From a Pastor & Church in Michigan

Without speaking in exaggeration or hyperbole, Steve Anderson of AMI Church Consulting saved New Hope Church at least $1,000,000 and who knows how many hours of frustration and endless dead-ends, not to mention the discouragement that accompanies those problems. That’s just what we saved.

Because of Steve and his objective needs and feasibility process, New Hope Church also gained a better understanding of our strengths and weaknesses, which led to a customized strategy for an expansion phase.

That preparation got the New Hope congregation and leadership focused and united on a viable solution and in position to be ready when God opened the doors. Now, exactly one year later, we are moving into a campus that will take care of every major need and still give us room to grow.

I shudder to think of the mistakes we would have made, (let alone the dollars that would have been wasted) without Steve and this engagement.”

John Brock
Pastor Emeritus, New Hope Church
Love God, Love One Another, Serve One Another

From My Perspective

New Hope Church in East Tawas Michigan is a church that started just a few years ago with about 100 saints and grew quickly in this small town to a thriving fellowship of over 300 in regular attendance. This church is in an economically depressed area with a static to declining population. In spite of that this church grew rapidly in their rented space, quickly outgrowing their space which required them to go to two services and rent additional space for office.

This church is what many strive to be, growing numerically and spiritually, very active in their community, well connected in small groups, and good givers in spite of the local economy.  I have seen few churches that made better use of what they had; using every square foot of  their rented space, most times well past any comfortable capacity.  This church is also a serving church; they are visibly the hands and feet of Jesus in their community.

While they had been very good stewards of their money and raised a surprising amount of cash in a short time towards a building program, the church lacked an understanding on how to proceed with finding a location and determining what to build.  After nearly 3 years of effort with no resolution, one of the land search team read my book, Preparing to Build. That began a conversation which led the church to retaining me to guide the church in a needs and feasibility study.  As a result of that study, we were able to objectively ascertain:

  1. What the church needed in terms of ministry space – what they needed and why.
  2. What the church could afford to build – and how they could pay for it.
  3. A reasonable estimate of cost to procure land, perform site work, and build a facility that would meet their space needs.
  4. That the church could not afford to build what they needed at this time, due in large part to the high cost of site work, and above average construction cost in the area.
  5. The need to do a church capital campaign to become financially prepared to build.
  6. Potential sites that could be either be rented or purchased that would provide the amount and type of space required.

As a result of this process, the church had an objective understanding of what it needed and what it could afford.  They were able to dismiss ideas that would not work and focus on viable solutions, something they had not been able to do up to this point.

This proves one of my favorite sayings:
In the absence of objective process, all that is left is subjective opinion and one man’s opinion is as good as another. Unfortunately, if you get 100 people in a room you will have 125 opinions because some folks are double minded!

The objective conclusions that resulted from the needs and feasibility process clearly delineated the boundaries of what the church needed and could afford.  Understanding is a wonderful thing; “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.  Proverbs 4:7 NKJV

A Happy Conclusion

No sooner than we had begun to bring this engagement to a close, than it was discovered that one of the sites referenced in the study was in foreclosure.  The subjective understanding of need and financial ability allowed the church to move quickly and with great unity into the purchase of this land and building.  Without divulging any secrets, I can tell you that the church bought 8 acres of land and nearly 16,000 sq ft of buildings for pennies on the dollar, far less than it would have cost them to buy and develop land and build comparable space, the cost savings are everything Pastor John said, and more!

We are currently engaged in a capital campaign to help offset the cost of renovation and to replenish the church’s cash supply to prepare it for the future – whether it be expansion on that site or relocation and building the dream.

I’ve been blessed to be a part of this process and proud to be associated with New Hope, a church which is making an impact in their community with the love and Gospel of Jesus Christ.