By Pastor Brent McDougal
The English Baptist missionary William Carey said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
In my August Connections article I teased that Jen and I were expecting. We’re not really, but we are really anticipating the future with our church family, Cliff Temple.
Now I want to deliver even better news: our church is expecting.
As our surrounding community continues to revitalize in a long-awaited redevelopment, our congregation is expecting great things with plans of its own.
On Wednesday, August 15th, Cliff Temple members gathered for a special business meeting to discuss and approve a future-focused renovation effort with a fall capital campaign. In a unanimous vote, Cliff Temple agreed to move forward with a renovation plan for our preschool and children’s ministry space, Tenth Street entrance, and sanctuary foyer.
These improvements can be accomplished if we are able to raise the base goal of 2.6 million dollars.
Our challenge goal will be 3.1 million dollars, adding a half million to the base goal, to create a new space for our youth ministry.
We anticipate achieving and perhaps surpassing this challenge goal through the Great Expectations Capital Campaign. The vision of the campaign is to provide necessary funding to improve existing Cliff Temple campus structures in order to create greater accessibility, hospitality and functionality for future ministries.
120 years ago God launched our then-new church in Oak Cliff with a handful of believers. The foundation of our church was simple: “Jesus only.” Our church flourished through the building of our sanctuary in the 1930’s with an outpouring of generosity and faithfulness. In the decades to follow the Word was preached with passion as thousands were baptized. Missionaries were sent out and lives were changed. We remained faithful through challenging years, expanding ministries to low-income families and at-risk teens. In the 1980’s, there was talk in Dallas of “the miracle in Oak Cliff” as our great, established church experienced renewal. In the 1990’s and 2000’s the church never stopped serving and hoping for the future, believing that God was still working through us, still on the corner of 10th and Zang.
Today, we have great expectations that God is doing a new thing. Our community is rapidly changing. For many years, visionaries, business leaders and everyday residents dreamed of renewal in our neighborhood. As new apartments are built, new businesses are launched, and old buildings are renovated, together we’re seeing those hopes becoming reality.
Cliff Temple has great expectations as well: that God will renew our fellowship, expand our impact, and use us for God’s glory for decades to come. Our expectations for the future aren’t focused on buildings. They’re focused on people. It’s all about relationships. We want to see men and women — children, youth and adults — come together. We want to see people baptized, discipled and sent out in the power of the Holy Spirit in order to be a blessing for North Oak Cliff and throughout the City of Dallas.
As we remodel space, we expect that God will help us to disciple more children and youth so that they can live out the missionary life, loving God and others more deeply. We expect that our enhanced worship and classroom space will be better utilized to equip adults to reach people in places where they live, work and play.
The next steps are already in the works: the establishment of a campaign steering committee and the creation of compelling documents and imagery to cast the vision. The steering committee will be formed by the end of August, and the materials will be given to the church in September and October.
The campaign will culminate on our 120th Anniversary Sunday, November 4th.
Stay tuned for more information. We’re expecting great things, so we’re attempting great things. Pray for our church each day and about how you can be a part of God’s vision for Cliff Temple.