State of the Church

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Well, I’m glad you’re here this morning, because this morning for us as a church family is is important for an understanding of what ABC is about and what the direction is for the future of us as a church family. And so if if you didn’t pick up a bulletin this morning on your way out, I want to encourage you to do that, because contained within, there is a sheet of paper that describes the future of our of ABC, where we get our philosophy of ministry and what our desire is as a church family moving forward. And so I want to encourage you to do that. There’s also some other information as far as a budget, if you’re interested in the details of some of our budget as a church, we give full disclosure on that information. And the ministries is our of of our church as well. And I’ll be sharing a little bit about that. So here’s what I want to talk to us this morning about. I’m excited just to share, uh, about our church family and where we get our perspective from Scripture and why we’re here, what we want to do, what we think, uh, God’s desire is for us. And and that really fuels the passion as to why why we do what we do when when it comes to ministry, it’s always important within our lives to answer that question, why? Why is it you do what you do? Because sometimes when you’re serving the Lord, you get to a place in your life, especially in struggles where where you begin to question that.

Or sometimes you start from square one. Asking that and being able to define the why always fuels the passion for why or what you do for the Lord. And so it’s important for us to start there and kind of build a picture where we are as a church family. And I’m going to I’m going to tell you this morning, I’m going to put you into the a little bit of the backdrop back scenes as to some of the things as a, as a pastor, the day in and day out of, of ministry that a lot of times you may not always be exposed to or get to see, you’re going to see some of the things that stresses me out, some of the things that drives me to my knees in prayer before the Lord. I’m not saying that stress is a good thing, but the great thing is that I have a God to depend on, and we have a Lord to depend on and all that. Some of the stuff is going to come with a tight knit little bow wrapped up. And this is what, you know, ABC is and other things are opened in. And I’ll just be honest with you and say, we’re trying to figure this out, and this is where we think God’s leading us and, and give us an idea together of how we can be praying as a church, where to get involved and what God wants for us.

So if I were to start off this morning just explaining the backdrop as to what we’re about as a church family, uh, one of the most important passages of scripture I think I could turn to is what Jesus said in Mark chapter 12. Jesus in this chapter is being asked questions by religious leaders, and their intentions really are to trick Christ into certain positions that would put him in a in a difficult place before Israel as he’s proclaiming his message. And Jesus answers questions after after question and everyone’s just floored by his responses. They they can’t use his response against them. And and Jesus finally gets asked this last question before they stop asking the questions altogether, because they realize this guy is too smart for them. They’re just going to have to take take care of him, get rid of them if they’re going to put him, make them quiet. And so this last question he’s asked by a rich young ruler, what’s the greatest commandments in which we can follow? And Jesus answered and said this. The foremost is, hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

And the second is this. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. We understand what Jesus is saying at this point. He is fine tuning the specifics of all of life here in this one presentation. The question that he’s asked was the what is the greatest commandment we could follow? When Jesus is answering this question, there’s something, as a church family, that we began to recognize about the significance of what God has called us to in this world, and that is this life is about relationships. And what God desires for us is to know him and grow in a life transforming relationship with him, and live out that relationship with with him through our relationship to others. In Philippians chapter three and verse ten, Paul says his life pursuit in chapter three and he says this, that I may know him in verse ten. And Jesus said in John 17 three, this is eternal life, that that we may know him. Eternity is about knowing him. God created you in his in his image for relationship with him. Now there’s a place within that relationship that God being created. His image desires for us to reflect his glory in this world by demonstrating him through the way that we live our lives. But I want to be honest. When you live your lives, God isn’t interested in you proving your merit to him by the way that you live your life.

And what I mean is that God, God doesn’t see your worth in what you do. There’s nothing you’re going to do for God that he can’t do for himself. There’s nothing we’re going to do for God that’s going to impress him. He created us in in his image. And so he created us for the purpose of connecting to him in relationship. And it’s in that relationship. As we grow, we’re transformed in Christ that we live that out in relationship with, with each other in this world. And so the thought is, as you look at Mark chapter 12, maybe to say if what you believe doesn’t affect the way you engage the world for Christ in a positive way, then please check what you believe. Because what Jesus says is through our relationship with him, it affects our relationship with others for his glory. That a belief isn’t just an intellectual knowledge, but it has practical outworkings in the way that we live our lives. And so as a church family we would say this everything we do is designed to reach the hearts of people, to encourage them toward a life transforming relationship with Christ through his family as we engage his community. So if you’re here on Sunday morning, our theme is this you are a guest in our house, and we want to minister to your heart so that you are able to draw closer to the Lord and closer to his community.

