Frequently Asked Questions
As we enter this new season in our community we know there might be questions about some of the details of I Live the Journey. We are adding questions and answers each week as we talk together about the project in small groups and at informational meetings.
Why now? What led to us starting this campaign?
For much of 2014, we researched the opportunity of leasing a solar powered system that would save Journey $2000 a month, and leave a significantly smaller carbon footprint. After seeking counsel, we discovered that purchasing a system would save $100,000 every year based on current energy prices, instead of our initial projection of $24,000 if we lease. Our conservative estimate is a million dollar savings over 10 years.
Around the same time, a key leader at Journey was able to secure a government rebate of $100,000 that would enable us to purchase a system well under regular price—but only if we begin installation by Summer 2015. Therefore, time is of the essence to invest in the purchase of solar equipment for our campus.
This pushed us to take a deeper look at some things we have needed to get done for some time – things that will help take us to the next level of impact in La Mesa, San Diego and all over the world. After mucho prayer and wise counsel we had the strong sense of If not now, then when? and If not us, then who? Needless to say, we are going for it!
We are raising $2.75 million. How will the funds be spent?
- Solar Power for the entire campus.
- Worship Center re-orientation and technical infrastructure upgrade.
- Kid’s Center Upgrades including:
- Upstairs bathroom
- Elevator for accessibility
- Functional and aesthetic improvements
- Addition of Guest Services welcome center for visitor support.
- Greenbelt area with expanded seating area to connect with other people.
- Long overdue campus repairs and improvements (ie. parking lot lighting, HVAC, signage).
- Improvements of our social justice ministries (ie. Food Bank and Thrift Store).
- Expansion and improvements of The Other Room to create a much needed mid-size room.
- Money for various church planting endeavors throughout the County.
Where is the money going and how did Journey get to the $2,750,000 number?
See the breakdown here.
What is happening with the Tithe we are giving away?
Yes, ten percent (10%) of the total amount that we raise will go to the work of God beyond what we do at Journey. Opportunities will be brought before the Board as well as being prayerfully considered by staff. Once a decision is made to fund a project/program, when we fund it will depend on the amount involved, the timing of the need, and how much has been raised at the time. We will not give beyond what we have taken in at the time of the request. Instead, we will wait until the necessary funds have been raised.
We are considering opportunities for helping missionaries we support outside the U.S., a Red Cross project that we already partner with, and a couple of church partnerships. One of the churches is in North Park and the other serves the inner city San Diego.
The idea behind the partnerships is to help a church reach people and/or an area that we are not currently reaching. Here are two short videos about each church and what they are hoping to accomplish. The churches currently are meeting in schools. In both cases we want to help them get into their own place.
How can people help beyond financial support?
An excellent question! As an example, a construction management team (CMT) has been assembled. The CMT currently is comprised of 5 people who know what the heck they are doing in their specialized fields, can work as a team, love God and love Journey (your pastors were considering doing this work but we simply don’t have the time). They will give insight, oversight, wisdom and direction to the projects, making sure that everything is done right. They will act as the General Contractor for all that we are doing and will coordinate subcontractors, insure quality control, insure adherence to OSHA, review work progress, tract expenses, processing and filing of needed permits, identifying and completing any mandated upgrades etc.
Hopefully, where will be many other contractors, electricians, painters, drywallers, carpenters, general construction services, architects, designers, paving & concrete specialist, landscapers and landscape architects, etc. that call Journey home and who can offer their expertise, services, goods and even company’s to help make all these projects become a reality.
If you are one of these people email Tic at Tic@journeycom.org and let him know what you would like to offer.
Is outside funding being sought?
Not at this time. We have looked at some possible grants but have not found any that either did not include restrictions that we could not accept (e.g., some grants would preclude us speaking about our faith) or that would apply to what we are actually doing. There may be some possibilities in the future if the right opportunities present themselves. We are not against the concept but at this point we really see this as stewardship campaign from within Journey where people are responding with God’s leading about giving to the needs we have presented. At the heart, it is a spiritual step of faith.
Can I direct my gift to a specific part of the project?
