Morning. My name is David Sorn. I’m the Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
Morning to you.
Today is going to be a fun day, as we unveil the plans for our future building.
But before we go to the future…let’s go back in time.
In the early summer of 2009, I did well over 40 face-to- face meetings,
mostly at restaurants, asking basically everyone I knew if they wanted
to join a launch team for a new church I was going to start.
We needed people to Greet, Teach in Renovation Kids, be small
group leaders, you name it…if we were going to start a new
And I can remember sitting across from plenty of you that are still here 8 years
People like Molly & Patrick Vesperman at Caribou Coffee.
I don’t even like coffee shops…but for Jesus…I met them there.
I can remember sitting across from Ryan & Alissa Speck at Dairy Queen
I can remember sitting across from Tim & Carlyn Wilson at their home…
And thinking, in all of those scenarios, “God…you better do
“I’m saying you’re going to do this, and I believe you’re
going to do this, but this all does seem a bit crazy.
…starting a church from nothing.
And God did it!
He helped us start a church,
and it continued to grow and
So much so, that three years ago this week, I stood right here (in Oct of
2014) and announced we were starting a phase of our church called “Amplify,”
and we were going to try and raise $500,000 in additional giving to purchase
Some of you went, “Yes! That’s awesome! Go God!”
But some of you went, “We’re gonna what?!? HOW?!?”
And again I thought, “God…you better do this!”
“I’m once again…saying you’re going to do this, and I
believe you, but this all does seem a bit crazy!”
And yet again, He did it.
We saw over $600,000 in 3 year pledges
And thanks to that generosity
and FAITH (from you guys!), we
are now land owners!
And…here we are again…on the brink of crazy
But that’s where we grow in faith.
This morning, my aim is to give you a broad overview of everything that’s gone in and
still needs to go in to our building project…
i. ….and then, in the subsequent 3 weeks, we are going to get more specific about
what God is asking us to do and how each and every one of us can play a part in
this next chapter.
This is a VERY important time for our church
That’s why I want to ask something of you right here at the
Would you do whatever it takes to be incredibly
engaged here for the next 21 days?
To be here each Sunday during this Series.
We have a couple of events coming up that
you’ll hear about…to be there.
Be engaged with us during this critical time in our history.
If for some reason you are out of town one of the Sundays, please
watch or listen online, or through our app, so you can track with what
God is doing in this important time.
WE PLANT, GOD MOVES
As we move into this next phase of walking towards a building, we have a new name for
this next season of growth and vision: We are calling it “Harvest”
Show LAND PHOTO SLIDE) - Keep up until Verse
Our land, near the corner of Lexington and 125 th in Blaine, was previously home
to the Finn Farm
For almost a century, it was used as farmland, and every year, there was
a fruitful harvest.
We’re praying that now God uses that same land for an amazing
The Harvest is something that Jesus spoke about often…as so many of his listeners were
Let’s take a look at what He had to say about it…
This is from the Book of Mark in the Bible
(Mark 4:26-29) – NIV
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed
on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed
sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil
produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the
head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the
harvest has come.”
Jesus is giving a farming metaphor to show us how spiritual life and growth happen.
He tells us that PEOPLE (like you and me) plant seeds…and those seeds, the
Bible tells us, are the good news of Jesus.
And Jesus tells us elsewhere in the parable of the sower…
Some of that seeds that we share fall along the hard path as
some people aren’t receptive to the message
But other seeds fall on receptive hearts and God
And the point of this passage is that it’s OUR job, as God’s people, to get out and plant
Farmer’s will tell you…those seeds aren’t going to plant themselves.
And yet, they’ll also tell you…that a farmer can’t make a seed grow.
They can’t force it to germinate…grow…or ripen.
They can’t make the rain come or make the rain stop.
The growing part…that’s God’s job.
He’s the one who actually can change lives…and make a
person come alive and grow!
OUR CURRENT SITUATION AND PLAN
And over the last 8 years, we’ve been planting a lot of seeds.
