- What is the Beyond Campaign?
In October of 2019, City Church Chicago launched a capital campaign called the Beyond Campaign to address the need for physical space to accommodate our growing church family. Over 600 City Church Chicago family members have pledged $10,452,281.82 to the campaign. These funds are committed to be donated over the next three years and will go toward the purchase of a new property.
- How can I participate?
If you would like to give toward the campaign you can do that here.
If you would like to make a pledge toward the campaign, you can do so on the Beyond website here.
If you would like to volunteer in the campaign, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deciding What to Give
- How do I decide what to give?
As you’re making the decision – what’s most important is that Jesus leads this decision. You can earnestly seek how God is asking you to participate by:
- Prayer – Ask God how much he wants you to give to this project. This may include asking Him to make you neutral to your own emotion, preferences or an initial reaction to not participating
- Quiet Your Heart and Mind to Listen – The ancient church father Ignatius encouraged us to use the principles of consolation and desolation when discerning God’s will. Consolation will bring an excitement and lifting of the heart about an idea, and desolation will bring a feeling of emptiness and heaviness about an idea. Ignatius encouraged us to listen to these spiritual senses as we are trying to understand God’s will for us
- Look for Confirmation – If you are married, ask your spouse to engage in the same prayerful process. God’s plan should be confirmed in both of your hearts. We encourage you to discuss what you sense God is saying with a spiritual mentor, pastor or leader in your life
- Work out the Details – Once you’ve decided how you’re going to participate – think through the details of the commitment. How will your giving impact your budget? Will you give one time over the three years? Monthly? Annually?
God’s plan is not for you to go into debt to fund his plan, but he may put a number on your heart that seems bigger than what you can afford. What are creative ways to create the funds if God is asking you to give more than you can afford to give? Ask God to give you creative insights.
- What if I don’t have the financial capacity to give?
As you’re seeking God’s direction ask God to reveal any creative insights that allow participation in the Beyond campaign. Some of the most impactful gifts do not come from a simple monetary donation but rather other kinds of resources that can be turned into financial contributions. Let God lead your heart and mind. Some creative ways to consider include:
- Reviewing collectables and consider donating to the church
- Turning relational capital into fundraising
- Identifying additional income opportunities
- What’s the benefit to me if I give?
When we participate in giving to God’s Kingdom, we discover many layers of benefits. Most tangibly, as we all contribute, funds will be used to build a church facility that has modern and necessary features, such as wider seats in the auditorium, a lobby café, expanded bathrooms, and space to worship together. Giving creates a financial tax benefit as it is deductible.
Spiritually, giving to God’s Kingdom creates inner, spiritual benefits. Giving is an act of obedience to God. Giving makes us more like Jesus, who disregarded his divinity and gave up his life for us. Giving makes us more generous and less self-focused. Giving to the church building projects allows the finances that we earn to do more than simply be consumed by our family’s daily needs. It invests the physical representation of our time—our income—into something that will serve our community for many generations to come. Placing our finances in God’s hands postures us for a greater dependence on Him and can increase trust on Him as our sole provider.
- How do I stretch myself in giving?
Giving to God’s house is a journey of faith; carefully consider what is the next step of giving for you. We are at different places on our journeys. Seek God’s counsel for how you can participate. Here are a few ideas:
- If you have never given, then giving something (anything!) is a great way to join in
- If you give sporadically when you feel inspired, perhaps the next step is to give intentionally and regularly.
- If you give regularly but without a clear giving goal, consider setting an annual giving goal
- If you give strategically already, perhaps the next step for you is to increase your goal
- What if I want to give, but my spouse doesn’t?
This is a difficult issue. If you are giving funds that both of you earn together, then you should be in agreement about what you commit. If your spouse does not feel led to participate, then consider how you may be able to participate with through your individual income. This may involve a larger discussion about how you allocate funds in your budget as a couple.
