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What If: A Time to Dream

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Dear Church Family,


I’m very excited about what God is already up to as we have begun the What If capital campaign. For a few months now we have been actively praying and dreaming about what God wants to do in and through Central in the next chapter of our lives together. What could God do if we weren’t sending $500,000 a year to the bank in debt payments beyond our normal operating budget? What if we could redirect a meaningful portion of those payments toward ministry and mission to connect more people to Christ, to help those in need in the name of Jesus, and to rise up the next generation of Christ followers?

While the focus of the
What If capital campaign is to retire as much of the building debt as we can, that is not our ultimate goal. The goal of this campaign isn’t just to be debt free it is to be set free from burdensome debt payments so we will have the resources and flexibility to go after whatever he has in mind for us in the next chapter of our lives together. God has some God-sized dreams for what He wants to do in and through us. We want to e set free and nimble enough resource wise to go after whatever God has in mind for us.

The time is now. Join me as we step out i faith to experience the promise of Ephesians 3:20. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Jim Lenderman

Sr. Pastor



Central United Methodist Church began before the Civil War when an interdenominational group of Christians was formed at New Hope. when the city of Rogers was founded in 1881 a Methodist Church was organized and for the next 116 years we grew as we reached people with the good news of Jesus Christ and reached out to make a difference in our community. In the early 1990’s a vision was conceived to move out west to reach more families with children and youth. In faith 36 acres was purchased on New Hope Road, ground was broken, and in 1997 we moved to our current location.

God blessed the move with incredible growth. Within three years we outgrew the original facilities as we connected more and more people to Christ. So we build out the unfinished sections of phrase one. Before long we outgrew our facilities again so we constructed phase two so we could continue connecting more people to Christ. Once again we outgrew our existing space so we build out more unfinished area.


God continues to help us reach people of all ages, including more families with young children and youth, which is why we moved from downtown. We average more than 560 people in our three worship services and provide a wide array of discipleship opportunities for children, youth and adults to help us grow to know and love Jesus as much as he know and loves us. Hundreds of adults and youth serve God through hands-on ministry and mission beyond our Church. Central Childcare reaches 300 children and their families every week. We help those struggling to get by in our local community through our partnership with Grace Food Pantry, Bonnie Grimes Elementary School, and through our Thursday Community Assistance. Ministry, just to name a few. God continues to move in and through Central to build the Kingdom of God here in Northwest Arkansas. He is equipping the people to Central to Connect People to Christ, call people to entire sanctification, and mobilize His people to become the hands ad feet of Jesus to our community and around the world.

Campaign Goal


We have prayerfully established the following benchmarks for the campaign. IT is our hope to raise at least $3 million, However, our prayer is that we can move past this initial goal and retire most if not all of our existing debt. of $4.1 million.

Every dollar given back to God through this campaign brings us one step closer to being set free to engage in the ministry and mission God has in mind for us in the next chapter of our lives together at Central.


Giving back to God is response to who God is and all God has done in your life and faith is an act of worship and obedience. As you prayerfully discern how much God is asking you to give back to God through the What if campaign, you might be thinking “I can’t do very much” or “There’s not a lot of extra money laying around”. While that may be true, with a little creative thinking and intentionality you might be surprised what God could do through you without drastically effecting your lifestyle.

What is God laying on your heart to do to help greatly reduce or even eliminate Central’s debt so we can be set free for greater ministry and mission in the next chapter of our lives together?


Cultivate Communion Service, 2019

Cultivate Communion Service, 2019

What is a Capital Stewardship Campaign?
It is a church program that seeks pledged donations from people within the congregation over a four-year period to be used for a major project, or, in our case, major debt reduction.

What is “What If”?
”What If” is both the theme for our campaign and a question we’re asking ourselves as a church. Finally, after eight capital campaigns we believe it’s possible to retire most of our existing building debt. So now we’re asking the questions, “What if we weren’t sending $500,000 a year to the bank in loan payments? What is God calling us to do in ministry and mission in the net chapter of our life together as a church? If a meaning full portion of those debt payments were reallocated to greater ministry and mission, how many more people could we connect to Christ?”

