The people of Kew Baptist Church have been building, demolishing, buying and selling property to meet our needs for ministry and mission for 160 years. And we now find ourselves on the threshold of doing those things once more. Here’s a brief snapshot over the last 13 years of how we got to the point of embarking on a new vision for our future regarding our properties. If you are a person who likes more detail, then download the more Comprehensive Property History Report.
After consulting with the Baptist Union of Victoria, the church was confident to engage Studio B Architects to help us through a Property Masterplan Mission Process. The driving principle was not that we needed to fix up ageing and decaying properties, though we do, but to ascertain our Missional DNA: Who are are we, where are we and what is God calling us to be in the future?
At our 2016 Leadership Retreat we identified 3 Strategic Priorities for us as a church:
We also formed these priorities into a 5 year Vision Horizon that encapsulates our heart for mission and ministry into the future:
The Property Masterplan Process
This process took place from Jan-July 2016 and involved around 25 leaders from KBC across all congregations and major ministry areas to provide extensive feedback on our church by way of strategic questionnaires. A further 8 extensive property inventory questionnaires were completed and Studio B used this data to present some initial concepts. During this time meetings were held with representatives from the Baptist union and BaptCare to explore partnership and synergy opportunities. We also informed our friends next door, the Melbourne Chinese Baptist Church, of the process and welcomed any contribution or input they had. After several months of back and forth discussions with the Leadership Team, and 19 iterations of possible options, the LT settled on 3 options to present to the church, with a preferred option being the following:
At our August 2016 Church Gathering, Senior Architect, Fred Batterton, presented the 3 plans. The church moved a motion to have a 3-month discernment phase in which people could give feedback, ask questions, offer alternatives etc. We then met at our November 2016 Church gathering to decide on what to do. As a church, we moved a motion to move forward with Plan 3. From here, we are forming a Property Steering Group which will move things onto the next phase. This Group will be working through feedback already given from the congregation and other stakeholders, but you are welcome to provide new thoughts or issues as they arise.
We have accomplished so much as a church community to get to this point and have made a lot of progress over the past 2 years. Let us continue to pray for God to lead us and guide us and that we will be faithful and full of faith as we move forward.
We all know buildings don’t change people or fix everything; but we can form and shape them to serve God’s purposes and to provide a welcoming and hospitable hub in which worship and prayer can take place, relationships can flourish, people can connect, ministries, programs and events can happen and as a consequence of all of this: see people transformed by the good news of Jesus.
That’s what we have been doing for the last 160 years over 3 different church buildings and on many occasions buying/selling land, and building/demolishing buildings to better fulfill the mission of Christ in our community and beyond.