Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
Why $18 million?
The main focus for raising $18 million dollars is to locate and develop a new 24/7 South Campus to support Bethlehem’s growth south of the river and to reduce current Bethlehem debt associated with our TCT (Treasuring Christ Together) multi-campus strategy. In addition, 10% ($2 million) will be devoted to church planting and the Global Diaconate (blessing the poorest of the poor around the world in the name of Jesus).
In 2002, Bethlehem experienced significant growth; growth that necessitated planning and action. “How will we manage his mercy?” What began as the “Growing Without Growing” campaign resulted in “Going Without Going”: Bethlehem in two locations (Downtown and North). Bethlehem’s vision to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ now looks like three campuses with a shared vision, strategy, theological foundation, eldership, constitution, band of global partners, and budget. While united, each campus also has a presence in their respective communities, unique to its context, with varied opportunities for outreach.
Why launch a capital campaign of this size during a sluggish economy?
Under the sovereignty of God and in line with realistic projections developed from past experience and current giving, the consensus among the elders has been that, by God’s grace, it is reasonable to believe that this body of 5,000+ can raise the necessary funding over this period of time. Also, while the current state of the U.S. economy does present concerns for fundraising, it also makes the purchase of land, materials, and labor more affordable; this may be a more ideal time than waiting for the economy to recover. Ultimately, it is our hope in God that drives us to give generously and cheerfully even during hard economic times.
Why did the committee agree to 30 months?
There is a desire to avoid a long capital campaign lasting 5 or 6 years (or more).
The financial implications related to building a South Campus call for a shorter campaign, even shorter than 30 months, as the Lord leads!
We are making an effort to span multiple tax years to facilitate strategic giving over a period of time to encourage prayerful planning.
How will the building design support the ministry purposes for decades to come and bless the surrounding community?
With every classroom we construct, every piece of equipment we purchase, every office we design, every tree we plant, we are investing in the next generation, and believing God. We are believing God to add to their number day by day those who are being saved (Acts 2:47). And we believe God to cause the South Campus to stand and endure and bless the saints in the land—if the Lord tarries—to a thousand generations.
What is the “South Selection and Development Committee,” and who are its members?
The primary goal of the South Selection and Development Committee is to secure a South campus for Bethlehem Baptist Church. They have located a piece of property, negotiated with the owners, worked with city officials on approvals and use of permits, and secured an architect and builder, and will continue to work on site-planning and construction. The members of the committee are Mark Heinrich, Jon Hendricks, and Klaas Van Zee.
What can I do?
- Please pray. Whether or not you follow the prayer requests posted on Facebook and Twitter, intercede on behalf of the Building One People campaign. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).
- Please serve. Serve God, not money. Be among the fellowship of believers as one who serves, as Christ was. “For even the son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). We are building one people, not just one building; we are seeking to build each other up.
- Please give. Ask God how you (and your family) can give above and beyond your tithe. Give weekly, monthly, yearly. Give your time, your gifts, your mites, your gold. Give so others can see that your treasure is in heaven. Give in secret, and your reward will be great (Matthew 6:4).