In 1981, God spoke to my wife Becky and me, prompting us to move to Fort Collins and start a church. From small beginnings, our church has grown to three campuses and nearly two thousand people on a weekend. God has exceeded our expectations—he is so faithful. As my team and I continue to seek God’s direction, we believe he has given us a clear ten-year vision: Ignite: Lighting the Fires of the Next Generation. Our strategy is to rescue, reach, root, release and resource the emerging generation of kids and youth. This direction is full of potential and very exciting. To fund our vision, we’re seeking to raise $3.5 million over three years. These funds will be used to construct a kids and youth building at our Windsor campus and release resources to invest in a myriad of kids and youth initiatives at all three campuses for years to come. Your faithful prayers and financial support will make all of this possible. The time to launch us into God’s vision is now . . . join us!
Rick Olmstead, Lead Pastor
What if a generation of kids and youth who are trapped in the vicious cycles of poverty, violence, abuse and hopelessness were rescued and given a chance at a new life?
Over and over again we see God’s warning, “Don’t touch my precious kids.” Our profound concern for kids and youth at risk flows straight from God’s heart and our commitment to Jesus Christ. We affirm that kids, both born and unborn (along with the rest of humanity), are created in the image of God and have intrinsic worth.
In reality, every kid and teenager in our society today is at some level of risk. We must become acutely aware of what is taking place in their lives and find ways to rescue them out of a broken society. God is inviting each one of us into his “search and rescue” mission. How can we say no?
What if every kid and teen were given the opportunity to come into a life-changing relationship with Jesus?
Our desire is that every kid is given the opportunity to learn who Jesus is, to accept what he offers and to know him personally. In scripture, we see that God has a very high regard for the ability of young minds to understand truth and participate in the life of his kingdom.
We have always believed that kids can come to Jesus at a very early age. Recent studies have shown that up to 80% of people who make a decision to follow Christ do so between the ages of 4 and 14 years old. From 18 years old on, the percentages decrease dramatically.
That’s why we’re making kids and youth our top priority over the next ten years. We’re committed to helping every young person come into an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ that will not only change his or her life, but will transform our community and, perhaps, the world.
We start by reaching the kids and youth in our church. Then our community. And then the world at large. Let’s partner together to see an entire generation come into relationship with Jesus!
What if every kid had a growing relationship with Jesus—firmly rooted in the Bible—and didn’t lose his or her faith in adulthood?
The battle for our kids and youth is increasing exponentially. We must prepare this emerging generation to live their lives as God designed, in spite of opposing pressures.
God and Satan have a very different agendas. God’s intention is that all his kids thrive, experiencing life with abundance and hope. The thief, Satan, is a liar and wants to steal, kill and destroy that abundant life.
We need to step in and equip kids and youth today to resist the lies about their morality, identity and value; refusing to lose even one!
Rooting them is not isolating them from culture, however. It’s preparing them to hold on to their faith and to be an influential force to others around them. For this to occur, we must intensify our support and training for parents and families.
What if kids and youth were equipped and released to do everything that God has called them to do?
Many kids and youth today seem to have everything they need to live, but nothing to live for. Despite that, they have so much to contribute! Every young person who follows Christ, in every community and nation, is called to Christ’s transformational mission. What often prevents this is an absence of adults who believe in them.
Too often, we don’t take young people seriously. When encouraged and given opportunities, we believe they will step up to the challenge.
Our kids and youth are an enormous pool of influencers. We need to understand the exciting reality that God will use young people—their prayers, insights, gifts and talents—to change the world.
In order to rescue, reach, root and release kids and youth—and fulfill our commitment to the next generation—it takes resources. We know that God is calling us to more than our finances currently allow. That’s why we’re taking the adventurous step of launching a three-year giving campaign . . . and inviting you to join us.
Our plan is two-fold: We’ll (1) build a brand new building at our Windsor campus for kids and youth, mortgage-free. At the same time, we’re going to (2) eliminate all of our mortgages. The money we free up will be used to create a steady stream of resources devoted to investing in kids and youth. Imagine what we can do with an additional quarter-million dollars every year that will be used exclusively to impact kids and youth for the kingdom of God.
