A NEW DIRECTION FOR CONSTRUCTION AT THE SANCTUARY
As I’m sure you’re aware, we had to pause our construction at The Sanctuary at the end of December 2015 because of finances. I actually took out a line of credit on December 22 to meet our obligations with television and salaries, but the great news is that we paid that back in less than forty-five days. Thank You, Jesus! We are back on track to do everything debt free.
My original plan was to wait until we built up a $4 million buffer before restarting construction. This was to absorb any fluctuations in income or expenses so we wouldn’t run into this problem again. But something happened that has presented me with a new opportunity.
We are so cramped for space at The Barn that we are facing forced limitations on how many people can come to our conferences. We are dealing with this by possibly having students and staff go down to our facilities in Colorado Springs and watch the meetings via live stream. This only affects our major meetings, such as Summer Family Bible Conference, the Ministers’ Conference, Healing Is Here, and Charis Business Summit.
But the more pressing issue is office space and our Phone Center. As I told you months ago, I gave up my office space at The Sanctuary, and we’ve moved as many people as possible down to our offices in Colorado Springs, which already house over 250 employees. I went to talk to one of our IT people at The Barn, and they are actually occupying a storage space on the roof for their offices.
Our Phone Center is 90 percent staffed by Charis Bible College students. This makes for wonderful prayer ministers who do a great job, but it hinders us during Charis class hours. Right now, one of our largest volumes of calls comes from Daystar viewers, beginning at 6:50 a.m. and continuing for the next hour. Our Charis students have to leave around 7:00 a.m. to make it up to Woodland Park by the start of classes at 8:00 a.m.
This drop in people available to answer calls has dramatically limited our ability to respond during this time. We are losing hundreds of calls per day. Some of them may call back later, but we don’t know that for sure.
To solve these problems, my staff proposed looking at places in Woodland Park to rent for additional space. If we had our call center nearby in Woodland Park, the students would be able to take the vast majority of these dropped calls. As we began this process, the man who heads up our construction came to me with the idea of finishing off the part of Phase II that will house our new Phone Center and additional office space. I didn’t know this was an option, but it appears that this will work.
So, we’ve come up with a new plan to finish off the second floor of Phase II on the north and east side of the building. This will allow us to have 150 people answering the phones at one time and will give us around 100 new work spaces.
The changes to accommodate this partial build-out are very minor, and the benefit is enormous. This could be completed by August 2016, and that would be just perfect to accommodate the 1,000 students expected for the new school year beginning in September.
I feel so good about this that I instructed my staff today to go ahead and pursue this plan. Of course, we need the whole building finished as quickly as possible—and I am continuing to believe for that—but this is a bite-sized piece that will provide us with some quick relief.
Over the last eighteen months, we have received an average of $791,000 per month designated for our building projects. It would require just over $1 million per month to complete this partial build-out, or an increase of about $300,000 per month over what we are receiving now. This is one-tenth of the cost of having construction on the whole building going at full throttle. I believe this is very doable and would stop the need for us having to rent additional facilities in Woodland Park.
I’m sending this letter out to the 100,000 people who receive our monthly mailings, and it will also go out to 185,000 people on our email list. We will record some television spots announcing this, reaching millions more. Altogether, this is a piece of cake for Jesus.
I’m asking you to pray about this and participate if the Lord directs you to. As I’ve said many times before, it’s not about the buildings. These buildings are just tools that enable us to minister the true Gospel to people. But they are essential for accomplishing that goal.
Jamie and I and all the people being impacted by this ministry appreciate all you have done and will be doing to get this done. I am more convinced than ever that the Lord is doing something special at Charis. Not long ago, I was able to sit in on chapel at Charis when the students received a taste of our latest musical, God with Us. The writers of all the original music for this were telling us about how people want them on Broadway and in Hollywood and can’t understand why they are living in a small town in the mountains of Colorado. But they shared how the Lord brought them here. This is just one more example of what God is putting together.
No man has done this. No man could do this. Even if I were smart enough to figure this out, there is no way I could compete with all that the secular world has to offer these people. We have millionaires and business tycoons who have fallen in love with Charis and are pouring their lives into these students. David Barton and political figures are investing time and effort into raising up people to take our nation back.
Our media department is training people to communicate the Gospel using all the tools available to us today. Our missions program and ministry track are touching lives all over the world. Our evangelism courses are making a profound impact on our students, who, in turn, are touching the people in their worlds.
Altogether, Charis is doing things I’ve never been able to do. It’s like a tank being brought into battle. Satan’s kingdom is being hurt by what the Lord is doing here. Thanks for being a part of it. We couldn’t do it without you.
Thanks in advance,
Andrew and Jamie