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Psalm 3:3

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(2007) Church Expansion Project FAQ


1. What is the conviction of our growth?

A. We want to rekindle the original mission which was exemplified by how FEC Glendale started FECSGV 20 years ago by an act of faith and sacrifice.

B. We want to be faithful in reaping the plentiful harvest in the strategic location where God has situated us.

C. We want to create space for future generations, and not limit our growth to current needs and opportunities.


2. Do we grow or plateau?

A. We need to develop an unshakable conviction about growth that is based on God’s commitment to glorify Himself through His church by fulfilling the Great Commission entrusted to His people (Eph. 3:10-11; 1Thess. 1:7-10).

B. The Lord calls His Church to aspire to greatness in His name. He intends His people to be strong, like a mighty warrior, filled with gladness and joy, and raising up a generation of children who share their enthusiasm for the work of the Lord (Zechariah 10:6,7).


3. Do we want qualitative growth or quantitative growth?

We want both. The two types of growth are NOT mutually exclusive. It is the nature of healthy churches to grow numerically and multiply. There is an analogy: when I fish, I not only want many fish, but also big fish.

4. Do we pursue a larger church or keep the existing size and plant new churches?

A. It is not our goal to seek to grow to a certain size as an end, but rather it is our goal to grow to be healthy and effective in our ministries and mission.

B. Church-planting is NOT a substitute for local church growth. In fact, church-planting has to be the outcome of healthy growth.

C. Our multi-congregations and multi-generations church require an optimum size of 1300+ to provide “economies of scale” and synergistic deployment of resources to sustain ongoing growth where we are and start a church planting project elsewhere.


5. If Glendale can plant a church with only 500 members, why can’t we do it now?

A. Church planting is not just a matter of splitting members based on its size. It needs a target area, and enough current members in the target area.

B. 20 years ago, Glendale church identified San Gabriel Valley as a growing area for Chinese immigrants.

C. Today, no major population shift has impacted our location, and we have not reached our potential optimum size yet because we are situated in an area with a growing Chinese population.


6. What are the benefits of growing our church to 1300 members?

A larger church can provide more services to its members and surrounding communities, and thus make a greater impact. More membership from different areas increases the possibility for future church planting. Using the existing property to double our current size is also the most economical way of growth.

7. What are the factors that favor or limit our church grow to that optimum size?

Our strategic location, right in the middle of a growing Chinese population, presents untapped potential for further growth.

Our debt free status allows us to consider facility developments with less financial burden.

                        We have sizable members and offering.

                        We have a faithful pastoral team and church leaders.

                        More importantly, God is with us.

Our current shortage of facilities: classrooms, chapels etc., and the projected shortage of spaces in near future can curtail or stifle any growth initiative. The potential growth of our existing outreach ministry (such as after-school care) and other new outreach ministries are limited by our current space availability.

 Our parking deficiency restricts any possibility of the City approving any building expansion that may be needed for the projected growth.

Our church office deficiency limits our staffing process.


8. What can we do to resolve the space shortage issue?

We may resolve some of the space issue by multi-services in the short run, but to fundamentally resolve this issue we need a building expansion plan.

9. What is the parking deficiency issue?

A. Currently we are short 148 parking spaces by building code. During Sunday peak hours, too many cars park on the streets, which has created a strained relationship with City and our neighbors.

B. The City of Rosemead will NOT approve any of our building expansion plans unless we resolve our parking deficiency issue first.


10. What have we tried to do to resolve the parking deficiency issue?

A. We have asked both the school district and the owner of Rosemead Square for Sunday parking. Both were sympathetic, but they won’t sign a lease or agreement.

B. Even though we parked by the school for many years, the City will NOT recognize those parking spaces as ours.


11. Can we tear down the two houses and the garage to solve the issue?

This will only provide us with less than 40 additional parking spaces, which are insufficient to cover current deficiency.

12. Can we stagger our Sunday services and implement parking control to solve this issue?

While the feasibility of multi-services is still being considered by the pastoral team, this solution will only ease the parking congestion problem during peak hours on Sunday; it will not resolve the parking deficiency issue per city code. We should implement parking control measures to create spaces for more newcomers. We also need to find the solution for our deficiency issue.

13. What are the 4 options the Task Force has recommended for our expansion problem?

Option 1: Build a new building with underground parking on North side.

Option 2: Buy vacant land and build new facilities and parking.

Option 3: Buy an existing building and renovate.

Option 4: Lease SCE land and build on existing church property.

14. Option 1: Can we build underground parking in north parking lot to solve both space and parking issues?

Yes. We had commissioned an architect in June 2004 to design a plan of underground and ground level parking and a three-story Activity Center Building. Because underground parking is very expensive, the project cost estimate was about $8 million.

