Frequently Asked Questions
+ As I/we commit to Take Root, how does this change my giving to missions, the operating fund, and other special offerings?
During this two-year period, every contribution to God through Christ Church is a contribution to our Take Root initiative. Every aspect of the ministry vision God is calling us towards for the next two years will be supplied through Take Root. There will not be separate funds. Therefore, every weekend becomes a day to celebrate and contribute towards what God is doing in us and through us as we move God’s mission forward here at Christ Church and beyond.
+ Are there additional ways besides cash that I can give more towards Take Root?
Be creative as you explore ways your household can give towards Take Root. You might have some stocks, property, or other stored resources He just might be calling you to give out of during this time. Please let us know if you need assistance with facilitating gifts of property or stock, and we would be happy to help you with that. You can contact Bob Huxtable at 630.321.3910 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make a gift of this type.
+ Why do we need a new contemporary worship venue when there are still seats available in the Fellowship Hall?
We routinely run close to full in our Fellowship Hall at the 10:45 service – and regularly over the 80% full threshold that church growth experts say should signal the move toward increasing capacity. Attendance at our 9:00 contemporary service is moving toward that threshold. By 2018, we’ll have a serious space crisis or have lost our momentum because we failed to address the capacity problem. We believe that now is the time to act to preserve our vitality and influence for the future.
When Christ Church was meeting at Butler School, the congregation chose to build our existing Sanctuary despite the fact that there were still open seats in the school gymnasium. Our founders built a better and larger space for worship because they were committed to reaching hundreds more people for Christ and to offering worship at an even higher level of excellence. We have the same motivation today.
+ Why not simply use the Sanctuary for contemporary worship? There are a lot of empty seats there.
THE AESTHETIC ISSUE: The Sanctuary is a marvelous space for classic/traditional worship. It’s soaring ceiling, stained glass windows, straight-back pews, massive pipe organ, iconic communion table, font, and pulpit are elements cherished by all of us who love classic worship. It is not, however, a contemporary worship space. There is a reason that our contemporary worship ministry exploded in size only after we moved to locate such services in a space whose aesthetics were truly more contemporary. We could significantly alter the aesthetics of the Sanctuary to accommodate contemporary worship, but it would be a great loss to those who value the sacred space that this historic facility is now.
THE CAPACITY ISSUE: Our Sanctuary seats a maximum 1100 people (not counting the choir) and only 1000 comfortably. Average school-year attendance at our contemporary services consistently tops that number. This means we’d need to devote the Sanctuary to contemporary worship at two hours (impacting classic worship significantly), or else offer contemporary worship once in the Sanctuary and again in the Fellowship Hall. Given the dramatically different acoustics in the two spaces, this would necessitate dual rehearsals and sound checks, would continue to prevent Fellowship Hall from being returned to education purposes, and ignore the aesthetic issues described above.
+ What about handling the contemporary service crowding issue by adding more services or changing the hours of our services?
Nationwide practice makes it clear that younger families – the ones most attracted to contemporary services want to come to a worship service within the 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. window. This is why we have the 9:00 and 10:45 schedule we have. When we shifted to it, our engagement of younger families began to rise. We can add services or change our hours, but it won’t alter when the majority of people want to come to church. To deal with our crowding, we may HAVE to add another service (maybe at Noon or Sunday night), but it’s not likely to relieve the pressure at 10:45 or the rising issue. That’s when people want to come and we ought to meet them there, if we can.
+ What advantages would a new contemporary worship venue bring us?
The new venue we have in mind will allow us to accommodate 1100 worshippers at a single service (vs. 700 in the Fellowship Hall). It will give us a front platform that provides significantly more space for worship leaders, staging, and creative liturgy. It will allow a higher ceiling to enhance singing, lighting, and sound. And it will provide a variety of flexible seating options that allow the space to be used for education, group life, and special events during the week. Furthermore, by creating this new venue, we will regain the use of the Fellowship Hall for adult education purposes on the weekends, a use we have been sorely missing.