We’ve definitely been faithful to that…sharing the Gospel…the good news of
And God, in his Goodness and Kindness, has been changing a lot of lives
through the people of Renovation Church.
So much so…that our current “field”…here at Northpoint
Elementary…is going to run out of room for the Harvest
In fact, 40% of you in this room right now weren’t even here 3 years ago when we
started talking about buying land for the first time.
For the 60% of you that were here, do you remember our Encounter-Worship
Night we had during our 1 st month of Amplify in 2014?
We did an exercise where I had the set-up team put out every single
chair we own
And we had you walk back to all of those empty chairs and write
the name of someone you wanted to see come to Christ at
Renovation and place it on an empty chair.
Well, guess what??
3 years later, we’ve already filled all of those
Literally, 3 days ago, the school district dropped off
another 40 chairs here because we’ve run out of our
chairs at first service 3 of the last 4 weeks!
God is on the move!
In fact, here’s a look at our entire attendance history and projected future (GRAB LASER
(put up Attendance Chart Graph) – KEEP UP TO NEXT SLIDE
In the grey, you’ll see our attendance history.
Really fast growth the first two years…
Then moderate growth for a few years
And about 2 years ago…especially about 15 months ago, we
moved into a phase of exponential growth.
For the past 12 months, we’ve been growing at 30%.
Sunday morning attendance has increased by over 100 people.
And for some reason that’s beyond me, not every
single one of you comes every week, so really we’ve
added 130 or 140 people to our church in just the last
So what we tried to do (in the tan section) is take this out a couple of
We’re growing now at 30%, but we took it out two years at just
25%, and you can see that the numbers are significant.
e. And yet we know…that we are going to face a ceiling to our growth here at Northpoint.
We used to think that ceiling was at about 600 people…
We’ve learned to get a bit more creative in squeezing people in, and we
now think we could squeeze to about 800 here…but eventually, we’ll
just run out of space, out of chairs, out of parking.
a. Now, of course we can do more…we did 1,900 at Easter.
But that’s not sustainable week-to- week
That was me speaking 6 times a weekend
That’s parking over 200 people 1/3 of a mile
a. Will people do that in January?
Will our guests do that?
And so we know that at somewhere around 750 maybe 800…we’ll just have to
start turning people away and the growth will level off.
And you can see, by those projections, that day isn’t that far away.
The day when you invite a family of 4 who doesn’t know
Christ…and they drive up to Renovation Church to find out more
about Jesus…but they can’t find a place to park, and even if they
do, they can’t find a place to sit.
And so for years, we’ve known that we’re going to need a building in order to reach
more people for Christ.
We’ve been, like Mark chapter 4 says, faithfully planting seeds, and God keeps
enlarging our Harvest.
But guess what?
50,000 people in Blaine alone still don’t know Jesus.
And we want to do whatever it takes to reach them.
We want to do whatever it takes to enlarge our field, so we can
plant more seeds, and see more people reached for the Harvest!
And by the way, that’s what this is about!
This is ultimately fueled by our vision, not just because we want a shiny
We, the people of Renovation Church…we’re not doing this so
we can be more comfortable or so we don’t have to set-up
If it worked, and there was space here, I could pastor
here for the next 25 years!
But there’s NOT enough room here!
And there are people all over this city and beyond that
need to know Jesus…and so we’re going to need a
bigger space, so they can hear about Him and so we can
fit them in when you tell the about Him!
As I begin to show you that space, I’m going to ask our Ushers to hand out our Harvest
Booklet that our staff has put together for you.
(Ushers hand out booklets)
I believe at defining moments like this, it’s important to communicate as clearly
So we’ve personally put together this guide to help you understand this
exciting next step.
I would ask that every single person in this room read through this
booklet today…or sometime this week at the latest…so you can be informed.
(Put up House Group Q&A slide)
In fact, I’m coming to ALL SEVEN house groups this week to do Q&A’s
about Harvest, so if you can, make it a goal to try and get this read
before I come to your group
If you’re not able to make your House Group this week, or
you’re not in a House Group (yet!), there will be a Q&A between
services, here in the cafeteria, next Sunday.
