We are excited about the additions that will come in our current building project. The new community counseling center, the beautiful commons space, our new entries, and the new hallway tying them all together along with the Senior Adult drive under will be amazing. Along with any construction project this big, comes the need for a new people flow.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that you might begin to see the signs of construction around Burnt Hickory, and well it’s happened, construction has officially kicked off!
We are moving forward with our front lobby and counseling center building project and will begin construction in July 2023. Watch this update video from Pastor Matt as he unveils where we are headed with the remodel.
God is faithful. He has and continues to bless us as a church as we seek His will to bring the good news and hope of the gospel to a broken world.
Even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we didn’t give up on living out our mission of making an impact here and around the world. While we couldn’t necessarily travel globally over the last two years, we continued our mission through raising the funds to completely fund and begin building the Kenya Ministry Center, and more recently, made connections in Guatemala, funded the launch of a Compassion Children’s Center, and have taken our first trip to launch a long-term regional holistic plan to reach the people of the Tamahú region of Guatemala. When the world was shut down, we as a faith community didn’t stop loving people around the world; and here at home, we kept moving forward.
With these two projects launched, we know that locally — right here in our very own community — there’s another mission field that God has called us to as a church, and He has recently shown a light on some specific areas that we can impact in our community. We have seen a massive upturn in people seeking mental health care and pastoral counseling in the midst of crisis. Depression and anxiety are affecting everyone around us more than ever, and the stats are staggering. Right now, 28% of adults within a 10-mile radius of us, right here at Burnt Hickory, are dealing with severe anxiety. About 22% with serious depression, and fewer than 1 in 3 are able to receive biblically sound, consistent mental health care. One of this church’s long-term desires has been to meet this need, and we are now in a position to do this with an even greater capacity as the need had become exponentially greater.
We need to reach people where they are with compassion through pastoral counseling and practical care and are ready to expand our office facilities to establish the Mike Stephens Community Counseling Center here at Burnt Hickory.
Along with a growing need for biblical counseling, during and after the pandemic, we have seen that online church, while valuable, was not a substitute for being present and walking through life together in biblical community. To be honest, you can watch any number of worship services any Sunday right from your phone. However, what you can’t do remotely is be an active part of the body of Christ in worship and in small groups that lives out the daily rhythms of life together and who hold each other accountable and care for each other deeply.
Now, more than ever, we as believers need community and so do the people living right here in our neighborhoods around us. God has tasked us as a church to continually look for ways to provide this to as many around us as possible.
We are excited by the increasing crowds for worship and LifeGroup participation. Our staff and pastors have been watching and anticipating people-flow patterns and discovering everyone’s desire for time to catch up with other believers in common spaces. Also, we hold a desire to host more community-oriented and LifeGroup events. All of this, along with building preparation for future new worship space options, we feel the timing is right to add an additional community-focused flexible space to our campus here at Burnt Hickory. This space will also be able to serve as a major connector to facilitate future worship venue expansion.
This building project literally and figuratively will be a new front door for us to invite our community in, to come alongside the hurting and provide hope for the lost located right here around us, and will refresh the look of the front side of the building
Along with providing a space for Christian counseling through the Burnt Hickory Counseling Center, we’ll gain almost 10,000 square feet of additional space to the welcome center around the Lower Auditorium as well as added LifeGroup rooms. We’ll benefit with flexible and beautiful space to host larger events as well as foster small groups and gatherings during the week. The plans also include new covered awnings for easier entry for both the front and side entrances during inclement weather. We’ve already begun reshaping our building through updating the Worship rehearsal and music academy spaces, Next Steps room, and reconfiguring the stage for greater capacity in worship space. This is only the beginning of more to come as God continues to bless us and we live out lives as the called-out church.
What It Will Look Like
We will also be updating our playground areas to include all new, state-of-the-art equipment to give children in our church and community a fun and safe place to play together.