July 16, 2015

An Explanation of the Debt Elimination Initiative

July 16, 2015


Over the past 11 years God has been faithful to provide everything we have needed as a church. As a result of His provision, we have been incrementally paying down our mortgage each month while still increasing and funding ministry. What began as a $1.9 million mortgage is now down to $407,000.

We are at a place where it makes sense for us to make a concerted effort to finally pay off our mortgage debt by next Spring. Paying off our mortgage will not only free us from the limitations that being in debt necessitates, but will enable us to expand ministry in the future and take care of some current needs that have been neglected in our building.

What is most exciting about a stewardship initiative like this is the opportunity it gives us as a body to depend on God more intentionally as we make lifestyle adjustments so we can give to God more significantly.

To listen to Pastor Mike's introduction of this initiative please click here.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHURCH GROWTH AND MEETING SPACE:
  • In April of 1989 Countryside was a church plant originally called Tri-City Ministries West. The first services were held in a small chapel at 127th and Murlen.
  • In November of 1990 Countryside was officially organized and rented Countryside Elementary School for services.
  • In February 1994 Countryside relocated to Pioneer Trail Junior High School due to growing in size.
  • In June of 1997 Countryside relocated to Olathe East High School due to growing in size and ministry needs.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE TO BUILD?
  • Renting a facility limited the ministry abilities and gathering opportunities.
  • Renting a facility became more expensive and was a financial drain with no long-term guarantee.
  • Building a church provided long-term stability, community presence, and the ability to expand future ministry.

CURRENT PROPERTY AND BUILDING HISTORY:
  • In November of 1998 Countryside voted to buy the current church property at 14150 West 175th Street in Olathe, Kansas.
  • In January of 1999 we officially closed on the purchase of the property.
  • In July of 2003, after multiple design options and re-designs, the current “Phase 1” building plan was finalized.
  • In March of 2004 construction began on the current building.
  • In October of 2004 the building construction was completed.

BRIEF MORTGAGE HISTORY:
  • The original loan for the building was finalized at $1.9M with a 6% interest rate.
  • Over the past 11 years the loan has decreased to a current balance of just over $407,000.
  • The current monthly payment on the mortgage is $12,790.
  • A few years ago the bank re-financed our loan at an interest rate of 5.5% where it resides currently.
  • The loan at the current interest rate will reach its maturity in September of 2016.

WHY ELIMINATE THE DEBT EARLY?
  • Elimination of the mortgage will allow Countryside to be financially free of any debts.
  • We will have the ability to invest in future ministry.
  • It will help to accelerate church planting efforts as men are raised up within the ministry and called to plant churches in the surrounding communities.
  • Countryside will have the ability to re-purpose the monthly debt payments to invest in current needs and much needed building repairs.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF EARLY DEBT ELIMINATION:
  • There will be no need to re-finance the loan in September of 2016.
  • The bank will not be able to call our loan.
  • We will save an additional $10,795 in interest.
  • Our 2016-2017 budget will be simplified.

DEBT ELIMINATION PLAN:
  • The Leadership Team of deacons and elders has prayerfully proposed to eliminate the debt by June 1, 2016.
  • Eliminating the debt early will require an additional weekly principal payment of $6,343.
  • The average amount per week per family is estimated at $60 towards debt reduction for 45 weeks. (The number of families is based on a conservative average of 100 giving units with each family counting as a single giving unit.) It is understood that some may be able to give more and some may only be able to give less.

THE FIRST CALL TO ACTION: PRAYER
  • Ask for God’s abundant provision.
  • Ask God to show us where our treasure lies.
  • Ask God if you should give. If so, how much?
  • Ask God to allow Countryside to become debt free so His resources can be directed toward new ministry opportunities.

THE SECOND CALL TO ACTION: BUILDING FUND GIVING
  • Giving should be our joyful response to God’s leading.
  • Giving should be motivated by future ministry.
  • Giving should be in addition to regular giving. This is important as we have a current budget with current ministry needs in Olathe, Ottawa, Lawrence, Mexico and Brazil.

WAYS TO GIVE MORE:
  • Re-purpose current investments in small areas (daily treats such as gas station or coffee purchases).
  • Collect and save loose change.
  • Consider selling unused items on Craigslist or in a garage sale.
  • Sign up for the Financial Peace University course to get your finances in order to enable you to give more.

HOW TO GIVE TOWARD BUILDING DEBT ELIMINATION:
  • Use a designated giving envelope available in the foyer and write the specified amount in the “Building Fund” category.
  • Click this link to proceed to the online giving portion of the Countryside website. Type the desired amount in the "Building Debt Reduction" box. 

As the Leadership Team of deacons and elders has sought God’s wisdom, they believe God is directing us to eliminate our mortgage debt early. It is time for us to finally eliminate our debt. The work we are called to do is great but our God is greater. He has already provided us with all that is needed. We just need to open our hearts, trust Him, make what He has provided available, and open our hands. As we move forward, we humbly ask that you seek the Lord as a family and consider how God would have you strive together with our church family in this endeavor.