Building the Home...
As the community of Soul Survivor Watford we have always tried to follow God’s lead as we look to love him, love one another and share God’s love with his world. Jesus sought to do ‘what he saw the Father doing’ (John 5:19) and this is our aim. It was our heart and passion in 1993 when the church first met – eleven people in someone’s front room – and, though we do it imperfectly, it remains our heart and passion today.
Ever since we started the church, God’s faithfulness to us as a community has been amazing. As we have looked to follow his lead we have always seen wonderful fruit: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.” (John 15:4).
As a church we have always been called to make space for newcomers but we believe the Lord is now calling us into a special season of preparation for new growth. Much as parents prepare for the arrival of a newborn so we believe that God is calling us to build the home.
As audacious as it sounds, our vision has always been ‘for Watford and the world.’ When warehouse 7 was first purchased a small group of our church family stood in the derelict building and praised God for his provision. God assured us he was going to take something as ordinary as our fellowship and an old W.H. Smiths warehouse and impact not just Watford but the world!
Remarkably he has done just that. People have travelled from all over the world to Soul Survivor Watford and from our family people have been sent to minister on almost every continent. At home we as a family have grown from eleven to around a thousand brothers and sisters! Many are believers who have joined from elsewhere, many have rediscovered a faith that had faded away and many have come to know Jesus for the first time. Needless to say this is not because of our deeds but because of our God’s marvellous grace.
Our vision for Watford and the world remains the same. Intimate worship, committed community and relevant evangelism remain our core values and the Lord is inviting us to take another step together…
EVERY FAMILY NEEDS A HOME…
The Bible talks about the people of God being ‘sent’ (John 20:21) and ‘scattered’ (Acts 11:19) and this remains a core part of our mission. We want to be witnesses wherever we find ourselves during the week.
Jesus also speaks of an ingathering. He talks of banquets and parties to which all are invited, of lost sons that return home to the sounds of music and dancing (Luke 14:23; 15:25). He paints the picture of a community that loves one another in such a way that others cannot help but see God at work and be drawn in (John 13:35). He speaks of the church standing out like a city on a hill and like a lamp on stand (Matt 5:14-16). The Scriptures show that wherever the apostles were sent they sought to form church families as communities of witness. In a culture plagued by isolation and loneliness a church family filled with Jesus’ love into which others are invited is surely the most effective way to witness!
Our vision is to be such a family. We want to make this ingathering so much more possible. We want to run events, start new ministries and be a community that will draw others in. As part of this, our goal is to create a family home that will enable us to host, celebrate and invite others in.
Reusing as much of our current equipment as we can. Our plan is to reconfigure and upgrade the space we have.
Last years’ buildings day and the investment made in warehouse 5 has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the space. The plan is to do the same with warehouse 7. From the church’s savings we have been able to invest in creating the shell of a space that is much more suited to the ministries we plan to use it for.
Now further investment is needed for everything that is not basic infrastructure. We want to make a house a home! The total amount needed to achieve our goal is £105K. On first reading this sounds like an enormous amount but consider how much it would cost just to have your kitchen at home refitted! We are looking to fully kit-out a 9,000 square foot warehouse and we want to do this whole-heartedly and well! This includes everything that makes a house a home, from soft furnishings, to lighting that sets an atmosphere, to an effective sound system.
These things may seem small and they are expensive but they are ultimately what make an enormous difference to the space. Just as a Cathedral reflects the theology of those who built it, so we want our buildings to reflect our community, provide a warm welcome and offer a sense of ‘home’.
We are expectant that God is going to provide significantly for the way ahead but we are also keen that we do not rush on ahead without this provision. As such were are looking to complete the work in phases according to our priorities:
LEVEL 1 – (£40K)
With level 1 funding we can fit out the bar & café areas with chairs, tables, soft seating and mood lighting. Buy an industrial dishwasher, bar fridges, glassware, racking & storage. Also, a bi-fold door to section off area 2 & 3.
LEVEL 2 – (£30K)
With level 2 funding we can upgrade the audio & visual system in the bar, install the video projection in the café & bar. Purchase crockery and bar equipment. Enhance the current kitchen. Purchase seating for the seminar room.
