07 Feb Future Grace: Moving Forward With a Missionary Spirit
Originally posted on April 28, 2005
A year has passed since we began our Future Grace Giving Campaign. The future of Future Grace is now. As I write this letter, I am sitting in my office on our new church property, looking out my window at the construction site of our new worship chapel and classrooms. What a year it has been.
A Mission Statement
Twelve years ago we prayed, read Scripture, and had hours of conversation about planting a new church. We came to the conviction that God wanted us to plant a church that makes disciples of people and then sends them to live, love, serve, and share the gospel in the world. The result was Grace Community Church. Our mission statement became, “Building healthy people for ministry in the world.”
A Missionary Spirit
Our mission statement is only as effective as our missionary spirit is strong. The missionary spirit of Grace has kept people faithful and growing while meeting in rented facilities and at non-traditional times for worship and fellowship. Our missionary spirit has launched us into relationships with people, ministries of mercy and evangelism in Nashville, and missions around the world.
Now we enter a new phase of church life as we move into a new building. Grace now has an address, not just a post office box. But the thing that remains of our previous twelve years is the missionary spirit. May we never lose this spirit!
The missionary spirit is what moved our congregation to give and pledge $1.2 million in the Future Grace Campaign. By all fund raising standards, the campaign was a huge success in terms of money raised. But, we all know that money is only one indicator of success. The campaign stretched our faith, sharpened our vision, and deepened our fellowship. It re-ordered our priorities and re-affirmed our calling. It taught us greater stewardship and the joy of sacrificial giving.
It is the missionary spirit that will keep us Christ centered and outward focused in the years ahead. The missionary spirit will not only build the buildings, but will keep us using the building for the good kingdom causes of gathering to worship, pray, and proclaim the word; growing in Christ and in fellowship with one another; and going into the world with the gospel through word and deed.
Pause and Praise
At this one-year mark of the three-year Future Grace giving season, we want to pause to praise God for His work among us, and to renew our vision and commitment to His work through us. For three Sundays in May, we will do just that. This three-Sunday Future Grace focus will center on three words- Thanksgiving, Encouragement, and Invitation.
First, a word of thanks. Thanks be to God and thank each of you who have prayed and given. To date, Grace has given $500,000 of the $1.2 million pledged. I know from conversations and testimonies that many of you have made significant personal sacrifices to remain faithful to your pledge. I can assure you that every gift given is appreciated and that great care and stewardship is going into the use of these gifts.
Second, a word of encouragement. Future Grace is a three-year pledge campaign. We still have two more years to go. I encourage you to periodically evaluate your lifestyle and your level of giving to ensure that you are able to keep the pledge you made.
If you made a pledge to Future Grace, you will receive a giving statement by mail with your pledge amount and the amount you have given to date. If you do not receive this statement by May 13, please contact the church office. If your financial situation has changed and you are unable to meet your pledge, or you are able to give more than you initially pledged, it would be helpful if you contact J. C. Haynes or Bill Bryan through the church office.
Third, a word of invitation. Many of you have joined or begun attending Grace since we held the Future Grace Campaign last year. Others could not participate then, but can now. You are invited to join us for a presentation of the Future Grace Giving Campaign on Sunday, May 15, from 4:30- 5:45 p.m., at First Christian Church. You may contact Jennifer at the church office, or sign up at the information table at church on Sunday to make a reservation for this presentation.
Drive by the property and see the changes. The stone house has been renovated and is now the Grace Community Church office. Major tree and shrub planting has taken place to help beautify the property. New entrances had been made to get on and off the property. The foundation for new classrooms and our worship chapel has been laid. We should move into the building in September.
New Worship Times
Beginning May 1, Grace will worship at First Christian Church at 10:30 a.m., with Sunday school at 9:15 a.m. An evening service with the same songs and message will be held at 6:00 p.m.
Moving forward with a missionary spirit,