All right…let’s start looking at this.
(Show ParkingLot-Phase1 slide)
Let me give you a quick look at the layout of the entire property.
Here is Lexington Ave and 125 th .
Our team felt like situating the building here allowed for both
the shortest walks from your car and still giving great visibility to
that busy corner.
One of the things, you might have opened up to in your booklet, is the layout of our
Let’s take a look inside the building now!
(Put Layout Phase 1 on screen)
If you can’t see this well enough on the screen, it’s on page 10 of your
Our Building Team and Staff, spent the entire summer working to create
this layout with our architects from Cuningham Group.
They walked us through a 90-day process which allowed us to
create an entirely custom layout that will best enable us in
fulfilling our vision to be a people being changed by God to
change the world”
The building will be 25,000 square feet!
People will walk into our building in the lobby/gathering space (use laser
pointer to point on screen)
They’ll then be able to walk right into our Auditorium/Worship
It will have 500 seats.
We can seat about 290 chairs in here.
We’ve also chosen to have a flat floor in with movable
seats…as opposed to fixed seats on a sloped floor.
For one, it’s economical.
But two, it’s incredibly flexible.
If we want to add a third service, but
aren’t expecting at many people at that
service, we don’t have to set-up as
Our Youth Group will be meeting in
here in Phase 1…if they just need 100
chairs, we can do that.
If you want to have a wedding in there
(or your child is going to get married
there someday)…and need a center
aisle, you can do that.
There’s maximum flexibility.
To the right of the lobby, is the Children’s Wing.
We’ll now have SEVEN classrooms…compared to the 4 we have
Children will be segmented in much smaller age groups
and most of the rooms have their own bathrooms.
To the left of the lobby, is the admin and teaching wing.
We have a classroom for say, Renovation Rundown or trainings
on Sunday mornings, and to teach Theology and Bible classes in
Our offices will now be at the building as well
Allowing us to not only stop paying our lease here, but
also at our office building as well.
Obviously, we don’t have an unlimited budget here (if you’re going…where is the
gymnasium w/ 6 basketball courts!)
We can’t do everything.
Our Team has prayed and thought long and hard about what do we most need
to best live out our vision.
We also know…that in time…we’re probably going to need an even bigger building than
what we can afford at this time.
Maybe that’s 2 years into the building, or 5, or 15, but our architects have laid
out the building in such a way that if we would need to add on to it, there’s a
plan for that.
Let me show you that…
(SHOW PHASE 2 LAYOUT SLIDE)
This is my favorite part…
The back of the auditorium, which used to be
classrooms and offices, now becomes extended
auditorium space…Allowing the auditorium to now seat closer to
We will now have, not 7, but 10 children’s classrooms!
Another meeting room, youth group space, and plenty
of more offices.
But that…is for the future!
But I wanted to give you a glimpse.
If you have more questions about this layout, and I assume you do, there is also
a Frequently Asked Questions guide in the back of the Booklet, or come to a
House Group this week and ask me personally.
This morning, my aim was to give you a feel for what our booklets are
like…but at this point, I’m actually going to ask you to put it under your
chair for a bit.
Because what we’re talking about today is so important that I
want your full attention.
Our architects actually made us a 3D flyover of the building as well, and I’d love to show
it to you:
Now, we don’t know just exactly what final finishes will be present on the
exterior and just where every window will be and all that, so they just made it
with basic blocks at this point.
But because we know what the layout looks like, it still gives you an idea
of what the building will be like
Let’s take a look:
(PLAY FLYOVER VIDEO)
(Back to SEEDS slide)
Our Architects and General Contractor have estimated that Phase 1 will cost us
somewhere in the 5 million to 5.5 million dollar range.
That number allows us to not only to design a building that will look great, but
we also have been careful to not build anything that’s outlandish either. (that’s
a number that’s already come down…A LOT)
We want to be responsible stewards of what God has given us and build
something that we can indeed afford over the long haul.
“At our current budget, even if we set aside 10% of our giving out of general fund (which
would be a sizable sacrifice), it would take 22 years to save for a down payment using
That’s too slow…given what’s happening here.