Why are we doing this campaign now?
The current campaign concludes in a couple of months. Now is the time to make a push to retire as much of the debt as possible.

What is our total debt?
Over the past three years we have made significant progress reducing our debt to just over $4.1 million. This is on a current value of our property of $17.4 million.

How much are we hoping to raise?
We are looking to raise at least $3 million. The ultimate hope is to receive much more than $3 million enabling us to retire most, if not all, of the existing building debt.


How long will my commitment be?
We are asking people to prayerfully consider what God is leading them to give to this effort over the next four years.

What happens if we don’t pay off the debt?
If we aren't able to retire all of the debt there are two options before us.

1) If we are close enough we can fold the remaining debt payments into the regular operating budget, thus adding those payments to our regular expenses. That amount would need to be offset by increased giving to the general budget or by budget reductions to balance contributions and expenses.

2) If we aren’t able to meet our goal or fold the remaining debt in the operating budget then we will have to conduct another capital campaign to address the remaining debt. We don’t want to have to do this.

Why do we need to pay off the debt?
Our goal isn’t to be debt free, it’s to be set free to go after whatever God is calling Central to do in the next chapter of our lives together as a church. We want to be financially nimble enough to accomplish what God is preparing for us.

Contemporary Worship Praise Team, Christmas Eve 2018

Contemporary Worship Praise Team, Christmas Eve 2018

What are the different ways I can give?
Your gifts can be made on whatever frequency you choose: weekly, monthly, annually, or as a one-time gift. The different ways to give include cash, check, credit card, automatic draft, stock/ bonds/ mutual fund shares, IRA distributions, insurance policies, or real estate. For more information on specifics please contact Tami Stewart.

Will this campaign be entirely for debt reduction?
Yes. Church leadership believes now is the time to retire as much of the debt as possible so we can be set free to engage in what God has in mind during the next chapter of our ministry. The ongoing debt is a large impediment to this calling. So 100% of the proceeds from this campaign will go to debt payments and reduction.

How many pledges will be needed?
Our hope is that every family at Central will participate in this campaign. Our goal is to have 300 pledges.

Will I be pressured to make a pledge?
Not at all. Participation in the campaign and how much you will give will be entirely up to you. All members and guests will be given the opportunity to contribute to what God is doing in and through our church as God leads them.

If I can’t give a large amount, does my pledge really matter?
Absolutely! All pledges matter, regardless of the amount because every gift to God is an act of obedience to him. Everyone has a part to play in making current and future ministry possible. Remember, we honor God with equal sacrifice, not equal gifts.


Darren and Tracy Hillis

Darren and Tracy Hillis

Central has been a critical part of our lives for nearly 20 years! We knew we had found our church home right form the beginning. Since they we have felt the unconditional love and support of staff and members through good and difficult times- job changes, births, illnesses, and numerous other occasions. Our children have grown up at Central…attending nursery, Tiny Tots, Mother’s Day Out, Preschool. Elementary Sunday School and now Youth. They were also baptized and confirmed at Central. We have been nurtured in our faith walk every step of the way- we can’t imagine taking the journey without Central.

Beyond our own family, we have witnessed what Central has done for and through the lives of so many others We’re so proud of Central’s love for our neighbors and we are continually amazed at what Central does to serve those in need. We can’t wait to see what is next!
— Darren and Tracy Hillis
We are so thankful for our church, and excited to be a part of the Capital Campaign “what If”! We have so many opportunities to serve not only within our church but outside our building and beyond. Reducing debt will allow Central to move forward and accomplish our “Dream Wall” which will be Glory to God. Philippians 4:19 tells us that our God will meet all our needs according to the riches of His glory in Jesus Christ. Cathy and I are learning to trust in Gd in all things whether financial or servant hood. Thank you for this opportunity as Co-chairs.
— Jack and Cathy McHaney
Cathy and Jack McHaney

Cathy and Jack McHaney