BUILDING HOME IN THE HEART OF THE CITY
FAR MORE THAN A VENUE
that build a
FOUNDATIONS THAT EXTEND FAR BEYOND OURSELVES
We have an exciting opportunity as a church!
Please partner with us.
For many years we have intentionally maintained a permanent, central meeting location within the Canberra city. Over the years our meeting places have changed but have remained within the city limits, continuing our commitment to plant within the city to reach those living in this immediate area.
As you may be aware we have recently had the opportunity to purchase our own property in the heart of Civic.
This venue is a place where people can find family and do life together. We will use this venue to service our wider church and local gathering (CityPM) as well as it being a space where we can welcome in the community so we can connect and engage with locals.
The purchased venue is incredibly located within the city, minutes walk from The Canberra Centre. Centrally positioned on Akuna Street within the Nesuto Hotel building we are excited about a space that is close to residential apartments, restaurants and shops. This presents many opportunities for community engagement and easy access to the venue.
The space includes three large spaces, a foyer, kitchen, toilets and office space as well as access to a shared pool, rooftop terrace, tennis courts and sitting area. The total venue space is around 400m2 located on the first floor (double the size of the Loft), with both elevators and ramp access.
Please see a quick tour of the venue in this link
Internal uses include:
Local City PM weekly gathering
Men’s and women’s summits
Church small groups
Church social events
External uses include:
Community and business hire including seminars, conferences, business meetings, birthday parties, receptions and special events
Flexible office and meeting space
Social events for those living in the building and surrounding area
Potential uses to develop include:
Recording studio hire
Kids programs/holiday program for people who live in the city
Commercial kitchen for catering
Food storage for those in need
We would envisage that from these initiatives and uses more opportunities to both serve our own church family as well as engage the wider community would become apparent.
How can you partner with us?
Our goal is to raise 50K AUD.
Together as a church, the purchase of this building continues our commitment to plant within the Canberra City and position ourselves to reach those who live in this area. Gratefully, we have used savings and secured finance to purchase the building.
To be able to create a space that feels like home and invites people in we plan to renovate those parts of the building that are in need of a little update. This would include both practical aspects such as sound proof doors and kitchen fit out as well as cosmetic upgrades like paint and furniture.
Importantly, we hope to upgrade the shared rooftop terrace to both serve the residents in the building and also use for Genlife and social outreach events.
The target of 50K will help us to achieve these goals.
How can you give?
As you consider making a financial gift please know that you will be sowing into Kingdom initiatives and helping us to continue our long term commitment to the Canberra City.
Please see below the information on how to give – we believe that this is an amazing opportunity and want to make sure you have the chance to partner in making it happen.
Account Name: GENERAL
BSB: 032713 | Account: 212552
Description: City Venue
Or use the QR code.
A LETTER FROM JOSH.
AN UPPER ROOM TO GATHER, EQUIP AND ENABLE A MOVEMENT
If you know me, you will know I have always been deeply sceptical of buildings, building funds, investment in physical infrastructure, yet I also see the value when done wisely and in faith.
I write this from a nation and context within which Church Leaders have been killed, jailed and beaten, where to become a Christian can mean the loss of all things most consider important. Buildings in themselves hold no value to me.
Yet the opportunity to anchor in the heart of Canberra city ignited something in me that has existed on some level since we first fought to find our feet as a community in Canberra and specifically the City.
You see, the issue is not the building itself but the purpose.
We at Divergent are not interested in a ‘Church’ building. We are not interested in a venue to create a consumer-centred facility that ‘will be the best thing for you and your family’. We are not interested in taking away the pressure on the community to scatter on the mission of God.
The purpose of the City venue, to be named ‘Upper Room’ is to establish a central hub from which the city, nation and nations can be reached.
Like that room in Acts 2 our heart is that this place help establish moments that propel the community into movement.
Our heart is that it is a home that birth’s generations that we send far beyond any context that even allows legal Church gathering.
It will of course contain room for the community to gather but most importantly it will be shaped and focused to equip our community, create room for administering our global family and open the doors to the wider community that they may find home, not in a building but in a family.
The approval of this project by the board in cooperation with the Leadership of Divergent was contingent upon it being community centred.
Some important practical considerations
How much is this costing?
The cost of the venue is approximately $660,000. Even if we did not buy, rent alone for the City gatherings would cost this in the next ten years.
