Central Expansion


Central’s mission has always been defined by the word “oikos.” Simply defined, oikos is a New Testament word that means household. In our culture it means the 8-15 people God has supernaturally and strategically placed in our relational world. 

God’s mission for the church is clear. We are to expand his kingdom by sharing the good news about Jesus Christ with our oikos, and inviting them to join his family. For decades God has blessed the ministry of Central as we have obeyed his mission to “seek and save those who are lost.” But what happens when the church is too full to invite our oikos? Do we abandon the mission? Of course not.

Central has always had a vision to reach more people for Christ. When the church building became too small, they added more space. We are at that point again. In order to help you reach your oikos, it’s time to add more space. As throughout our rich history, we believe as we pursue Christ’s mission above our own, we will see God’s faithfulness and provision. Will you join us as we continue to pursue Christ’s mission of saving lost people?

Below is a video of Pastor Jeff explaining the “why” behind expansion:

Central Church Expansion – FAQ


Why are we considering an expansion of the current facilities?

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Our goal is to expand the ministry of Central Church so it can be used as a tool to further our mission of enabling our people to share the love of Jesus with our relational world.

Here is a note from Pastor Jeff on why expansion is needed:

“When I took on the role of Lead Pastor at Central 12 years ago, our worship center welcomed an average of 700-800 adults on Sundays. With two services, we had abundant space for growth. Today, our attendance has soared to over 3000 adults and 600 children every weekend. During Easter, we held 6 services, serving more than 6000 people. Currently, we offer 4 weekend services, filling nearly 70% of our seating capacity. However, our children’s area has reached its limit, resulting in turning away families due to space constraints. If our growth continues at this rate, we will need overflow seating for all three Sunday services within a year, leading to weekly rejection of children.

This brings us to the essence of our mission, our commitment to oikos. To fulfill Christ’s mandate of seeking and saving the lost, and to create room for all in God’s house, we must expand. We cannot forsake Christ’s mission, cease inviting people to God’s house, or stop proclaiming the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. Modifying our mission statement is not an option either. We have already exhausted efforts to delay expansion, such as shortening services and adjusting timings to accommodate more attendees. Moreover, we sought God’s wisdom through a 30-day prayer campaign, and there is no compelling reason from Him to postpone a building expansion. God’s guidance indicates that we should proceed cautiously and prayerfully with plans to expand our existing building.

Throughout our journey, whenever we trusted God with difficult decisions aligned with His mission, we experienced remarkable growth. Now, we stand at a pivotal faith crossroads, unwavering in our trust that adhering firmly to God’s mission of preaching the gospel to the farthest corners of society and seeking the lost will yield His faithfulness. We remain mission-focused and dedicated to expanding our capacity, creating room for all who seek the message of salvation and transformation through Jesus Christ.”

What are the trends that support the need to explore possible expansion?

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Growth of Central Central:

  • Central Church Attendance Trends for the last three years have had a significant increase across all core ministries. The numbers have continued to increase in February and March.

Growth of Sioux Falls:

  • Sioux Falls – With a 2023 population of 204,106, it is the largest city in South Dakota and the 125th largest city in the United States. Sioux Falls is currently growing at a rate of 1.93% annually, and its population has increased by 6.02% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 192,517 in 2020. The Sioux Falls metropolitan area has a population of nearly 250,000, which accounts for almost one-third of the state’s entire population. Source

What alternatives have we considered/pursued?

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“Multi-site” and why that approach may not be the answer:

  • Sioux Falls is relatively easy to navigate, with I-29 and I-229 offering easy access to our SW Campus.
  • As much as we prefer not to cater to convenience, families will naturally choose to select worshipping at a location that best meets their family’s needs. So they might avoid being a part of a church where you are asked to set up and tear down weekly. 
  • Other churches have tried and failed to launch and sustain multiple campuses within the city of Sioux Falls. 
  • Quality matters. There is a high standard in the worship, preaching, Kids Central and Next Gen, etc.  that is not easily duplicated.  Quality is a great on-ramp for inviting people from our relational world as well as a great retention tool once people have experienced God at Central. 

