Do you want to make an impact outside your local community? Perhaps in addition to the one your already making? Or, had you hoped to plant a new congregation out of your current church but that opportunity hasn’t emerged, and yet you still want to support the formation of new faith communities? If so, here is a great opportunity!
Last year we introduced the Pentecost Offering at the 2016 National Gathering. This new initiative emerged out of a desire among certain Ecclesia Churches to work more collaboratively across the network in the supporting of new communities of faith. Given our desire within Ecclesia to accentuate the PRIMACY of the local church, we determined that each participating Ecclesia Church had two options with the funds generated through their local Pentecost Offering efforts. First, they could decide to retain the funds from the Pentecost Offering within their own reserves for either a future church plant out of their congregation or for a project they decided to support specifically. Or, they could decide to send the funds to Ecclesia as a whole, which would then bundle, batch, and distribute the collective funds generated to a specific project or two. (Of course, some churches decided to do a mixture of the two).
As a whole, nearly $50,000 was generated through the Pentecost Offering in 2016. We were genuinely surprised by the receptivity to this new initiative. Much of that was retained locally, but the portion that was sent to Ecclesia was ultimately given to a new congregation in New Jersey. New Hights Christian Church in Hightstown, NJ is a new congregation emerging out of Next Gen Church in Princeton, NJ. New Hights is pastored by Oscar Guerrero, a bi-vocational church planter, and is primarily focused on the Latino Community. You can see a snapshot of God’s action among them in J.R. Briggs’ update in this edition of the news as well as the Ecclesia Annual Report. With our collective support, New Hights has been able to purchase a van for their congregation to help the myriad of ministry they are engaged in on a weekly basis. This is an incredible story that our Ecclesia Churches are happy to be part of, that they likely never would have, apart from being involved in Ecclesia.
We are collecting the names of churches within Ecclesia desiring to participate in the 2017 Pentecost Offering. If you are interested, please reach out to Sarah Keasler (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com). We will be distributing information on the 2017 Pentecost Offering in the next month.