How would you explain FORWARD to someone else?
Forward is a two-year initiative where we are trusting God to increase our collective generosity in order to accelerate our gospel engagement and disciple making. Forward focuses on campus renovation, continued ministry revitalization, and the expansion of our global ministries through church planting.
Is FORWARD just another church fundraiser?
On the contrary, FORWARD is a discipleship initiative that transforms the generosity culture of the church and the relationship individuals within the church have with money. Jesus made money the heart of discipleship when He said, “Where your treasure is, that is where your heart is also” and “you cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:19-24). Thus, FORWARD is part of “The Year of Discipleship” (2019-2020).
Overall, FORWARD is missional because it helps us accomplish our mission as a church), generational because it impacts both current and future families, transformational because it creates a spiritually significant, defining moment in the life of our church, and inspirational because we do this for the glory of God not ourselves.
What is the goal of FORWARD?
Our primary goal is 100 percent participation by everyone who considers Atlantic Shores Baptist Church his or her church home and faith community. We believe that broad participation by the church family will result not only in the acceleration of our gospel engagement and disciple making, but will also help us reach our secondary financial goal of $7 million over two years.
Why are we renovating our campus?
Built in 1985, our facilities have deteriorated significantly after nearly four decades of daily use by a busy church and school. They have become difficult and costly to maintain. The curb appeal, entrances, and floor plan are also uninviting and confusing to first time guests. Additionally, we need to update our security access controls throughout our buildings, especially in areas for ministry to children and students.
How much will the campus renovation cost?
The conceptual budget given to us by the architects for phase 1 (everything but the chapel) is $8.9 million. They anticipate the chapel costing an additional $3 million, which we anticipate as part of a future second phase.
How will we pay for the campus renovation project?
With phase 1 of the campus renovation project conceptually costing $8.9 million, we anticipate $3 million coming from FORWARD over 2 years. The balance will come by extending the term on our current mortgage payment, which our current ministry budget comfortably handles.
How will FORWARD impact our global initiatives?
Resources from this generosity initiative will also be dedicated to strengthening our gospel investments and ministry partnerships outside the four walls of the church, with a near-term emphasis on planting new churches at home and around the world. While continuing and strengthening our current missionary relationships, we plan to expand our church planting partnership in Guatemala by investing in another village. We also plan to set aside funds for the start of a second campus in the Hampton Roads area.
What are you asking me to do?
We are asking you to prayerfully consider what your total giving to Atlantic Shores will be over the next two years. Start with prayer. As a faithful steward of a sacred trust, ask God how He wants you to participate in this generosity initiative, and then simply do what He leads you to do. You should not feel any pressure to give a penny more or less than what God wants you to give. After you determine how the Lord wants you to participate, we ask you to fill out a commitment card as a faith promise between you and God. As a church family, we will turn in our commitment cards on Sunday, March 29 during our regular morning worship gatherings.
Is my commitment and giving confidential?
Yes. Only a small team of people who confidentially oversee the finances of the church will see actual commitment cards in order to process and record the totals. We believe your giving is between you and God. You will receive regular statements to help you track your giving.
Why are you asking me fill out a commitment card?
The Lord often asks us to do something physical after we have made a spiritual decision. A good example of this is baptism. Baptism marks the time when a believer physically and publically identifies with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Likewise, filling out a commitment card creates a record of the faith promise you made to the Lord.
We ask you to confidentially share that commitment with us for two important reasons. First, to make wise financial decisions about the implementation of the FORWARD initiatives, the elders need to know how much the church family has collectively committed over the next two years. Second, a tally of the commitments made by the church family is an important part of the conversations we are having with our bank.
How does the One Fund approach change my giving?
Over the next two fiscal years (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022), we are directing all generosity toward ONE FUND. This includes all ministry in our two-year General Fund plus all FORWARD initiatives for a total two-year goal of $7 million.
How long of a financial commitment are you asking me to make?
FORWARD is a 2-year initiative. However, we are praying that God also uses this season to transform the overall generosity culture of the church through sustained financial support. Because we are never more like God than when we give (John 3:16), we must always grow in the grace of giving by taking the next step in our journey toward generosity.
What are some creative ways to give?
What would it look like for you to take the next step (possibly the first) in your journey toward generosity? Faith, commitment, and perhaps some creativity are needed.
Cash Flow. Out of current monthly cash flow is the most common way people give. If giving money to support God’s work is new to you, take the first step by putting God first in your finances. Consider God’s promises about giving in Malachi 3:9-10, Proverbs 3:9-10, 2 Corinthians 9:6, Matthew 6:19-24, and Luke 6:38 and reprioritize your finances. For a season, consider increasing your cash flow with a second job and give that income to the Lord.
Reduce Expenses. Comb through your current budget and look for ways to reduce expenses and then redirect that money to the kingdom of God.
Appreciated Assets. Donating appreciated assets such as stocks or real estate can save you money on taxes and free up more funding for ministry. Please call the church business office for help with transactions. Please consult your tax advisor and then call the church business office for help with transactions.
Charitable IRA Rollover. If you’re 70-1/2 years or older, you can give a rollover gift of up to $100,000 from your IRA without adding a penny to your taxable income — converting tax dollars into kingdom treasure! Plus, it counts toward your required minimum distribution and offers tax benefits that don’t require you to itemize on your tax return. Please consult your tax advisor and then call the church business office for help with transactions.
When will the renovation of our buildings begin?
Lord willing, as soon as we complete the public phase of the generosity initiative and tally all commitments from the church family, we can proceed with the implementation of campus renovation. The elders are currently having conversations with city officials, financial institutions, potential contractors, and the architects in preparation for implementation. Our professional consultants estimate that construction renovation will take 12-15 months.