15. Option 2: Can we find vacant land and start anew to solve both issues?

A. This is possible, but not practical. Based on paper analysis, this option will cost an estimated $13 million to purchase land and build. With a projected sale price of $6 million for our current church property, we still need another $7 million for this option.

B. Moreover, the availability of a large parcel of land near our location is limited. If it is available we need to compete with other users and be able to act quickly.

C. If we go farther out to find land and build, we will lose our current strategic location and most of our membership.


16. Option 3: Can we find a large building with ample parking and renovate to solve both issues?

This option is not practical for the same reasons as Option 2. On paper analysis, this option will cost an estimated $14 million to buy and renovate, thus requiring another $8 million after the sale of our current church property.

17. What is the story about the Southern California Edison Company land?

While our Five Year Plan Task Force was looking for land and building opportunities for our church in October 2004, they learned that a 4-acre parcel of SCE land on Marshall Ave. was available to lease. Task Force members immediately contacted SCE, and explored the possibility with the City, and recommended this option to the Joint Board as one of the 4 solutions for our parking and expansion problem.

18. What is the opinion of the Elders’ Board on these 4 options?

A. The Elders’ Board agrees to reconsider and evaluate the building needs as a separate but related project to the SCE parking lot lease.

B. We will consider multi-services and other creative solutions to meet our space needs first before committing to a building program.

C. The options for building expansion include the above options, but are not limited to these.


19. What is the Lease and Option Agreement we signed with SCE?

There are two parts: Part 1 is Option Agreement, and Part 2 is Lease Agreement.

Part 1: We pay $50,000 for the option to have one year to seek the City’s approval to build a parking lot on the land. If the City rejects the application, we will get our option money back. If the City approves the application, SCE keeps the $50,000, and we are bound by the Lease Agreement (Part 2).

20. What are the terms of the Lease Agreement (Part 2)?

Part 2: The length of the lease is 10 years, and with five additional 10 year options, the total maximum term is 60 years. Annual rent for this 4-acre parcel is $50,000 with a 10% increase every 5 years.

21. Can we lease only a portion of the land and not the entire 4 acres?

A. No, 4 acres of land can provide more than 300 parking spaces which is more than we need in the near future, but SCE will not partition the land for lease.

B. We can develop Phase 1 for the our parking needs to satisfy the City’s requirements and develop Phase 2 a few years later when the need arises.


22. Can we sublease a portion or all of the land?

Yes, we can sublease all or a portion of the parcel to another tenant, subject to SCE approval of tenant qualifications and the City’s use permit.

23. Is it worth it to lease for the long term without ownership?

For investment purposes, we usually would not lease land if we can buy it, but this is NOT an investment project. The Elders’ Board deliberated over this issue and arrived at the following pros for this project:

A. The long term spiritual impact that we will make on the community cannot be quantified by normal cost-benefit analysis.

B. We will strengthen our commitment to reaching the community as we make this long term “investment”.

C. The project connects us with the community, providing opportunities to engage our community and increase our visibility.

D. This project provides a good solution for our long term church growth needs.

E. This project may be a good stimulus for us to grow.

F. It will also create ownership of the mission and vision of the church, as well as space for the next generation.


24. How do we satisfy the parking requirement after the termination of the lease?

• Plan A –

A. Lease SCE lot for 10 years. Build Phase1 parking at SCE site and a building expansion at South Campus.

B. Buy two more houses adjacent to our North Campus along Marshall so that we can tear down 4 houses and turn them into parking spaces, then terminate the SCE lease.

• Plan B – Tear down the two existing houses to build a one-story building with a two-level underground parking structure in the North Parking lot. There would be no need to lease the SCE lot.


25. Why don’t we simply adopt Plan B without having to lease the SCE project since the latter is only an interim solution?

We believe there are overwhelming reasons that Plan A is better than Plan B:

A. The current City Administration supports Plan A. In the past, they have indicated their reservations regarding our building plan at the north lot.

B. It will be more difficult to get Plan B approved by the City.

C. If we cannot get the city’s approval on Plan B, then we basically have to go back to Plan A, but without the SCE option, and waste about 2 years of time.

D.On the contrary, if we pursue Plan A now and acquire the lots later, we can develop and apply for the “North Campus Master Plan” from the City. Even if the City rejects our application, we still have the SCE option, and the option to turn those houses into parking spaces.

