consider. Ultimately, we believe that this campus is large enough to sustain a weekend attendance of 400-500 people. However, it will require that we host multiple services in order to achieve this number. The sanctuary holds 180 people, and we believe that there will be enough square footage to accommodate 50 children in the future (after the full transformation of the property). For the initial phase, we believe that we can renovate the existing structure to accommodate about 35 children.
Last year Dayspring approved a Master Site Plan for the development of our current property. What happened to that plan?
That plan remains the operational vision for our current property. Phase 2 of the strategy for Flint would include a capital campaign that not only accounts for the renovation in Flint, but would also address Phase 1 of our Master Site Plan on our main campus. Phase 2 is cost-prohibitive at this point, but the growth experienced through our second campus would bring us closer to making Phase 2 a realistic proposition.