Additional Services:

  • We have added services over the past 5 years and have gotten to a point of adding more would place to large a burden on volunteers and staff.

What limitations are we encountering with our current facility?

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Current capacity for Student Central, Kid Central, and Central Preschool and Kindergarten:

  • One of our three main initiatives is reaching the Next Generation. Over the past six years, we have seen these ministries continue to grow and expand. 

In 2021/2022, Student Central had to change its ministry model to worship between High School and Middle School worship because there was not enough space to accommodate both ages meeting in small groups simultaneously in the building. 

We have had to turn away kids from Kids Central programming on Sunday morning as occupancy thresholds have been reached

 Worship Center:

  • For the primary time slot that a new guest would visit Central (9:50) we are consistently utilizing overflow space in Oakwood chapel. Often first time visitors are the last to arrive and not able to find seating in the Worship Center.

How we are faithfully stewarding our current facility?

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Here are some ways we are currently using our facilities:

Worship Center

  • Over the last five years we have added a Saturday night service and an additional Sunday Morning service at 8am.

Student Central 

  • Reformatted its Wednesday Night programming a year and a half ago. They previously had a combined time of worship for High School and Middle School, then broke into small groups afterward. Due to a lack of space for small groups, they came up with a new format:
  • Middle School worships first; then small groups
  • High School has small groups first; then worship

Kid Central

  • Fully utilizing Preschool classrooms for Sunday morning childrens space

Oakwood Chapel

  • We have invested in upgrading Oakwood Chapel to make it a more meaningful worship environment. Adding a larger center screen and two smaller side screens makes it feel more like the speaker is in the room. On February 12th, we launched live worship in the room as well. 
  • This summer we will launch a Regional Service Concept during our 8:30 am service. If growth trends continue, we will be utilizing Oakwood for all three Sunday Services (11:15 overflow service)

Regional Services

  • We recently launched our “Regional Services” gatherings as an attempt to grow the church relationally as we grow numerically. This also has enabled us to utilize Oakwood Chapel for an additional worship experience.

Office Space

  • We moved our reception area out into the concourse to utilize the former area as a space for 8 additional workspaces, currently being utilized by Residents and Interns.
  • Many of our private offices have double occupancy.
  • We utilized our former conference room and made a collaborative workspace for our Communication Team (5 individuals) and remodeled our former Green Room to be our new conference room. 


How might an expansion further our ability to carry out our mission?

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    With expansion we are able to:

    • Accomodate more people which allows to reach further into the Sioux Falls Community and invite people into our faith story.
    • Further maximize the impact Central Preschool & Kindergarten has on our community by inviting more kids and families be a part.
    • Equip each person to reach their oikos by using our events and worship services as a tool to share the gospel.

    Increasing the Impact and Influence of CPK:

    • Central’s Preschool and Kindergarten serve over 330 children in the 2022/2023 school year, with each morning class at total capacity.
    • Enrollment for the 2023/2024 school year was opened in January of 2023. After one month, enrollment is already at 90% capacity.
    • We are maxed out in our ability to reach the next generation and young families through CPK. Expanding the number of CPK classrooms allows us to reach more new families and integrate those families into the life of the church.

    How might an expansion enhance worship and fellowship opportunities?

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    Our goal for ANYONE attending our weekly worship services is that they have an amazing and equipping experience so they can reach their Oikos during the week.

    By creating more space in the Worship Center and Kid Central, we can continuously provide a distraction free environment for both adults and children alike. Adults can attend the worship and teaching allowing them to rest and learn. While their kids are taken care of by our team of AMAZING volunteers who equip them to share their faith with others.

    This is especially important for our first time guests so that they can experience Central without having to navigate the “newness” of a space and the complexities that come with having your child with you in service.

