Church membership in Minnesota has grown in significant ways during the last few years. And while we are excited by what the Lord has been doing in our Conference, we also recognize that growth brings management and equipping challenges. As a result, conference administration has looked at ways to effectively use the current headquarters space for mission to accommodate the growth the conference has experienced.
The membership in our conference has almost doubled over the past 33 years. In 1986, we had 69 churches and 5,389 members1. At the 2018 year-end, we recorded 10,490 members in 113 congregations2.
Despite this exponential growth, the office workforce has remained approximately the same since 1986, when we moved to our current location. The administration ultimately concluded that the conference office building, as currently configured, will not meet the projected needs of the conference administration in future years.
The conference rationale for these projections included:
The slowest annual growth rate in any of the past five years equaled 2.59 percent.
The average annual growth rate for the past five years is 3.56 percent.
The fastest annual growth rate in any of the past five years was 4.50 percent.
The fastest annual growth rate ever (in 2010) was 5.23 percent.
The annual estimated rate for 2018 is 6.02 percent.
This issue was brought to the Conference Board of Trustees to examine, as mandated by the conference bylaws. The Conference Board of Trustees formed a Building Committee to study the issues, comprised of the conference property manager and church members.
The committee was chaired by a lay person, Dr. Ken Dedeker. The Building Committee took time to study the issue, concluding that the current building could be renovated to meet the projected needs for a 5-year and a 10-year timeframe if the Adventist Book Center was removed, but the parking lot could not be expanded to more than 45 spaces. This would be inadequate to meet the projected growth.
The committee ultimately recommended the relocation and expansion of the conference headquarters to a new location, using the money available (no tithe dollars will be used in this project).
The Building Committee presented their findings and recommendations on Dec. 11, 2018. The Conference Board of Trustees then voted to authorize the conference administration to begin processing relocation. Please join with us and thank the Building Committee for their work and dedication throughout this process.
As we continue working through the relocation process, please note that this move is being driven by commitment to mission and to delivering outstanding mission services. The conference administration is committed to expanding conference ministries and services in order to address the diverse needs. We believe a new location and a new building will enable the conference to effectively address the missional needs of the state of Minnesota.
We also ask for your continued prayers so we can continue to carry out our mission: To help people realize they are accepted in Jesus Christ, and come to know, love, serve, and share Him, and uphold and live out our vision: Recognizing that Jesus will return soon, we will all actively engage in ministry.
1SDA Yearbook 1986