If you’re a person that we encounter in the streets and in evangelism and outreach, we want to reach your heart to encourage you to Christ. If you are in a connection group, which are our midweek gatherings, we want to create an authentic and transparent relationships among one another that we can give you the freedom to encourage one another closer to. To Christ, excuse me and to each other. Jesus was asked this question as presented in three of the Gospels. In Luke. When he’s asked the same question, he follows up that question in verses 25 to 29. He follows that up with a story and he says, okay, this is the statement love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. God’s interested in your relationship with him. God created you for relationship with him. And this is what it looks like practically as we love God and through that learn to love other people. And so he tells this story. And Jesus replied and said, A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell, fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. And by chance, a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, he passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan. It was on a journey came upon him, and when he saw him, he felt compassion. And it came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them, and he put him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave gave it to the innkeeper, and said, take care of him, and whatever more you spend when I return, I will repay you. Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers hands? And he said, the one who showed mercy toward him. Then Jesus said to him, go and do the same. Jesus is explaining the way that our faith in Christ should outwork in life. And here’s the shocking statement about what Christ says in Luke. Jesus takes the most prominent religious figures of his day in this story, and he pins it against a Samaritan who, according to the people that time and the Jewish people that time, were were a despised people group. And rather than have the religious leader living a life that reflects what Christ desires within us through their relationship with the Lord. Jesus takes the Samaritan. And I think one of the reasons Jesus uses the Samaritan is the Samaritan is in a position in life where he is always acknowledged before the Jewish people, what they think he really is.

Um, when it comes to serving Christ, one of the things that should compel us as people, as the love of grace and the grace of God that’s been extended to us despite our sin. Right? Romans five eight God demonstrates his love to you, and while you were yet sinners, Christ died for you. But we don’t receive the grace and love of God because of anything special we’ve done. Because but simply because of grace in itself is is meriting to someone what they do not deserve. And when we recognize the grace that God has given to us, it gives us compassion for other people. And passing along this man on the street, the Samaritan having been in a similar position, knowing what it’s like to to to be mistreated or knowing what it’s like for people to shame you or just pass by you. He saw the need of this man, felt compassion for him, and helped him. And so Jesus tells the story of or shares the thought of the greatest two commandments the practical outworking of what life is about. Relationship with God, lived out in relationship with others, then gives us a practical illustration saying to us that when we you engage the world the way Jesus calls you to engage the world, it gets messy because this world is messy. In fact, when you’re living your life for Christ, if it isn’t messy, you’re probably doing it wrong.

And I’m not saying by that statement that you just go out and live life however you want and just dive into sin. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying this world puts a real mark on people, and we suffer in it through the pain that we experience. And there’s different ways that we can respond to it. And the religious leaders that pass by this man chose to stick their head in the sand and pretend like it wasn’t happening. Maybe that they were better than him. Maybe whatever he was going through, he probably deserved it. So I don’t need to lift a helping hand. Or maybe they were so stuck on living their own religious laws that isolated them from even serving someone else. I got to tell you when it comes to ministry. If your ministry becomes so task driven that you forget, the whole point of ministry is to minister to hearts. You’re doing it wrong. We look at the story of what Jesus says, it teaches us, as I think as a church personally, and how we we interact with our culture, how we engage our culture. One of the things that we want to do as a church family, rather than ignore the culture rather than walking past it, pretend like it’s not real, rather than embracing the cultures we want to live like disciples for Jesus within the culture. And there are some verses in the Bible that teaches us how to do this.

