I have a vision.
It is the underlying force that undergirds why I do what I do professionally as well the products and services our company provides. This vision is at the root of Cool Solutions Group and eSPACE. It is at the heart of the culture of our team. It is not just a business proposition (the WHAT we do) but rather the WHY we do it.
Here is my vision:
That every church would have access to and would fully utilize the best practices of Intentional Facility Stewardship.
This would include not only the management, maintenance, cleaning, budgeting, planning, or construction of facilities but would also entail a proactive approach to Life Cycle and Capital Reserve Planning.
I can see some of you scratching your head. Of all the visions and causes and crusades that people gravitate to, why this? Some may be thinking it is “easy” for me, as I have been working with churches and their facility initiatives for 30 years. Others may think this is shallow compared to world hunger and sex trafficking. Let me explain the history of this vision.
For the first 23 years of my professional career serving churches, I was involved in the planning and physical construction of facilities. During that tenure I assisted over 350 churches build or expand facilities. It was incredibly rewarding…until I visited many of these facilities years later to see them in conditions incongruent with their age or projected life cycle. This pricked my heart and mind. I saw churches raise, and spend, million and millions of dollars to build these new ministry tools to in turn not care for them or prepare for their future repair and replacement inevitability. That sent me on a several year journey to see if I was missing something or if I needed to learn what it meant to properly steward a facility.
What was the result of that journey? I came to the following resolutions:
- Everything on earth belongs to God…which means we have been entrusted to steward what is His.
- The long term care of our facilities is a spiritual responsibility. We will be held accountable. Read 2 Kings 12: 4-13
- All buildings (churches and otherwise) deteriorate at a rate of 1-4% per year. That is a fact…indisputable and part of the law of nature…that God created.
- A well managed and maintained facility is more inviting and less distracting to guests.
- If the church properly budgets for operational expense (utilities, janitorial, maintenance and personnel) the likelihood of deferred maintenance is greatly reduced.
- The cost of operating a facility will consume 70-85% of the total cost of ownership of that facility over a 40 year duration compared to less than 15% for the initial construction. That should shift our focus and attention.
- When a church has a true capital reserve account…monies set aside systematically in a separate account for future capital replacements…they will not be negatively impacted by major capital expenditures nor will they have to borrow or raise money to replace such assets at the end of their life cycle.
So, if we believe and accept these tenets, we MUST be compelled to develop and implement plans to steward our facilities. If that is true, then we MUST set aside funds to care for the assets entrusted to us. This is not a new premise…or a 21st century concept suddenly brought to the forefront given recent economic conditions. Actually this is an age old directive (I assume you read the scripture above).
I am sure many of you think I am making too big of a deal about this, but until I see this vision realized, I am going to keep beating (pounding) this drum. If you knew, as I do, that the majority of churches DO NOT have an ample Capital Reserve plan (heck…most don’t have ANY capital reserve monies), then I think you would join me in this cause and vision.
Over the next couple weeks we will be posting about a brand new tool to help you be more intentional with developing a capital reserves and lice cycle calculations. This robust and interactive tool will give your church an incredible tool.
Stay tuned…and be INTENTIONAL!