Welcome Home!

It’s not just the subject matter to a sermon series, it’s also the theme to our proposed capital campaign.The church—the local church—is God’s plan A to share Christ with a lost and hurting world. The church is not the building, rather the church building is a home for His Church to gather to worship Him as we engage in authentic relationships through genuine community in order to individually and corporately reflect Christ more vividly each and every day.

Over a year ago we concluded our Project Renewal campaign. During that campaign we were able to hit the refresh button on most of the spaces inside our facility. We also added a Family Entrance and geared our facility toward even more flexible and adaptable ministry spaces.

As we launched the prior campaign, we knew that the age of our facility and the amazing opportunities God was placing in front of us would eventually require further investment beyond the success of Project Renewal.

Which is why we are so excited to reveal the next step in our pursuit of God’s will for Rush Creek: The Welcome Home! Campaign

Grace Of God

Rush Creek’s ministry is now in its 22nd year here in Byron Center. One doesn’t need to look far to evidence God at work in those who call Rush Creek their church home. A few conversations in the hallway on Sunday morning and you will meet those energized by men’s and women’s ministries, single ministries, community groups for all ages and stages of life. You will see children and students as well as new and seasoned Rush Creek families and individuals contributing to the life of this church and in their spheres of influence.

If you wander through the halls or even drive by the Rush Creek campus throughout the week, that same vibrant scene and more of those same opportunities can be evidenced nearly every day. While the building is not “the church,” our church building, facilities, and campus daily facilitate the authentic relationships and genuine community that can be found by those served on our campus here at Rush Creek. Inside those doors, the Church—God’s people—are intentionally equipped to become a more vivid reflection of Christ.

By God’s grace, extensive use of our campus is the blessing that leads us into this Welcome Home! Campaign. To whom much is given, much is required. And the blessing of such an amazing campus—gently used each and every day by hundreds of individuals— requires time, attention, finances, and resources beyond our annual ministry budget to continue to extend the ministry of our campus to the communities God has called us to serve.

Did You Know?

Rush Creek plays host to over 10 weekly ministry partners and community efforts, and over two dozen unique ongoing ministries of our church.

Each month we conduct or play host to over 100 unique ministry events.

On average, over 400 individuals engage in ministry on our campus each day.

Welcome Home! Campaign

Parking Lot Replacement -$500,000

The need to re-pave the parking lot is both a visible and felt need (literally). It may be helpful to know that our Trustees have thoroughly researched the economies of scale for replacing portions of the parking lot serially vs. repaving the whole parking lot at one time. The recommendation is that we would be better served and will save tens of thousands of dollars if we replace it all at one time. We have budgeted $500k and will aim toward replacing the parking lot in the Spring due to cash flow and optimal time of year for repaving. We won’t know for sure the full cost until we are ready to sign a contract closer to Spring.

Flat Roof Repair -$20,000

A prominent issue that our leadership team is passionate to address is the leak in/near the flat roof. This leak has been around for 15+ years. From an outside perspective, it is logical to ask why the problem hasn’t been addressed. Many attempts have been made, in fact. Yet, leaks are tricky things. And no contractor thus far—and there have been many—has been able to identify the breach or source of the leak. The roof wasn’t engineered with a potential for re-roofing in mind. Additionally our 22 year-old HVAC units (replacement cost of around $250k) complicate the diagnosis and therefore the fix. With the $20k we have a plan/quote to try one more “fix.” We may not definitively know if this attempt will have fixed the problem until Spring. But we believe it to be good stewardship to try this one last approach, as the more likely and assured fix would be closer to $500k including the replacement of the HVAC units.

The Outpost Due Diligence -$20,000

During one of our all-leadership team meetings, the most vibrant discussion centered around a new ministry building adjacent to our garage; this would both expand our opportunities for our student ministries, as well as provide a versatile multi-generational space and indoor/outdoor opportunities. This $20k allows us to dive deep into due diligence and planning to count the cost. This will include renderings, architectural designs, and perhaps even pulling heftier electrical and plumbing toward that area before/while the parking lot is being repaved.

Enhanced Security -$20,000

With the privilege of hosting on-campus an average of 400 people per day during the ministry year, we have a continuous need to enhance our security and the safety of our facilities. This campaign allocates $20k for specifically increasing the number of cameras, upgrading software, as well as retrofitting a handful of doors for security purposes. Paired with this financial investment, our security team leaders have defined roles and responsibilities, provide regular training, have expanded our team, and have developed increasingly intentional protocols for both physical and medical safety in order to be good stewards of the safety for those who God brings through our doors.