And and these verses really for us create tension. And the tension rests on this. We understand that God, God has for us truth. And the world system is contrary to what truth is. And so when you present truth statements to the world, or make truth claims to the world, when a system is contrary to it, you don’t always get welcomed with open arms. And so there’s a need to stand for truth because it’s what God stands for. In fact, in Jude three it says this I felt the necessary to write to you, appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all, handed down to the saints. And while we stand for truth in first Corinthians, the Bible tells us in verse nine or chapter nine and verse 22, I have become all things to all men. This is Paul writing, so that I may obey all. By all means, save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. In Ephesians. Paul went on to say it like this speaking the truth in love. We are to grow up in all aspects into him who is the head that is Christ. And so there’s this truth that we stand for, and there’s a way that we engage the world with the truth. We become what, what we should become in order to reach the culture we become, as the culture we become in the world, but not necessarily of the world, and presenting ourselves to the world, that the world may embrace the truth of who Christ is.

And as a church, there’s reasons we do some of the things that we do the way that we do certain things that we do. For example, let me let me just give you one. We, we, we recognize within, uh, Utah. This is a youngest state in America. We have a younger culture here. Uh, we have a millennial generation, which, by the way, when you look at our church, one third of our church is made up of people under the age of 12 on Sunday, which means we have we need a lot of classroom space. But we are a very young church. And so our minds as a younger generation, the tendency is we’ve learned to engage a little bit different in the way that we learn here. Let me give you an example. You have been trained since a young child. If you grew up watching television, you learn in 32nd or 30 minute segments with about ten minutes of commercial breaks, right? So we’ve learned our minds kind of check in, check out. We’ve not only become auditory learners, but we’re visual learners too. Well, as a church, some of the ways that we’ve addressed that is you have visual screens, right? We offset our music with with some sort of video to engage your mind as we get ready to jump into a sermon.

We recognize some of the things within our culture in order to to engage us and teach us. Um, here’s one of the things that we think are important. We talk about redeeming our culture. When God makes things, uh, we recognize he makes them all moral meaning. There’s not a morality to them. Money. Money is not a bad thing. It really depends on what you do with it. Having possessions is not a bad thing. It really is determined in what you do with it. And so we recognize within our culture there are things within our culture that are our culture does that. We could stick our head in the sand and ignore it. Or we can just embrace it and say, you know what? Whatever. Let’s just let’s just accept the world to with our beliefs. Or we can go out and engage the world like disciples of Christ. Here’s a few of the ways that we do that as a church, usually around Christmas or Halloween. We do outreach. Now, I don’t want to change people’s philosophy and opinion on on Christmas and Halloween. If, if you’ve got if you’ve got some opinion on that and you don’t, you don’t want to celebrate it. And we don’t necessarily endorse celebrating. We endorse as reaching people in it. If as a family you enjoy Christmas, awesome.

You know, we put out a booklet every year, there’s a lot of symbolism in Christmas related to Jesus himself. We put a booklet out every year that explains where the pictures of Jesus are in Christmas, to help our families keep it Christ centered. Um, but what we recognize is our culture is going to continue to celebrate that, and they’re going to continue to put the stamp of what they want to do to define it. And Christmas. I mean, Christ’s name’s in it. And we can use that to point people to Jesus. The Halloween, the world’s going to go out and celebrate Halloween and dress up and do whatever. And and as a church, we recognize this is a good time to meet people. To engage the world. Um, there’s a lot of people out during that time, and we want to talk to them about who Christ is and relate to the world, rather than just ignore it. We want to reach out. And so we incorporate the world. We engage the world in those ways. We do outreach. We we share the significance of who Christ is. We don’t stick our hand in the sand and expect people to be transformed without Jesus. Unless we as people are going into the world and talking about Jesus. So we seek to redeem the culture. In addition to that, we’re we’re heart driven, not task driven. You know what I mean is.

Ministry doesn’t exist to accomplish tasks, but rather ministry exists to reach hearts. On Sunday morning when we come into this facility to worship everyone that comes through our door, we want to see as a guest. I mean, you could be doing anything else on Sunday, but the fact that you want to spend any time with us at all, we appreciate. And we want to use that time to to minister to the hearts. And so if you engage in a ministry, if you picked up a bulletin this morning, you’ll see there’s a form on there that says join a team. And we have 6 or 7 different ministries that you can can join on Sunday to serve. And this is one of the things we say is, yes, there’s a task to every one of those ministries. But the ministry doesn’t primarily exist to accomplish tasks. The ministry exists to serve and reach hearts. And so if you start shoving people out of the way in order to accomplish the task, it misses the whole point of what ministry is about to begin with. Because without people, there is no need for ministry. And so the whole point of why we do what we do is just to reach hearts. So when people come here on Sunday morning, this is what we want you to feel. We want to take every encumbrance aside, every distraction that we can, we can remove from you.

