What Is Cultivate?
Holding steadfast to the guiding principle of focusing on health and allowing for growth, there are 3 goals in 3 years that define our Cultivate campaign:
- The First Fruit of $500,000 from Cultivate will be strategically invested into local gospel-centered initiatives
- Renovation of the Fig Garden Campus, accomplishing a multi-use kids facility and classroom expansion
- Relocation of the North Campus, accomplishing the first phase of a multi-use spiritual training and community center
How Can I Get Involved?
Cultivate is all about strengthening this generation and growing the next generation into a deep, abiding relationship with Christ. Our hope is for you to get involved in spiritually forming relationships and grow to maturity in your faith because mature disciples reproduce themselves and are generous with their time, talent and treasure.
Cultivate will make room for tremendous growth, but growth requires additional leaders, additional support structures, additional teams, and additional opportunities to serve, which means we also need the body of Christ to step up and use their gifts.
You are, of course, invited to get involved financially in one of the largest kingdom investments our city has ever seen, but beyond the finances, we would love to see you join a Life Group and serve on a team. We will continually need support in the ongoing work of ministry throughout Cultivate and long after the projects are completed.
Why Renovate the Fig Garden Campus?
Though the Fig Garden Campus has tremendous character, the facilities are dated, tired, and in need of renewal. Renovation of the north and south kids’ wings, including classroom expansion, provides increased gospel impact to over 7,500 kids and students within one mile of the campus. While allowing us ample space to grow a thriving middle school ministry, renovation also offers increased capacity to grow our adult ministries as well as double our potential reach into the Hispanic community with our Spanish ministry, La Fuente.
Where are we with the Fig Garden Campus Renovation?
Due to the generosity of those who have already participated in Cultivate, we have been able to fund this project so far without taking on any debt. Renovation of the south kids’ wing was completed in August, 2019, and the north kids’ wing is estimated to be completed in Spring, 2020. You can see photos of the progress at thewellcommunity.org/cultivate, or even better, see it for yourself at any Sunday gathering.
Why Relocate the North Campus?
We are out of room. Since its launch in 2007 with a single morning gathering, the North Campus has seen a 300% growth to date, now hosting 6 gatherings each week with upward of 3,500 kids, students and adults in attendance.
We have made our kids play in overcrowded classrooms and our middle and high school students play in the parking lot on separate nights. Our Women’s Bible Study equips over 500 women each semester, and because they are forced to meet in the current sanctuary, they are limited in depth of conversation, authenticity and vulnerability. Adding to that, our re:generation recovery ministry has exploded with over 400 attending weekly and is hosting small groups in storage closets.
For years, we have squeezed, adjusted, modified and maneuvered growing ministries to resource God’s calling. How can a church experiencing exponential growth transform the next generation if capacity hinders the ability to reach new people for Christ?
Relocation allows us to focus on health and allow for growth by alleviating barriers of parking, attendance and safety. While providing space for our many adult ministries, it also allows us to focus on the generations to come.
The new campus is strategically located with over 26,000 kids and students (kindergarten through 12th grade) and nearly 30,000 college students within a 3-mile radius. With space available to invite their friends, our gospel reach of kids and students has the potential to grow by hundreds or even thousands, providing desperately needed hope in Christ to a post-Christian culture.
What Are We Going to Build on the 50 Acres?
The initial master plan was a draft intended to give the potential scope and functionality of the entire property, and included several phases. However, Cultivate represents the first phase of development. We are pursuing the construction of two buildings on an estimated 15 acres near the corner of Clovis and Nees.
The first building will be a multi-use facility, serving as a large group space with the potential to seat 1,500 in a church gathering, and providing ample space to accommodate the exponential growth of our Student and Adult Ministries throughout the week.
The second building will be a two-story kids’ facility, allowing for a potential reach of over 2,400 kids, as well as providing additional classroom, large group, and office spaces for our ongoing and growing ministries. God willing, the strategic construction of the first phase of development will double our square footage as well as our capacity to reach new people for Christ.
Why Take on a 50-Acre Property in Relocation?
We recognize the weight and gravity of such an undertaking as relocating an entire campus. However, as the Smittcamp family was looking to continue their legacy of philanthropy in a way that influenced the youth of our city, it became clear that developing the entire property for ongoing community use was in keeping with the heart of the family and the betterment of potential ministry impact. As we look back at how dozens of unrelated details came together, we can see the good hand of God upon this entire process.
What Is the Timeline for the First Phase of the North Campus Relocation?
Financial commitments toward Cultivate will dictate how aggressively we can begin on the design, development, and infrastructure improvements for the new property that will become the Clovis Campus. Construction is projected to begin as early as mid-2020, with occupancy as early as Spring, 2022.
You can find blueprints and elevations for the first phase of development of the Clovis Campus at thewellcommunity.org/cultivate. Plans may change depending on building costs and funds raised, but the heart of the development is, and will remain, a community gathering space that reflects our values of simplicity, authenticity and mission. As we make a diligent effort to keep the costs down, we invite you to continue to be generous, and let’s see what God has for us.