There has been significant planning and prayer to decide what projects to pursue with the I Live the Journey funds. When you give to the fund you can know that the your gift will go to one of the identified items on the project list, but we are not able to direct your gift to a specific part of the project.
Is the list of improvements (above) in order of priority?
Outfitting our campus with Solar Power is our first priority. The order that the rest of the items will be completed will depend on timing and cost. We have a team that will prioritize the work based on the amount of money pledged, when the funds are actually received, and what needs are most pressing. We have a lot of things on our list that are really needed (upgrades to the Kid’s Center). We will be looking to make the most impact with the funds as possible.
When will construction start?
Construction will start on the solar phase of our project this summer. A more comprehensive plan will be released towards the beginning of June 2015.
How long will it take to complete all of the things on our list?
How quickly we complete the projects on our list will depend on when the funds committed actually are given. We are hopeful that all of the financial support is provided within the two year duration of the campaign, and marked progress will be made on all fronts within that window.
Will the work being done be competitively bid?
Everything on the project list will go out to bid. When we built out Journey Java we put out a specific bid to four companies. At one company the person responding to bids was a Journey attendee, and the bid was returned to us with the labor offered at no cost. Those kinds of friends have made much of what we have done and will do possible. So, yes, we WILL bid out each job, and we are also expecting some great friends to step in to help, too!
What will happen during the remodeling of the worship center? Will we meet somewhere else and how long will the renovation take?
Consultants tell us renovation will be completed in roughly one to two months. We are exploring on-site options including meeting outside as well as using the worship center space while it is under construction.
Will the new elevator for the Kid’s Center meet ADA (American With Disabilities Act) requirements?
Absolutely! We are so excited to increase our accessibility for both our awesome kids with accessibility issues and our volunteers.
Will the grass for the new greenbelt be real grass or artificial?
When we first started planning, we were thinking real grass. But, with water shortages we are now considering going with artificial turf.
Which buildings are getting solar? If we make changes in the future to buildings will that affect the solar that’s been installed?
All buildings will receive solar panels. Future building projects will not be discouraged nor will they conflict with our solar infrastructure.
Was the solar project competitively bid?
Yes, not only with multiple companies, but also with weighing all of our options: leasing, 3rd party providers, loans — you name it, we considered it.
What will be done with the $100,000 savings realized once the solar is up and running? Will that money go into our regular budget or will the budget be decreased to reflect the savings?
We go through a budget process each year that passes through all the departments at Journey, our finance team, Ed (Lead Pastor) and Tic (Executive Pastor) and then, finally, the church board. Each year we say no to ministry opportunities that we would like to pursue but we are unable to because of lack of funds. We are conservative with your people’s financial gifts. For example, this year’s budget is less than last year’s because we did not feel comfortable increasing our budget in 2015 when we did not make budget in 2014. That being the case, we had to say “No” or “Not yet” to some things we feel called to do. So, the extra $100,000 will most likely flow down into more ministry.
Will I have the chance to know the plans of the projects before they happen?
Yes. We plan to make all of our plans public both on the web and in print material.
Does Journey have a long-term capital budget plan? Shouldn’t that be used to handle these types of projects?
Yes, we do have a capital budget, and we use those capital funds to repair, replace and improve things on campus regularly. You can see some of those improvements in the Club 34, Edge 56 and Riptide rooms, as well as Journey Java. We have also replaced HVAC, made roof repairs, added parking lot lighting, fixed a lot of plumbing and lots of other ongoing maintenance issues. Last year we had more things break down than we expected and not only went through our capital improvement budget and repair budget, but had to drain our reserve budget (magnified by the fact that giving did not reach our projected budget for 2014).
