Dear Calvary Monterey,
Calvary Monterey's vision is Jesus Famous -- the praise and worthiness of Jesus in every person, every church, and every community we touch. We long to see this when we gather, when we spread, and when we go out into our world.
But we stand at a strategic moment in our church’s life. We want to proclaim to our world through church planting and mercy ministry. We want to grow together through community and training. We want to honor God in our daily walk. But the reality is all this is connected to how we honor God in our Sunday worship. What happens on Sundays is important to the overall vision of the church. Strong Sundays lead to strong fruit.
It is because strong Sundays help us reach our vision of Jesus Famous we are at a strategic moment. Currently, we are experiencing three pressure points. First, we are outgrowing our Kids Ministry space on Sunday mornings. Second, we are outgrowing our parking lot. Third, we are outgrowing our main sanctuary.
In response to this, our leadership has investigated various measures to accommodate more growth.
Should we go to three Sunday morning services? We do not prefer this option because it shortens services, hurting the spirit of what we do as a church, and we wonder if it would actually alleviate any of our pressure points.
Should we build a new sanctuary? We do not prefer this option because it is a financial burden.
Should we stop numerically growing and shift our focus exclusively to sending out? We do not prefer this option because we think we’ll be better senders if we allow for growth. We will not stop sending, which we’ll do more of as we grow.
One possible response, however, is to enlarge our current main sanctuary, parking, and kid space at the same time. This option could be accomplished at a more affordable cost by knocking out the walls facing the parking lot and building out in that direction, adding more square footage to the sanctuary along with children’s classrooms on the downstairs level. To our leadership, it seems to be a prudent and desirable option. Though not the most stylish or aesthetically pleasing option, it would work, and for a cost that is responsible. It seems to us to be the right mix of faithfulness and faith.
Still, there are a few hurdles we would like to clear before commencing a building project. An expanded sanctuary, parking lot, and kids space would significantly expand our Sunday attendance capacity. This is good, but we think we need to be more responsible with the seats, parking, and kids space we currently have as we ramp up to an expanded building. Though increasingly full over the past few years, we think we have plenty of room to grow BEFORE we add any expanded sanctuary. In other words, we would love to ramp up to an expanded sanctuary.
But this ramp up to an expanded sanctuary requires concentration. We must put some effort into it, for there are hurdles. Minor and major, here are some of them:
We would like to concentrate on paying off our current mortgage (roughly $500K left).
We need to launch a parking ministry (partially utilizing the neighboring Dole parking lot, which they have permitted us to use on Sundays).
We need to allow our ushers to seat us near the front of the main sanctuary, to more fully utilize the seating we already have.
We need to develop a more attractive ancillary seating venues, such as on the patio or in the restaurant, to accommodate those who are more comfortable engaging in that environment.
We need to more efficiently develop volunteer leaders for new ministry positions, especially in Ushers/Parking, Calvary Kids, and Life Groups.
As we do these first things first, we can then revisit the possibility of a Saturday night service, the pulling of loans for expansion, and the beginning of construction. Perhaps, Lord willing, over the next five years we could be part of watching God take us into a beautiful new chapter as a church.
We believe Calvary Monterey is a good and healthy church. We believe God wants to use His church, us included, to reach and equip people. We believe He has made us alive, and an alive church needs room to grow.
I (Nate) have honestly wanted to avoid expansion. I like what we have going on. I am and could continually be happy with all that is. I prefer dreaming about church plants, outreach endeavors, and ministry training centers. But I have come to believe we would be irresponsible with the gifts and callings God has given us if we stopped at this point.
We want to see Jesus Famous. We have given our lives for this purpose and mission. No one said it would be easy. Let’s roll up our sleeves and labor.
Pastor Nate & The Calvary Monterey Pastoral Staff
P.S. If you would like to begin serving at Calvary, including in ushers, kids, or parking ministries, please go to calvary.com/serve or to our Sunday Welcome Center.