Like Jesus does, we place a priority on family unity and know finances can be a stressful topic. However, we do believe an open-hearted conversation with your spouse is incredibly valuable. We recognize that a spouse may not be as far along in their faith-giving journey, and that’s okay. What is the next step for your spouse? Consider encouraging them to make that next step.
- Should I allocate part of my regular City Church donations toward the Beyond Campaign?
Our Beyond giving commitments should be offerings above and beyond current established giving patterns (tithes and offerings) that you may have instituted for yourself. City Church will sustain operating costs as we continue to serve our church community in our current facility. Existing operations will need to be funded by City Church’s ongoing tithes and offerings.
- When and how often will I receive communication about Beyond Campaign funds and how they are being used?
Beyond Campaign funds will sit in a designated account until we are ready to use them for expansion. Beyond Campaign has a separate Pushpay listing because it is going into a separate bank account. You can expect to receive communication about the Beyond campaign at every major step, and updates two times annually until the building project is completed.
- What are some creative ways that I can participate?
You can give stocks, bonds, collections, real estate, or any object with value. We will help you with the process of sales if that is needed. You can email email@example.com and our Creative Gifts team will help you with this process.
- Do I give once, or can I give multiple times?
This is up to each individual household—there is no right way to give. Some may give annually, monthly, or weekly spread out over the three years. Others will give one lump sum.
- Can I give anonymously?
Yes, you can. You can email your anonymous pledge to firstname.lastname@example.org, by asking to keep the pledge confidential. Pushpay allows you give anonymously or the Beyond team can help you set up anonymous giving.
- What if I can’t keep my commitment?
It’s okay! Beyond is a pledge that is rooted in faith, but it’s not a promise or guarantee. City Church will not be billing you for your commitment, have your financial information on file or ever charge your card without your consent. If you need to reduce your commitment to the campaign, you can do so, and you will not be looked at or treated any differently Regardless, you’re a member of the City Church family and more importantly, part of God’s Kingdom.
- If I don’t make a commitment during this season will there be an opportunity for me to make a commitment later?
Yes, City Church will provide annual opportunities to make new commitments to the campaign over the next three years.
Understanding the Beyond Campaign
- What is the difference between a giving campaign versus a stewardship campaign?
These two terms are somewhat interchangeable, but there are a few key differences. Giving implies that our finances are ours alone, and that we give our money where we want to contribute. Stewardship implies that what we have has been given to us by God for us to manage on his behalf. That when we give, we are an intermediary, handling God’s money as he directs. This is somewhat similar to how a financial planner might handle our savings on our behalf. See 1 Timothy 6:17-19 and Luke 16:1-13. Beyond is a stewardship campaign.
- Why is the campaign 3 years?
We carefully considered best practices when determining the length of the campaign. Three years is the standard length of a capital campaign. It allows for participants to give generously over an extended period of time while aiming to minimize any burden.
- How much money are we trying to raise?
Our stretch financial goal was $10 million, which we have exceeded. A building project will probably cost more than this, however. Our goal was for maximum participation from our church family. We are in the middle of a miracle and want everyone to be part of what God is doing in Chicago..
- How can I track my progress toward my commitment?
Pushpay has a new feature that enables you to track your progress toward your commitment when you log in to your Pushpay account on the desktop site or the mobile browser site.
- How is “Beyond” different from previous giving campaigns through City Church Chicago?
While previous Missio Dei campaigns have funded the addition of new staff, ministry projects, and buildings, Beyond Campaign is exclusively a capital campaign, designated toward a single building project.
- Why do we need to raise the money? Can we just borrow it?
Like a home mortgage typically requires a percentage of the total purchase price as a down payment, commercial real estate loans also require a cash down payment. Unless the total project cost is raised through the Beyond Campaign, City Church will likely have to obtain a loan for the remainder of the costs. What that loan might be depends both on the yet to be determined final project cost and what is raised in the Beyond Campaign.
- How can I get involved with the campaign?
