Journey Project: Behind the Scenes

By now we’re all pretty familiar with most of what happened during the Journey Project over the past two years. Our initial goal was to raise $2 million over two years to complete some much-needed building improvements and reduce our mortgage debt in order to free up money for ministry.

The November 2019 “first fruits” offering on Commitment Sunday meant that a lot of critical building improvements could be started right away. The North Commons, Loft, and Big House were in dire need of carpeting and AV updates after almost 18 years of service. The Worship Center sound system was aging and vulnerable. A proper playground was needed for Faith Kids and their families to connect on Sundays.

Then, only a few months into the Journey Project, the pandemic hit and changed our lives and our ministries. But God’s abundant provision did not change.

The COVID shutdowns meant that we were able to accomplish a lot of building improvements in a short amount of time as ministries went online and the facility was available for extended periods. Upgrading our video equipment for livestreaming worship services had been on the radar to figure out, but the pandemic accelerated that timetable and the first fruits offering meant we had the resources to purchase the tech right away. In fact, most of the new tech was purchased before the supply chain interruptions and price increases that still persist. Our Sunday morning livestreaming now consistently reaches more than 300 households weekly. Also during the shutdown, the North Commons was renovated with new paint, carpet, an AV system and LED lighting. The foyer received 2800 square feet of sound absorbing panels. The Big House was refreshed with new carpet, paint and an AV system. Eighteen projects were funded and completed throughout the Journey Project. A lot of cool things happened behind the scenes, too.

One of the first projects in line was the playground, and we’d targeted a spring 2020 start date and a grand opening that summer. However, as we worked out the plans, it became clear that more time was needed to get the design just right, so we paused on placing the order for the equipment. Again, this was God’s perfect timing since we were about to get shut down by COVID and wouldn’t have much use for a playground at that time.

About a year later, the playground was back on the front burner, and a Faith member who is a professional landscape architect volunteered to design and guide the project all the way through the approval process with the city. After the site work was done, a group of over 20 Faith volunteers gathered on a warm September Saturday and assembled the equipment under the supervision of the playground contractor. At the end of the project, a team from Calvary Chapel, the ministry leasing the “4036” property next door, came in and removed the old playground (did you notice…?) for relocation to their “backyard” where it will continue to bless kids and families.

The largest project undertaken was the Worship Center speaker upgrade and accompanying stage redesign. The primary reason for the stage redesign was to allow for the installation of additional speakers at ground level to supplement the four new speaker arrays overhead. This new arrangement fills the Worship Center with sound that is consistent throughout the  whole space. The new stage also has increased area for much greater flexibility. At the end of the project, we had a room full of wooden choir chairs and old speakers. Word was put out to local ministries, and the chairs, some of the removed speakers, and some no longer needed office equipment are now being put to use by other ministries here in Fort Collins.

As for the mortgage paydown, in June of this year, we reached the $2 million goal and paid off the remaining million dollars on one of our mortgage loans.

One of the goals of the Journey Project was that If we reached $2 million, the next $150,000 would be set aside for church planting. At the outset, there were no projects in front of us. Then a little over halfway into the Journey Project, leadership from Compassion International, a child sponsorship organization, and Stadia, a church planting organization, contacted Faith and met with the Lead Ministry Team. While Compassion is known for child sponsorships, we learned that in many unreached areas, Compassion and Stadia partner together to plant churches and there was an opportunity in Guatemala which was a perfect fit for Faith. Our church planting grant will underwrite the construction of a church facility, provide necessary start-up funds for a child development center and support the efforts of Compassion in establishing a new church that will host Compassion programs using the newly constructed facility. Because of God’s faithfulness and the generosity of those participating in the Journey Project, we have exceeded our $2 million goal and will fully fund the Guatemala church plant.

As we come to the end of the Journey Project, God continues to amaze. While the goal for our project was $2 million, over $2.3 million was pledged and just recently we have reached that amount. What a Journey it’s been!

Bob has been a member of Faith for 26 years. He has been Faith’s Administrator for 12 years and on staff for 14.

At Faith, Bob serves as a writer for the blog, leads a small group, and serves in the Hospitality and Benevolence Ministries.

Bob grew up in Loveland and loves buying, selling, and detailing cars and spending time in Maui.