Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS EVERY|ONE?
Every|One is an initiative to expand the Kingdom of God in the East Bay area through Blue Oaks Church and through God’s provision.
Every|One is about the thousands of people we have not yet reached – the lost, the marginalized, the broken, the lonely, those who have been forgotten and tossed aside. We believe it is our responsibility to provide space for them, so they can hear God’s word and experience God’s love.
Every|One is about people – making room for Every|One God brings and the life transformation that can occur when they enter His community and hear His truth proclaimed.
HOW DO WE MAKE ROOM FOR EVERY|ONE?
For four years, God has not only brought people to Blue Oaks to hear His word, feel His love and experience life transformation; God has also provided Blue Oaks the resources to become a thriving church in our community.
God continues to bring more and more people to Blue Oaks, and we are nearing capacity at Foothill High School. Based on our projections, our worship center will be full by fall of 2017. We could reach capacity as early as January 2017.
Over the last year we have prayerfully sought God’s vision and direction for the future of Blue Oaks. And we believe the next step for us is to find a permanent location in Pleasanton that creates a strong foundation to expand our physical presence in Livermore, Dublin and San Ramon.
HOW DOES EVERY|ONE FIT WITH THE MISSION OF BLUE OAKS?
Every|One is consistent with Blue Oaks’ core values and mission. Our mission is to lead everyone into Christ-centered living.
We are currently reaching an average of 700 people on Sunday. We don’t have membership but that equates to almost 2,000 people who regularly attend Blue Oaks (1-3 times per month) and consider Blue Oaks their church home. That’s 2,000 lives that are being eternally transformed by the message of the Gospel. That’s souls saved, marriages resurrected, relationships restored, bondages broken, bodies and minds healed, freedom experienced.
WHAT IS NOT CHANGING?
As you learn more about Every|One, please remember Blue Oaks is not changing our mission or core values.
If you would like to familiarize yourself with Blue Oaks’ mission and values, please visit our website at blueoakschurch.org/values.
ARE WE LOOKING AT A SPECIFIC PROPERTY?
This initiative is really about preparing for an opportunity rather than a specific building or piece of property.
We believe God is leading us to have a permanent presence in Pleasanton, but we do not yet know what doors He will open. We know what our high-level requirements for a building are, and we are stepping forward in faith, trusting God to direct us to a permanent location for Blue Oaks.
WHY DO WE NEED A BUILDING?
We need more room to reach more people.
We’re currently in one of the largest rental spaces we believe to be available in Pleasanton. Our space analysis confirmed that larger spaces such as gyms are not practical rental options for churches because they are used too frequently for recreation on Sunday mornings.
An auditorium is considered full when 80% of the seats are filled. The maximum number of chairs we can put in the Foothill Multi-Purpose Room is 320. That means our capacity at one service is 256 people.
Think of it this way — we want to be able to seat a new family of four in our worship center without asking them to sit in the front row or have them split-up. When we get beyond 80% capacity, new guests feel like there is no room for them, limiting the spread of the gospel to our friends and neighbors.
DOES THE TRI-VALLEY REALLY NEED ANOTHER CHURCH BUILDING?
Before we started Blue Oaks Church, we conducted a study in the Tri-Valley — Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin and San Ramon — looking at the total number of seats available each weekend at Bible-believing churches. If every church in the Tri-Valley was full at every service, close to 30,000 people could attend church on a weekend.
According to the 2016 demographic updates, 310,886 people live in the Tri-Valley. That means 280,886 men, women and children would not be able to go to church if they wanted to.
This problem will only get worse in the future. By 2020, the Tri-Valley population is projected to grow by 26,000 residents. That’s almost the same number of church seats available today!
WHAT IS THE PLAN IF WE REACH CAPACITY AT FOOTHILL AND ARE NOT READY TO MOVE INTO A PERMANENT LOCATION?
We are in the process of researching alternative locations that could provide greater capacity. We are also researching locations that could provide the opportunity to do services in the evening, either on the weekend or during the week. One thing is for certain — we will not wait until we have a permanent location if our current facility is at capacity. We will always find ways to make room for new people.
HOW MUCH ADDITIONAL SPACE IS NEEDED?
The best practice for churches that are growing like Blue Oaks is to double the seating capacity of the worship center. That means we would look for a space that seats approximately 600 people. A rule of thumb is that churches need 37 square feet of space per auditorium seat for all the other space needs on a Sunday, such as Kids and Student classrooms, gathering space, café, etc., which equates to approximately 22,000 square feet.
HOW WILL THIS IMPACT KIDS AND STUDENT MINISTRIES?
A permanent location will allow us to create irresistible environments for Kids and Students which will better meet the needs of our church and community. We want new guests who come to Blue Oaks to realize that we put the family first by investing in fun, safe environments for their kids.
WHERE WILL THE BUILDING BE?
We are asking God to open the door to land or a building in Pleasanton.
The best advice when a church is growing is to relocate to a larger facility in the current city.
DO WE NEED A PRESENCE IN MORE THAN ONE LOCATION?
God calls us as followers to invest in our neighbors and to invite them to Blue Oaks where they have the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel. We believe, and research shows, more people will respond to these invitations when the church is located in the city where they live.
Our long term vision (5-10 years) is to have a permanent presence in every Tri-Valley city. We will of course need to grow into that vision and use rental facilities similar to what we have done at Foothill High School.
WHAT IS THE FINANCIAL GOAL OF EVERY|ONE?
