Timing of the Harvest

November 4, 2018

David Sorn

We reveal our goal date for when we are aiming to break ground on our new building, discuss our future, and more!

Timing of the Harvest

November 4, 2018

David Sorn

We reveal our goal date for when we are aiming to break ground on our new building, discuss our future, and more!


(Harvest Series Slide)

I remember driving to one of our VERY first meetings about Renovation Church.

I hadn’t yet started officially recruiting a launch team to help start the church yet, but we had about 20 people right out of the gate who were already interested…

…so we met together at a house right here in the Lakes in Blaine…to talk about this church that was going to start in the Fall that year.

I remember it was April, because up until last winter, when we had the Snowpoclypse on April 15th and had to cancel church for the first time ever, it’s one of the only other times I can remember legitimate snow coming in April.

I remember being nervous about leading my first meeting as a Lead Pastor (not a Youth Pastor)…and I wanted things to be just right.

I can remember pulling over on one of the neighborhood roads back here, getting out of my car, and wiping the snow off the green street sign, so people would be able to find their way to the house we were meeting at.

And for whatever reason, there were not a lot of people that were able to make it that day.

Lindsey and I were there.

Zach and Ali Foty

And a handful of others.

And I just remember leaving the meeting thinking, “Am I crazy for doing this? How is this going actually going to work?”

One guy said we should have a prayer meeting.

I thought, “Yeah, good idea” J

And yet God moved…as you saw in the video.

I can remember standing on this stage in the Fall of 2014…knees knocking a bit…and saying, “Hey…we keep growing…and we want to reach more people for Christ…so I know our average age is like 29 here, but we’re going to raise a half a million dollars to buy land”

And God moved.

I remember the craziness of our land negotiations in late 2016.

They were selling for $6/sq. ft., we offered a paltry $4.25 because that’s all we could afford.

They countered at $5.00, and then in one of the more painful days of my life…we had to walk away…and just trust God.

Just 4 days after we walked away, we got a call, and they said, “We’ll take your deal”

And they couldn’t make the parceling of the land work just right, so they threw in an extra half acre…for free.

So the land was for sale for $6.00 / sq. ft., we offered $4.25 sq. ft., and a few months later with that added bonus of a free half acre, we were able to purchase the whole thing at $3.85 / sq. ft.

Which equated to $600,000 cheaper than what they were hoping to sell it for.

Why tell these stories?

Because it’s our history.

And not just our history…but God’s history of faithfulness to us.

And as we get closer and closer to a very exciting chapter of our future, it’s important that we remember our past.


This morning, as we talk about our future, our building, and more…for many of you, some of this will be familiar.

But for almost 100 of you, this will be brand new…as almost 100 of you are new just in the last 12 months!

And that’s amazing!

As we take a break from the Book of Luke for 2 weeks, this will be a different sort of Sunday…but an important one as we look forward into our future.

For the last year or so, we’ve called this process: “Harvest”

And we named it that because of the unique story of our land and God’s heart for people.

(Show LAND PHOTO SLIDE) - Keep up until Verse

Our land, near the corner of Lexington and 125th 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 spiritual Harvest.

This is the heart of Christ.

(Matthew 9:36-38) – NIV

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

We are a church that wants to “Be a people…being changed by God…to change the world”

We want to see God reap an incredible Harvest through our work.

And the Harvest is indeed growing here! So much so…that our current “field”…here at Northpoint Elementary…is going to run out of room for the Harvest J

In fact, over 35% of you in this room right now weren’t even here just 24 months ago. That’s AMAZING!

We are reaching people and growing fast, and we know we can’t stay here forever.

We know that we are going to face a ceiling to our growth here at Northpoint.


That’s the history of our attendance as a church…

And you can see that if we take where we are right now (at about 500)…and we take that out a few years…using a growth rate of 25%, which has been pretty average for us the past few years…

We run out of room…quickly.

Of course we know how to squeeze more people in here… we did 1,900 at Easter.

But that’s not sustainable week-to-week

That was 7 services!

That was parking over 200 of our people 1/3 of a mile away!

Will people do that in January?

Will our guests do that?

And so we know that at somewhere around 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.

It’s 2…maybe 3 years away.

And trust me, I think the last thing any of us want to do is turn someone away who is looking to find out more about Jesus!

Because there are A LOT of people in this city and beyond who need to know more about 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!

I know some of you have seen our plans for the building before, but I also know that MANY of you in this room have not…

And even if you have, I still think it’s exciting to look at again!

As I begin to show you that space, I’m going to ask our Ushers to hand out our UPDATED 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 as possible.

So we’ve personally put together this guide to help you understand this exciting next step.

All right…let’s start looking at the building…that’s going to help us reach more people for Christ!

(Show ParkingLot-Phase1 slide)

Let me give you a quick look at the layout of the entire property.

Here is Lexington Ave and 125th.

Our team felt like situating the building here allowed us to both maximize the parking lot for the shortest walks and still give great visibility to that busy corner.

One of the things, you might have opened up to in your booklet, is the layout of our future building.

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 booklet.

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 Center.

It will have 500 seats.

We can seat about 290 chairs in here at max capacity.

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 need to add a third service, but aren’t expecting at many people at that service, we don’t have to set-up as many chairs.

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 now.

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 the summer.

Our offices will now be at the building as well

Allowing us to not only stop paying our lease here, but also stop paying our lease 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 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…whenever it happens…our architects have laid out the building in such a way that if we would need to add onto it, there’s a plan for that.

Let me show you that…


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 875 people.