There are many opportunities to volunteer in the campaign. There are opportunities to assist with communication with donors, liquidation of creative gifts, and the search for property. Email email@example.com and let us know that you would like to volunteer.
- Does Beyond Campaign replace my Missio Dei giving?
Yes, it does.
A New Building as a Tool for Accomplishing the Vision and Mission of City Church
- Why do we need a new building?
As of November 2019, City Church Chicago runs four Sunday services where attendance often exceeds our seating capacity. We have run as many as seven weekly services at times. If we are to be obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of Jesus and growing the church, we need more space.
We currently don’t have enough space for all the ministry and programming that we would like to offer the city of Chicago. Our vision includes additional mid-week programming for children, kitchens and facilities to do outreach, a music and video recording studio, and classroom space for Christian education.
- Why don’t we just rent a venue?
Renting venues in Chicago is expensive, and associated costs (union-related, security etc.) make this option financially cumbersome. Church administrators have a responsibility to steward the funds that our church family gives, and ultimately, rentals do not provide an ideal long-term solution, as rent payments are forever spent with no creation of equity.
Purchase of property is a long-term investment. We feel called to establish an outpost, a permanent stake in the ground for the Kingdom of God in a very secular city.
- Where are we looking to build the new location?
We do not yet have a location secured but are hoping to stay in the 27th Ward, near north or near west here in Chicago.
- What will be the size of the auditorium? Will it feel too big?
The new auditorium will allow four times as many worshippers to be present at once as our current auditorium. We will gather corporately to worship every Sunday while continuing to do ministry together in smaller environments, building connection, discipleship, and relationships through Life Groups and Go Teams.
The vision of City Church has never been to be a big church or have a big building, but to partner with what God is doing and see big impact here in our city. Our mission statement is to love people to new life in Christ, live planted in community, and lead change in our world. A larger building is a tool that enables more individuals to encounter God’s loving and transforming presence, and for greater impact as we lead change here in Chicago.
- How long will it take for us to build the new building?
We don’t have a project timeline yet. Once we have property secured, we can provide estimates for the building or renovation project timeline. We anticipate it will be a multi-year project.
- What are some of the amenities that the new building will have to offer?
The building plan is still being designed. We would have the amenities that are in our current building and will include enhanced offerings. Our vision includes: a lobby café where our neighborhood can gather throughout the week, expanded office space for doing ministry, an online video studio and audio studio, purpose-built expanded children’s space, expanded bathrooms, storage space, a commercial kitchen to do more outreach, a built-in baptismal in our auditorium, student ministry space, language translation space, a designated prayer room, adult classrooms, and a nursing mothers space.
- What will happen to the current building?
This will depend on the timing and financial contributions to Beyond. We will share more details and plans for 777 N. Green Street, and how it factors into Beyond throughout the campaign
- How much will a larger building change our operating budget? How will we offset the increase in cost?
This will largely depend on how much of the building project is financed. We are committed to continuing to be good stewards of our resources and will ensure the finished building will adequately offset our increase in costs. We do anticipate potential increases in building operation costs, in addition to mortgage costs. We are confident that with our growth trends, we will see growth in our normal offerings. We work closely with our board of advisors, composed of business leaders, who review and approve all financial decisions in association with this project prior to execution. While we are thinking of and planning for all costs associated with this project, there are factors that will determine specifics we don’t have yet. We do have protocols in place with qualified and experienced people reviewing and approving the project as it moves forward.
Beyond Campaign Fund Management
- How will the funds be used? Will there be a way to get updates over time as the funds are used?
The funds will be placed into an account designated for building a new meeting space for City Church Chicago. These funds will be held in this designated account until they are needed at various points in the project. This fund is managed by our CFO and our Leadership Advisory Board. We will be communicating with givers regularly as the project unfolds, giving updates at every major step in the process.
- What will happen to the money if we don’t purchase land/building at the end of the 3 years?
The Beyond Campaign funds will always to be designated and assigned toward expansion.