The Dream is Building – John Stumbo Video Blog No. 114

Alliance Corporate Vice-President Kelvin Walker and other Alliance leaders see Project ReImagine as being at the front edge of something pivotal God is doing in the broader Church. Find out why—and see some renderings of the newly reimagined multi-use facility at One Alliance Place in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

– Happy New Year, Alliance family. We’ve just come from a meeting with the City of Reynoldsburg, and we’re excited to bring to you the latest on our relocation. I trust that you, in your personal lives and ministries, experienced a meaningful holiday season. My wife and I were grateful for our family time, and on behalf of all the teammates and international workers that are supported by the Great Commission Fund, thank you for your generous participation in our Christmas Offering. You continue to forward the work and word of Jesus globally, and we’re teamed; we’re grateful. Tonight, we just presented the plans for One Alliance Place to the Planning and Zoning Board of the City of Reynoldsburg, Ohio. I am happy to announce that we received the green light to move forward with our building design, and we’re very excited about that. We’ve been cautious in sharing the design of the building publicly until the city had the opportunity to review it. But now, we’re at liberty to show our plans to you. We’re excited about what is taking place, and we’re inviting you to trust God with us for what’s in store. But before we show the pictures, I want to bring us back to the “Why?” question. “Why are we doing this?” To answer that, I’ve invited our Corporate Vice President and Metro District Superintendent, Kelvin Walker, to join me. Kelvin doesn’t work at the National Office but is a President’s Cabinet and Board of Director’s member, and he’s been part of every step of this developing journey. So, Kelvin, my friend, why is this significant? Why have you given your full support to this?

– Thank you, John. Alliance family, I want you to know I’ve given my support to this effort because it’s clear. First of all, we need to disrupt the model of how Christian ministries function. After decades of being isolated in business parks, the Alliance office is returning to where we started, that was the marketplace. From our local churches to our most remote international workers, we seek to have a meaningful, impactful presence in our communities, and it’s time for our National Office staff to live this out as well. The other thing is this: Columbus gives us a a good place and a good opportunity to broaden the diversity of our staff. The other thing about Columbus, it’s a better access place for a much higher percentage of the Alliance family so that we can engage a greater percentage of the family. This new office concept that we’re looking at, it allows for better stewardship of the Great Commission Fund also. Our Board chairman’s going to speak to that a little later, so I’m not going to talk about that. But I want you to know that I believe that Project Reimagine is at the forefront and the front edge of something new that God is doing in the broader Church. What it looks like for churches and for districts and even partner ministries to embrace a missional vision for day-to-day engagement of the community, we’re still discovering that. But I’m excited about what we’re going to learn.

– Thank you, my friend. You’ve captured well the heart of what we’re seeking to accomplish. Let me introduce next, Robb Childs. Robb brings with him decades of experience in hospital administration and as a local church executive pastor. In both of those roles, he was responsible for the design, build, and implementation of major construction projects. He’s investing this phase of his life in what we now call “One Alliance Place.” I’m grateful for Robb, and I’m asking him to walk us through what we’ve just revealed to the city tonight, the culmination of thousands of hours of planning and design. Robb, show us what we’re going to build.

– Yes, John, it has indeed been thousands of hours full of meetings and hundreds of decisions, but we are so excited about how the plans are coming together. One Alliance Place will be a four-story building, and in designing it, we’ve sought to incorporate both excellence but not opulence. We’ve sought a design that is timeless—that is not trendy—attractive, functional, and inviting, a place where you, the greater Alliance family, where the Alliance office staff, and the broader public have meaningful engagement. The building itself will be approximately 130,000 square feet and will include seven types of spaces. First, there’ll be public space, both indoor public space and outdoor public space. The outdoor space will be very active with games and a fire pit and a water feature. Second, an event center. We’re affectionately calling it The Tab. For those in the Alliance family who have been around for a season, you’ll know the historical significance of the Gospel Tabernacles. What we’ve attempted to do is to design The Tab to hearken back to some of the roots of The Alliance. It’ll be a 600-seat auditorium with a dozen conference rooms of various sizes. We expect to host our own conferences in the event center and make the event center available to public groups that want to meet in our space. Third, a coffee shop, which will be owned and operated by us. This is our front door, our opportunity to express Christian hospitality. Fourth, a reception area for the National Office, which will be a welcoming exposure to the public, and there’ll be some merchandise available for purchase. Fifth, the National Office space—around 30,000 square feet of flexible, collaborative space on the second and third floors. And by the way, that’s more than a third less than the space we occupied in Colorado Springs. For the final two, leased office and retail spaces, I’ll turn it over to our Board Chairman, Matt Kelly, to explain. Matt has over 25 years of commercial real estate development experience, and we are indebted to Matt for contributing so much of his time and expertise to this project. Matt, tell us about the lease space. Why would we dedicate so much of our building for that purpose?

– Thanks, Robb. The building design is really coming together well. I’m excited about it. Yes, approximately one-third of the building is leasable space, and we’re often asked, “Why would we prioritize this as part of One Alliance Place?” A very practical reason is that if we’re building something for the community, we need to provide reasons for the community to come and use it. Everyone needs to shop from time to time or mail a package. Lots of people like coffee these days, and many people benefit from meeting room space. So, one reason is to serve the community and bring people into our doors. The second reason is missional. As an Alliance family, we have a long and strong commitment to living out our faith, not in isolation, but in relationship. Tucking ourselves away in a business park for decades didn’t give us much of an opportunity to engage with the community. We’re changing that. Lastly, there’s a significant financial benefit. One Alliance Place gives us the opportunity to leverage the asset of our building to contribute to the GCF, for our building to become a donor rather than a drain on our finances. For our lifetimes, the expenses of the National Office facility—heat, light, insurance, maintenance repairs, and all those kinds of operational costs—have been funded by gifts to the GCF. We want that money released for ministry. We want the GCF dollar to head to new frontiers globally, to sending workers, to catalyze church plants. The lease income generated by One Alliance Place will be more than sufficient to remove the office occupancy costs from the GCF, enabling more of your and my GCF dollar to advance the mission of Jesus. In the months to come, we’ll be seeking leases for both ground-level retail spaces and fourth floor offices. Every retail center’s success is dependent upon getting the right mix of tenants. I’ll be overseeing this process. I’m excited about the project and the long-term benefit it will have for The Alliance. That is why I’m personally involved in helping execute the vision and why my wife, Maxine, and I became early adopters, supporting Project Reimagine through prayer and giving. Giving to our local church and the GCF remain priorities for us. We’re convinced that Project Reimagine is also worthy of our support.

– So now, perhaps you see a little more clearly why we are excited, not only to have the support of the city, but now to ask for your support as well for this project. Now, I’m aware that when some people see this for the first time, their response is, “Wow, that’s huge.” And it’s true, it is. In fact, recently, I went back to the Board of Directors and asked if perhaps we should downsize it, to cut back on the dream, and their united answer was, “No.” Each aspect of the building is important and will be best synergized if all aspects are included. And all these discussions bring us back right to where we started. “Why are we doing this?” In all of our decades of operating out of business parks, no one from the community dared walk into our building and talk to us. And in this cultural moment, fewer people are walking into our church doors to talk to us. It’s time for the Church, once again, to find its meaningful, impactful presence, and it’s vital that leaders lead the way. So, I ask you, Alliance family, to prayerfully give this dream your support. Thank you.