FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
48% of our county is unchurched, meaning they have either never attended or haven’t attended in the last six months. That’s one of the highest percentages in the country! We think that’s serious and that God is calling us to befriend, serve, love, and ultimately reach the unchurched all around us. We believe that as a local church, we can partner together to live lives of radical generosity for the sake of the Gospel. Our mission as a church is to live the Gospel for the glory of God on the Central Coast and beyond. Living the Gospel means fully devoting every area of our lives to Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost. That includes our time, talents, energy, money, and resources. Jesus calls us to lay it all at His feet so He can build His kingdom. May we live lives marked by radical generosity in all forms so that more and more people encounter Jesus through us, His body, in their communities–-all for the glory of God.
WHAT ARE YOU ASKING ME TO DO?
First and foremost, we are asking that you pray and seek God’s direction on what He is asking of you. Prepare your heart to hear Him and then listen to what He says. Take your next step. Engage in personal reflection with God in this guide. Talk with your spouse, your family, or others about what this generosity commitment will mean for this NEXT exciting season of your life. We are asking that you make a sacrificial commitment to Gospel-centered generosity—whatever it is that God leads you to do. Follow His leading.
Finally, we ask that you prepare to be amazed. We serve an awesome God, and He is going to move in huge ways. We anticipate an unprecedented impact from our collective NEXT commitments—something only God can do. Please mark your calendar for Commitment Sunday, March 24 and prepare to experience a life-changing worship service that will forever be remembered as a deﬁning moment for our church and our own faith.
How is NEXT different from previous generosity initiatives?
We are more focused on everyone at Grace seeing their giving as an integral part of the discipleship process and then being challenged by God to take a next step. The bulk of this notebook is focused on helping us dig into some key Biblical principles that guide us in this area as we follow Jesus. This is our first priority—100% participation in the process.
Even if someone wrote us a check today for $9.4 million we would still do this initiative.
Whether we’re just starting in our giving journey or we’re very committed givers, we all have a next step to take and room to grow in this area.
HOW DOES $9.4M OVER TWO YEARS COMPARE TO CURRENT GIVING AT GRACE?
Our current annual giving is approximately $2 million multiplied by two years is $4 million. So, in essence, we’re believing God to grow our resources by a little more than $2.5 million per year for a total of $9.4 million.
ARE THERE ADDITIONAL WAYS BESIDES CASH THAT I CAN GIVE TOWARD NEXT?
Be creative as you explore ways you and your family can give toward NEXT. You might have some stocks, property, or other items of that nature. Or you may have stored resources that God has blessed you with in the past that He just might be calling you to give during this time. Please let us know if you need assistance with facilitating gifts of property or stock, and we will be happy to help you. Steve Potratz is able to assist with all such gifts. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WHAT IF I HAVE NEVER EVEN GIVEN TO GRACE BEFORE?
NEXT was crafted specifically with you in mind. NEXT is a “one fund” generosity initiative. It’s different from a traditional capital campaign where you are called to give an extra gift above and beyond your normal giving, thus creating two steps for people who aren’t yet giving. NEXT is a call to sacrificial, Gospel-centered generosity for absolutely everyone at Grace. If you have never given before, this is your chance to join us on mission in a new way through a committed sacrifice. We really hope you will.
HOW LONG IS MY COMMITMENT?
We are asking that everyone make a two-year (24-month) commitment. The fulﬁllment period for your commitment will begin with Celebration Sunday and our offering on Sunday, March 24, 2019 and it will culminate in February of 2021.
WHAT IF I AM NEW AROUND HERE?
NEXT is about the vision for our church and our personal discipleship in giving as followers of Jesus. We believe that the local church is one of the most compelling missions to give toward, and we would really love for you to make Grace your home and join us in NEXT. If you are ready for it, this is a perfect time for you to put a stake in the ground and make this your church. The best way to get on the team is to fill out a Next Steps card letting us know you want to join us!
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A JOB RIGHT NOW? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR MY NEXT COMMITMENT?
NEXT is about your total, radical, sacrificial generosity to God’s mission at Grace. We believe that God calls us to action in times of hardship just as much as He does in times of abundance, and that looks different for every person. NEXT is about a heart change—one that is only accomplished by surrendering our lives completely over to God in this area of giving and declaring that we are a people who are unfinished. That may mean that you are being challenged to sell things, to pick up odd jobs, or even to trust God in faith by making a commitment that you don’t quite know how to fulfill right now but that you believe God will provide for, as you seek for ways to work towards that commitment. We would like for 100% of us to be a part of NEXT so that we can all be supporting, loving, encouraging, and praying for one another through this spiritually-stretching season at Grace.
WHAT IF I AM IN COLLEGE AND/OR DON’T HAVE A JOB?
We believe that generosity takes many forms, not just financial. You may be in a place where you simply cannot make a financial commitment and we want to honor that. There are many ways for you to live a life of radical generosity apart from a financial commitment. Maybe your next step in generosity is giving of your time, talents, and energy. There are a myriad of places to serve at Grace and we would love to get you plugged in. If you are interested in growing in your generosity by serving, please contact our College Pastor Miles Nelson via email: email@example.com.
WHAT IF I AM SEVERELY IN DEBT RIGHT NOW? AM I STILL SUPPOSED TO GIVE?
If you are someone currently seeking to make payments to pay off debt right now, we commend you for making progress on that. You should continue to do so. We would be happy to help you in this journey and/or to recommend a budgeting class that might minister to you. Being in debt does not, however, disqualify someone from giving. Giving isn’t about what God wants from you; rather, it’s about what God wants for you. It should be our joy and privilege to give at all times. Please visit with Steve Potratz if you need assistance with this or if you would like to speak with a budgeting counselor. We would be honored to help you!!
WHAT IF I HAVEN’T BEEN BAPTIZED YET?
Great question! People take different spiritual steps at different times. Some people begin praying before they begin attending church. Others begin going to a small group meeting before they begin talking to God in prayer. Giving is another spiritual step, and it comes at different times for different people. However, just like other spiritual disciplines, giving draws us closer to God. God is calling ALL of us to give.
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Whether you have taken the spiritual step of baptism or not, we would encourage you to join us in NEXT. We firmly believe it will draw you closer to God and hopefully to a place where you are ready to make the decision to become baptized and to surrender your life to the Lordship of Christ.
HOW CAN I GET MY KIDS INVOLVED IN NEXT?
We believe that discipleship is not primarily the job of the church, but the job of the family. We want to come alongside your family during this time and encourage you as you teach your kids about generosity. Your kids will be learning about generosity in their Sunday School classes during NEXT but we want to resource you at home. Here are some suggestions to get them engaged, some financial and some learning to be more servant-hearted:
Preschool age: Selling belongings at a garage sale, finding coins around the house, doing chores, helping siblings, etc...
Elementary age: Selling belongings at a garage sale, doing a lemonade stand and donating money, yard work, helping a neighbor, etc…
Middle & High School age: Donating a percentage of their allowance, selling possessions, donating their own money from Christmas, birthdays, or their job, etc...
Whatever ways work best for your kids age and stage, we want to help you disciple your kids towards greater generosity in all forms. If you would like to talk to us more about this, please contact our GraceKids Director Dori Iunker via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or our GraceYouth Pastor Nick Shorts via email: email@example.com.
HAVE A QUESTION WE DIDN‘T ANSWER? LET US KNOW!