+ Is 1100 seats in a new contemporary worship venue enough? Why not build bigger?
Christ Church has never had an ambition to be a mega-church. While we technically occupy that category, a high value of our congregation is “genuine community.” We care about relationships and a sense of being a family. We don’t want to build a vast auditorium where people feel like mere spectators. Whatever structures we build need to be consistent with the residential nature of our part of Oak Brook. We don’t want more people in our buildings than we can accommodate well with the amount of parking or overall lot size allows. Once we make full and responsible use of our existing campus, we will fulfill the Great Commission by establishing new branches of Christ Church on other sites.
+ Do the campus-related elements of this vision put us at odds with our neighbors?
Christ Church is one of the original and first institutions of Oak Brook. If anyone is committed to the quality of life of this community, we are. We love and respect the character of our neighborhood. We have worked closely with our neighbors to come up with a final plan that works well for them and for the quality of the wider community. We are encouraged that the Village of Oak Brook has given their official approval to our plans.
+ Who is overseeing our master planning and campus improvement process?
Our master planning process has been guided by our volunteer Facilities Team, under the leadership of trustee, John Blacketor, CEO of Executive Construction Inc. ECI is one of Chicago’s premier construction and real estate development companies, overseeing projects for Microsoft and Google, the upcoming relocation of the McDonald’s HQ, and the construction of our sister congregation the Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church, just to name a few. David Melvin, our Chief Administrative Officer, works closely with our Facilities Team.
+ Who have we involved in our architectural design concepts?
Because blending any new construction with existing standards is very important to us, we have involved Saavedra-Gelhausen Architects, our partners in past projects. SGA’s principals were trained by Ed Ware, the original architect of Christ Church (now deceased). In addition, we’ve pulled in as lead designer, Doug Pasma, the architect who has overseen the development of the Willow Creek Community Church, Calvary Church of Naperville, and Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, among others.
+ When would construction on the proposed improvements begin?
Once sufficient commitments have been received to underwrite proposed improvements, a congregational meeting will be held to secure approval for moving forward with construction. We anticipate that site work on the parking and water detention portions of the plan would begin as early as possible in 2017. Construction on the building portion of the proposal would commence in the summer of 2017 and conclude in mid-2018.
+ How will church life be affected by construction of the proposed improvements?
As with all construction projects in the past, great attention will be given to staging our process to minimize disruption to ongoing congregational life. For a period of time, certain parts of our parking lots and driveways will be out of commission. During the time that the front entrance of our building is being renovated, we will re-route members and friends through the other entrances to our church. Thankfully, most of the major facility construction will take place outside the boundary of our current Narthex, thereby allowing us free use of the existing building.
+ What is a multisite church?
More than 8000 churches in America are now multisite churches. The multisite movement is the fastest growing frontier for evangelism in modern church history. A multisite church is one that reproduces the theology, ministry models, and teaching content of a successful church in more than one location. It allows a healthy church to extend its proven resources into new communities in a manner that is more cost efficient and sustainable than if it were to try to plant independent churches.
+ Why is Christ Church planning to develop new sites?
We have a wonderful theology, a marvelous ministry model, a set of effective communicators, and a strong leadership and technological infrastructure. We don’t believe God means for us to keep these things to ourselves. As the cornerstone on our Sanctuary says, Christ calls us to “go into all the world” (Mark 16:15) with the gospel. By establishing new branches of Christ Church we will be further answering that call.
+ How will Christ Church develop new sites?
In the region around us are communities without vital churches or with faithful congregations who are eager for help in reaching their neighborhoods for Christ. Despite the presence of church buildings in many locations, studies confirm that 80% of the people in our region have no regular involvement with a community of faith. We will carefully study the region and pray to be led to congregations who need our help and have facilities suitable for the development of a robust ministry. During 2017 and 2018, we’ll seek to “adopt” two such congregations and begin reproducing key elements of our worship, hospitality, children’s, adult discipleship, and servant ministries on those sites.