The repayments on the loan amount is less than the rental payments we would otherwise be paying.
Our goal is that the operational costs of the venue will be covered through commercial venue use. Within this is the goal that this venue will be revenue positive.
What about additional costs?
The initial upgrades to ensure the venue is best used will be between 25 and 50 thousand. If these are covered and income is created, we will consider next steps to ensure greater use.
Where is the money coming from?
Divergent is actually a weird environment for some, we have always been highly risk oriented in Church planting and stepping out in faith as we pursue the call of God on our community yet from a financial perspective, we are conservative and sacrificially focused.
Divergent does not have any full-time staff and has never had such. Your leaders sacrifice personally to ensure the kingdom moves forward. It is not that we are against such, nor that it may never happen if it was a pressing need, but our heart is to stay in our communities as leaders, to live by example
This means that over the life of our Church we have been able to build a financial surplus in preparation for kingdom expansion. Not a storehouse to consume so we feel good about ourselves but rather one so we may not get caught in crippling debt which destroys.
As such, we have put aside over five hundred thousand dollars in preparation over the life of our Church (16 years) A significant portion of this is being used to pay down the loan, some set aside to ensure fiscal responsibilities are met moving forward.
Not only has this gone toward this project when the need arose but as a Church family, we were able to give significantly to the Izmir initiative paying 12 months rent to ensure it would be set up in a way to reach financial self-sufficiency. Over the years we have given significantly in moments of opportunity and emergency because we prepare to do so.
At Divergent, like virtually all other Churches you can find our financial reports online with the ACNC.
You can find ours specifically here.
If we have money set aside why then have a ‘fund’ and why take a loan?
Firstly, we don’t have enough money to pay in full and if we were to try and do so we would eat the entire margin and restrict our capacity to be ready for the next opportunity that we anticipate in our hearts will arise.
This is about wise stewardship and due diligence.
Secondarily, sacrificial giving is actually a matter of discipleship. This is about faith.
Ange and I gave on the very first day we announced this venture and have again sacrificially given. Our community here in the Middle East will also be giving as a community.
Why? Because sowing in faith beyond ourselves to see a harvest to the ends of the earth is what we are about.
That is what the kingdom looks like.
Jesus himself said, that “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:21).
This is not just reflective, showing us that we naturally put our finance toward those things we value but rather it is corrective. When we intentionally, in faith, place our finance into things of the kingdom, it corrects and directs our hearts.
Divergent Church – City, Canberra, National and Global
To Canberra City Community.
Firstly, if you are in the City community, please understand the blessing you are being given.
This building is evidence of the sacrifice and generosity of those throughout the years.
We have made choices to go without, so this may arise.
Many Churches have lost sight of the pressing purposes of God because they buckle under the huge weight of debt, that is not our situation.
This venue will not only be for the city but naturally will be of direct benefit to the Canberra City gathering more than other gatherings.
As such, our heart in discipleship is that you ‘own this’ by sacrificing toward it.
The fight and sacrifice create a deeper well of appreciation and maturity. Maybe you can’t afford a lot in one go but prayerfully consider a regular gift.
To the wider Divergent Family.
If we are to speak practically, this asset will help create a strong position for our community to continue to invest in people, in our wider community and in the Global mission. This may at times look like other community facilities down the track or it may not. The key is, it has been done in due diligence, so we can create opportunities in the future.
This venue will also act as a hub for our global co-ordination and communications. This venue will help create space to relieve administrative pressure so the communities both nationally and globally can focus on the organic life of the community.
Our heart in discipleship for you and our wider community is that we, together recognise the value in sowing into that which we bear little direct benefit from.
This is what maturity looks like.
How did we come to this decision?
The desire to anchor in the heart of the city has existed since the very birth of our community sixteen years ago. We have fought to remain, this venue in a practical regard reflects that.
Financially, it secures a venue, nearly double the size of the Loft, for the same price as we would pay in lease costs over the next ten years.
Over more than six months, the board and leadership have prayed over the idea and through extensive research and consultation with experts considered the legalities, financial realities, benefits and risks of undertaking this vision.
We believe this is an initiative that can help not hinder the heart of Divergent as a movement.
Do you have a question?
Feel free to send a question in the contact form and we will endeavor to answer it 😊
We thankyou for your partnership in the Mission of God.