Building For Hope – Our 2020 Vision
In February 2010, the church leadership team celebrated that God had grown his church so much that it now filled the old buildings with over 250 regular attenders. So began a four month period of prayer and investigation. After considering a variety of options, one door in particular caught everyone’s attention. A site less than 1800m away was for sale which seemed to hold great possibilities.
Surrounded by trees, it was visually attractive and has a fantastic road frontage for exposure & promotion within our community. The site has a great outlook over Fox Hills Golf Course and also adjoins a residential area. On site there are 100 car parking spaces with 6,500m2 under roof (which is enough space to house 10 indoor basketball courts).
An overwhelmingly positive response by the congregation, led to a great leap of faith and God opened the door for the church to purchase the site on the 10th June 2010.
The last five years have been a journey of preparation and waiting on God. Planning for the site has seen many revisions and refinements with many people and consultants contributing lessons learnt from previous experience and expertise. The re-zoning process and development approvals took several years to complete (which were finalised in 2013 and 2014 respectively). These bring rise to a question often asked in various forms: “If God is sovereign, why has there been almost 5 years of delays?”
Our congregation has been transformed to more fully reflect the diversity of nationalities in our surrounding community. In our fast food generation, waiting can be uncomfortable. However on prayerful reflection with the church leaders over these years, I believe God has had a variety of reasons for the delay. Scripture tells us that God is not slow but works all things together to accomplish his purposes here on earth (Rom 8:28, cf. 2 Peter 3:9)
So if the delay was God’s plan, then what has been accomplished:
- Numerous works have been completed on the site to repair past damage and renovate for church use (eg. Roofing and electrical wiring).
- The refinement of plans has seen some dramatic changes since 2010 with the creation of a garden courtyard, better layout and design of ministry rooms, offices and a new external design to better appeal to the community.
- Delays have allowed church working bee’s to renovate our two medium-long term warehouse areas with lights, roller shutters, toilets, lunch rooms / kitchenettes and offices.
- Over the last five years, we have been blessed with 10 short and long term tenants whose rental has financed these building works.
More important than this however are the changes and growth brought to the church body:
- Our congregation has been transformed to more fully reflect the diversity of nationalities in our surrounding community.
- New Youth and childrens’ ministries have been established.
- A new Pastor has commenced and founded clear ministry direction.
Perhaps the most important reason is to allow the church to establish a clear vision and direction. In 2013 the church leaders recognised that “big new buildings” don’t save lives. They asked some key questions “How does the Bible describe the Church?” “Where is Toongabbie Baptist Church falling short of this description?” “What areas need to grow for Toongabbie Baptist Church to be God’s instrument to transform our community?” We realised that whilst we had developed a big “facility” vision, other areas also needed a big vision. This began a 2 year process of defining and refining a future vision to aim for 2020.
I do not believe it is a coincidence that, only now, after completing this vision the doors for construction have opened. Our vision is now a true vision of hope and salvation that we have named … Building for Hope.
This program incorporates the ten vision areas that have been developed over the last two years. We see the development of these ten areas as vital to the church health and growth. A summary of each of these areas is presented on our vision document.