Our Next Initiative FAQ

Posted by Scott Heath

Frequently Asked Questions

Downloadable FAQ Document

Why repurpose? Why can’t we keep the Worship Center just as it is and just freshen it up and update the HVAC?

The goal of the size and design of the Worship Center is always to bring glory to God and reach more people for Christ. In the 1980’s and 90’s the strategy for churches to reach “their Jerusalem” was a large place of worship with one service and it was an effective strategy for a number of years. But in recent years, research has shown that people prefer smaller venues, community spaces, and options of worship times. By repurposing, we are striving to provide a more intimate worship experience, better sight lines, improved technology, expanded community spaces and at least an option for a multi-service format if we so choose. By doing so, we are preparing to reach more effectively our Jerusalem.  

Also, from purely a facility needs perspective, the Worship Center is a very large building (floors 3,4 & 5 constitute +/- 75,000 sf) and has a number of code compliance and other “good steward” items that need to be addressed. Those items include: adding a fire suppression (sprinkler) system, retrofitting and enlarging the restrooms to provide handicap accessible spaces (ADA compliance), replacing 70% of the existing HVAC (heating and air conditioning) that is original to the facility, upgrading our fire-alarm system, and installing new / more energy efficient lighting. When combining these items with replacing the 30-year-old worn out carpet, existing pews, new paint / stain, audio / video needs, etc. the total anticipated expense exceeds $7m. Thus, it became clear we would be better stewards of Shades resources, future, and mission by pursuing a more complete repurposing. 

At that point, with the strong encouragement of both the Finance Committee and active Deacon body’s unanimous recommendations to do so, we moved in the direction of the complete repurposing initiative that was presented and approved by the church Sunday evening, April 22, 2018.  

Didn’t we just get out of debt?   

Yes we did in October 2016. As shared above we feel this initiative is of such importance that we need to pursue this now. Naturally our hope is that we will make financial pledges that will equal and even exceed the cost of the project thus being debt free at the end of the three-year pledge period. However, if there is any resulting debt, we are confident that we can manage it to where there is no adverse impact on ministries or missions. For most of the past 20 years we have managed debt while investing $26 million in our campus facilities and giving $34 million to missions and continuing a strong emphasis on ministries.

Why should I/we consider supporting the initiative?

We are a blessed church with a history of faithful members willingly sacrificing their time and resources to provide facilities for the next generation. Now this is our time to impact the short-term and long-term future of Shades. Whatever we do in this initiative will set the footprint for ministry for at least the next 20 years. The expanded lobby space will provide a desired place for community. The changes in the Worship Center will enhance the worship experience and give a much needed flexibility for strategic ministry decisions. Combined, these will positively affect the growth of our church and our ability to effectively reach our Jerusalem with the Gospel of Jesus Christ both now and in the future.

Over how many years will the repurposing initiative pledge commitment be made? 

Three years.

What if I would like to give stocks, real estate, or some other kind of gift? 

Gifts other than cash can often be easily accepted. Please contact Tom Boston, Minister of Administration, for further discussion.

What is the timeline for construction?

Construction will begin February of 2019, following our Global Impact Celebration. Anticipated completion will be early to mid-August 2019.

What are the benefits of increasing the size of the Worship Center Lobby? 

A larger Worship Center lobby would greatly enhance the fellowship and flexibility aspects of our church. This would provide a warm, inviting environment for gathering and building relationships before and after services/events, as well as community spaces for everyday fellowship during the week. A larger Worship Center lobby would also create secondary spaces to better function with potential multi-service and multi-use formats. 

How much additional square footage will be added to the Worship Center Lobby area? 

The Worship Center Lobby area will increase by approximately 5,000 sf.

Will all Worship Center rooms be refurbished?

All public areas (including classrooms, bride & groom rooms and baptistry changing rooms) located on 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors of the Worship Center are planned to be refurbished.  

Will the public restrooms on all 3 floors be updated and made handicap accessible?  

The restrooms on the 3rd floor will be enlarged and made ADA compliant (handicap accessible). The restrooms on the 4th and 5th floor will not be enlarged but will be retrofitted to meet handicap accessible needs. All restrooms will have diaper changing stations. 

