Dreaming About Disappearing Mortgages

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Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

If you did not receive in the mail a copy of the new mortgage brochure, “Our Giving Account: God is Good!” please call the church or get one from the Information Table in the Commons.

Our new sanctuary was completed in 1991. In the old sanctuary we had gone from one Sunday morning service to two in 1981, and from two to three in 1986. After five years of that, the attendance was pressing the limits of those services. It was a draining schedule. Saturday night services had been tried. Merger talks with First Baptist went on for months. Dividing the church and sending one group away to another location was seriously considered. In the end we built. I believe God was pleased with the process and the decision.

We waited until half the cost was raised in cash up front. Then we believed that postponing construction would have been counterproductive in view of stresses, growth-potential and inflation. We borrowed 1.8 million for ten years. After four years, we’ve paid $1,066,000, with $469,000 applied to principal. We now owe $1,341,000. Our monthly payment is $24,700.

Six more years is not a long time to pay for such a building. Most of you homeowners would probably be very excited to be debt-free six years from now. But what is most exciting to me is that we would save $100,000 in interest if we paid off the loan one year early (by June 2000).

According to the survey done by the Master Planning Team, almost half of our Sunday morning attenders have come to Bethlehem since the new sanctuary was built! This is why we are informing the congregation about our mortgage situation.

Until the Master Planning Team sketches the bigger pictures for us, we are simply encouraging everyone to get on board to help pay for the new sanctuary. On the back page of the new brochure you can see how to do this. Each church envelope has a line called, “building fund.” That’s where you designate your gift. If you don’t have envelopes, call the church and we’ll send you a year’s supply.

But here’s what I would really like to see happen. All you dreamers and doers out there, would you use your God-given juices to think up ways to get this building paid for in four years—or three or two!! I think God would be glorified by something extraordinary! Would you seek him with me for what this might be? Compute it this way: “interest saved” equals “waiting missionaries sent.” The mortgage dream team eagerly awaits our ideas. Talk to Tim Johnson, Dick Fast, John Knight or Nathan Lee.

Dreaming with you,

Pastor John