It’s just a fact that some of the big swings we want to take with I Live the Journey are just too much to add to our yearly ministry budget. That is why capital campaigns exist. Think of it like fixing your home – we do a lot of things out of our monthly budget, but when it comes time to really renovate we can’t usually do that with our on-going family budget. The budget at Journey does not have a lot of wiggle room, and it’s just not realistic to add $500,000-750,000 to our yearly budget to help us move forward. It is actually on purpose that we want our budget to be dominated by ministry needs. We are the kind of church that runs on a lean budget. We attract lots of people who haven’t been to church before and who have to learn about tithing and giving over time. We also have many single parent and young families, as well as low income families. And we are so glad that each person is here! But it affects our financial picture, and we will always need our mature Christ followers and more financially stable people to lead the way and carry the load in giving.
How will we handle upkeep costs moving forward for the projects?
These ongoing costs will be a part of our yearly maintenance budget.
Are you accepting securities or high value items?
If you have a high value item that you would like to donate, we are asking that you sell the items and donate the proceeds to the campaign. If you have stocks or investments that you would like to pass on to the church, it is in your interest to allow the church to cash them in.
How are we going to raise the funds?
We believe the raising of funds is going to happen like it does every week at Journey, as an act of worship. We are trusting God to reveal to each of us what He would have us do. There will be no pressure tactics – just the opportunity to consider joining this next step in our church’s life. Whatever you decide as your commitment level will be written on a commitment card made available at our Celebration Services on May 29 and 31.
Commitments will be given in two waves. The first will be a First Fruits Offering made during services on June 5 & 7, 2015. This will help initiate the solar project and hopefully much more.
The second wave will be a 2-year process in which installments can be made either weekly, monthly or annually over two years.
What happens to the project if we do not raise the full amount?
We are confident that the amount of $2.75 million is a reachable goal for our community. If we do not reach this amount through campaign commitment pledges, we will prioritize the project objectives to reach as many people as possible with the resources we have been given.
How will Campaign Commitments be made?
Campaign Commitment Pledges will be made by agreeing to give weekly, monthly, or annually over a two-year period, the first of which will be given on June 5 & 7 at our First Fruits Offering service. The leaders at Journey will be making their commitments on May 16. Then, during all weekend services on May 29 & 31, we will give the entire church the opportunity to make a commitment pledge.
Would it be helpful to allocate a percentage of my regular tithe to the I Lived The Journey Campaign?
Actually, it would not. Regular tithe covers Journey’s normal operating expenses. The funds that we give to I Live The Journey are going to projects above and beyond regular operating expenses.
Will my donation commitment be made public?
No, never! Your commitment is private and will only be seen by our bookkeeper. There will be no gift amounts made public by anyone during the campaign, including Journey Pastoral staff.
Can I change my commitment, if necessary?
While we hope that you consider your gift before you commit to an amount, you may change your commitment at any time. We know that life situations can change, but we also hope that once you commit an amount you will watch how God will meet your needs making it possible for you to continue with your pledge amount.
What if I decide I want to give more later on?
If you decide to increase your pledge we welcome your additional commitment. We will be in communication throughout the two-year campaign, and we hope, that as new people find a home at Journey, they will also join in with I Live the Journey.
What about the costs of running the I Live the Journey campaign? How is that covered?
There is no question that it costs money to run this campaign. There are printing costs, mailing costs, consulting costs and extra admin costs. The consultant we hired is helping us do all this wisely, efficiently and in a godly manner. This whole adventure takes so much communication on so many levels. We are working very hard to get the word out in as many ways as possible. We also want this to be about way more than money, so we printed up and will be distributing for free the I Live the Journey Devotional Journal and prayer decals. The cost of everything to run the campaign will be about 3.6%. The reason this is not much higher is because of the amazing volunteers, in ALL areas of the campaign who are volunteering their time and talents at no cost.
Will the money raised go just to the projects listed? Is there any chance the money will get diverted to other things?
We expect all the money raised to go to projects outlined above. We do not foresee diverting it to anything else. If we bring in less or more funds than projected then we will make those decisions at that time. We cannot say what might happen if we are hit by an unforeseen catastrophe. What we can say is that we are not going to live in fear and not move forward because of what might happen down the line. We are moving forward in faith and trust. We absolutely respect and value the commitments that will be made and the intention behind those commitments to fund the projects we have been talking about with all of you.
If I have questions, who should I ask?
If you have question you can contact us in any one of the following ways: