A message from founder Brad Pauquette:
Dear friends and prayer partners,
I have a problem. I typically think I can do anything myself.
The problem is I usually can.
God gave us a wonderful building in a perfect location. I had conversations with all of the right government officials before we began our rehab work, and I assumed that we were on the right track. We’ve continued those conversations as appropriate, and have done tons of research. Several wise people in our community advised that we should consult an architect, but I thought it unnecessary and hoped to avoid this expense. (It is a GREAT expense.)
I’ve rehabbed houses, built additions, cabins, and so many other things, what’s the difference? Why does this NEED to be any more complicated than any of that?
But then suddenly we reached a place where we were stuck. We couldn’t move forward. For one particular change to the building, we need a draftsman. But the draftsman can’t move forward without a structural engineer, who can’t move forward without an architect. Stuck.
Meanwhile, I’ve sensed for some time that the reason we haven’t had breakthrough in our fundraising is because we’re not quite pointed in the right direction. It’s smart to point the gun in the direction you want the bullet to travel BEFORE you pull the trigger. We’ve seen incredible progress with our fundraising, but not the watershed, burst-open-the-dams moment we’ve been praying for.
To that end, we’ve continued to tweak and modify our plans, to press into the Lord and seek His voice for the use of the building that He’s given us. Those were all good things to do, and I’m glad that we did them. But we were missing what God was communicating.
My point is this: I confess missing this one.
I failed to hear God’s voice, and failed to heed the human counsel that He sent to ping us. We’ve needed an architect on our team.
Needing/wanting to do everything myself is also a sin I struggle with in my personal life. I know God is helping me work on it, but this sin clouded my ability to hear His voice in this case.
A commercial building project like this doesn’t NEED to be any more complicated than any other kind of project. But in the real world, IT JUST IS.
While any of the individual tasks are as simple here as they are anywhere, getting all of the right people to work together is difficult. Understanding all of the moving parts and getting the right signatures is a whole vocation unto itself. Some people dedicate their whole lives to it. They’re called architects.
More importantly, God hasn’t called me to be a building project manager. He’s called me to train, empower, and encourage His children and His chosen ministers to use the media to advance the Kingdom of God. Even if we could do this project all ourselves, it was foolish of me to spend my time that way.
This mistake will likely set our building project back by a full year. While foolishness may not be a sin, pride is. I trusted in my own abilities more than I trusted in God to provide the funds to hire the right experts. As the leader of this organization, whom you’ve entrusted with your time, money, and support, you deserve better and I’m committed to learning from this mistake.
I’m praying that God will bless us through this. Lumber and building material prices have skyrocketed due to COVID (or so they claim), and the world is waiting for prices to come back to normal. If we purchased all of our materials today, our original budget is completely blown at this point. Prices may never come back down, and we’ll adjust accordingly, but we’re praying that God uses this seeming setback for His purposes.
So what happens next:
Our architecture firm, APG, and their team of experts are putting together a comprehensive plan for us to move forward. I feel confident that APG understands our objectives and priorities and is going to do a great job to find workable solutions and put us on the right path.
This process will take a couple of months.
In the meantime, we’ll establish a temporary space for our students arriving this fall. Our full-time program will proceed as planned, beginning September 6, just in a different location in Zanesville.
Hopefully we haven’t made any mistakes that require any backtracking. I’m thankful that God was throttling our pace. It likely prevented us from flying forward with some mistakes that would have wasted a lot of money.
So why am I telling you all of this, like this? Is this public self-flagellation, a pity party, much ado about nothing? Here’s why:
Confession is an important discipline. I made a mistake that impacts the community of believers that support this mission, so I’m confessing that to you. I want your forgiveness.
Transparency is one of our core values. I communicated the same thing to our board at our meeting this month, so this information should be available to our community as well.
I want you to know the status of the building. We’re behind where we hoped to be and I don’t want there to be any marketing spin or half-truths on the matter. God hasn’t let us down. We haven’t been mistreated, misled, or railroaded by anybody (everyone has been really helpful, actually). I made a bad decision, that’s what happened, and now we’re behind.
When things don’t go as we expect, it’s important that we confront that, especially when our expectations are predicated on prophecy. This isn’t something the American church is always good at, and the last year has been a case study in the matter.
It’s important to me that we (myself and the School of Kingdom Writers) never get into the business of revising prophecy. Nothing surprises God. If we make a prophecy that fails, it’s because we were wrong or because we were disobedient.
To that end, I’ve spent some time reviewing our “God says” statements that we’ve communicated. Here’s what I see, and I still stand behind all of them today.
I am CERTAIN that God called Melissa and me to this ministry.
I am CERTAIN that God instructed us to start our full-time program this fall.
I am CONFIDENT that our core curriculum and understanding of our mission is on the right track.
I am CONFIDENT that God led us to the building we’ve purchased.
We were HOPEFUL that the building would be done in time for our first full-time students.
God never promised we would have a building in the fall of 2021. It made a lot of sense (our human intuition could put those pieces together), and we were hopeful that’s how it would work out, but there was no promise from the Lord.
I believe we play a part in the way God’s will is manifest on the Earth. God ultimately gets what he wants, but we participate in some of the how and when.
I think it was possible for us to have a building by this fall. But because of the mistakes that we made, that’s not how it will manifest.
So we will continue to push on towards the things that we are certain of, without compromise.
We will continue to work hard for the things that we are confident of, doing our best to continually listen and fine tune.
And we will continue to pray for miracles for the things we are hopeful for. We’ll continue to tirelessly pursue God’s highest and best, to see His Kingdom come on Earth.
The building setback is disappointing, but I’m at peace with it.
I know that God didn’t call us to build a building. The building really doesn’t matter. He called us to build people. We’re already doing that, and I can’t help but be anything but encouraged, flabbergasted really, by the amazing things God is already doing in and through our students.
Thanks for walking with us. Thank you for your prayers and forgiveness.
Director, School of Kingdom Writers
P.S. I screw up in little ways all the time, don’t expect this every time. 😊