New City Partners
Moving From Plant to Passion
KEEPING THE MISSION REAL
The most critical phase in church planting is not the beginning, when enthusiasm, creative energy, funding and trust are the highest, it is the point just before what we call "particularization" where a mission church becomes its own particular church, self-sustaining and self-ruling. It is the point with the most exhausted ministers and team members. It is typically the point where initial financial commitments to the plant begin to fade. Generous givers begin to give elsewhere, to new works. It is also the point at which the most critical decisions must be made about the culture, mission, and values of the church. What kind of leaders will become the first Elders and Deacons? Will the church adopt more of an inward or outward focus? At this point it is not uncommon for young churches to take a safe but critical step toward an inward focus, and they lose their missional, outreach, energy.
We are committed to just the opposite at New City. But it requires your help, maybe now more than ever.
While we've moved into a great space for worship, it can't serve as a base for ministry in our neighborhood. For that we have our ChurchHouse, which is an office, a location for neighborhood bible studies, youth ministry, the base for our Free Pantry that serves the local homeless, and a gathering point for our parties that help people belong before they believe. The ChurchHouse is the piece of our church that keeps us on mission. But we can't afford it.
In our stage of life as a church, the conventional wisdom would say that we should cut the extra cost and focus on Sunday morning ministry. The problem is that the people we want to find are not in church on Sundays. They are the lonely people we meet when we show a "drive in movie" in the back yard of the Church House. They are the students from poor families in our area that have been welcomed into a youth ministry right on their turf, for the first time in their lives. They are the desperately out of work folks that have come up to our doors to thank us for keeping a pantry outside that can be accessed 24/7. We can't afford to keep it, but we can't afford to let it go. That's where you come in.
Funding the ChurchHouse and the ministries that take place there costs us about $36,000.00 per year. Between food costs and rent, utilities, advertising for events, supplies for ministry, we just can't cover that cost yet. What we want to do is raise enough funds to cover the cost of the ChurchHouse for 2018 while we continue to build toward a self-sustaining church. By doing so, we maintain our focus on the outsider at New City.
A PLACE TO BLESS
The Church House is a place we gather for community initiatives. This is where we collected backpacks and school supplies, then packed them for children in our district who could not afford them. The Church House is where we gathered to pack shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse, and the dining room table is where we sat and wrote postcards to new residents welcoming them and inviting them to church. More importantly it is the home for evangelistic Bible Studies we host every week on Tuesday mornings and Thursday nights. Having a physical base for ministry gives our people a concrete reminder of why we're here, and it is a visible witness to our community, too. They know that New City is that church on Main Street that serves the poor and has the parties and bible studies.
A PLACE TO BELONG
Once a month, sometimes more, we will turn the lights on over the porch and people gather. We have a cookout or a game night, Christmas caroling, we broadcast a Buckeye Football game on the garage behind the house, all sorts of ways to create a party. People learn here first that Jesus is a generous host and we are all his treasured guests. Often before a person can believe they're loved, they must first believe they're welcome. One of our friends, an immigrant from the Ukraine, told us that this was the most unbelievable part of our church. He had never seen this kind of generosity from a church. We have to keep doing this kind of thing if we're going to reach the unchurched with the Gospel.
A PLACE TO BEAUTIFY
Hilliard, though a suburb, has become a base for low-income housing that serves the needs of the world. We are a landing spot for more than three-dozen refugee people-groups; the nations are coming here to start a new life. This is an incredible opportunity for the Gospel! But that opportunity isn't always a welcome one in our culture. Hilliard is torn between what it used to be - a sleepy bedroom community, who it hopes to be - an affluent uber-suburb, and the reality of who God is making it to be - a diverse collection of the desperately rich and the desperately poor. Only the Gospel can bridge the gap between those two groups by connecting them both to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Suburbs need churches that are willing to be more than a community reflecting their ideal neighborhood. They need a church that loves the beauty of the Kingdom of God, the preaching of the Gospel and obedience to the teachings of Christ. They need a New City.
Is this worth your investment? We hope so.
1. We've broken down a realistic way to get to $36,000.00
We know these particular amounts may not work for you, so honestly whatever you're willing to throw toward this critical need - we are very thankful! I truly believe that while gifts can be small amounts there are no small gifts. I am often reminded of the way Jesus dignified the givers of small amounts; thank you, thank you. We know making ends meet is a struggle for everyone. We do not take your generosity lightly. Here are some helpful categories if you're thinking about what a gift to our "Plant to Passion" initiative might look like:
$12,000.00 - A church or individual gives a $1000.00 monthly gift (1)
$12,000.00 - Two individuals give a $500.00 monthly gift (2)
$12,000.00 - Ten individuals give a $100.00 monthly gift (10)
$36,000.00 - 13 givers.
Or one person gives us 720,000 nickels. We'll take it.
The easiest way to give is through our online giving option here: https://newcityhilliard.onthecity.org/give/login
2. Pray like crazy and let us know you're praying!
Our church is always encouraged when I tell them about the people praying for us in our mission. As a pastor it is a huge encouragement to hear from you. Not to mention the fact that I truly believe in the power of prayer! God loves to answer the prayers of his people. So please join us in praying for God to meet these needs!
ONE FINAL WORD
I've told you this before - this is your church too. Our grief is your grief and our joy is your joy. The work that is done here, and the harvest, belongs to you too. You have served us beautifully in your generosity and in so doing you have preached the Gospel to people you will probably never meet, in places you may never see. You have been in my conversations with atheists at our Think and Drinks, you have been in the pastoral care conversations with people trying to pull their lives together. You've opened the door of the little free pantry for families on their last leg, who've needed toothpaste or baby formula, socks or gloves. You've baptized new believers, you've broken bread and poured wine at the communion table. You're with us, thank you.