We are excited about what God is doing at Shawnee Trail and we believe He has set even greater opportunities before us. With those opportunities come financial challenges, which is why, after prayerful consideration, we are embarking on a capital stewardship campaign.
In the coming weeks, you will hear more about our “More Together” campaign, but we know many of you have questions about what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen, and why? We welcome all your questions and will answer them all to the very best of our ability. This Q&A is designed to answer some initial questions you may have
Why are we raising money?
We are called to Love God, Love Others, and Make Disciples and have embraced the mission to “Make disciples who make disciples.” To accomplish this mission, our leaders believe that for us to most effectively make disciples we need to dedicate ourselves to seeing three major goals become a reality.
• Create a culture of discipleship.
• Develop a facility strategy for handling our growth.
• Begin planting churches in Colling and Denton Counties.
Why do we need a new building?
In 2015, God blessed us with our current facility on John W. Elliott Drive. As a church of 200 members it was a perfect fit for our needs. Just over three years later, now as a church of over 500 members, our building does not have the space for us to continue to grow as we believe God desires us to do. Church growth experts state that once a facility reaches 80% of capacity, it’s potential for growth is capped. If you attend first service, you might think we’ve got plenty of room for growth. But in our classrooms, hallways, lobby, parking lot, and even some weeks in second service we are well beyond the 80% capacity, and therefore, we’re placing limits on the numerical growth God wants us to have.
Why are we focusing on church planting?
The way the early church grew was through planting churches. We still believe this is the best method to accomplish our mission of making disciples who make disciples. The effort involved in starting new congregations challenges us to be serious about discipling others. These new congregations also create more opportunities in ministry for developing new leaders. It is proven that new churches are highly effective at reaching people in a community who have not previously gone to an established congregation. Finally, as a church that is attracting people from Plano to Howe, and Carrolton to McKinney, starting new churches will help us reach people that we currently cannot due to distance.
Can we really buy a building and plant a church at the same time?
This is certainly a bold and daring vision. Some would say you should only do one or the other. We believe strongly that God is calling us to both.
If we just plant a church, yes, sending a group of members out to the church plant will relieve a bit of our space issue, but not for three more years, and only for a limited amount of time. If we just buy a building, we’ll have more money to spend on the facility, but we will not be obedient to what we believe God has called us to do.
No one thinks it will be easy, but if it were easy, we wouldn’t need God to make it happen.
What is the plan for planting churches?
Church planting is in the DNA of Shawnee Trail. So, we’ve asked the church to help develop a strategy for planting churches and have a team who is meeting regularly to do just that. A specific model for these churches has not yet been identified by our leadership team, but they are researching best-practices and gaining valuable insight from churches like ours who are already planting. The hope is to see the best of Shawnee Trail replicated in a way that is fitting to its new community and to have a network of partner-churches throughout Collin and Denton Counties who share relationships, mission and service to our communities.
How much money are we trying to raise?
Over a three-year period, over and above our weekly giving, we hope to raise $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. We believe $2,500,000 will provide significant seed money to the church plant and allow us to purchase the building we are considering at a loan amount we feel comfortable with. If we give above $2.5 million, we can reduce our debt load so that more money goes from paying for a building to paying for ministry sooner. If we give less than $2.5 million, we’ll have to either take on a little more debt load or reconsider our building plans. No matter what amount is raised, we will praise God for His blessings, evaluate what we can do with what we have, and trust His provision to provide everything we need.
How will the campaign work?
Shawnee Trail members will be asked to give over and above their regular, weekly giving over the next three years. You can choose to give weekly, monthly, annually or a one-time gift. The campaign will culminate with Commitment Sunday on February 27th.
Will I be expected to give?
While we certainly hope everyone in the Shawnee Trail family will be involved, participation is completely voluntary. No one will be pressured in any way. Your commitment and offerings will be confidential. We simply ask that you keep an open heart and mind to the Lord’s leading and pray about your decision.
What if I don’t have a lot to give?
A phrase you will hear throughout the campaign is, “Equal Sacrifice, Not Equal Gifts.” Obviously, everyone in our church family doesn’t have the ability to give the same amount. God doesn’t expect that. But God does want all of us to make a genuine sacrifice for him, which will be different for all of us. If my gift is not a sacrifice, then it doesn’t require any faith. David said,
“I will not sacrifice to the Lord an offering that cost me nothing.”
– 2 Samuel 24:24
What if my situation changes?
Your commitment is a statement of intention based on your current circumstance. We understand that your financial situation may change. If you are unable to meet your desired financial commitment, we certainly understand.
What happens if the potential building we’re considering falls through?
The opportunity that our building committee is working on is very exciting and we can’t wait to share all the details with everyone. However, it’s not a sure thing. But whether this opportunity works out or not, it does not change the fact that our current facility on John W. Elliott does not allow us to grow the way we believe God wants us to. So, if the building we’re considering isn’t where God is leading us, we will continue following him to the one that does. And if that’s the case, this campaign will prepare us to act when the opportunity arises.
How can I help make this campaign a success?
You can help this campaign be a success in several ways. First, by taking time to review the contents of your personalized campaign packet once you receive it. Secondly, by prayerfully responding to God’s gift of love with your own generosity. Thirdly, by filling out a commitment card on Commitment Sunday, February 27th. Fourthly, by continuing to keep your regular tithe-giving strong in support of our church ministries. And finally, by praying for God’s blessings on our campaign.