ADVANCE
Our mission is to love and serve our community and world with the good news of Jesus Christ, bringing people together across the lines of race and class to worship and follow Jesus.

ADVANCE General FAQ

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What is ADVANCE?

ADVANCE is an initiative calling Grace to ADVANCE God’s mission here in Dover and beyond, to ADVANCE the gospel in deed and word. We seek to display the gospel’s power to reconcile us to God and to each other across the lines of race and class in His church. We have been working toward this vision, and God has brought us to where we are. Now it’s time to ADVANCE this mission, both within and without Grace Church. The Lord told his people:“You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and ADVANCE…” and we are ready to do so!

Why are we doing this now?

This past year the session sensed the Lord’s leading to move forward. One way is by providing physical space to grow. The Future Growth Committee was commissioned to develop a plan to maximize use of the property which God has entrusted to us. He blessed their work, leading the congregation through a process that has yielded a wonderful plan. Now it’s time to ADVANCE our ministry, in part, through expanding our facilities. But we want to do more. We are eager to ADVANCE existing and new ministries within Grace church, and help ADVANCE ministries impacting our community and world.

What can we expect to happen during the campaign?

The actual initiative begins today, October 25th, and will conclude on “Celebration Sunday.” In this packet you will find various materials that include a letter from the pastor, a devotional guide, a commitment card, and other items. Throughout October and November, sermons, Sunday school classes, small groups, and other activities will enhance our understanding of ADVANCE. On “Celebration Sunday,” November 22, 2015, each family unit will return their commitment card to the church; and then, following our worship service, a “celebration dinner” will be held to fellowship and celebrate our journey together.

Will I be pressured to give?

While you will be asked to give, you will not be pressured to do so. It is not Grace’s intention to make you feel guilty. Rather, we want to help you understand that all we have is already God’s, and we want each person to be given the opportunity to grow in the grace of giving. Grace’s desire is for each individual to have a better understanding of what commitment is all about, and to be fully aware of what a financial commitment to the Lord means. It is not about what Grace wants from you but what Grace wants for you.

Will this initiative impact regular giving?

Most likely yes, and in a positive way. Most churches see significant growth in regular giving.

Will I be able to change my 36 month commitment ?

What if I either need to or want to make a change -- up or down? Certainly possible! Grace understands that life is fluid and things change in the lives of its congregants. This is not a contract but, rather, a commitment to God’s mission for Grace that will be honored to the best of your ability. At the same time, it is important to understand that the ministry will proceed based on what people tell us they are going to give.

What planning and thought has gone into the building project?

Our Pastoral Staff, Session, and Future Growth Committee have been assessing what is needed to ADVANCE our mission, including facilities expansion. A consultant met with the Session to evaluate what it takes to get a church to the next level. The Future Growth Committee is continuing its work for designing our expanded facilities so as to maximize every available space for ministry. We are also working closely with ministry partners in our community (Grace For Dover; Martha & Mary’s Place) and overseas (The Daughters Of Bulgaria Rose Garden Project) to help them ADVANCE to their next level of ministry.

When will we begin building?

As we move into 2016, we expect to begin providing financial support for ministries at Grace and beyond. By spring of 2016 we hope to see site work begin and building construction in 2017.

How do I designate my gift for Advance or for a particular Advance project?

Some have asked about how they can designate their gifts for Advance or for  particular projects within our Advance Initiative. Our new policy is simply that there is no longer any reason to do so.  One of the main emphases of our Advance Initiative has been for us all of us to grow in the grace of giving to all the ministry of the church.  This includes every aspect of ministry including the additional projects put before us in the ADVANCE Initiative we are in.  It is an exciting vision for all of us to help advance our ministry on every front to the glory of God!

Thus our desire is that individual members not designate portions of their tithes and offerings for specific purposes but leave these decisions in the hands of the elders.  As spiritual leaders, the pastoral staff and elders are called by God to oversee the ministries of the church which, of course, includes the oversight of the finances of all the ministries of the church.  We will continue to prayerfully make decisions about the priorities and timing of our goals.  As always, we will keep the body at large up to date on these decisions.  Our Advance Initiative includes core budget as well as the special goals we are seeking to reach.  We will continue to provide information on all of these, including periodic reports to show our progress in specific projects.  As always, ongoing budget input will continue to be gathered from ministry leaders and welcomed from all at any time throughout the year.

In summary, we desire that we all support all the ministry of the church and this is why we’ve begun a new policy in which we all give to one fund from which the session then disperses funds to the various ministries according to their needs.  If you have any questions or concerns about this new policy, we would very much like to hear from you.  Please contact Jeff Rakes (Pastor of Worship and Administration).

What if I have other questions?

If there are additional questions that you want answered, please click here to contact the church office, specifying whom your inquiry is for -- Bruce McFall, Campaign Executive Director, or Tom Kauth, Campaign Manager, or Jonathan Seda, Senior Pastor.