We want you to feel comfortable here so that you can find it easier to connect to God and connect to his community and be encouraged in that way. The third is this. We want to emphasize. Uh, quality over quantity. The Bible tells us, whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. In Jesus’s story shows a man in Luke ten that goes above and beyond to minister to the need of someone else, and it’s not because of what he’s going to get out of it. And the guy on the side of the road had nothing to give to him. But simply because he desired to minister to his heart. We want to do the best we can to serve people, and we want to do it with quality and not quantity. And what I mean by that is. As a church, we don’t feel like we have to do every ministry in the world. And the churches have the freedom to do different things, to minister to people in different ways. And we don’t feel the obligation to have to do that. But what we want to do is to be faithful to what God’s given us and what God’s called us to. And the things that we do, we want to do it well. Um, let me just give you a reason why. Coming to church in Utah. Walking through our front doors isn’t easy. And one of the things that we’re asking you to do as a church family is give us the opportunity to minister to your soul, and that requires on your part, a bit of trust.

When it comes to ministry here at ABC. Whatever we do, we want to put our best foot forward to show you that we really do care by the quality of what we do as a church family. Because we know that decision on your part isn’t easy. But we want to remove any of those distractions or difficulties in being able to trust and read God’s Word so that you can just rest in the comfort of the Bible and come to know and grow in God yourself. We think it’s great that churches take on different responsibilities within this world and to minister to people, but at ABC we don’t we don’t feel the need to have to do everything. We just want to do as God leads us to do and be faithful to do that. We don’t want to get so busy that when we start passing by, people on the road that need us to minister to them, that we say, you know what, I’m sorry, but I’ve got all these tasks to do. Because the whole point of doing what we do is to reach the heart of the person that’s sitting on the side of the road, begging for someone to help them out. God calls us to relationship in him. In that relationship with him.

Through that relationship with him. It encourages us and transforms us in the way that we interact in this world through our relationship with others. Everything we do is designed to reach the hearts of people. To encourage them toward a life transforming relationship with Christ through his community. We think of the way when God created his church. There you are. Plan A and you are plan B. God made you in his image for the purpose of reflecting his beauty in the world. And people praying for answers and responses and for God to help them. I think the place that God works in order to move his helping hand in this world is through his people, created in his image, who desire to reflect his beauty in this world. And it’s so important for us to, as a church family to understand the the communication of that great commandment and what Luke says. Because when we understand that, that means everyone who walks through our door is so important to us. In fact, you may be the first Christian they ever interact with in this world. So how do you get involved? As a church family, we’ve developed a philosophy that we call it. It’s spiritual breathing. Breathing in, breathing out. And in the summertime, we do this. Breathing out in the in the fall, winter, spring we do this breathing in. So, so we we spend the fall and winter spring learning, diving deeper into God’s word, becoming further discipled in what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

In the summer time, we cut back on the amount of ministries that we do. Uh, as far as organized ministry and we do we do more outreach ministry, more camp ministry. That stuff still organized. But it’s it’s not as formal as our typical Bible studies and engagement. And so we we go out into the world, we breathe out into the world what it means to to know Jesus and walk with him. And so we follow this, this mentality of breathing and breathing out. And so we, we, we go on the school calendar year on, on a Sunday. If you’re interested in engaging with us as a church, the way to get involved is to join a team which is in the bulletins. It’s a green sheet on top that says join a team. It’s long, slender. I have one up. Well watch this. Off camera. On camera. Okay. Um, join a team. You can fill this out to be able to to to join a team. If you’re interested in serving as the encouragement for everyone is attend one and serving one. If you’re interested in helping us reach people for the Lord, attend to, service and serve in a service, we’d love to have you be a part of a team here as a church family, if you just want to get your feet wet, you’re like, I’ve never really done this.