LEVEL 3 – (£35K)
With level 3 funding we can furnish the foyer, meeting rooms 2 & 3, sofas for area 3 and soft furnishings. Install audio & visual* in the seminar room. Fit a bi-fold door between area 1 & 2. Buy a glass washer, bottle fridge, ice machine and a grill for the bar & café, and an LED TV for Soul Kids. OUR PLAN *Reusing as much of our current equipment as we can.
NEW SPACE; NEW OPPORTUNITIES
The new facilities will allow us to:
- Be able to start new ministries - including a café for young people.
- Have much more space for the childrens’ work which is bursting at the seams.
- Have a great space for the growing 4.30 community to gather after the service.
- Be able to hugely improve what we do with parents and toddlers - a ministry that is already attended by over a hundred families per week.
- Be better equipped for all our midweek courses, from Soul61 to the Money Course to Alpha.
- Have somewhere to host community meals and new outreach events.
- Have the physical space and capacity to explore and dream further about what the Lord might be calling us to.
IF THIS IS GOD, HOW DO WE PLAY OUR PART?
We all need to make sacrifices to make this happen. The cost of following the direction we believe God is calling us into is significant and clearly it is not something one or two people can do alone. To be faithful to God’s call we must all play our financial part. Sometimes, in our walk with the Lord, we must sacrifice our gifts, our dreams, our time, or our effort… but right now, it means sacrificing our money.
“Use your money to do good… being ready to share what God has given you. By doing this you will be storing up real treasure for yourselves in heaven – and it’s the only safe investment for eternity! And you’ll be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.” (1 Timothy 6:19 - LB)
“I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and armtwisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.” (2 Corinthians 9:7 MSG)
WHAT WILL BE MY PART IN THIS?
We each need to pray and seek the Lord as to the part he would have us play in this next exciting and stretching step for our church.
The amount we are able to give will vary greatly according to our means. But Jesus clearly teaches it is the level of sacrifice not the amount of money that pleases God (Luke 21:1-4). For some people that might mean giving £50, for another £500, for another £5000 and another £50,000. It is not about equal giving but it is about equal sacrifice.
Ask the Lord to show you creative ways of giving. All contributions are valuable however large or small, and it is worth considering how much a monthly sacrifice adds up to over a whole year, for example, 1 large cappuccino a week over a year will raise approximately £148.00. 1 pint of beer a week or large glass of wine over a year will raise approximately £182.00
Seek the Lord and ask Him for a figure you can contribute. Often the first figure that comes to our mind is very manageable but we shouldn’t be afraid to step out. Our goal should be to give what God’s asking of us, not simply what’s left at the end of the month.
HOW DO I MAKE A COMMITMENT?
Once you are sure you know what the Lord is asking of you (and, if you have a family, that you are all agreed) follow these simple steps to make your gift...
1. UPFRONT GIFTS
Please do consider an upfront gift. The more money we receive now, the more we are able to get on with building the home.
To give in this way please fill in the commitment page in this brochure and enclose it with your cheque or cash - and either post it in good time to the church office or bring it to church on our Gift Day. Please make cheques payable to ‘Soul Survivor Watford’. Alternatively you can pay by direct bank transfer using our details on the commitment form.
2. ONGOING PLEDGES
Many of us won’t have much in the way of savings - a great way of giving is to pledge a certain amount to the building fund over a period of time this could be 6 months, 1 or 2 years. This is an amazing way give a large sum of money that would otherwise be impossible for most of us. Often the best and simplest way to do this is to set up a standing order. Even a small monthly amount can make a big difference over a period of time.
To give in this way decide on the monthly amount you wish to give towards the building project, and the length of your pledge (you may wish to make this for more or less than 2 years). This is the amount you want to give in addition to your regular giving to Soul Survivor Watford. Fill out the commitment form and either bring it along on the Gift Day or post it to the church.
If you are a UK taxpayer please complete the Gift Aid declaration, this enables us to reclaim from HMRC the tax you have previously paid on the amount you give.
Contact information in regard to your actual gift or pledge: