FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1What is Reach? What's included in the Reach initiative?
Reach is a strategic initiative that will expand our ability to reach our neighbors, starting in our city and spreading throughout the world. Four projects were part of the original plan.
  1. Build a permanent home for our growing Fitchburg congregation. A 24/7 location will allow us to better serve the city and the neighborhoods growing all around the site of the future home of Blackhawk Fitchburg. Blackhawk Fitchburg’s congregation currently meets in rented space at Savanna Oaks Middle School. The building process began in August 2018, and we expect it to take around 12 months to complete.
  2. Spread God’s multicultural vision of the Gospel. It was our original intention to pursue this vision through a sister-church relationship with Zion City Church. A portion of Reach funding was given to the Forest Lakes District of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) to expand and deepen the reach of Zion City, including supporting the pastor through the Forest Lakes District. Over time, relationships between Zion City Church leaders and members inspired Coliér McNair (pastor of Zion City Church) and his leaders to think differently about how to conduct ministry and fulfill their calling. As they came to recognize that our churches share similar visions and values, instead of continuing as a separate church entity, Coliér and his leaders approached us to become a part of the Blackhawk Church family. Coliér will join our staff in a pastoral role, which is an exciting opportunity for us as we continue to pursue the multicultural vision of the Gospel. Coliér’s salary will be transitioned to the General Fund (Blackhawk’s operating budget), and the remaining Reach funds earmarked for Zion City will be redistributed to one or more churches to meet the original intention of Reach – to encourage churches in neighborhoods with different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds as they continue to flourish and reach people with the Gospel in our city that we’re not currently reaching through one of our existing sites.

    We don’t know the exact details of where this is going, but we continue to follow God’s lead.
  3. Maximize the reach of our space at the Brader Way facility by completing the original building plan. When we launched the Reach Initiative in May 2017, we included plans to complete the Brader Way facility because as the surrounding neighborhoods grow, we see the opportunity to reach more people with the love of Jesus. With the Reach donations given to date and the amount of outstanding intentions, we do not anticipate completing the original building plan at the Brader Way site. We continue to work together to make the most of our existing space at Brader Way.
  4. Follow God’s lead regarding a potential future site. With the Reach donations given to date and the amount of outstanding intentions, we are actively praying but no funds have been set aside. We continue to seek God’s will about where a future site might be located.
2Why Now?
Blackhawk has never been about “being big,” and we still aren’t. However, God has uniquely positioned us in the city and we want to remain faithful to what He is doing on campus, in our work places and in neighborhoods throughout the area. In many ways, it’s a matter of stewardship. What will Blackhawk do if God continues to bring people our way? As long as there are neighbors, friends and loved ones who don’t know Jesus, and God continues to transform lives through the mission of Blackhawk, we want to be prepared to wholeheartedly respond.
3How long will Chris be at Blackhawk? (When will Chris make decisions about his next season of life and leadership?)
Pastor Chris is working with the Elders to establish a succession plan for a healthy leadership transition. He is accountable to the Board of Elders to execute that plan. Currently, there is no identified successor. Chris acknowledges that he most likely will not be senior pastor in 10 years. Unless God intervenes, that transition will most likely not take place for another 3-5 years.
4How will the Reach initiative funds be spent?
Based on donations given to date and the amount of outstanding intentions, we are pursuing the following two projects: building a permanent facility for the Blackhawk Fitchburg congregation and spreading God’s multicultural vision of the Gospel, by distributing resources to one or more local churches in neighborhoods with different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds in our city that we’re not currently reaching through one of our existing sites. Under the current Reach campaign, we are not planning to complete the Brader Way facility, nor are we financially pursuing a future site at this time.
5What does our relationship with Zion City Church look like?
Originally, we envisioned and pursued a sister-church relationship with Zion City Church. A portion of Reach funding was given to the Forest Lakes District of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) to expand and deepen the reach of Zion City, including supporting the pastor through the Forest Lakes District. Over time, relationships between Zion City Church leaders and members inspired Coliér McNair (pastor of Zion City Church) and his leaders to think differently about how to conduct ministry and fulfill their calling. As they came to recognize that our churches share similar visions and values, instead of continuing as a separate church entity, Coliér and his leaders approached us to become a part of the Blackhawk Church family. Coliér will join our staff in a pastoral role, which is an exciting opportunity for us as we continue to pursue the multicultural vision of the Gospel. Coliér’s salary will be transitioned to the General Fund (Blackhawk’s operating budget), and the remaining money that was earmarked for Zion City will be redistributed to meet the original intention of Reach – to encourage churches in neighborhoods with different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds as they continue to flourish and reach people with the Gospel in our city that we’re not currently reaching through one of our existing sites.