A stunning building for kids and youth in Windsor . . . Our kids and youth have been meeting in modular spaces for the past year. While it has served us well, it was never meant to be a permanent solution. In fact, the city of Windsor won’t allow it! The new two-story building (the second story will be completed in phase-two) will be attached to the current Windsor campus and will have plenty of space to grow. Because safety is our main priority, our design features plenty of windows and a secure layout for drop-off and pick-up.
Our big objective . . . We’re going to eliminate all of our mortgages—on our Windsor and North Fort Collins campuses, as well as our South Fort Collins property. This will save us $1.6 million in interest over the course of these loans and release over $245,000 annually to invest in kids and youth (at all campuses) for the next ten years and beyond.
What we could do with the freed-up resources . . .
We’re already putting together teams to investigate how to make the biggest impact with our increased resources. Here are some of the ideas we’re dreaming about:
upgrade/expand the youth areas at all three campuses
launch a day care program
increase staffing for kids and youth
fund a worship and arts academy
create a Heroic Leadership training program for youth
start an adopt-a-school program at all three campuses
develop a mentoring program for girls and boys
upgrade our playground at the North campus
build a playground at the Windsor and South campuses
renovate the Outback (North campus) for 4th grade and up
We’re in this for the long haul—our vision is ten years! As you prayerfully consider what to give, we want you to strategize about what you’re able to contribute over time. In addition to a one-time gift, a pledged amount can really add up. It might take faith to set aside future income, but bold faith is what God asks of us.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much money do we need to raise?
Our objective is to raise $3.5 million over three years.
How will the funds be spent?
Currently, our mortgages equal approximately $2.5 million, including all three campuses. Our total assets are approximately $6.5 million. Our plan is to be completely free of all current obligations by March, 2015. The campaign fund will be spent on the following:
build a kids and youth building in Windsor ($900,000)
pay off South College property ($500,000)
pay off North Fort Collins facility ($1,250,000)
pay off Windsor facility ($750,000)
short term kids/youth initiatives ($100,000)
Does this mean we won’t secure another mortgage in the future?
Exactly! In light of our vision, we don’t think it’s in the best interest of the next generation to pass on debt. Consequently, our Board of Directors has committed to remain mortgage-free and debt-free in the future.
How will the freed-up resources be allocated?
Soon, we’ll begin discussing how to leverage the freed-up resources with a small task force for each area of focus (rescue, reach, root, release and resource). We’ll continue to seek input from anyone who is passionate about investing in the next generation as well. Because our vision goes well beyond the next three years, we’re strategically positioning our church to be able to go in whichever direction God leads us in the coming decade.
What happens if we raise less than $3.5 million?
In the event we are unable to meet our financial goal of $3.5 million, the kids and youth building in Windsor will be our first priority. We’re determined to build it without acquiring an additional mortgage. Beyond that, the process of dispersing funds will be determined by the Board of Directors with input from the Financial Advisory Council and the Senior Leadership Team.
Will my financial gift stay in the campus I attend?
We are “one church, many locations.” Everything given during the campaign will be pooled together and allocated as decided upon by our Board of Directors. This campaign should be a time when the campuses are united and can celebrate what’s going on in each of our communities.
Can I give assets as well as cash?
Yes. Many have already come forward with gifts of property, water rights, stocks, gold and silver. We will also provide multiple opportunities for people to donate goods and services to be purchased through events such as a silent auction and garage sale.
When and how do I make a commitment?
Our giving campaign was launched in March of 2012 and will end in March of 2015. We are asking everyone to prayerfully consider what they could give above and beyond their regular tithe and offerings for a period of 36 months.
How do I determine what to give?
We want everyone to give freely and not under any compulsion. Here are three different approaches to determining what to give:
Look at your budget and ask what you can afford to give. This approach simply calculates existing resources.
Ask God what he desires for you to give. This approach requires the willingness to risk, listen to God, and then obey him in a way that causes you to grow personally and spiritually.
Designate a percentage of additional or unexpected income over the three-year giving commitment. Although this amount may be difficult to determine up-front, this approach challenges us to rely on God’s surprising intervention.
In addition to giving, how else can I participate?
Pray. We can’t do anything without God! For our campaign to be successful, we need a devoted community of prayerful people.
Serve. Jump in, because we need you! There are plenty of opportunities with eight Sunday services and tons of outreaches to impact kids and youth right now.
Connect. If you’re not already in a small group, join one! There, you’ll be able to “spur one another on to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24) and develop lasting, maybe even life-long, friendships.