Where do I do that? The front door ministry, the hospitality ministry, the way that we serve people when they come in is really important for us as a church family, you’re the face that gets to engage people to love on them. Uh, it’s statistically said when someone comes to a church, they make up their mind if they’re going to come back within the first 10 to 15 minutes, which means hospitality ministry, the way you guys serve you are you are the most important people. Unless I’m talking about something else and the most important to you. Okay. Everyone’s important. So ten one and serve one. Help us out. The other is this we have connection groups. And the connection groups are a way for you to to grow with a community for accountability, transformation, transparency, what it means to follow the Lord, ask questions, grow together. If you want to know all the ministries that we have here as a church family, there’s a sheet on the information table outside. It’s got a front and back says kids, teens, adults, ways to get involved. All those ministries, one of the big ones that we want to highlight our connection groups, those are all small groups. They meet in different locations throughout the Valley. The way that those work, at least this year, they run from September to May. September, the week of September 20th will be when they start.

We’ll have signups for those next week for you. If you’re looking to join one this year for a connection group. If you’re a part of one when you come into church on Sunday, there will be a sheet with questions your connection group will go through this week. It’ll be related to the sermon topic. It will dive deeper on whatever the subject is. And then at the bottom, there will be some personal questions for you and your personal, uh, studying of of God’s word cares, passing out, joining a team if anyone wants one in your in your personal studying of God’s Word. It’s a way to help you grow personally and both with a connection group team. And so if you’d like to, to be a part of a connection group, that will be made available to you. Um, other areas of of ministry, like I said, around the information table, one of the things we think is important as a church family to we’re going to continue to grow, grow in as the area of evangelism. We do outreach in the summertime as a church, but now we’ve incorporated into our budget. We have some specific individuals here that love just to go out and do evangelism. They’re doing it constantly. And we said, you know what if, um, if if our culture is less than 2% in the Lehigh area of mainstream Christian, then maybe we should be reaching our area.

And so we’ve created a further budget. And so if you’re interested specifically in just going out regularly and evangelism, let me know and we’ll connect you with someone. In addition to that, our church has podcasting. We’ve got online now. We’re trying to get just the message out there, what we’re about, I think we’re getting, um, something like, I don’t know, what is it, 30 hits a day on our website as a church family. And so, uh, people are just checking out ABC. We’re trying to find what it’s about. And so we’re just seeking any way that we can in engaging the world and want everyone to be a part of it. If you feel led that for God to lead you to do that. So that’s kind of the the backdrop of where we start as a church, some of the ways to get involved as a church family. So let me let me just show you what that’s looked like for ABC over the last few years. In the coming months. Here’s where we are currently as a church family. We are in the middle of a building project that is going a little slow. Um. We have been in six different locations in six years of our church history, and then we moved here and quickly had to move to two services because we we have continued to grow as a church family and part of the movement here for us, and required the city of Lehi required for us to do some improvements to the outside of our building.

Last year, we started a financial campaign to raise $100,000 to do the improvements that we needed to do on the outside of our facility, and we we kind of topped off at $65,000. Okay, 65,000 just delayed us a little in trying to get everything together and figuring out what the city would help us with, what we didn’t have to do, what we needed to do, what the city was requiring us to do. So we’ve been going back and forth in meetings. It’s taken us a little bit longer to get everything approved, because we have engineers and architects working for us with our design work, with the city, and they’re doing it all for free. And so while we really appreciate all the help they’re giving us, we’re blessed because of that. It also slows us down a little bit, because every time there’s a change that needs to happen to the map, or we’re depending on their free time to help us in that. But it helped us. It helped us depending on them. It helped us conserve some of the money that we didn’t have as a church family. And so this is this is what should be starting within the next couple of weeks. You’ll notice we have a tree that’s coming down outside, and we have some drain systems that are being placed out as a church.

And so you’ll see in the red outline in the corner, that’s our building. We’re going to have a sidewalk that wraps around our building. We’re going to have some I wonder if I got a pointer on here. There we go. We’ve got a sidewalk that’s going to go around our building. We’re going to have landscaping that goes all around the facility back in here and around here, a dumpster enclosure. Her whole parking lot is going to be repaved. All of the blue that’s that’s on this site is where the scary house is. And our plan with the scary house is to get rid of that and then to pave that and continue on with the construction through there. But we weren’t able to do that just because we didn’t have the financial resources this time. But we want to continue over this next year to raise an additional 40,000 to help us finish with the construction costs. But let me tell you, with the with the 65 that we raised, this is what we’re getting. We’re getting sidewalk down 300 East curb gutter, um, some landscaping coming in. We’re getting sidewalk around our facility to with some curbing on our property. We’re getting sprinklers, landscaping. The whole parking lot is getting brand new asphalt. We’re getting three new drains placed on our property for water flow. We’re getting a dumpster enclosure. And and then we have to pay for some bonds and some rental equipment for the building process as well.

