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    North Point Church to Build a Bridge… Literally

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    North Point Church to Build a Bridge… Literally

    Andy Stanley announced yesterday what he calls one of the biggest announcements ever at North Point... they're building a bridge... literally.

    Here's Andy's letter to the North Point family:

    Nine years ago, we began exploring the possibility of creating a second access point to our North Point campus...I am happy to announce that we now have all the permissions necessary to proceed with the construction of a bridge that will connect our campus to Old Milton Parkway via Brookside Parkway.

    As you know, North Point Parkway serves as our only point of ingress and egress. Those of you who are regular attendees have learned to navigate the congestion without losing your faith in the process. But you also know the complexity of inviting someone to “Meet us at church.” Fortunately, we have an amazing group of men and women who serve tirelessly in the parking lots on Sundays. Our Host Teams have enabled us to far exceed the number of cars we were initially told by the 'experts' we could move on and off our property. But even with their gallant efforts, we are unable to maximize the use of our facility.

    Let me explain.

    Currently, we can seat 4,800 people in one service using both auditoriums. But our infrastructure only allows us to comfortably accommodate around 3,500 people. Once we pass the 3,500 mark, the traffic becomes exponentially unbearable. A second access point will allow us to accommodate 1,000 additional people at 9:00 and 11:00, achieving maximum use of our existing facility.

    The price tag for the bridge is five million dollars. “What?” you exclaim. “Five million dollars for a bridge?” Yep. Here's why. This bridge will span 1,000 feet of flood plain and wetlands. It will be three lanes wide and include a pedestrian walkway. So, don't think cute wooden bridge. Think Haynes Bridge.

    Is it worth it? It all depends. If our mission is to be a church that's perfectly designed for the people who already attend, then we don't need a bridge. But if we want to continue to be a church unchurched people love to attend, then yes, it's worth it. From my perspective, this is not a “nice to have” option. Honestly, I don't want to raise money for, or give money to, something that's not mission critical. I believe creating a second access point allows us to stay on mission. That is why we've been working on this for nine years.

    Andy does what any good leader does in 'selling' an idea... he makes it critical to the mission.  Because, Andy fully admits, if it doesn't help North Point fulfill their mission, then it is NOT worth it.  If it DOES, then it's worth every single penny.

    Are you trying to 'sell' something to your church?  A new building?  A new program?  A new staff member?  Have you tied it to your vision?  If not, no wonder no one is getting excited about it.  No wonder everyone says 'it's too expensive' or 'should we really do THAT'.  If it's not, as Andy says, 'mission critical', then guess what... it's probably not worth it.

    Comments

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    1. andy on Mon, October 05, 2009

      My boy Brian Manley designed that logo. 

      Check him out funwithrobots.com

    2. Peter Hamm on Mon, October 05, 2009

      Correction.

      imho, He didn’t tie the bridge to the vision.

      He saw that the vision and mission would be better served, and perhaps needed… this bridge…

    3. Dennis on Mon, October 05, 2009

      This is classic empire building.  What do you get?  Bigger?  I’d love to see them take 5 million and use it to disciple, mentor and train 100 pastors within a 50 miles of the church.  Talk about impact!

    4. rbud on Mon, October 05, 2009

      I’m with Dennis on this one. Sounds like this church is already too big. Would the mission be better served to found additional churches in mission locales? How many members have to travel more than 6-8 miles to attend? It’s an impressive compliment when you hear about people driving many miles to attend a particular church, but it makes you ask if the devotion is to the church or the Christ.

    5. Lynn on Tue, October 06, 2009

      I agree.  Northpoint has sucked most of the other churches out of their congregations because of the me centered theology over there.  Paid musicians, actors, top of the top, best of the best mentality.  That’s not who we really are as a congregation.  I would love to see them invest in children’s choir, Sunday night services or Wednesday night services.  Most other churches are seeing Northpoint’s children at their churches on Wednesday nights so they can learn scripture.  I think Northpoint is way too comfortable.  It doesn’t reflect correctly with the bible I use.  It would be a great thing for them to go on mission to other churches within this area.

    6. Joshua on Tue, October 06, 2009

      I love to see a church think outside the box.  Northpoint has taught me it’s more important to train a parent to teach a child biblically than for the church to teach a child.  Children’s choir? I’m not against it, but where in the Bible is the church commanded to teach children to sing?  I can teach my kids to worship God in song at home, in the car, etc.  Was there a Wednesday night service in the New testament church of Acts?  If i’m meeting to worship God and have a bible study in my home, does it not benefit me unless it takes place on the campus of an actual 401c3 campus?  Keep it up Northpoint.  Build a bridge.  You are not a perfect church, but you are a church who is fishing for men and not maintaining the aquarium.

    7. Rich Barrett on Mon, October 19, 2009

      When people drive more than 6-8 miles to attend a church, we must ask:

      —Who are these people?

      A. Selfish Christians looking to be a part of something cool.
      B. Unbelievers trying to find answers to their questions, who’ve felt unwelcome or confused elsewhere.
      C. Missionally-minded believers looking for an environment to which they can invite skeptical friends, family, and co-workers, and a mission worthy of their time & money.

      If the answer is (a), that’s uncool. B and C, on the other hand are totally legit. Agree or disagree?

      We also must ask:

      —What are the churches like that they drive past?

      A. They focused on reaching those outside the faith.
      B. They are focused on pleasing those inside the christian club.

      —Finally, what do we know about the church they are driving great distances to attend?

      A. It’s a church for pansies, never mentioning the hard teachings of Jesus or challenging people to actually live like Jesus.
      B. It’s a church for braniacs, teaching lots of intricate and cool facts about ancient near-eastern customs, and awesome 18-week series on Levitical law.
      C. It’s a church trying to do things no one else is doing to reach people no one else is reaching.
      D. It’s a church challenging every single attender to serve, not soak, and the senior pastor regularly says, “If you’ve been attending here for a year and you’re not serving, you need to find another church.”
      E. It’s a church with an awesome youth choir. ‘Nuf said.
      F. It’s a church where following Christ is often talked about in the context of financial generosityŚnot just toward the church but toward the less fortunate. The entire church makes significant investments annually into overseas endeavors and the poor in their own backyard.

      If people are driving a great distance to go to one church, and passing others along the way, perhaps we should examine the systems in place that are creating that behavior.

      Yeah, I’m biased.

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