Replace Padded Seating Church-Wide -$225,000

This campaign proposal seeks to replace our current seating in the Worship Center, the Creekside Room, the Parkside Room, and the Courtyard Room. The proposal is to replace the pews in the main floor of the worship center with chairs. Further, the plan would be to include replacing the pews in the balcony with theater-style seating. Finally, there are a hundred and fifty green chairs throughout the building that would be replaced by purchasing matchingl padded seating throughout our church. Seating is among the last areas of the building that was not “renewed” during Project Renewal. An FAQ sheet regarding the rationale for changing from pews to chairs is available at the Connection desk. The cost of replacing seating is $225k.

Replace Carpet and Paint in Worship Center, Stairwells, and Balcony -$80,000

The last areas of the building that need to be refreshed to match the aesthetic of the rest of the building include the main floor of the worship center, the stairwells leading up to the balcony, and the balcony itself. What it means to finish these areas well is to re-carpet, paint the railings, and replace the modesty panels in the balcony. Based on our due diligence we have budgeted around $80k for these things.

Enhanced Website & Digital Presence -$10,000

The vast majority of those who visit Rush Creek have already checked us out online… and have done so over a period of time. In today’s world there is no need to guess whether a church might be a good church to attend. That decision is made well before they ever set foot on our campus. Our website hasn’t had a hard reset in over a decade, and it shows. Additionally, our iPhone and Android apps are defunct because it is not sustainable to maintain both an app and website separately. Further, since COVID we went from a monthly printed newsletter to a weekly e-newsletter and we rely even more heavily on social media avenues of communication to keep families informed in real-time. This $10k investment in our digital presence, the new front door to Rush Creek, will enhance our communication to our surrounding community.

Transportation -$25,000

Use of the church van, bus, and trailer is extensive. We average 15 van uses per month for 5 ministries. We also share use of the van with our sister churches Grace Bible Fellowship, Celebration Bible Church, and Frontline Bible Church. Bus use almost single handedly makes Drop Zone possible. While we use the bus once a week this year for DropZone, we’ve used it up to 3 times a week in the not too distant past. Current bus use averages 5 times a month with additional usage for special events. We also share our bus with Grace Bible Fellowship and Celebration Church. On average we transport 60 students per week with a vehicle that is road worthy within the Greater Grand Rapids area. Based on the age and lifecycle of these vehicles we would be remiss to not be planning to replace a vehicle over the next year.

Servicing Debt -$50,000

At the time of this writing, Rush Creek has about $350k of debt remaining which was incurred during Project Renewal. The Trustees have been intentional in discerning an accelerated rate of payment given the low cost of money and the high capital replacement costs due to inflation. With this campaign the Trustees plan to continue to service this debt at an accelerated rate. Further there are no plans to increase the long term debt as we embark on this campaign. The Trustees will pay close attention to the financial commitments made during this Welcome Home! Campaign and plan accordingly. They are already beginning to prioritize the timing of when and how the projects will be completed to match lead times while considering cash flow realities.

Welcome Home! Campaign Total - $950,000

A few things about your financial or
in-kind gifts…

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Only you, our staff accountant, and our church treasurer will know your pledges and gifts.

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Your pledges and gifts are made and held confidentially.

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Any pledges, are really promises made in good faith. We recognize that unforeseen circumstances arise that may alter the timing or amount of intended giving.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are grateful that 32 leaders in this church prayerfully considered, planned, and introduced this campaign to the congregation. Those same leaders were among the first to financially participate in the campaign. We are thankful to God for the unity, the community that continues to strive to be a reflection of Christ.

The approval of the congregation in October 2022 was to both raise and spend up to $950,000 for improvements and even laying groundwork for additional facilities. The leadership is committed to continuing to use prayerful discernment as to how, how much, and when to spend the dollars that are committed in this campaign. In other words, we will continue to sift those decisions through that lens of stewardship; God’s design an our faithfully following of that design for His ministry here at Rush Creek.

