Redeeming Retail: An Old Costco ➜ A New Mission
by Ministry Solutions, on October 2020
“I would absolutely recommend Ministry Solutions. They have the knowledge and expertise. Ministry Solutions has the people who know what to do in each specific area, whether that be finance, construction, or design. They have the people who have the expertise and that aspect was great for us.” -Steve Franklin︱Director of Operations for Journey Christian Church
Journey Christian Church
Journey Christian Church meets in an old Costco in Chesterfield, Virginia. Senior Pastor James Brummet first worked with Nathan Artt and Ministry Solutions in 2015 to acquire a 110,000 SF former Costco and repurpose it to be their church home. Their goal: create a space where the believer and the skeptic can come and learn about Jesus in an environment where everyone feels at home.
“Our mission is to invite and lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Our vision for Journey is to be a church where un-churched people want to attend. We don’t aspire to be a church of unchurched people, but a church where unchurched people feel comfortable attending and where our regular attendees will feel comfortable inviting their unchurched friends.” -Steve Franklin︱Director of Operations for Journey Christian Church
The Ministry Solutions’ team got to work on their initial project by helping Journey Christian Church purchase the old Costco before Journey renovated 54,000 square feet of their new building. The renovation began in April 2016 and this space created an auditorium, office space, preschool and elementary space. Journey continued their mission to reach people from all walks of life in their new space in February 2017.
The Journey Christian Center and Ministry Solutions’ teams embarked on their second task together in July 2019. Journey’s middle and high school students were meeting at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sundays because of a need for space. Why not turn an old Costco Tire Center into a space for more fellowship?! Ministry Solutions guided Journey through renovation of another 9,000 square feet by building out the Tire Center plus some unfinished space. This new space included a check-in area, a student hang-out area with foosball, ping pong, and video games, a large group room for student services, and 10 small group rooms. Steve Franklin, Director of Operations for Journey, worked closely with Ministry Solutions’ Terry Campbell.
“Know what you know and know what you don’t know, and then get folks to help you do what you don’t know.” Steve’s takeaway when reflecting on this project.
“I have a little background in project management, but not construction project management. I was not comfortable in my role as director of operations taking on the role of running this thing full time. I didn’t have the expertise or the bandwidth. Terry Campbell’s work as our project manager, with his 25-30 years in construction management, was a Godsend to us. I could say, “Terry, you manage the project., I’ll be here everyday on this side, but you run the project from your position there in Atlanta and help me ask the right questions and know what I need to know.””
Journey Christian Church needed their small group spaces to be places where leaders and students can have sensitive conversations. During the project, Ministry Solutions worked to put extra insulation in the walls and noise reducing tiles in the ceilings for quieter acoustics. Being an old Costco, the walls did not reach all the way to the 26-foot ceiling of the building. Instead of sound going through each of the vents and pinging around, the mechanical sub-contractor suggested a “boot” over each vent to muffle the sound. The result is people having loud and lively conversations in one room, and quiet conversations occurring in the next one and you will not hear either.
The importance of details in a renovation is one of Ministry Solutions’ specialties and Steve appreciated Terry’s attention to each piece of the project.
“Terry was working as the owner’s representative and the project manager. He was always very careful to say, “Great, I understand that. Let me talk to the owner.” When the general contractor had a question, Terry would get back to us. We had a very good working relationship with Terry and the whole Ministry Solutions’ team making sure that what we wanted to happen was going to happen. Sometimes it involved Terry going back to the contractor, or the architect, and saying, “This isn’t what they want, let’s make it right.” And he would do that.”
Create an Atmosphere
A subtle, but powerful part of Ministry Solutions’ relationship with the Journey Christian Church team, general contractor, the sub-contractors and subs, was the spiritual conversation that was generated during the project.
“I’ll never forget when Terry walked into our very first meeting. Terry said, “This may seem a little odd, but would you lead us in prayer? We had contractors and architects in the room, but I said “Sure, let’s do it.” That set the tone from the very beginning: this is not just a building - this is for Kingdom work.”
Steve noticed the atmosphere during the project was spiritual. Several subs stopped in the church offices to talk with the Journey team.
“They would stop by my office and say, “Hey, let’s talk about church.” That helped them understand the type of project we were doing. We always started our meetings with prayer and it made for a great working environment for the subs, the general contractor, and everyone involved.”
The Ministry Solution
- The Ministry Solutions’ team partnered with Journey Christian Church for their second project together, this time renovating an old Costco Tire Center along with some unfinished space for an end result of 9,000 usable square feet for student ministry.
- Terry worked with the mechanical sub-contractor to achieve the 10 small group rooms Journey needed with the proper acoustics for these rooms.
- The project was completed only four months past the six month goal despite architectural delays, material availability delays, and a global pandemic.
Journey Christian Church can now host their adult, children, and student services all at the same times on Sunday morning. There is new space for student fellowship to happen around games and in an inviting atmosphere. Journey has 10 new small group rooms for people to fellowship and, if needed, to talk about difficult issues in a protected space.