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, the following week (the 11th – 15th) 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:


Pretty awesome!

(Back to TITLE 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 method.

That’s too slow…given what’s happening here.

And so we’ve gone about this by having people make pledges of “above & beyond” their general giving…

We first rolled out this process one year ago, and set a goal to raise 1.1 million dollars in pledges.

We saw 1.3 million dollars pledged.

Which was amazing.

A quick update for you on how that’s coming in.

We just passed the 11 month mark, and if everything was on track, we’d be at $401,000 right now.

We are currently at $345,000.

That’s about 14% below where we’d like to be.

Some drop off is obviously expected, and some of that will get made up…perhaps in end of the year giving…but it’s always nice to know.

Over the last few months, we’ve been working with our bank to try and make sure we have the money we need for our down payment…

AND working hard with them to nail down a timeline of when we’ll have enough to break ground and start construction.

Based on those conversations and the data we have…our goal date for breaking ground is………..(drumroll please)…….

March 2020.

That’s just 16 months away.

Not far!

And it’ll then take 6 or 7 months to throw up the building.

And as exciting as that is…I will tell you that March 2020 is a GOAL date.

If things continue as they have been, I’d say we have about a 50/50 shot of making that happen.

There are A LOT of factors…some of which are in our control, and some of which are not.

How well our pledges come in…certainly a factor

The continued growth of our attendance is a factor…if no one else comes here for the next year and a half…well, the harder it is for us to afford our mortgage payments in the building, right?

Other factors include…what the ecomony does…and consequently, what construction prices look like.

Perhaps the biggest factor is the percentage value our building appraises at

Church buildings are kind of like driving a car off the lot…as soon as turn the key, the resale value drops to 85% or 75%...or whatever it’s appraised at.

And one of the main things the bank will base our loan off of is that appraisal.

Well, a difference of 10% on 5 million dollars is a half a million dollars!

So, there’s some ambiguity here on how this will all go.

And one of things we want to do is increase our chances to break ground in 2020.

And in light of that, we’ve set a goal to raise $125,000 in new pledges…and that would be 2-year pledges.

I think there are 3 reasons why this $125,000 is a big deal for us:

3 Reasons for $125,000

1) Less Debt to Pay

Every dollar we pay on the front end is less interest we’ll pay on the back end.

The less money we give the bank, the more money there is for world-changing ministry.

2) We want everyone on board

There are hundreds of people in this room that are already on board with this…

And if that’s you, you are incredible! We love you! Thank you!

Hundreds of people, for the last 11 months have already been sacrificially giving so we can reap a greater Harvest for Christ in this area.

And at the same time, we know that almost 100 of you are new since we talked about this last time.

And honestly, we want to do this together.

Because you’re part of our family too.

The idea that every single one of us playing a part…that’s not new to us at Renovation Church

It’s one of the things that makes us unique among churches.

We’re a rowboat church, not a cruise ship, right?

We all do it…together.

We want you to walk into that building in 2020 and feel like you were a part of making this happen!

Let God use you in this way!

3) It makes March of 2020 much more doable!

And we don’t want to wait…for a lot of reasons!

God is moving here…now.

And things are going up in our future neighborhood now.

They’re building the 270 homes around our property…now

They’re building a Kwik Trip just down from our property…now.

They’re building a BRAND new elementary school almost across the street on 125th…set to open in the 2019-2020 school year.

Which is amazing…because so many Blaine residents from all over the area will now drive by that intersection.

To drop their kids off at school, to visit the Lexington Athletic Complex just a block south.

I’ve told many of you before that it’s one of the best intersections in the city because 27,000 cars a day go through it.

I just looked again this week…now it’s 29,000 cars a day!

The point is…things are moving…and we want to get in on the ground floor…and reach this neighborhood (and beyond) for Christ!

And we don’t want to miss out on this window of opportunity.

And so, if you’ve never made a pledge to Harvest before…and this is your church home…would you begin praying about making a pledge?

(Put up Commitment Sunday slide)

Two weeks from today (on Nov. 18th), we’ll be back in the Book of Luke, but at the end of the service that day will conclude with a “Commitment Sunday”

We’re asking you to pray about making a 2-year financial pledge on that day.

A pledge towards a Greater Harvest that this building will surely provide.

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 the rent J

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.

If you’ve already made a pledge to Harvest before, you don’t have to make a new one.

If you want to revise your pledge, just let us know, and we’ll take whatever the larger amount is. J Just kidding.

But seriously, maybe you’ve gotten a promotion…maybe God is moving in your heart right now…

And if you, over the next few weeks, decide…yeah, we can do more…more than we even pledged last year.

Then by all means, let’s do it. J

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

And listen…I know this takes sacrifice…it’s not easy…but it is worth it.

But we won’t see the results of it if we don’t work for it.

(Ecclesiastes 11:4) – NIV

Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

As I’ve spent a good amount of time looking back this week, I was reminded of when we first announced we were looking for land back in 2014.

And I remember doing one of the Q&A’s at one of House Groups, and someone said, “So…we’re going to give…and we’re going to give for…6 years…and then we’re going to get there…and reach even more people for Christ?”

And I remember thinking, “I have no idea what this guys’ thinking right now, so I just said, ‘Yes.’”

And he said, “Let’s do it”

Because of the faith and the vision of those people, we’re only 16 months out from the shovel in the ground.

But let’s not lose heart.

(Galatians 6:9) – NIV

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

God can do this.

He’s been faithful before…He’ll be faithful again.

Let’s just seek Him and ask Him to move through us!

Let me pray.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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