Construction: Rocket 1

Building Projects Update

Lift Off Mission Updates from Pastor Josh McPherson

Note: this is a transcript of the April 24, 2022 Lift Off Mission Update
"We made an estimated plan for what we thought building this was going to cost with patio and atrium and the barn. It's become about a 37% increase, due to inflation. Now big numbers. Percentage rates with big numbers add up to bigger numbers, right? And so we're actually quite grateful that number's not smaller. We're talking to suppliers that are like, 'Yeah, well this used to cost 10 bucks a foot. Now it costs 40 bucks a foot.' 200%, 300%, 400% increases on some supplies. We called four or five different steel suppliers this week, just to see what it would be like to try to get steel now for the atrium and the patio. They laughed at us. They said, 'If you're ordering today, you're out three years.' If we had the money and the plans today, we couldn't get the steel till 2025.

"Now, thanks be to God, we were inventorying supplies and ordering ahead of time so we have those things coming. We're going to be able to finish it, but it's catastrophic out there in terms of global supply chain disruption, historic inflation, historic interest rates climbing, specific disruption to the construction industry itself. We've been watching and we're going, 'This thing could blow up significantly.' Most construction projects who are about 50% of the way through like we are closing down. They're not finishing.

"By God's grace, we've locked bids. We've locked materials down. We're ordering, we're inventorying, as we can. Due to the wisdom of ESAT and the elders, money has been set aside for opportunity fund, emergency fund. We're pulling those levers. We're moving cash flow charts around. We are going to execute on this project, people. We are going to finish. That's my conviction and that's my word to you, barring more global unforeseen catastrophes coming.

"So that's the plan. We're hoping to be done before Christmas. But, of course, all of that is just a supply chain situation and equation, but that's the plan. All to say, whatever you can do to give. If you got a pledge that you can finish, please finish. If you can't, no problem. If you haven't and want to help, jump in. There's room to play. We need all the help that we can get. And we are going to, by God's grace, finish this project. Amen? That's the plan. Now, would you like an update on the construction project?

"The building projects that we have under construction right now are the Back Patio, the Atrium, the Play Silo, and the Barn. Just so you know how it's going to function, the Atrium is going to give us 6,000 square feet of more circulation space to handle more people as they come in. We're going to get a cafe in there with a commercial kitchen to serve our church family needs, a bookstore, a WE work-space, a super cool place to put resources, the four-tiered play silo for kids to play 24/7/365, as well as some cooler features. The patio will give us more space for breakouts, and we'll have new ways to enter the Community Hall from the back.

"The Barn is really critical to our mission here at Grace City. It's not just a really cool looking old building. It's going to be office space for our staff. So our staff's like, 'Yeah, best boss in the world, except he didn't give us a desk to sit at.' And so we're hoping to get office space for our team. I mean, imagine what we can do when actually have offices. So we'll have offices over there, teaching/training spaces for Vector Academy and for Life-Trac University because we’re already out of space, for our growing youth ministry needs with ANCHORED and ANCHORED Jr., as well as the massive space for ANCHORED events and Vintage Grace events and Stronger Men events and conferences and weddings and receptions and parties. It's just some desperately needed space.

"Here's the crazy thing about Grace Kids. I was talking to Brittany this week and she was giving me the numbers of kids over there. I walked over there during second service. There's all these beautiful, precious kids being held by lovely people, loving on them while you guys are in here, but we're in trouble over there because we are just flat out of space. And so, I mean, there were times this year when we were like, 'Can we even finish these projects?' and, 'What's inflation going to do?' And, 'Can we get materials?' But we desperately need it because there's no more room for any more kids here at Grace City Church, which is not a good thing. Because Jesus told little kids to come to Him and we're like, 'Please don't come to Him right now. We're out of space.'

"So I was at the fair last week having a mild panic attack because maybe you left after the service, which is awesome. We're estimating about 2,500 people came after the service. We got like a 2000+ person bump after the service eating free hot dogs and eating free pink insulation-on-a-stick. What do you call that? Cotton candy. Thank you. Once you've been in construction that's all you can see. You start itching when you see it like, 'Oh, why are they eating that?'

"Kids were everywhere whom I've never seen in my life playing on the free stuff, touching the free trucks, and chasing the free pigs, and doing all the free stuff. It was amazing. And I walked over to the Grace Kids area and there’s the games and Becky Binger's yelling at kids with big bullhorn, doing her friends and coach thing. And I go into the pavilion and there's just these inflatables everywhere. Kids. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of kids I've never seen, parents I've never seen. And I thought, 'Dear Jesus, I hope they don't come next Sunday.' Isn't that a terrible thought to have as a pastor? I'm like, 'Oh, I love you here. Here. Don't come there or we'll be in trouble.' And so, we need to fix that by building more space so we can say with Jesus, 'Yes, to the little kids. Come to me.' So that's what we're building these things for. And here's an update from none other than the Stefankinator. Here he is.
"There it is. Come on give it up for Glen and the crew. Glen and the crew. So as slow as it feels like it's going, we've had many people in the industry talking to us going, 'Man, everyone wants to work on your project. It's going so fast. It's so fun up there. You guys actually get out there and get things done. How do you get supplies here? How do you get resources there?' We're like, 'I don't know.' It's the Stefankinator factor. I don't know. But the beauty of KBI—and that's Greg Smith and Glen Stefanko—the beauty of KBI is that we're doing it for as cheap as humanly possible. If you're with a normal construction company, lots of overhead, which is fine, lots of general conditions, which is typical, but you just couldn't do it more lean and mean than how we're doing it.

"So I don't know if there's some KBI guys here. There was a bunch of guys in first service. We got Greg right here, Walker. Anybody else here? So Greg's here. Can you get up for Greg and his crew with KBI. Doing a great job, dude. Doing a great job.

"And I mean, they're just wild old stories. We regularly get invoices with a number crossed out and, 'Hey, knocked off 10%, 15%. Super excited about what God's doing at Grace City.' From unbelievers, 'Love what you're doing for the community wanted to help out. Wanted to be a part of it.' Materials being donated. Time being donated. AES gave us a whole week of their time at Christmas, like we told you before. So it's just really remarkable. We couldn't do it, I don't think, any cheaper. The leadership feels very good about the efficiency of the stewardship of our resources and we just need to execute it.

"And so, we have built the majority of this space in probably the two most difficult years to build anything in our country. Not only the most difficult, but most expensive and most disrupted. And God continues to provide. It's a remarkable statement of His grace to us and, I believe, His commitment to His glory in this town for His name's sake. And so help us finish strong.

"We're going to do a Splash Down Sunday on June 5th. We're going to celebrate all the provisions God's made. Hopefully, we'll have finished getting the inside of the barn permitted by then and have some more hard dates for some finishing times. Hoping to finish all of it by Christmastime, Lord willing there isn't anything else happening we don't know about. So, June 5th, we'll celebrate God's provision through Lift Off. Help us finish strong if you can. And we'll celebrate all God's doing on that day with some more stories and some more fun news.

"That is the construction update. Super exciting. Super exciting. Just crazy. So that's the building projects. That's just the first of 11 more rockets, folks. Oh, it's so fun around here."