Frequently Asked Questions

Friedens' Building Project

Why is Friedens doing a building project?

A church building is a “ministry tool” that can either empower or hinder the fruitfulness of the church’s ministry.  Like any ministry tool, the building should be regularly evaluated and adjusted to maximize its effectiveness in helping us make disciples.  Friedens has undergone several major building projects in the past, along with numerous occasions when parts of the facility were repurposed.  Yet as ministries grow and usages change, we must recognize that there comes a point when repurposed and makeshift solutions are inadequate.  Except for the sanctuary and maintenance, it has been nearly 30 years since Friedens’ building has received any significant updates.  When a ministry tool remains unchanged for that long, it is due for some major revisions. 


Friedens is blessed to have a unique church building with a beautiful sanctuary and a rich heritage.  However, in its current form, Friedens’ building presents serious hindrances and liabilities that negatively impact the experience of visitors and the effectiveness of our ministry.  The building project will ensure that the building supports rather than detracts from Friedens’ commitment to welcoming people and making disciples.  

Why is Friedens renovating rather than building a new facility?

After considering and researching the options, Friedens' leadership determined that maximizing our current location makes the most sense for multiple reasons:

  • Location: Friedens currently has a great location near downtown Port Washington, which allows it to truly feel like part of the community as a “neighborhood church.”  
  • Outreach: Friedens’ vision is to “bless the people of our community through Christ-centered love.”  This vision focuses on the ministry of the people of Friedens, yet it is valuable for Friedens’ building to be among the people we are seeking to reach with the Gospel.  The church’s current location is an embodiment of “incarnational ministry,” which follows Jesus’ lead in “dwelling among [people]” (John 1:14) rather than doing His ministry from afar.  
  • History:  Friedens’ current facility has a special heritage and an historic beauty.  
  • Financial:  Although renovation requires a major financial investment, it is a fraction of the cost of building new.  A new facility would cost at least twice what the renovation will cost, and if we want to expand the building's features and capacity beyond what Friedens will have after the building project, it would cost even more.  Friedens' leadership believes the wisest stewardship is to invest in our current facility.

What will the project accomplish?

  • A Warm Welcome Our new entrance will feature a canopy and outdoor gathering space that will invite newcomers inside. Glass doors and windows throughout the building will bring in natural sunlight. Relocating stairways and the front office will create a larger, open gathering space that flows directly into Fellowship Hall. Our hope is that this warm welcome from our facility will be an extension of the welcoming culture we prioritize as we greet visitors in person. 
  • Spaces for All Ages:  From nursery to adults, our renovations will have a lasting impact on how groups interact at Friedens. Our youngest kids will have a two-room nursery suite that is designed with their safety at the forefront. Each nursery will have an adjoining bathroom facility so nursery workers never have to leave to take a child to the bathroom. Children’s classes will be held in the three classrooms on the lower level where they currently meet, and the renovation will include a refresh of those spaces to make them an inviting kids zone. Middle and High School students will have space created for them in the current “old kitchen” and the mezzanine level. Finally, adult classrooms will be located in our current nursery space and the classroom across the hall from the nursery, which will both be renovated, as well as in a new addition on both upper and lower levels. This priority on spaces for all ages will create better opportunities for learning, spiritual growth, and relational connections.

  • Accessibility for Everyone:  The world we live in has come a long way in terms of prioritizing accessibility for those with special needs. At Friedens, we recognize that our historic building is long overdue for updates that will give our members and visitors, particularly those in wheelchairs, the ability to use our ministry spaces and bathrooms without struggle or embarrassment. With a new elevator and bathroom facilities, we will create a building that is accessible for everyone. 

How much will the project cost?

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $2.4 million.  On top of the visible changes to the building, the cost includes a sprinkler system and air conditioning for the entire building. new furniture in many spaces (including the replacement of the metal folding chairs that are currently used throughout the church), and improved Audio/Visual capabilities throughout the building. 

What will be the capacity of Friedens' facility after this project?

We obviously don't want to invest in a major building project that we would outgrow in a few years.  Through the building project and future changes to the seating in the sanctuary, we can double Friedens' current Sunday-morning attendance to 400 people, which gives us significant room for growth. 

How will the project be funded?

There are three avenues of funding for this project, and Friedens will probably be utilizing all three:

  • Current Assets:  Friedens is blessed to be in a strong financial position, and we plan to devote $500,000 from Friedens' savings and investments into the building project.
  • Loan:  We plan to take out a loan, probably up to about $500,000, to help finance the project.  If the capital campaign exceeds the minimum threshold for moving forward, the amount of the loan will decrease.
  • Capital Campaign:  A "capital campaign" is a process of raising funds through pledges, primarily within the church family, though contributions from those who don't regularly attend Friedens are also welcome.  In the capital campaign, our goal is to raise at least $1.4 million. 

How does the capital campaign work?

