GROWING GOD'S KINGDOM
Nearly two years ago, a Vision Team was formed to seek God and specifically identify how Wellspring can best prepare to be in step with His plans for our future. This team has worked closely through many meetings, discussions with staff, and discerning God’s will together through prayer.
In short; we believe that God has given us a vision for the immediate and near future; becoming a church of three services – with capacity for three worship services each week.
Our first desire is that each member of this body would undergo genuine life change, as they experience authentic community here. Our hope is that this life change will shift the focus of our lives towards pursuing Christ and His will, and that the desires of this world would begin to fade. The outgrowth of a community focused on following Jesus, will be a Church that is actively training and sending out ministry workers, who are ready to engage our culture and other cultures with the gospel.
While we have been blessed with a beautiful facility, there are opportunities to make it more conducive to follow through on our mission, and to better position our church for greater impact on our community and world. We believe that by improving our building, we will be in a better position to minister to people inside and outside of our walls.
This vision for becoming a church of three worship services will better equip Wellspring to be able to help grow God’s Kingdom in a number of ways. It will better position us to be a church that influences the development and growth of new and existing churches. Our primary objective will be to first provide the needed facility space to enable our church to operate efficiently and grow to that size, but this will also give us the ability to have a greater impact on other communities through organization partnerships, church planting and revitalization of existing struggling churches.
God is moving and we are growing, both in number and effectiveness. Just as our culture has not stopped changing; the way in which we do ministry must continue to evolve to effectively meet our culture and cultures around the world. The leadership of Wellspring Church has prayerfully sought God’s vision for our church, and we believe that we have discerned the direction that God is leading our church. The current makeup of our facility has presented several challenges to the way we currently operate, and as we look at the direction we feel God is leading us; we can see many more challenges that will arise in the coming years. The vision to renovate and expand our campus will address our current and future needs.
The challenges in our campus both now, and in the future, include:
Safety and Security – relocate children’s programs. We have approximately 60 children between the ages of 2 and 5, per service, on the second floor. We feel the need to bring these children to the lower level for safety and security.
Traffic Flow – lack of efficiency when moving about the building, especially for children’s programs
Building Navigation – challenging for visitors, who currently can enter at 6 different locations
Storage – shortage of storage space for our ministry programs (Youth, Sunday school, kitchen, etc.)
Kitchen – non-code conforming and too small to adequately service our congregation
Lack of Functional Space
- For small groups of people to gather for counseling, Bible studies, team meetings, etc.
- Insufficiently sized spaces for our nurseries, Sunday school classrooms, and youth group spaces
- No communal space where a larger portion of the body can gather
- We cannot rely on the Jenison Public Schools as a permanent location for our AWANA programs
Growing God’s Kingdom, One Space at a Time
Through many months of prayer and research, we believe God has led us to a solution. That is to reconfigure our current space and add some new spaces. The key objective was to create a complete plan, including future phases, so there will not be any redundant efforts or resources wasted. The plan is to approach the project in 3 phases:
- The renovation of the existing church
- The construction of a new lobby
- The construction of a new worship center
e will begin with Phase 1, the renovation. The renovation process will be uncomfortable at times, but starting with this phase will give the Wellspring community the opportunity to contribute their skills to the project. The ability to tackle some of the labor will save resources that can be allocated to phases 2 and 3.
Phase 1 will begin before phase 2, and will continue on after phase 2. The intent is to begin and finish renovations on one area of the campus, before moving onto the next. Things will be tight at times and maybe a little challenging, but again, this discomfort will allow us to steward our funds into a more fitting final campus when we are complete. As phases progress and things change temporarily, we are committed to be one step ahead with communications regarding what can be expected.
Phases 1 and 2 will set the stage for Phase 3. When we explored the possibility of building of a gymnasium as a large multi-purpose space to solve some of the space issues we’re facing, we discovered that the bricks and mortar expense of building the structure was very similar to the cost of constructing a new worship center - as the square footage of each was very similar. Further investigation proved that there was no ideal location to add a gymnasium that didn’t just compound our already confusing traffic flow and navigation issues.
We believe that God led us to a much better plan – building a new worship center to the west of our existing building. This will allow us to repurpose the existing auditorium into a multi-purpose gym and smaller worship space. However, we believe that God led us to this plan for the long term. It took time, patience, and faith to get this far, and we are waiting for God to show us when it will be time to pursue this phase.
