Why So Small?
Northgate Church has “broken ground” on a guest house for the community, which will be complete in late November. As the building takes form, I keep hearing the same question from different people in different places: “Why so small?” Lean and Mean. At Northgate, we choose to do a few things well and wholeheartedly, not several things poorly and halfheartedly. That includes our building. Our new $3.2 million facility will house a state-of-the-art 500 seat auditorium (expandable to 700), a lofty and bright lobby, two large group KIDNECTION rooms, and a nursery for the little ones. That’s it. No offices, no “church library,” no youth room or “fellowship hall”. . . just what we need on a Sunday morning or Wednesday night. All killer, no filler.
Also, other than a few spaces by the front door, all of our parking is shared. PACT Charter School (the school where we presently meet), NAU (a large agricultural insurance company), and Allina (a neighboring medical clinic) generously make their parking available to us already. We even have an “official” cross-parking agreement with PACT. . . not to mention all the nearby street parking. We have more “up-close” parking than most suburban churches have in their own lots.
Multi-Site. Fewer large churches are building mega-facilities. Instead, more churches are offering smaller, more intimate auditoriums with multiple venues, different times and days. Some church leaders look at a small building with limited acreage and see only challenges. I see an incredible opportunity. Less debt (just $1.6 million) means more money for more things, including multiple venues and future buildings as needed. Northgate’s vision is to launch multiple satellite campuses with a live band, video preaching, and KIDNECTION throughout the region. We envision Northgate offering its unique DNA to neighboring cities like Andover, Champlin, Coon Rapids, and Elk River, one small, lean and mean building at a time. Starting new campuses is the fastest way to grow a church and the Kingdom.
Shared Use. A functional building like we’re constructing can be used for multiple purposes. For example, PACT Charter School will be renting our facility for theater/music practices and performances, lowering our monthly payments while meeting one of their greatest needs. Other organizations plan to follow suit. Greater facility use during the week results in a better use of resources on the weekend. Most churches sit empty Monday through Friday, but Northgate’s will be used by the community regularly.
So, yes, it’s small, but so what? David was small when he confronted Goliath and look how that turned out. Northgate’s guest house will be an incredible facility. . . one of the finest church buildings of it's kind in the region. And, with three services coming this fall (including a Saturday night), we’ll be able to house 1500 people in no time. After that, we’ll add another service, followed by another. Then we’ll just have to see where God takes us next. Whatever he does, I'm sure it’ll be an adventure.
Thanks for your investment at Northgate! It's still hard to believe that we'll have a permanent building after only three years of meeting. To God be the glory!
Northgate Church is passionate about helping people become who God purposed them to be.