And thus, we want to go about this in the same way we did in Amplify
when people made 3-year pledges above & beyond their general giving,
because that was an incredibly successful process for us…that allowed
us to purchase our land
With all that in mind, we’ve set a goal to raise 1.1 million dollars over the next 3 years.
We need to bring roughly 1 million dollars to the table for a down payment…so
we’re essentially raising a down payment…
Which, when we have, allows us to start construction
And that, in a sense, might answer for you the most common
question I have gotten over the last year: “WHEN?”
“When can we move in?”
Based on those numbers, and of course, there are a lot of factors to this (how
much we pledge is a huge one), our best guess is that we are breaking ground
sometime in 2020.
Not 6 months…but not 6 years either.
a. It’ll go fast!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
1.1 million dollars is an incredible amount of money.
It’s more than twice the amount of money we set out to raise for our
land during Amplify.
Sure, we’ve grown since then, but by 60%, not 100%.
And so, if this is going to happen, God is REALLY going to have to move!
I don’t want anything on this journey to be hidden or be a surprise.
(Put up Commitment Sunday slide)
Three weeks from today (on Nov. 12 th ), the Harvest series will conclude with a
We’re asking you to pray about making a 3-year financial pledge on that
A pledge towards a Greater Harvest that this building will surely
And it’s a pledge of above and beyond giving.
So, it’s in addition to what you may already be giving to
the General Fund.
In other words, if we all move our regular giving
to the Harvest Fund, we won’t be here next
week to have a service because we have to pay
But please hear this: This is a spiritual journey first.
Do not start locking in a financial number yet.
I believe all financial decisions should be spiritual
This is spiritual before it’s financial.
What I am asking every single one of you to do now… is to pray.
To seek God…on how He would use you to help lay down some seeds
for a future Harvest
A GREATER HARVEST
(Back to SEEDS slide)
We know this will take effort.
In Mark 4 today, God doesn’t tell the farmer to just sit still while He sows the
seed for him.
He says, “Get off your chair and start planting some seeds!”
If you want to see a Harvest, you’ve got to work on the front
No one is just handing us a building here.
This is going to take hard work and sacrifice.
But we’re going to plant a whole bunch of seeds now.
And a couple years from now, because of all the seeds
that were planted now, we’re going to start seeing a
And listen God is already on the move here…The Harvest is already happening.
i. It’s not like we’re saying, “Gee, if we just had a building, then we could see
people come to Christ.”
No, that’s already happening all over the place here.
As we’ve said for years, we just want to Amplify what God’s already
We want to “AMPLIFY the HARVEST”
A building is like a good tool in the hands of us, the
farmers, that will allow us to plant a far greater amount
of seeds than we could ever plant here.
It’s not the goal, but it is a helpful tool…to
enlarge the Harvest
And if we want to get there, yeah, it’s going to take effort and sacrifice, but it’s also
going to take all of us
And that idea…of every single one of us playing a part…that’s not new to us at
We’re used to that.
That’s our DNA.
It’s one of the things that makes us unique among churches.
We’re a rowboat church, right?
We all do it…together.
That’s why we have SO many people in House
groups…SO many people serving.
We know, thing thing’s a rowboat.
And this is no different.
And so, one of the things I’m praying for…is 100% participation in Harvest.
Even if you feel like you can’t do a lot…do something.
The pledges aren’t obviously going to be equal amounts…as we all bring
different capacities to the table.
But we’re not talking about equal gifts, but equal sacrifice.
That’s how we own land today by the way.
In Amplify, we were able to purchase land not because we just had 1 or
2 large givers that paid for half of it. It was nothing like that.
We were able to purchase land because the participation rate
was skyrocket high for a church.
Almost everyone was on board.
THAT’S what got us here, and THAT’S what’s
going to keep propelling us forward.
God is on the move…we just have to continue to be faithful.
And plant some significant seeds for the future…that will one day lead to an
even greater harvest than we’re seeing already.
God wants to reach hundreds…if not thousands more through the
people of Renovation Church.
Are you ready?
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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