Donated to us. We’ve had architect engineer that’s done things for free. The drain that’s sitting outside that was sold to us at 10% of the cost of what it was. We got a parking lot light that’s going out that was donated to us as a church family. The city has waived a $5,000 fee for us, and they’ve given us over $16,000 to go to our construction project, which is going to be the sidewalk on three, uh, 300 East. Um, they donated we have some donated labor for construction on our property to altogether on a conservative number. If you just look at what’s been donated to us, we’ve saved almost $45,000 as a church. So we need additional money to continue to work on the actual building itself, to improve the exterior of it, and to take out the house that’s there and to do some further renovations. And I’ll show you a little bit of what that is in just a minute. So this is where we’re going for for our building process as a church. This is what what’s happened to us as we’ve grown over the last year. So in our history, we’ve grown by an average of 30%. Last year we grew by 16%. And so this is where our attendance has gone as a church family, which creates for us a little bit of a stress. And I’ll show you why.

Growing pains are a great thing. We’re glad for it. But there’s also a little stressor that comes with it. As far as giving goes, this is just some disclosure for you as a church family. So you can see where we are as as a church, um, nationally, a church our size that what’s given is usually around 170,000, state of Utah is 127,000 and ABC was 115,000. Um, I want to say about it when it comes to. Um finances. Utah statistically is is considered one of the poorer churches in the United States. Um, one of the reasons is a lot because we’re one of the youngest churches in the United States. And and you know, as well as I do, raising kids is not cheap. And we are blessed to have those children. We’ve got lots of them and thankful for it. Uh, as a church, too, when you’re a new church, usually your or your giving is a little bit lower. And being able to pay expenses just just because when you’re starting in and you’re filling out a church and you want to know if you even want to belong to that, sometimes you just wait to to give towards it too. But that’s where it puts us as a church family. Just for full disclosure sake, if you want to know what pastors make nationally, the average and part time for any additional pastors they may hire. If you do hire a part time pastor, this is what’s um, given statistically on LifeWay.

Their research. They do the Pew report every year on churches across the country. And so if you’re looking at the pastoral salary, just so you know, that that’s for him to pay for anything as far as insurance, any expenses that he may have, retirement, whatever a pastor might put towards with all of the salary combined average is 69,000. As a church family, where we are right now is 30,000. Uh, I don’t say that to say give me more money. I don’t I don’t think I’ve ever said that to us as a church. Um, I don’t think it was even till last year that I really took a paycheck from our church. Uh, I worked for a long time, part time, full time here until our church got so big that I couldn’t devote my time to another job and. And the church. You all started taking on salary for us and for my family to be able to support us. I don’t think it was until this year that we ever made over $30,000. In the ten years that I’ve lived here, period, whether it be from a secular job or a ministry job. But I’d just like to give you give you disclosure because, um. Paying pastors becomes a topic of interest. And so I don’t. There it is. It is what it is. There it is. Um, when it comes to attendance as a as a church, uh, this is where we are in our growth as a church.

Now, I told you our average attendance from June to July was 185. But, um, in right at the beginning of the summer and in August, we’ve been averaging around 200 people a service already. And so if you look at this chart, this is kind of anticipation of 185 people. If we grew by 10%, the first two columns are by 10%. This this one and this one. And the second two columns are by 20%. The only reason I show you this is to say this is what our classrooms capacity can hold as a church. And and if we’re averaging over 200 already, then we’re, we’re close to this category. And so we’re already maxing out in our classrooms, you see second service first service, second service on down. And so we’re we’re at capacity or close to capacity. Yellow is close to capacity. Red is is at capacity. I’m not I don’t want to give you numbers as a church to say look, look at us or to brag about anything related to that. I don’t I don’t. If our church grows good or if our church, you know, stops growing, that’s okay too. I, um, I just want to be faithful. What God calls us to do. And the only reason we count people as a church is because people count. For instance, if you as a father like me, if you decided to take your kids out shopping one day and you take 3 or 4 of them with you, but you only return with two, your wife’s probably going to say something about that, right? People count.

