Bay Area Community Church’s story, like the story of all God’s people, is rooted in God’s grand redemptive plan to bless the nations. In Genesis 12, God appeared to Abraham and said, “Go … and I will bless you … so that you will be a blessing … and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
It didn’t take long for Abraham’s faith to waver. God graciously reinforced His promise in Genesis 15:5: “And He took him outside and said, ‘Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’”
What an incredible moment in history! God’s plan is to multiply Abraham’s descendants as the stars of the heavens so that all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
In Galatians 3, the Apostle Paul explains that those who are of faith in Jesus are spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham. As his spiritual descendants, we become part of the blessing to bless the nations. This is why Jesus commissions His followers to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).
As we at Bay Area seek to bless the nations today, God’s grace continues to wash over us. Just three years ago, 1,300 adults, 310 children and 125 students gathered each Sunday at our Annapolis campus. Today, nearly 1,800 adults, 500 children and 200 students encounter the message of Jesus each week, along with many more at our Easton campus.
One result of God’s spirit moving in our church family is that we no longer have room for all of the children and students He is bringing to our Annapolis campus. In light of the thousands who do not know Jesus in the greater Annapolis area, we are believing God to bring many more! We are blessed to embrace a new faith challenge: The Descendants Project.
Our mission at Bay Area is making passionate, maturing followers of Jesus from here to the nations. We’re especially devoted to the descendants of Abraham whom God is bringing to us.
We believe discipleship begins at birth. That’s why we’re committed to creating relational environments for every child who enters our doors – from newborns to high school students – to come to know, love and follow Jesus.
The world in which our children and teens are growing up is spiraling away from God. Now more than ever, Bay Area needs to be a place for our children to encounter the gospel of Jesus and understand God’s plan for their lives. Presently, we’re confronted with the reality that our environments for children and students are at or beyond capacity, which negatively impacts our ability to effectively disciple these descendants.
We included several additional rooms for our children in our most recent build, yet God continues to bring more and more families to Bay Area to encounter Him. Our new children’s spaces are already full, too! The rooms utilized by most of our elementary-age students and some of our preschoolers are at or beyond capacity, crammed full of little ones each Sunday. Likewise, our students – especially our middle-schoolers – are crowded into The Warehouse every week, spilling over into uninviting spaces like our chair storage room so they can hear each other during Community Group time.
Through expanding our physical Children’s and Student Ministry spaces in Annapolis, The Descendants Project offers a church-wide opportunity to sacrificially make an eternal investment in our younger generations. It’s our responsibility to help them become spiritual descendants of Abraham who wholeheartedly follow Jesus and live to bless the nations.
IT’S AN IMMENSE RESPONSIBILITY, BUT A SIMPLE OBJECTIVE:
WE WANT TO PROVIDE SPACE TO DISCIPLE THE NEXT GENERATION OF CHRIST FOLLOWERS, THE DESCENDANTS.
WHAT ARE WE BUILDING?
To accomodate current and future growth in our Children’s and Student Ministries, we’re expanding our Annapolis facility on both east and west ends.
On the east side of our facility, we’re expanding The Warehouse by 15,000 square feet into a student center that will not only accommodate our students today, but also give our student ministry room to grow for years to come.
Extending toward the east parking lot, the student center’s outdoor space will include an amphitheater for outdoor gatherings and patios on the first and second floors. To create room for a new student check-in counter, an east vestibule will be added where the existing east entrance is.
INSIDE THE STUDENT WING
On the first floor, the space will include a 275-seat auditorium, a café, breakout rooms and a lounge with game tables. An indoor amphitheater with a teaching platform will provide a second space for large-group gatherings, and will continue outside through a glass wall.
On the second floor, students can break into small groups and socialize in the mezzanine, which will overlook the amphitheater, lounge and café. The café will have a second-story loft for additional seating and social space. Finally, the second floor will include new offices for the Student Ministry staff team.
In the rear of the new space, a full-service kitchen will be added behind the student center. Many of our ministries – particularly Children’s and Student Ministries – host numerous food-centric events every year. Adding a kitchen will enable us to prepare meals onsite and expand our ability to handle a broader spectrum of events.
INSIDE THE CHILDREN'S EXPANSION
On the west end of the existing building, we’re extending our Children’s Ministry space out toward the west parking lot. The two-story, 10,500-square-foot expansion will include five large rooms to give our children the space they need, as well as additional bathrooms.
With the new rooms, the entire first floor of our children’s space will house preschoolers (babies through 4- and 5-year-olds); the second floor will be dedicated to elementary-age children. We plan to update parts of our existing Children’s Ministry space as well, and make some of those rooms larger.
We are blessed that God continues to bring new families to become part of our church family at Bay Area. This expansion is another step toward completing our master plan. As we continue to grow, we will respond to what God is doing here in the Annapolis area by continuing to build to make room for people.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO IMPACT OUR DESCENDANTS FOR GENERATIONS TO COME
The Descendants Project presents each member of the Bay Area family with an exciting opportunity to bless our children and students so they can be a blessing to the nations. That’s why we are encouraging every person to prayerfully seek how the Lord would have them participate over the next two years.
We are approaching The Descendants Project as two yearlong commitment seasons. At the end of the first year, we’ll celebrate all that God has provided toward our giving goal; as we enter the second year, we’ll share about the remaining needs as we continue to make eternal investments in our younger generations, the descendants. This two-year approach will allow us to enfold new members of our church family into The Descendants Project as God continues to pour out His grace on Bay Area.