E. The SCE Project presents greater flexibility and freedom in timing, budget, design and during construction:

o Timing: Plan A, once approved, allows us to control the pace of development in the next two years. Plan B stops everything until we get approval. If the City rejects Plan B, then we need to buy the two houses before we can add any spaces to our church.

o Budget: Plan B costs about $1 million more than Plan A due to the underground parking structure.

o Design: Plan B requires us to work with a smaller L-shaped lot in the North Campus while Plan A will present us with a larger square lot with more design possibility and potential.

o During Construction: The SCE land can provide parking during the construction period with Plan A, while Plan B will require us to find parking somewhere else for the whole church during the construction period.


26. What is the impact of environmental issues such as Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and Induced Voltages?

A. EMF is everywhere; we have FCC, FDA, OSHA to regulate the safety issues of those products that generate EMF and IV, including high voltage power lines. The World Health Organization has a continuing worldwide study on EMF and health related issues. We all need to educate ourselves about the latest scientific research on this issue to dispel any undue fear.

B. A good place to start is at: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/en.


27. Can we wait for opportunities to buy smaller parcels for parking instead of leasing now?

A. It is possible, but very unlikely. To provide only 100 parking spaces we will need to assemble 4 to 5 houses together and tear them down to create a parking lot.

B. It could cost more than $3 million and it is very difficult to obtain the City’s approval.


28. How much will cost for our future building project?

A. While we have not decided on our final building plan yet, we do have a design submitted to the City with SCE parking application.

B. Assuming we build a 3-story 15,000 square feet building, and Phase 1 parking, the total construction cost estimate is about $3.5 million.


29. What is our cash need for our total capital improvement project in the next few years?

A. The total budget estimate for our main sanctuary remodeling project, north parking lot resurfacing project, south campus building and face-lift project are about $5 million in the next few years.


30. We don’t have a Senior Pastor now, who will lead us on this project?

A. While the role of the Senior Pastor is critical, we cannot be paralyzed by the absence of a Senior Pastor in working towards plans for growth and expansion.

B. Our God-given vision to grow must be more enduring than any staff change, sustained by our corporate conviction of and commitment to God’s purpose.

C. The biblical paradigm of a healthy church is that of a fully-functioning body in which every member does its part to contribute to the growth of the church (Eph. 4:11-13, 16; 1 Pet. 5:10-11).

D. Moreover it is Jesus Christ Himself who is committed in building His church (Matt. 16:18; Matt. 28:18), enabling and empowering His church to fulfill His mission (Acts 1:8; Eph. 3:20-21).

E. In the absence of the Senior Pastor, our Joint Board has taken up the leadership role to execute our vision for growth.


31. Many of our lay leaders and pastors are new. We don’t have experienced leaders now. Can we take on this task?

A. Joshua, the “inexperienced leader” is not wearing Moses’ shoes, but keeping in step with God’s call and promise (Josh. 1:1-9). Likewise we need to refocus our faith in God’s leadership and promise to finish what He started.

B. God always give us a task that is bigger than us so that the glory belongs to Him alone. Our sense of inadequacy should turn us to depend on God to accomplish His purpose.


32. Didn’t Jesus teach us “to estimate cost before we start building, lest we cannot finish”. Shouldn’t we wait until we know we can do it?

A. Jesus used this parable to ask the multitudes to think twice about the price they have to pay to become a disciple. This is not a proof-text for financial considerations in church-building projects.

B. A compelling vision will motivate members to give. About 20% of the church is supporting 80% of our current operational costs. There is potential in giving yet to be tapped.

C. No ministry of God is ever started on the basis of having adequate funding. “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack His supply.” – Hudson Taylor


33. If some members are still not feeling comfortable to move ahead, what the church should do?

A project like this will never get 100% agreement in any congregation. There will always be ambivalence in any communal discernment of vision. Our basis to proceed will be based on our communal discernment that this decision will:

A. Honor God’s reign in our church.

B. Provide continuity to the Spirit’s guidance and work in our church.

C. Receive endorsement by the community.

D. The final decision to proceed or not proceed is in the hands of each and every member.


34. If I have other opinions or suggestions, what is my channel to express it?

A. We believe our congregations are not only smart but also love God and our neighbors. We believe you will contribute many constructive ideas and suggestions in the coming months.

B. Please submit your ideas or suggestions to our Joint Board, addressing them through our Elder Frank Leang (fleang3@juno.com). We will review and respond to your input.


Related Messages

(2009) Church Expansion Project Additional FAQ  

(2007) Church Expansion Project FAQ 

因著被神的豐盛更新改變, 我們把祂的豐盛帶往近鄰和遠方 !!    Email: office@fecsgv.org    Powered by Web4Jesus (W4J) Ministry