50% – down payment required for a building in Pleasanton
25% – remodeling and furnishing
25% – adding capacity prior to moving into a building
The financial goal we are setting is $3 Million over the next three years. Since we do not have a specific building or piece of property in mind, we can only provide a high level estimate at this time. The current purchase price for commercial real estate in Pleasanton is approximately $225 per square foot depending on a number of variables including location, layout, etc. Given the minimum square footage needs of 22,000 square feet, which translates into a purchase price of approximately $5 million (not including remodeling costs). The down payment required for this type of loan is 25% or $1,250,000.
In addition to the down payment, remodeling will be required. We will also need to expend resources to add capacity before we move into a permanent location. If there are excess resources, they will be used within the scope of Every|One, such as expanding into the other cities in the Tri-Valley and/or reducing the principal amount financed for the Pleasanton building.
CAN WE REALLY RAISE THIS KIND OF MONEY?
We serve a big God who continues to bless Blue Oaks. We believe if everyone prayerfully considers a 3 year commitment over and above their regular giving, we will reach — if not surpass — our goal. Most churches can raise two times their annual giving in a 3 year initiative such as Every|One, which in our case would be $3 Million.
WILL BLUE OAKS NEED TO BORROW ANY FUNDS FOR A BUILDING?
The church will most likely need to take out a mortgage. Initial financial analysis shows the cost of servicing a mortgage will likely be lower than the rent we are currently paying, freeing up more resources for ministry.
HOW WILL WE AVOID THE MISTAKE OF BEING BURDENED BY AN EXCESSIVE MORTGAGE?
The best practice for healthy churches is to expend no more than 25% of the annual operating budget on real estate. We have adopted this as a standard budgetary policy. Based on the rent we pay to our offices landlord and to Pleasanton Unified School District, we believe that we will actually be able to lower our real estate expenses if we are able to raise the down payment and remodel expenses.
WHEN WILL A BUILDING BE PURCHASED?
If the goals of this initiative are realized, the purchase will happen as soon as God opens the door to a property/building in Pleasanton that meets our needs.
HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE IN EVERY|ONE?
You can participate first through prayer. Ask God to lead us to the perfect opportunity for Blue Oaks that will allow us to make a greater impact for the kingdom of God in our area. You can also continue to support Blue Oaks through your regular giving as well as your additional gifts to Every|One.
HOW SHOULD I PRAY SPECIFICALLY?
Pray for the resources needed to purchase a building in Pleasanton. Pray for God to direct us to the perfect location with visibility from a freeway or major roadway. Pray for continued blessings and growth for the ministry of Blue Oaks.
HOW SHOULD I PRAY FOR THE COMMUNITY IMPACT?
Pray for those in our community who need Jesus. Pray that God would lead them to a relationship with Him and that Blue Oaks would be a place where they can grow in Christ. Pray that Blue Oaks would be prepared for greater capacity to reach out and serve others.
HOW ARE WE GOING TO FUND EVERY|ONE?
We are asking you to prayerfully consider making a 3 year financial commitment over and above your regular giving. The pursuit of our goal for this initiative will require great sacrifice and significant resources from hundreds of people who call Blue Oaks their home. Every gift will not be the same, but every gift is vital. Together we can make a difference, and as we give God will change us as well.
WHAT IF THE GOAL IS EXCEEDED?
In the event that Every|One is overfunded, gifts may be used in another ministry activity as closely aligned to Every|One as possible.
WHAT IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE EVERY|ONE FUND?
Blue Oaks Church is accredited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) as compliant with seven standards of responsible stewardship. For more details about these standards and to see our published financial since becoming accredited, please visit blueoakschurch.org/ecfa.
HOW DO I GIVE TO EVERY|ONE?
Bring a one-time gift on Sunday, November 13th and a commitment card indicating what you will give to the Every|One initiative for the next three years. Every|One can give something. Prayerfully ask God what He wants you to give.
$10 X 156 weeks = $1,040
$20 X 156 weeks = $2,080
$50 X 156 weeks = $5,200
$75 X 156 weeks = $7,800
$100 X 156 weeks = $10,400
$200 X 156 weeks = $20,800
$500 X 156 weeks = $52,000
$1000 X 156 weeks = $156,000
WHAT IF I CANNOT GIVE TO THE EVERY|ONE INITIATIVE RIGHT NOW?
We understand that you may not be able to give over and above your regular giving right now. One of our core values is “a culture of grace,” meaning you are accepted whether you give or not. If you cannot give at this time, it’s okay.
WHAT IF I CAN’T ATTEND ON NOVEMBER 13TH?
f you can’t be at church on Commitment Sunday, we are asking you to mail your one-time gift and commitment card prior to November 13th 2016.
CAN I GIVE ONLINE?
Yes. To make a one-time gift or to schedule automatic giving towards your commitment, please go to www.blueoakschurch.org/give.
CAN I GIVE APPRECIATED ASSETS INSTEAD OF CASH?
It may be easier, maybe even smarter, to consider gifts of assets. Income producing real estate, raw land, stock in a family business and other assets can be leveraged to support the initiative. Giving assets not only allows you to create a significant current gift, it often offers meaningful tax advantages as well. This is especially true for assets that have significant appreciation in value such as real estate or businesses. In these cases, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate otherwise recognized long-term capital gain tax. If you are interested in learning about these alternatives email firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN AND WHERE DO I TURN IN MY COMMITMENT CARD?
During the services on Sunday, November 13th, you will be given the opportunity to make a one-time gift and turn in a three-year pledge reflecting your commitment to Every|One.