And we’re not counting to see how much we grow. We’re not really interested in how much we grow. What we’re interested in is how well we can serve the people that come here. And if we’re running out of space, then we want to know, and we want to create a spot to provide more space for people to enjoy growing in the Lord. And here’s what happens if we start putting a cap on how many people we can. We can have is that people will come. They’ll want to be a part of what ABC is doing. They’ll not feel welcome, and they’ll turn around and maybe not go anywhere. Who knows? But we know that we’re not able to best serve them. And so we want to serve them. And part of the money that we want to raise left is going to help us do that. And a few of the things that were well, there we go. A few of the things that we’re working on as a church family is, is we’re working with Building God’s Way, which is an organization that will help us, um, uh, it’ll help us figure out how we can use our property to build upon and to grow.

And while we work with God’s way, one of the things we’re talking to the city about is possibly putting up some sort of temporary building or scary house is now, and we’ll use that for further classroom space to provide for us some some ability to grow. And we went through the numbers after. If we were to get a facility like this to add a couple extra classrooms, move the offices outside, make the office area, a conference area, another classroom, what we could how long we could go before we’d need to move or expand, I should say as a church, um, or build onto our property. And it gave us to about 2018 to 2019 from our current growth rate from this past year before we start feeling growing pains again. So we’re we’re working on adding some extra facilities. And so what we would do with that building is we would put older classrooms from ten years old and up out into that space to be able to provide some of of the growth that we need. We don’t want to take our younger kids out there because we understand as parents, you don’t want to know that your youngest kid is outside of the building that you’re in. So you want to you want to know that they’re close and be able to protect. We understand that and we want to keep providing for that. But this will give us more classroom space to do some different things as a church, allow our ten year and 11 year olds to go outside, take the room that they’re currently in, make it a little bigger, and make that a new classroom.

We’ll actually divide our younger ages up again from 0 to 1, 2 to 3, 4 to 5, six, 6 to 9, ten, 11 outside. And so give us that opportunity. I should announce to you to as a church, just to help us balance with that growth. One of the things that we’re going to do for our first services offer the ten and 11 year old class for both services, and that’ll start next week. So if you if you have a ten, 11 year old and you’ve come to second service so they can be a part of that class and you would like for it for first service because first service works for you, just know that we’re going to be, uh, switching to allow our kids to to have that available for both services and to help us accommodate the growth. If you’re interested in the budget and just knowing what’s there, this is really basic. You probably can’t even read. Can you read that bottom? It’s really small. Read that to you in just a second. But this is the very basic summary of this year’s budget. I told you, we give full disclosure on where money goes as ABC and so anyone has access to it.

If you if you would like to know what we spend it on, you can ask. But also on the information table there is a sheet that gives a more detailed outline of our budget for this coming year. But this just gives you an idea of where it’s where it was in 2015, what we spent. We’re basically spending what we make. Everything that we make goes back into the ministry. And so you see the 2015, what we made, what we spent, and then this year, what we’re anticipating and what we’re anticipating spending and then the capital campaigns, what we want to raise for building. If you want to know where that money is going to come from, the bottom line gives us the revenue. So in tithes, the increase, we’re expecting a 10% increase, which is a little conservative. Um, but but 11% of the increase. And then as a church we sell Christmas trees. And this year we wanted to do some fireworks to make more revenue for our church to go towards our building project. We weren’t able to do fireworks this year, uh, but we’re planning to do it next year. And then we anticipate a $14,000 income off of that and a few other things we do as a church family as well. So that’ll go towards our increase in our budget. And that’s where it all comes from. And then the two biggest things that we’re going to be putting money towards this year is our church grows.