Why this campaign now?
Many additional capital items have come to the end of their life. We knew this would be the case as we embarked on Project Renewal (our last campaign). We have been able to tackle other capital replacements since that last campaign (like the entire replacement of our shingled roof!), but there is more to do. Additionally, around 40% of those who actively call Rush Creek their home church were not here during the last campaign. Despite the economy, giving remains strong, the Lord is at work, the capital replacement needs are real, and the leadership has been praying about each facet of this campaign for over one year.
Why tackle so much?
Over half of the capital campaign budget is to replace the parking lot. As leadership prayed over which capital replacements to tackle in the next year and half, we discerned that more money would be unnecessarily spent repaving the parking lot in two or more stages. And while some are asking the question “why tackle so much?”, others are asking the question “why not tackle more?” Both great questions that anchor us in prayer.
Is this the last campaign for a while?
No. We have literally dozens of furnaces, a/c units, large air handling units, a flat roof, and other expenditures that we can anticipate even after this campaign. With this current campaign, we are also laying groundwork for a new outbuilding for which the cost would potentially be paid for through a follow up campaign. What the congregation has approved is the next set of expenditures. With $7+ million dollars in insurable assets—to whom much is given, much is required.
Do we set aside money each year since we know that big ticket items will need to be replaced?
Our current annual ministry budget exceeded one million dollars for the first time this year. We are thankful that even in challenging economic times, God blesses us with the income for such a significant annual budget and amazing ministry opportunities. Philosophically, we have chosen to spend ministry dollars on today’s ministry. Historically we have chosen to tackle capital improvement and replacement, in large part, through capital campaigns. Additionally, a guideline has been to move income in excess of three months operating expenses from the ministry fund into the capital replacement fund. This important topic is something we revisit each year as leadership.
Why do we still have debt?
While we incurred some debt during Project Renewal, since then we have also chosen to tackle a few additional big ticket items such as reshingling our entire roof and repaving office parking spots with concrete in lieu of paying off debt. The choice has been made to not gamble with inflation, nor potentially incur higher interest rates. We could service our entire debt in full today if needed.
When will we pay off that debt?
Fifty thousand dollars is part of this campaign in order to continue making accelerated debt payments. If someone would like to designate their giving to paying off debt we are certainly open to that. At our current interest rate and the effect of inflation on capital replacement costs, we will carry a low interest rate loan as well as a no interest personal loan and continue to pay monthly. At our rate of payment/interest, our debt will be paid off in 2026, with the loan maturing in 2024. Immediately after the vote to proceed with the campaign, the Trustees sat down together to make sure we addressed the plan for debt first and foremost.
Will we incur more debt with this campaign?
No. Not long-term debt. The plan is to address these items in such a way that we borrow only for cash flow purposes. This means that as we anticipate healthy lead gifts and pledges, any initial borrowing would first be from ourselves. Rush Creek maintains a very healthy bank account balance. Second, we may need to dip into our low interest rate line of credit to manage cash flow prior to promised monies being given.
How long is the Welcome Home! Campaign?
The campaign is 14-months long spanning November of ‘22 through December of “23, encompassing two end year-end giving opportunities. Historically calendar year-end is consistently when our congregation demonstrates incredible financial generosity.
Can I designate my giving?
Yes. While general giving allows the most flexibility to accomplish the many tasks at hand, in years’ past, designated giving can also be a powerful encouragement to the congregation as well.
Who is being asked to give toward this campaign?
The short answer is everyone! In early November we asked the entire congregation to participate in the campaign. On Sunday morning you often hear us talk about the other ministries that use Rush Creek throughout the week. We will also avail to their leadership some giving opportunities for those in their programs.
What if we don’t meet our financial goal in pledges?
Historically, giving to campaigns exceeds what is pledged. This was true for our most recent campaigns. That to say, there is not a simple formula to know if we are on track. We are stepping out in faith. Faith, according to Scripture, is the assurance of the things hoped for; the conviction of things unseen. Humanly, it’s comfortable to know to have assurances. Yet, faith is what prompts us to rely on God’s provision. At the same time, we are attempting to tackle many different projects. And we can and will minimize our financial exposure simply by planning well the timing of our capital replacements/improvements.
Is all church leadership behind this campaign?
Yes. No one person is driving this agenda. This is our first campaign under a new leadership structure of the church and the unity has been a huge blessing navigating through a slightly different process. Among the Elders, Deacons, Trustees and Staff, all have shown unity moving forward there is no indication there will be anything less than 100% financial support behind this campaign.