Vision for Our Building Project

Dave Swaim
Jun 20, 2019


Highrock Arlington has been growing for many years and has planted many new congregations all over Boston. It has been a wonderful place to welcome neighbors, invite friends and include students and scholars from all over the world as we discover and follow Christ! However, for almost seven years we have been struggling with space limitations that impede our ministry. After extensive prayer and planning, our plans to renovate Highrock's Mill St. properties have been approved by the Town of Arlington so we now have the opportunity to develop a right-sized facility that better aligns with our church's vision and values, and enables us to continue worshipping God and welcoming others to join us!


Our hearts are hospitable and open to the people that God brings to us, but we have limitations in our physical space that we want to address soon, including:

  • Our sanctuary is cozy for regulars but feels over-crowded to newcomers
  • Our fellowship space lacks the necessary room for extended visiting together or welcoming newcomers
  • The bathrooms are inadequate for the number of people that gather now, not to mention the growth we continue to experience
  • The Kidsrock area is dangerously overcrowded and the youth groups are cramped

Our current building was constructed in a time of beautiful architecture that was appropriate for the era. Now, that same beautiful architecture can communicate being closed off, secretive, and inaccessible. We do not want to unintentionally intimidate the people we want to invite!


Our membership has voted to refurbish the buildings we own on Mill Street in order to create:

  1. A larger sanctuary, community space, meeting rooms, and a prayer chapel out of the former Auto Parts space and garage.
  2. A dedicated Kidsrock space with more classrooms, a large group space, and safer check-in process out of the current Mill sanctuary and offices.  
  3. A building designed to allow people outside to see what is happening inside as a tangible expression of our values around transparency, authenticity, and hospitality. The Mill St. buildings will be connected with a glass hallway, and the community space will include many new street-level windows to encourage people to feel comfortable stepping inside.



We have dreams of creating a community space inside our facility; a coffee shop or similar “third space” during the week where Highrockers and our neighbors can stop by to read, relax, and make new relationships.

Our current building on Mass Ave will be used for our weekly youth groups, special services, mid-sized ministries, and possible future overflow.  The beautiful space will allow those ministries to grow and mature.

We believe that more gathering space will enable us to keep creating opportunities for groups to meet and launch new congregations throughout Boston. As Highrock Arlington grows, that only strengthens the churches that are released from there and rely on it for encouragement.  

Estimated Costs

We are still waiting for exact numbers from our engineers, but our project cost estimates are $6-7 Million.  

Financing Model

These are the funding sources, but the exact values are yet to be determined.

  • Sell our current Kidsrock building (“Ministry Center”): $1M
  • Additional loan from our denomination: $2.5M
  • Estimated generosity (capital) campaign: $3.6M

Next Steps

During our worship service on Sunday, June 23, we are going to fill out a survey to help us gauge the passion and pulse of our congregation. This, along with finalized numbers from our engineers, will enable us to make decisions about the exact scope of this project. If you happen to miss that Sunday you will still be able to fill out the survey here on the website. Your participation and insight are vital to this process!

If all lights continue to be green, we will launch our 26-month generosity campaign this November.

We hope to see hammers swinging as soon as this fall, and could move into the new space as soon as Christmas 2020. This will depend on our survey results, final approval for our building permit, and whether the builders can get the outside buttoned up before winter.  

We will continue to update you as we have new information.

In an era when most churches are shrinking and closing, we are thankful that God is blessing us with growth! We see so many opportunities for greater impact in the years ahead and expect that this new building will be a useful tool for our ministry both to those inside and outside our church.


- Pastor Dave