Who Is Involved With the First Phase of Construction?
The Taylor Group, having a strong portfolio, solid track record in Fresno, and vested interest, is our architect of record. Russ Taylor (principle architect), a founding advisor and elder at The Well for over 16 years, will step away from our Elder Board for the duration of the project to mitigate concern over a conflict of interest.
Our elders have formed a Construction Team that will help select a qualified General Contractor, who will work with Jeremy Vanderlinden, our Operations Director, to ensure a smooth construction process. In addition, we have invited several from our church body to be involved in the project.
When Will the Next Phase Begin?
Our prayer, and priority, is that Cultivate is a healthy and life-giving process for our church, drawing us closer together as we trust the Lord and follow His leading. After its completion, we will assess our health as a church family and prayerfully consider the timing of the second phase of construction.
Why Consider Retail on the New North Campus Property?
We do not intend to develop retail space, nor become property managers, but we are exploring the potential opportunity of partnering with local food eateries and other desirable retail establishments conveniently located in close proximity to the church.
We recognize the current North Campus facility is not conducive to relational connection and community, and relocation allows us to consider spatial design and community spaces in a more strategic fashion. Imagine leaving a gathering and walking to an eatery in our parking lot. Imagine a retail space, that while providing a service for the community, could encourage people to interact on the church property.
It is also our hope that these spaces would attract high school students from the adjacent Buchanan High School, providing a safe place for them to hang out and opening doors for natural gospel conversations with them.
Are We Going to Build a School on the New North Campus Property?
While not opposed to the idea, we are not pursuing plans for the development of a school at this time.
Are We Building Religious Disneyland?
Holding steadfast to the guiding principle of focusing on health and allowing for growth, we will create gathering space that is keeping with our values of simplicity, authenticity and mission. While allowing the church to grow as the Lord adds to our number, development of a large property is not to simply gather Christians in greater comfort, nor to build facilities that are ostentatious or pretentious in any way, but rather to accomplish the gospel-centered work of The Well.
Is The Well Retreating From the Underserved Neighborhoods of Our City?
Relocation of the North Campus is indeed into Clovis, but the vision of Cultivate looks nothing like retreat. The First Fruit of $500,000 from Cultivate will be strategically invested into local gospel-centered initiatives. Understanding the unique hardships that exist in our city, and doing for some what we wish we could do for all, we have carefully chosen to make a significant investment back into our local community, meeting practical needs that can open doors for the gospel to move and transform lives.
In addition, each year for the three-year duration of Cultivate, The Well Missions fund, resourced by 10% of all tithes received, will continue to be invested into local and global strategic missions opportunities, and will be added to The First Fruit of $500,000 for a total ongoing Missions investment of approximately $2 million over the next three years.
Would We Ever Sell Any of Our New North Campus Property?
While our elders have considered this, we are strongly committed to not selling any of the 50-acre property. Once we sell the land, we cannot get it back. Our hope is to prayerfully execute an effective capital campaign and manage the costs in such a way as to successfully build out the entire property in the coming years.
Would We Ever Sell Our Fig Garden Campus Property?
The Fig Garden Campus, strategically located in the heart of our city, is the birthplace of The Well and a critical component of our ministry in the community. We have no intention of selling this property or abandoning our vision of one church in multiple locations.
What Will Happen to the Current North Campus?
The completion of Cultivate will trigger relocation of the entire North Campus, allowing us to pursue the sale of the current property to another gospel-centered church in our community. The sale of the current North Campus will help lower the total financing need of Cultivate.
Will We Continue to Be a Multi-site Church?
Our mission of “helping people connect to God and to each other in every neighborhood,” and our passion to prepare and develop disciples have not changed. We are continuing with a multi-site expression, which allows for a larger ministry engine to fuel ongoing reach into our city. Our heart is to move outside the walls of any church building and be the church in every neighborhood in Fresno.
How Will Cultivate Change Us as a Church?
We believe Cultivate is a natural stage in our growth, development and maturity as a church. God has raised us up and given us favor in our community, and we hope to become more effective in our city while becoming intimately connected to each other.
Why Renovation Vs. Relocation Instead of Vice-Versa?
We are compelled to reach every neighborhood in our city with the gospel, and in doing so, we are tending to the needs required for each campus.
Located near some of the most condensed populations, our Fig Garden Campus is strategically placed in an area that serves the heart of our city. The size of the property has allowed us to renovate and expand the facilities while keeping ample parking and greenspace, so there is no need or desire to relocate.
The North Campus, however, has reached its expansion limits. Having already built kids’ facilities and paving over greenspace to add parking, our kids continue to meet in overcrowded classrooms and our parking lot is frequently at capacity. We have asked Life Groups to meet in closets, asked students to play in the parking lot, and asked our staff to office in the sanctuary. For years, we have squeezed, adjusted, modified and maneuvered growing ministries to resource God’s calling. While we have seen the campus grow exponentially, we are out of room and need to relocate.
Being one church in multiple locations, we are better together. The Fig Garden Campus needs the North Campus to pay for the renovation, and the North Campus needs the Fig Garden Campus to complete the relocation.