What about the sound issues in the Sunday School rooms on the 4th floor? 

The sound attenuation of these rooms will be studied and it is our intent to improve their abilities to function while worship activities are occurring.

Is the size of the Worship Center decreasing?

We anticipate decreased seating of approximately 280+/-, however current obstructed seating in the fan banks will become more viable. (Note: Past ticketed event sales were based on a 2800 seat capacity.)

How many entrances/exits will there be? 

The 3rd floor main level worship center will have 7 entrances / exits. Additionally, the stage will have 2 dedicated entrances / exits (at stage level).

Will the pews be replaced with theatre seating? Are we going to donate or sell the pews?

No theatre seating. We will replace the current pews with new pews. We will look to donate the pews that are in good shape to churches in need of pews.

Is the choir going to have to stand on risers during the whole service? 

There are a wide variety of riser options. If for standing only, the choir would exit before the message and sit in the congregation. Risers with seats are also an option.

Why are we getting rid of the pipe organ?

The Shades organ is a beautiful instrument and for its time, was considered among the top organs installed in several large Baptist churches of the late 1980s. But the challenges of a true pipe organ have never been a secret. Subject to changes from heat and humidity, the organ truly is at its best when played alone. Intonation (the ability to be played in tune) is a constant challenge given the vast Worship Center space where changes in temperature and moisture levels are in constant flux. Additionally, the cost and upkeep of an instrument which now has many parts that are obsolete continues to rise where the costs of electronic versions of the same sounds continues to decline. There are occasions where the organ sound is an added plus to the broad musical styles offered at Shades, but those sounds can now be created for a fraction of the cost and in perfect tune with the variety of instruments that surround it.  

Can we sell the pipe organ?  Can we sell the pipes?

We are searching for a potential purchaser; however, we’ve already been advised there is not a market for used organs or organ pipes.

Why have we never had a sprinkler system in the Worship Center? 

It was not part of the building code at the time the Worship Center was built.   

Will the sprinklers go off in the Worship Center when we use smoke effects for special events?

Sprinklers are activated by intense heat and not by smoke.

Where will worship services be held during construction?

Two services will run simultaneously in both the Conference Center and the Student Building. Danny will preach both services, rotating venues, preaching live in one venue and live streamed to the other venue. There will be live music in both venues leading the same song selection.

Will we have a choir during the construction/transition period?

Absolutely!  We are blessed with so much talent and such strong leaders among our amazing Shades Worship Choir.  Our plan is to divide and place smaller worship choirs in the midst of each worship environment.

Will we have baptisms during construction?

We will have a portable baptistry. Baptisms will go on!

Besides worship services, what is the impact of construction on ministry spaces?

During construction, there will certainly need to be some occasional adjustments made. We will do everything possible to mitigate disruption to ministry spaces; nevertheless, there will be times when we will have to hold a few events in alternate settings, and anticipate some temporary movement of some classrooms and other spaces during construction.

Can we use Worship Center elevators during construction?

During construction there will be limited to no access to the Worship Center 3rd, 4th, and 5th floor elevators. We are working through options for best circulation to the Worship Center 1st and 2nd floor.   

Are we going to two worship services after construction?

Remodeling the Worship Center gives us the option to go to two worship services; it does not force us into two services. The remodeled size is adequate for one service. Just to be perfectly clear, whenever we even talk about two services, we envision two services identical to our present service. We are a multi-generational church and we are committed to continue to structure our worship services so we can continue to worship together. Our staff is studying and researching the option of going to two services versus remaining in one service. We want to be strategic in our decision and determine how our Sunday morning services can reach more people of all generations. Our hope is to have discussions with the church family in late Spring 2019 and gain a clear direction as we move into the remodeled Worship Center. 

If repurposing would allow us to accommodate new people, what about parking?

With our newly implemented shuttle system, recently improved and creative approaches to traffic circulation through our FIT and security teams, and potential off-campus parking options that can be explored, we are confident that our parking situation can accommodate all new people that the Lord brings our way!