We don’t know the exact details of where this is going, but we will continue to follow God’s lead.
6What does the Blackhawk Fitchburg building look like and when will it be complete?
Site plans, floor plans and renderings are available to download (PDF). The Fitchburg building will include an auditorium that seats roughly 700 people, plenty of space for Blackhawk Kids and a large, open gathering area for people to connect before and after Sunday services. We are told construction will likely last around 12 months.
7What's happening at Brader Way?
When we launched the Reach Initiative in May 2017, we included plans to complete the Brader Way facility because as the surrounding neighborhoods grow, we see the opportunity to reach more people with the love of Jesus. With the Reach donations given to date and the amount of outstanding intentions, we do not anticipate completing the original building plan at the Brader Way site. We continue to work together to make the most of our existing space at Brader Way.
8What's happening regarding a future site?
We are actively praying but no funds have been set aside at this point. We continue to seek God’s will about where a future site might be located.
9What is Blackhawk's current debt? Will the Reach initiative increase the debt?
From the time we moved to the Brader Way site in 2007 until today, we have taken on debt of approximately $21.5 million. The current debt is approximately $10.4 million. For a construction project, it is not unusual for a church to have debt financing in place as an insurance policy for unforeseen circumstances such as cash flow timing and cost overruns. Also, this step ensures no delay in construction. Our plan is that our future debt will be similar to our current debt once we have completed Reach initiative projects. Any potential debt increase would require a congregational member vote. We are committed to reducing the debt as quickly as possible while maintaining a healthy ministry and meeting local and global needs.
10How are major financial decisions made at Blackhawk?
Blackhawk staff and Elders seek guidance and advice on major financial matters from financial and business leaders from within our congregation.
11Is Reach giving different than general fund giving?
Yes. Gifts made toward Reach have a separate designation than the General Fund. Gifts toward Reach are over and above regular giving to the General Fund.
12How can I participate in Reach?
It will take people engaging and investing where they live. It will take a recalibration of priorities. Through Reach, we are asking everyone at Blackhawk to pray, live and give in new ways. As you think about your part in this story, prayerfully consider the following questions:
  • Am I growing in dependence on God through prayer, both in my own life and for the sake of others?
  • Am I invested in the lives of those around me in ways that are characterized by the Gospel?
  • If someone were to look at how I use my resources, what would they learn about my priorities?
  • Will my financial intention to Reach allow me to more meaningfully engage in God’s story, starting in our city and spreading throughout the world?
13How can I track progress made toward my Reach intention?
To see progress toward your intended financial amount to Reach, login at my.blackhawkchurch.org/portal/my_pledges.aspx.
14What if my circumstances change and I want to alter my financial intention to Reach?
To increase, decrease or cancel your existing financial intention, first, cancel the original intention. Then if you want to indicate a new Reach intention amount, make a new Reach intention.
  • To cancel an existing Reach intention, visit the My Pledges page at my.blackhawkchurch.org/portal/my_pledges.aspx. After logging in, click cancel by the Reach intention, then click yes to confirm. If you only want to cancel a Reach intention, stop here.
  • To make a new Reach intention, if still on the website, click “Create Another Intention” or visit reach.blackhawkchurch.org/intention to create the new intention to Reach.
If you have any problems, questions or prefer not to use the website, please email accounting@blackhawkchurch.org or call 608-828-4200 and ask for accounting for assistance in altering your Reach intention.
15What is the giving time frame of Reach?
Reach intentions indicate total intended giving through December 2019. Our official Reach giving kickoff was June 11, 2017, but you can begin giving to Reach at any time.
16How do I give to Reach?
Gifts made toward Reach have a separate designation and are over and above regular giving to the General Fund.
  • Online giving: Online giving is an easy and secure option for giving to Reach. You can set up a one-time or recurring gift toward your total intended Reach amount at reach.blackhawkchurch.org/give You may give using e-check, debit or credit cards. Please note: Blackhawk pays a 2-4% surcharge when you use debit or credit cards. We do not encourage incurring credit card debt to give.
  • Offering boxes: You can find offering boxes at the entrances/exits of each worship venue. Checks should be made payable to Blackhawk Church with Reach listed as the designation on the memo line. For cash gifts, write Reach as a designation along with the amount on an envelope provided by the offering box.
  • Non-cash gifts: If you wish to give eligible appreciated securities such as stock or mutual funds to Reach, in order to receive giving credit for the full market value and avoid capital gains tax, please complete the non-cash gift form available at http://www.blackhawkchurch.org/noncashgiftform. The completed form can be sent to accounting@blackhawkchurch.org. This information allows us to identify the donor of the securities and the designation of the donation. The form contains account information for your investment provider to make the transfer.