Locating a gym in our current auditorium feels like a natural location in our building, and allows the entire existing campus space to be secured as our children’s area during worship. The front of the current auditorium will be partitioned off with a movable wall between the brick columns. This will create a multi-use space that can be used for a gym in the rear, and a smaller worship venue in the front. If we are holding a large event the wall can be folded back and space the room opened up. A central check-in location for all children’s programs will be adjacent to the new lobby in the current Koinonia coffee shop area, and would provide the ability to better secure our children’s area. The new worship center location will be directly adjacent to the new lobby, allowing visitors the simple choice of heading directly into the worship center as they enter the building, or stepping into the existing lobby for children’s programs.
As we move through phases 1 and 2, we will continue to seek wisdom from the Holy Spirit as to the timing of the construction of the worship center. Not immediately pursuing this phase, allows us time to grow into our new space and grow in unity as a body. As we move ahead with the other phases we will continue to develop an even better picture of the exciting future that God has in store for Wellspring Church, in our effort of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
We have outlined the solution through the lens of our 4 core values.
To glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ…
Through Corporate Communal Worship
Through Small Groups
Through Service within the body
1. Our number one core value is gathering together for Communal Worship. This is the time we gather united in our facility on Sunday to crown Jesus King over our individual lives, and over Wellspring Church. The following is the outline of the ways in which we will seek to meet our current needs and facility deficiencies on Sunday mornings.
Children’s Areas (birth through 4th grade)
- Children’s Sunday school programs/Nurseries will move to the main level (and the offices upstairs)
- Will feature individual classrooms with connected restrooms, worship space and a nursing room near the infant nurseries.
- Equipment Storage is necessary for games and activities, children’s/youth band equipment, tables and chairs to allow rooms to be multi-function
The new lobby addition - a large, communal space on the front of our building offering:
- Open space where people can gather in fellowship on Sundays
- Central navigational hub with clear messaging and simple directions
- Meeting space for small gatherings around the perimeter
- Less congested location for the Koinonia Café
- Information/welcome center for visitors
- Space for hosting medium - large events
- Unquestionable main entrance point
- Covered drop-off area
- Stairway access to the second-floor offices
- Future sanctuary access
- Restrooms for a future sanctuary
Creating a new lobby will allow the existing lobby to function as a central access point for all Sunday school children, streamlining the check in/out process.
- Children make up approximately 20% of our Sunday morning attendance given our current demographics
- We check in/out approximately 180 children at our current capacity
Space for Other Sunday activities:
- Once we can construct a new worship center, the existing worship space will be converted into a multi-use space as both a gymnasium and a smaller worship center.
- New worship and small group breakout space created from the existing auditorium
- 5-6th grades: space for up to 80 kids plus leaders
- 7-8th grades: space for up to 80 kids plus leaders
- 9-12th grades: space for up to 160 kids plus leaders
- Tide/Young adult
- Space for brunch/other activities for up to 80
- Adult Education Classes
- The reconfiguration of our current sanctuary space will provide the opportunity to host Sunday morning adult educational classes.
2. Experiencing life change through our small group ministry is the second core value of our church.
New, larger spaces for the small group leader meetings.
The ability to hold large group social events in the new lobby.
Spaces that will be able to host training events for group leaders.
3. Service within our body is the third core value of our church. When we join together using our spiritual gifts, we will be able to accomplish more for the Kingdom.
- Able to serve coffee for up to 600 on Sunday morning
- The ability to serve specialty drinks for members, visitors, and other events and outreach opportunities
- The increased space will create the opportunity for people to enjoy a time of fellowship.
- The ability to serve food for large congregational events or conferences
- Storage for utensils and serving dishes
- Storage for linens
- A location for food storage
Storage and space considerations for service teams: Hospitality, Parking Lot team, Hand 2 Hand, Décor Team, Facility Maintenance Team, Safety Team, etc.
4. By solving these facility challenges, we are better poised to partner with others in the community and welcome them to our campus through evangelism and outreach opportunities.
GVSU Ministry Partnership - events for students and leadership training
Position us to better host community outreach events
Position us to better host momentum building events
- Equipping events (IF Gathering, Evangelism training)
- Special youth events (Dare 2 Share)
Position us to host sports outreach ministries
- Administrative and Meeting space
- Reception area
Who came up with this plan?
Over two years ago, some of these facilities challenges began to arise. At that point, the Elders appointed a Vision Team to study these challenges to ensure that we stewarded our resources wisely while resolving these issues. The Vision Team, the Board, and the staff have been working together to find the solution to these challenges that will position our church to continue to carry out our mission.
What is being done now?
The Elders have assembled a Building Team. The Church has also employed the services of Elevate Studios for architectural design. The Building Team and Elevate will be working on developing the plans, timeline, and associated costs for the project over the summer.
How much will all of this cost?
We are in the process of determining what this will cost. We have begun working on designs, and are hoping to present the drawings of this proposed space and the associated costs to the congregation early this fall.