The Rooted in faith / Giving to grow capital campaign runs from September - December 2019.  Here is the schedule:

  • September: Prepare & Cast Vision - During September, the Rooted in faith / Giving to grow Leadership Team is doing lots of preparation for the upcoming months.  The congregation is receiving newsletters that explain the project and the process.  Pastor Brandon's sermons are highlighting how the building project is related to God's call for Friedens to be fruitful.  And the Rooted in faith / Giving to grow Prayer Team is asking the entire congregation to pray daily for God's work through this exciting process.  
  • October: Conversations & Early Commitment Period - During October, there will be an opportunity for people to make early commitments to the Rooted in faith / Giving to grow campaign.  These early commitments are crucial for jump-starting the main campaign.  There will be an opportunity for people in the congregation to meet personally (one-on-one or in small groups) to learn about how they can contribute to the project.  
  • November: Congregation Commitment Period - In mid-November, the entire congregation will be asked to consider and make pledges for their contributions to the Rooted in faith / Giving to grow campaign.  
  • December: Commitment Wrap-Up & Celebration - The final pledges should be turned in by December 2.  On that Sunday, the final tally for Rooted in faith / Giving to grow will be calculated, and there will be an all-church meal to celebrate God's provision through this process.  As King David said to God in 1 Chronicles 29:14, "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?  Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand."

How does giving to Rooted in faith / Giving to grow work?

People generally give from at least one of three "piles" of money: 

  • Budget: One way to give is to set aside money from your weekly or monthly budget to dedicate to the project.  Giving from your budget typically comes in the form of a pledge of how much a person/family will give per year over the course of the next three years.
  • Assets: People can also give from their savings or investment accounts, or from other assets that they have.  Those who give out of assets frequently give more early in the project, which is very helpful for starting the construction process sooner.
  • Future: Some people pledge money that they expect to receive in the future, such as from a tax return, a bonus or raise, or the sale of property that is still on the horizon.  

In October and November, people who are involved with Friedens will receive a "Commitment Card" on which they can indicate their financial commitment to Rooted in Faith / Giving to Grow.  On this card, they can indicate what they pledge to give in four different timeframes: Initial Gift by December 31, 2018; Calendar Year 2019; Calendar Year 2020; and Calendar Year 2021.  Some types of non-cash gifts are also welcome (examples include: stocks, property, and paid-up whole life insurance).  

After commitments are made, the gifts can be given weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.  The commitment ought to be over-and-above a person's regular giving, because it is important to maintain Friedens' current ministries and missions partnerships.  We don't ask for any money up-front, but rather after December 2, which is when the commitment period wraps up.  

Will I be pressured to give?  Who will know what I give?

Our hope is that no one feels pressured to give, although we recognize that Rooted in faith / Giving to grow does challenge people to give sacrificially.  According to the Bible's teaching about stewardship, Christians are called to give generously and sacrificially as a grateful response to our generous God.  The apostle Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 are instructive:  "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."  With this in mind, here are three important truths to know:

  • The only people who will know what you pledge and give are the same people who record Friedens' weekly giving - the "Financial Recorders."  Friedens treats pledges and contributions to Rooted in faith / Giving to grow with the same level of confidentiality as all other giving records.
  • The commitment to Rooted in faith / Giving to grow is not binding in the event that a person's financial situation changes. 
  • Commitment Cards will be delivered to the Financial Recorders through the mail or through the offering plate.  There won't be any personal follow-up to see if you sent in a Commitment Card.

When will I be asked to give money?

In October-November, you will be asked to prayerfully consider the role God is asking you to play in Rooted in faith / Giving to grow.  Commitment Cards should be turned in by December 2 (or by November 11 if you're part of the early commitments).  However, the time to write a check comes later, depending on the timeframe you indicated on your Commitment Card.  It could be as early as December 2018, or it could be during the course of the next three years.  But we aren't looking for anyone to write any checks until December or later.

How do I decide how much to give?

  1. Pray about it.  This is the most important first step.  Investments in the building project are not ultimately about brick and mortar; it's not about having a fancy building.  Rooted in faith / Giving to grow is about investing in the future in terms of God's ongoing work through Friedens, and it's ultimately about investing in eternity.  Pray that God will give you wisdom in what to give, for a generous heart, and for the faith to trust His provision in your life and for Friedens Church. 
  2. If you are married, talk and pray about the decision with your spouse.  It is crucial that the two of you agree on the part you should play in this ministry opportunity.  It's not uncommon for spouses to start with different ideas of how much they should give.  But through prayer and thoughtful discussion, this process provides a great opportunity to grow in your marriage and also to trust God together as you invest in His Kingdom.
  3. Reflect on God's heart for financial stewardship and generosity.  Helpful Bible passages to read include: 1 Chronicles 29; Matthew 6:19-21; 2 Corinthians 8-9; and 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
  4. It may be wise to consult with a financial advisor, especially if you are considering a contribution that affects investments, a retirement account, property, or another asset besides cash.
  5. Remember that your commitment to Rooted in faith / Giving to grow needs to be over-and-above your current giving to Friedens Church, because we need to maintain the health of our ongoing ministries and missions partnerships even as we build toward the future.  

When will construction begin?

The timing of construction is based on the outcome of the capital campaign, and particularly the amount that comes in through early commitments of cash or other assets in late 2018 and early 2019.  It is possible that an additional loan can help us get started earlier since the pledges that come will be fulfilled over the course of three years would help pay off the loan.  The timing will be determined in December through congregational forums and a vote.  The earliest time it would start would be Spring 2019, though it could be later, depending on the outcome of the Rooted in faith / Giving to grow campaign and the amount of cash Friedens receives in late 2018 and early 2019.