+ How can we afford to develop our Oak Brook campus and new sites at the same time?
We are not planning on buying, building, or doing substantial renovations to the two new sites we imagine adopting in 2017-18. Most of the resources we invest there will be on staff – approximately 2.5 new staff members per site. Over time, the contributions that attendees at these sites make to Christ Church will more than cover staff and program costs. We will make an upfront investment in these branches through this campaign, but after two years, these new campuses will be covering their own staff and ministry expenses. By the third year, they’ll be contributing to our larger mission.
+ What will going multisite mean for the Oak Brook congregation?
Some people currently attending our Oak Brook branch may choose to begin attending the branch of Christ Church at one of our new locations. Doing so will afford them the chance to play a leading role in extending the faith to others. They’ll be experiencing the same ministry model and curricular resources they were used to when they came to church in Oak Brook. They’ll be tied into the same great mission program, albeit with freedom to tailor it to their particular location. Two-thirds of the time, they’ll be hearing a video-based message from one of our preachers here in Oak Brook. One-third of the time, they’ll hear a live message from their local campus pastor. The vast majority of people who choose to keep coming to the Oak Brook campus will experience very little change. The main preachers they are used to hearing will still be there in front of them in the same way they are now. The main difference for those of us here in Oak Brook will be knowing that we now have “family” in other communities that are helping to extend the reach of Christ Church.
+ Could going multisite redeploy enough people that we don’t have to expand our Oak Brook campus?
The major purpose of multi-site is to reach NEW people not lighten the load on a crowded home base. By going multi-site we will open up some seats in Oak Brook, but the real question for us is: “How badly do we want to be a church that is vital and able to support the kind of mission force we have ten, fifteen, or twenty years from now?” The near western suburbs will continue to need a church like Christ Church. Do we want to be that church or not? There is no long-term future for Christ Church if we do not resource contemporary worship with as much passion and quality as our founders resourced a classic worship environment in their day. This decision is that critical.
+ What are the core values we seek to reproduce at any new site?
Biblical teaching. Authentic worship. Excellent communications.
Engaging hospitality. Genuine community. Intentional growth.
Life-changing love. Generous servanthood. Attractive witness.
+ What criteria were used to make the location decision?
- God’s leading
- A significant percentage of currently active Christ Church members living nearby
- Ideal spaces for worship, hospitality, Children’s Ministry and staff offices
- A large population within a 20-minute drive of the location
- Many people in the target area with no regular church involvement
- A 15-minute drive to the Oak Brook branch
- A high traffic environment of shopping, restaurants and offices
+ In what ways is the multisite initiative an expression of our Christ Church values?
- We are using a strategy proven by several thousand churches to reach more people with the life-changing love of Christ.
- The beautiful natural setting of Christ Church Downers Grove will further enhance our focus on authentic worship.
- Leveraging our strong theological teaching and vibrant ministry model will engender intentional spiritual growth in more followers in our region.
- Our location amidst thousands of office workers and retail employees is consistent with our founding members’ focus on attractive witness in the workplace.
- Shorter travel times will increase opportunities for generous service “Here” and “Near.”
- Smaller expressions of Christ Church are more likely to foster genuine community than if we were one massive congregation.
+ How can I play a role in Launching Christ Church Downers Grove?
What if you joined the Founding Core of this new expression of Christ Church? How would that change your prayer life, your passion for God, and your understanding of the role you play on planet Earth for the kingdom of God?
Serve: As a member of The Founding Core you would be making a one-year commitment to worship and serve at the Downers Grove branch.
Pray: Everyone in the Christ Church Family is urged to pray regularly for the success of this first Multisite Initiative venture. Weekly prayer requests will be issued to those who register.
Learn More: Attend one of the many Vision Gatherings planned during October.
Register for any of the above using the forms at the Guest Centers any weekend or go to: takerootccob.org/multisite.