We have been meeting for almost 5 years as a church now, and one of the most common questions we get is, “So when are you going to get your own place?” I love this question – because it gives me a chance to share the vision of Covenant Grove. We don’t have a building – we are all about reaching people for Christ. So far, not having a building has not hurt our ministry or ability to reach out (but recently we are getting stretched!). We are one of the only churches in town to not have a 24/7 place, and it has allowed us to stay focused on pointing people to Christ.
Our vision does include owning property, though. We want to make a long term impact in this community. We want our church to be here in 100 or 200 years (if the Lord does not return before that). We want to buy property before it is all bought, and communicate to our community that we are a permanent part of this area. A church is so crucial to a community, as we teach about God, share life with families, and help those who are hurting and in need.
Many churches at this point would start looking for places to rent, and many in our church family have suggested places for us to rent. We have checked and called, and unfortunately the rentals in our area won’t work for us. Either they do not want a church renting from them, or it is $1.25 plus “triple net” – which brings it up to about $1.75 per square foot. We currently use 10,000 square feet at Enochs – that would mean a monthly rent of $17,500 – plus utilities! Because rent prices are so high in our area, we have started to look at buying property. I have also talked with our denomination’s coaches who agree it is the right move, and with our denomination’s funding branch, called National Covenant Properties, who helped walk us through next steps.
Property in our area costs over $1 million for 4-5 acres (which is the size we are looking for). We are starting to raise money for this purchase (we need at least 20% down), and we have started a Property/Building Fund that you can designate extra giving to. Right now we are committed to praying a LOT for this search – that God will lead us to the right property and right person to sell to us, that we would be able to raise the money and have the extra giving be a joy and blessing and part of our legacy. We started our church to reach people and build a church that would last for generations – and this is the next step.
One more important thing – the decision to buy property or buildings can only be made with the vote of the members of our church family. These are not decisions made by the pastor or committees. So be praying for these decisions as we move forward together. We want to follow the Holy Spirit in all we do. There are not a lot of churches in our part of Modesto, and we want our church to be a lighthouse for Christ for a long time. That will mean more sacrifice for us, but it is worth it knowing the impact we will have on this community for years and years to come – all for Christ. If you have any questions or concerns about property, please contact me or Brent Sinclair, our Church Chair. I am excited for our church as we move forward together!!