FAQ for  the Bethany Special Business Meeting on March 7, 2021


The Deacons, Trustees and Finance Committee have called for a Special Business Meeting on Sunday, March 7 after the Morning Worship Service to ask the Congregation for approval to spend $27,500 to hire Jeffrey Parker Architects to help us develop a Strategic Master Plan for our church.  In addition to the Special Business Meeting the Deacons are holding an Informational Meeting on Sunday, February 28 to discuss this expenditure and to try and answer any additional questions that the congregation might have in advance.  A list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) are answered below.


Q1: What will the March 7 Special Business Meeting be about?

A1: The Deacons, Trustees, and Finance Committee are recommending to the congregation to approve paying $27,500 to Jeffrey Parker Architects (JPA) to have them help us develop a Strategic Master Plan to renovate our campus and enhance our ministries.


Q2: What will the informational meeting on February 28 be about?

A2: To add and possibly answer any other questions that come up after reading this FAQ document.


Q3: Who is Jeffrey Parker Architects?

A3: Jeffrey Parker Architects specialize in churches. Their dedicated Church Design Team has managed over 300 church projects throughout the country – including many Independent Baptist churches.  This experience has empowered them with the most creative, ministry-sensitive, stewardship-driven design talent available.  Their seasoned approach is especially suited for churches that feel trapped in buildings that are either too small, dysfunctional or out-of-date. They creatively build new and/or expand existing church campuses to radiate and reinforce the personality of their ministry. JPA focuses on growing the kingdom of God through buildings by partnering with churches and equipping their ministries with an enhanced, life-changing campus.


Q4: Why Jeffrey Parker architects?

A4: Jeffrey Parker Architects approaches every project as a new opportunity to provide excellence and surpass client expectations. They will guide us through the church building process – both architecturally and financially, from simply getting us started all the way through celebrating with us at the building’s completion. Their design process relies on getting to know us, our congregation and our ministries. Their design philosophy also emphasizes collaboration with the building committee, lay leaders, church boards and even the congregation. This broad-based involvement translates into overwhelming congregational support, ownership and unity. They typically help manage the entire building program with the church as an active participant.  As “process managers,” they will help coordinate the efforts of the capital campaign, lending agency, construction manager, building inspector, technology consultant and furnishing vendor.  They will also help organize and manage the site plan approval process.  As a result, their church building projects flow effortlessly, helping church staff members stay focused on ministry and the process becomes an exciting, spiritual experience.


Q5: What will we get for our $27,500?

A5: This initial cost will include an affordable Phase One renovation plan, as well as a multi-phase long-term master plan that reflects our ministry goals and vision, including renderings of ideas that develop out of our meetings with JPA. The Strategic Master Plan for our campus will address increasing accessibility, updating the look of the campus inside and out, aligning the campus with our ministry purposes, analyzing our financial readiness, and setting the stage for a church wide campaign. JPA envisions what could be, challenges the status quo and balances short-term needs with a long-term perspective.  This mindset drives the entire church master planning process.  As a result, the Strategic Master Plan will provide clearly defined, purpose-driven, all-encompassing roadmaps for us to follow.  They also help ensure that the building can be inexpensively and seamlessly added onto, and that the property is skillfully and efficiently utilized. TO BE CLEAR: this does not change anything on our campus or give us blue prints to do so. This allows us to evaluate and examine the possibility of making changes to our campus together as a church.

Q6: What is a Strategic Master Plan?

A6: A Strategic Master Plan integrates planning, architecture, capital campaigns and construction into a singular process.  It weaves together these key processes, as well as those of financial lenders, zoning officials, building inspectors, technology consultants and furnishing vendors.  The result is optimized group synergy, successful projects and great benchmark experiences for the entire congregation.  


Q7: How will this help Bethany?

A7: The goal is to create an attractive, cost-effective and functional campus that will radiate and reinforce our church ministries.  Combined with staff, volunteers and programs, a properly designed building will enhance ministry opportunities for our existing congregation and create visitor-friendly space that helps attract newcomers.


Q8: Is it wise for us to spend the $27,500?

A8: Luke 14:28 says “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” Every journey begins with a first step. Our first step involves bringing in an expert who can sit down with us and estimate the cost of renovating our campus and ministries. It’s not only wise, but prudent as well. We have many parts of our campus that need to be updated and renovated. Rather than address them in a piece meal manner, we desire to step towards a Strategic Master Plan that will unify our approach to campus improvements. We acknowledge that we are limited in our abilities and knowledge to do this on our own. We are seeking help from an outside expert and we believe that it is worth the investment.


Q9: Can we afford to spend the $27,500?

A9: Yes. Currently, we have $250,000 in reserves. This has accumulated over the years from good stewardship and not spending all our budget. $100,000 of it is already committed to the electrical panel replacement project that was approved in March of 2020. This project is in process. This leaves $150,000 in uncommitted funds.


Q10: If we vote to approve this process, what is the timeline?

A10: If we approve JPA, the process could start in March of 2021 and continue for 4-6 months. This process would involve onsite inspections, meeting individually with church staff, lay leaders, and others to become intimately familiar with our church ministries, facility use and shortcomings, preferences, priorities and long-term vision.


Q11: Will renovating our building solve all our ministry challenges?

A11: No. Our campus is a tool for ministry. There are some areas that work well, and some areas that actually hinder ministry. While not all of our ministry challenges are building related, our campus does affect our ministries. It is our desire to renovate the building so that this tool becomes more effective and provides more ministry opportunities moving forward. Currently all of our ministries are in the process of building a culture of continual improvement through intentional evaluation. Just as we want to improve our building, we want to improve our ministries. More progress is still needed but we are encouraged as we move forward. We invite you to keep this matter in prayer.


Q12: How could we afford to do a capital campaign?

A12: This is actually the reason why we would like to hire JPA. They have a track record of helping churches discover what they can and can’t do. We need to honestly evaluate ourselves in light of where we are at now and where we want to be. We need to count the costs before we commit ourselves to a larger project and to the Lord’s plans for us as a church.


Q13: If I have any questions or concerns, who do I talk to?

A13: You can talk directly to Bob Standish. You can also write out your question and turn it in to the church office. You can also email your question or concern to [email protected].