    How do I submit ideas on how we can leverage an expansion to further our mission?

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    The Building Steering Committee covets your thoughts and input on how to have maximum kingdom impact with any dollars we invest in the facility we steward. (Mission Impact, not carpet color! 😉 You can submit thoughts and ideas to: [email protected] and they will be reviewed by the committee at the next meeting. 


    What is the timeline for exploring an expansion project?

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    • March ‘23 Elders affirmed forming a Mission/Facility Steering Committee to research and explore building expansion
    • May ‘23 Mission/Facility Steering Committee is formed and begins to meet bi-weekly
    • June ‘23 Request for proposals were issued for Architecture and Engineer services
    • July ‘23 Architects are interviewed and selected by Steering Committee and Elder Board
    • August ‘23 request for proposal are issued for Construction Management 
    • September ‘23 Construction Management firm is interviewed and selected by Steering Committee and Elder Board

    Would a possible expansion accommodate future growth and changes in our congregation?

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    Yes, the steering committee is committed to engaging the architects and design teams to meet both our immediate and future needs.  We are also committed to making wise decisions and investments that maximize current construction dollars for future use.

    What is Pastor Jeff's commitment to a possible project?

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    “When I became the Lead Pastor at Central 12 years ago our average Sunday attendance was 700-800 adults in the worship center on weekends. With only two services we had plenty of space to grow. Today we average over 3000 adults and 600 children every weekend. On Easter weekend we had 6 services and served over 6000 people. We now have 4 weekend services and are filling nearly 70% of our seating capacity. While our Saturday services still have plenty of room to grow, our Sunday services are nearly full. Our children’s space is at capacity. Many Sundays we turn children and families away because there isn’t room for them. At our current growth rate in one year we’ll be forced to provide overflow seating for all three Sunday services. That means we’ll be turning children away every week, every service.

    I recognize that my role as Lead Pastor is critical to any expansion. I understand a transition to another Lead Pastor during this season would cripple the effort. We haven’t built Central around one personality, but a change of key leadership during a building expansion goes against all conventional wisdom. As a result I’m committed to continue in my role as Lead Pastor until a project is complete and the church is at a healthy place spiritually and financially. I will continue to raise up a strong teaching team and carry the bulk of the teaching ministry for now. Succession has certainly been discussed with the Elder Board, and I recognize the inevitability of my moving on from Central and retirement. But I am committed to seeing a project through until Central is at a place of future stability.” – Jeff Wheeler


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    The approach will be to gather information (design, costs, etc,) over the coming months and present a detailed plan to the entire congregational for a vote of affirmation to proceed. This will be followed by a formal vote of approval by the membership of the church.


    How much might a possible expansion cost?

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    Initial rough estimates are in the broad range of 15M-25M. As the design process proceeds and we align our missional growth objectives with specific requirements for building expansion, we will share a more accurate cost estimate in a tighter range.

    How would a building project be funded?

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    The Elders and Trustees are committed to pursuing a Debt Free strategy for a possible building project. As the scope and costs are evaluated, a fundraising campaign will be developed to pursue that strategy. Additionally, the 23/24 Budget process begins to account for expenses related to the evaluation of building options.

    Mission | Facility

    Steering Committee


    Former Elder, Co-Chair of steering committee

    Jarrod smart

    Elder, Property board chair, construction owner

    catherine dekkenga

    former trustee member, architect

    bob kiner

    chairman of the 2006 expansion

    reggie kuipers

    trustee member, commercial realtor

    john barker

    Former elder/treasurer

    jon hiatt

    former elder, Major gifts Officer at USF

    mandy budig

    fCA leader

    Tom Rich

    Executive Pastor, Co-Chair of steering committee

    Robbie veurink

    structural engineer

    andrea mccartney

    exceptional women’s leader

    kathie klock

    property board member



    Rachael Weiland

    Trustee Member, Digital Communications

    ashley flynn

    major gifts officer, sanford