Summer is coming to an end (sigh) and life now ramps up for the end of the year push. Thank YOU to all the volunteers who have made the Summer at Grace Church a time of great ministry: Grace Kidz, Student Ministry, the Global Leadership Summit, Connections, Ushers, Mowers, Small Group Leaders, Redemptive Artists, Elders, and anyone else who gave of their time, talent, or treasure this Summer. YOU ARE APPRECIATED!
Did you know…
1) We regularly have 2-5 new family units coming each week? When new people come to Grace they typically come early. Some as early as 15 minutes before the Gatherings begin. If you have been at Grace for a while, you know that when the Gatherings begin, many times the Auditorium is nearly empty. I wonder what goes through the minds of newer people when they come into the Auditorium on time or early and are greeted by a lot of empty seats? If it were me, I would wonder if anything meaningful was happening.
I would like to challenge all of us to make an effort to help our guests feel welcomed by:
- Committing to be at church early and in the auditorium before the start of the service. This sends a message we value what is happening, and it also encourages the artists who begin the service that we are ready for worship.
- Taking just 3 minutes at the end of the Gathering and introducing yourself to another person you haven’t met. Typically, we look for those we know and make a beeline for them. I wonder what impact just this simple gesture would accomplish? Who knows, you may meet someone who knows someone you know or who may come to be a friend! At any rate, I know we want to continually communicate to everyone no matter who they are we are glad they have come!
2) Each year there are certain things that reoccur like clockwork. Some good and some not so good. At Grace there is a trend that I think we can break. Every year we set a budget. We try to be realistic and at the same time trust God will increase our ministry reach. For ministry to continue and grow, several things have to be in place: vision, leaders, volunteers, and finances. Here is what has taken place this year. We had a great beginning half of the year. Our income was meeting our budget need. Then Summer began, and the income dipped below the budget need. We are now needing to see income increase in order to meet budget.
Please know how thankful we are for your generosity and faithfulness. However, when we are in the midst of the low months, we at times need to institute a freeze or cut ministry.
There are several projects we are hoping to do over the next several months. Many of these are due to the fact our building is twelve years old and in need of repair or updating. Just one that presented itself this past month was the elevator has developed a leak in the hydraulics. This needs to be repaired in order for State certification to occur in October. We try to anticipate some building repairs but simply can’t anticipate all that will need to be done in a given year. That is just one example. When some of these types of needs present themselves, we are confronted with difficult decisions on how to meet the needs of maintaining a safe and inviting environment and continue to provide ministry.
One of the major areas that is holding us back financially is the debt we carry on the building. If we were debt free, money would be freed up in our budget to take care of unexpected needs. Not to mention extending our ministry potential in our community. My prayer is we will be able to eliminate our $2.4 million debt within the next 3-5 years. Will you join with me in prayer regarding the need for finances to increase?
3) Listen and Live has gotten off to a great start. We have over 225 people involved in small groups. This series has the potential to help propel your relationship with Jesus to a new level. Be here each week and be prepared to Listen and Live!
Coming Up in the next few weeks are a lot of opportunities for you to connect, grow, and serve at Grace. Continue reading this issue of GraceLink, be here each Sunday, and check the website for more details.
Be Blessed and know God loves you dearly,