We need to pay for more salaries for individuals. And so we’ve taken on treasurer, secretary part time for someone else to work in ministry, Richie, who’s leading our youth and and so there’s a salary increase we put in our budget of 22,000. And then the renting of a new building for $9,000 for us in our facility. Some of that expense comes in getting it hauled here and getting it all set up. And so there it is as it breaks down in percentages. If if you’re interested in that, that’s in the outside, uh, on the sheet of paper in the budget as well. I have no idea what time it is. Can you pop a clock up for me? Sorry. This is, as a church, the money that we’ve raised, what we have in hand. If you would like to know, we have over $19,000 saved. We want to get to create a. We want to create $30,000 within an account to go towards expenses in case we ever have some sort of emergency fund needed. And so we’re trying to save that. We have 78,000 that has gone into our building project total. Um, 29 of that came from a refinance we did on our property for building. And then 5000 went out for an air conditioner that we just recently got. Our loan is from Wells Fargo for 2000 or 270,000.

We have one from an organization that doesn’t give us, we don’t have to pay any interest on their church organization that just gave us, allowed us to borrow money for our initial build out. And we have 24 on that, and we have a small credit card debt of $700. So it gives you an idea of where we are as a church financially, as we just think and move forward and continue to look to build. But in conclusion. This is. Our home. And it’s a privilege for us as a church. To even think about where we are together. You think within the city just six years ago, before ABC started. Um, the options that were available if you wanted to go to an evangelical church. And what God has done. And when we first moved here to start ABC. Um, I remember walking into into Wein’s Park and just thinking about the city and God just breaking my heart for this place and just trying to dream of what God could do, you know? And even then, I felt like I was dreaming big. But it it looking back on it now, it it was really small. I remember thinking to myself, you know, if we just in ten years, if we just had 50 people, man, I would just be I would consider that a success and just be celebrating that jumping up and down and and and we we’ve seen God.

Um. And God has shown up in just miraculous ways for us as a church. I know, um, uh, Richie and Richie Gibson, when he first moved to Utah, he came about a year after we started our church from Ohio to help with ABC and and what God was doing here. And, and when he came out on a missions trip the first year we started, we passed by this bar, and I said, we’re going to buy that, we’re going to buy that bar. And I think at the time it was still open as a bar. And um, and then like a year or two later, it, it went vacant and we were still like, I don’t know, 30 people with $3, but but it was vacant. And then we started praying on it. And for three years we prayed for this place, started asking the city, hey, what if what if a church bought the bar? What would you say about that? And and then I started developing a relationship with the, the vice president of the bank and started talking to him. And he would call me every once in a while and he would say, you know, we have dropped this price here, we have dropped this price here, and we cannot get anybody to buy it. We can’t figure out why. And I’m like, well, maybe some people are praying, right? Like that might be bad from a banker standpoint.

From a church’s standpoint, this is awesome, right? But even then, even then, it still looked like an impossibility. Impossibility. And and it took us a year after we got this place to even remodel it. And and you almost we got to the point where we feel like we’re about to lose our mind and, and, and we’re able to get in and get this. And we’ve just seen God continue to grow and God to continue to bless. And it has been amazing for us. But this is our home, and we want to treat everyone as a guest. And we desire to use what God has given us to reach people for the Lord and to see people grow in him. And ABC. For us, one of the things that we just stop and just think God for this morning is just recognizing that we’re having a tremendous effect and seeing people come to know him and grow in him. And we want everyone that calls ABC their home just to be involved and to be a part. And as God leads you to, to pray and and to serve and to give and to share what God’s doing here, just follow the Lord as he leads you to do that and join in and help with that. And if you are, just continue to be encouraged because God God is having a tremendous effect. But here’s here’s the the great part. He’s having such an awesome effect that we’re about to grow out of this building again or or just grow to capacity.

And we’re talking about maybe moving to three services. It gets to that. We want to add rooms to this, this, this building and externally just a temporary place. And we got to work with an architect and engineer to do that. All of that costs money. All of that has stress with it. All of it takes time. It’s not all easy. Um, but when God’s people pray, it’s possible. And when God’s people see the vision and join in, it’s possible. And so as a pastor, I’m going to be honest and tell you, there are times at night where I lay awake and I’m just thinking, oh my word, how are we going to do this? How are we going to do this? And and the step in front of us, it looks so fuzzy. Sometimes I’m like, ah, where am I going to put my foot down? How are we going to make this next step? God, how are you going to open the door? And he always does it and he always does it by the point when I realized anything I do is going to not be possible. So it’s got to rest on the Lord. And then that’s when it happens. And I think, why did it take so long to learn that lesson? But that’s the way it goes. And. What we want is a family is to feel ownership and all of that, and for all of us to be a part.