Hearing God’s Call About Our Church Property

After talking in last Sabbath’s sermon about Jonah’s difficulty hearing God’s voice—or better, doing what we hear God clearly saying to do—we gathered after church to try to hear God’s voice together. We started by spending a few more minutes in the story of Jonah, asking ourselves how we are hearing God’s call in our lives and as a community. Then after hearing a few reports about finances and ministry, we spent the majority of the meeting tackling the one big issue: what to do about our property.

I asked the congregation to think about three options:

1. Raising a significant amount of money to do the urgent repairs (est. $100,000–$200,000). This would likely not include any cosmetic renovations like improvements to the bathrooms or the sanctuary. These improvements are urgent and essential but would not be visible to most people. It includes things like major plumbing and electrical, roofing, heat and AC units, etc.

2. Raising a larger amount of money to do the things included in option 1 above and cosmetic improvements. This includes renovations that would improve people’s first impression of our church and its ministry. I’m sure you can think of a few of these things yourself!

3. Sell the church building and move to a different location—most likely renting a worship space of some kind (either another church or a warehouse-type space or store front) in Hollywood. This would allow us to live off the interest from the sale price of the building (rather than the rental income that currently makes up 68% of our total operating budget) and be less occupied with maintaining a building and managing renters.

I’m happy to report that our members took these challenges very seriously. We have only begun to have this conversation but all indications so far are the we really want to stay here and renovate our building as much as we possibly can. One thing is clear: the status quo is not an option. We absolutely MUST do some work to our building if we intend to stay here.

The closing comment came from one of our new Elders, Brian Lauritzen, who challenged us all to keep these important issues in our prayers. So I pass his challenge on to you. Please be praying about our needs! Just in the past week God has already proven, one again, that he is ready and able to provide.

If you wish to talk to me or any of the other leaders about these issues, please don’t hesitate to do so. This is a wide open conversation and will require each and every person who cares about the Hollywood Adventist Church to get involved.

Thank you, once again, for being the amazing congregation that you are!

—RYAN