Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Never Too Late

Pastor Ivanildo shared this Christmas Eve story with me just a few minutes ago (10:00pm on 12.24.08). One family in our church called our senior pastor Bob Fetterhoff to inquire if he could help a family or two with needs. He was compelled to do something.

Although we have already completed many of our outreach ministries for the Christmas season, he insisted on doing something to help. Pastor Ivanildo and his assistant, Juana made a few calls and discovered two families who could use some encouragement and some help with food.

One family (we will call them the Jonas family) is facing a broken family situation. The father Jonas was taken away from the family today and put in jail. He will be gone for awhile. The mother Jonas came to our 8pm Christmas Eve service with her eight children. She did not sign up for our Give-A-Christmas Outreach. But her name was kept by our staff as someone to reach out to if help were discovered.

Help came in the form of one Wooster Grace family. This Wooster Grace family came with two gift cards. When presented with a gift card, the mother Jonas couldn't believe how she was blessed in this incredible way. Glory to God in the highest!

It's never too late to help someone out. So, if God prompts you to do something in His name. Go do it! A blessing awaits someone out there. You could be the messenger of hope and love.

May God prompt you to do great things for His fame!


Tony said...

It would be nice if Grace spent as much dollars on helping these kind of people from the church budget as they do on building buildings and their image. Unfortunately, they have to rely on the members to fulfill the real needs of the community.

Daron said...

As I read Ephesian 4:12, my role as pastor is to equip the saints for ministry. So I believe that it is the members of the church who can truly fulfill the needs of the community. You may have perceived us as being more concerned with structures and image, but we are committed to reaching out to our community through our members.

Tony, I want to understand how you perceive us as spending money on buildings and image. I thank you for making time to visit this blog and offering your perspective.

Tony said...

As I've heard Bob Fetterhoff say many times, if you want to know where someone's heart is just look at their checkbook. With that in mind, What is the church budgeted benevolence fund? (not what members offer above their weekly giving)
How does the benevolence fund compare to the amount budgeted for the building fund?
How does the benevolence fund compare to the amount budgeted for staff and administrative costs?
Because the real needs of the community are funded by you asking the members to go above and beyond what they already give to the church to support the building funds and image of Grace.
How do I perceive you as spending money on buildings and image? I merely have to drive by your facility.

Linda said...

It doesn't look like you are going to get a reply Tony?
I would have to say I've questioned that as well.

Daron said...

I ask your forgiveness in my tardy reply. I made time to be with my family and one of my kids is now ill as I ramp up for the new year. I will reply as soon as I can. Thanks for your understanding.

SPIES said...

I would like people to give me examples of churches in our area that do as much when it comes to compassion ministries (from budget or not) as we do. But I don't really want to engage in that kind of discussion because I think it would sound perilously prideful and perhaps even somewhat silly. Our work of blessing those less fortunate extends beyond our borders into the ends of the earth. Of course there are things we can improve on. Always. But it sounds like the commentators are not well informed and I humbly submit that it is always a good policy to get the facts before expressing one’s views. Also, I don't believe this blog is the place to have this kind of discussion. If “Tony,” “Linda” or anybody else wants to really engage in this conversation, let them come forth and reveal themselves beyond the confines of a “profile not available” forum. My name is Ivanildo Trindade and I approve this message. My e-mail is and I will be glad to talk with anyone about this subject or any other pertaining to our church, as long as I can place a name with a view. I don’t believe in “ghost” writers, especially those who clothe themselves with the toga of the impugners.

Tony said...

It appears we are well informed, we are seeking the facts about the percentage of the church's budget dedicated to the needs of the community compared to the large percentage dedicated to the staff and building projects? That is the question that is being avoided and still remains.

Prideful and Silly is how I would describe the description about the extent of your church's compassion ministries. I might add Arrogant and Predictable . There are many churches and individuals that do these ministries well in our community. They just don't feel the need to wear matching T-shirts to make sure proper credit is given to the ones serving. And why should they when Jesus reminded us.....................

Matthew 6:1-4 (New Living Translation)
Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don't do as the hypocrites do - blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

The Blog is the perfect format to have this kind of discussion. It allows everyone to weigh in and give their opinion, as you have. Why does this format concern you? Is it because it's not content that you can control? It's an area of open conversation where anyone can draw their own conclusions.

As far as the statement about "especially those who clothe themselves with the toga of impugners"... I see no evidence of falsely attacking anything in the previous comments. It's always a good policy to get the facts before expressing one's views and facts are still being sought.

Linda said...

And no response?

Daron said...

I beg your forgiveness for another tardy reply. I am constantly readjusting my schedule to balance time for my family as well as ministry.

I wonder what you all think about Tony's questions about percentages. I am investigating what our percentages are. I know what is published as outreach, but I do know that many things we do are funded from various areas in our church; for example Vacation Bible School.

Regardless, what percentage should the church allot for a benevolence fund? (not what members offer above their weekly giving)
What should the amount budgeted for operations compare to the outreach budget for any church, regardless of size?
I wonder if a church could spend 100% on outreach just like the early church which had no building (they did have the synagogue to meet in).

I praise God that we are seeking to reach more people for Christ, that is our mission at Wooster Grace--developing all people into fully devoted followers of Christ. That is our bottom line.

Tony said...

Thank you for looking into this. The fact you have to investigate this gives one reason to believe that it is not accessible or published information, let alone the details of the overall budget.

You mentioned that many things are funded from various areas in your church. What does that mean? Then that wouldn't be what is budgeted for the year, it would be over and above or outside the budget.

I see you've raised the question about the benevolence fund percentage for any church. I am asking solely about your church. When a Pastor teaches that the earth is merely a dot, how can he or his church truly see a need for a benevolence fund on this dot?

As Jesus reminds us "they will be done ON EARTH, as it is in Heaven" This EARTH is so much more to our Father than a dot. After all He sent his Son here!

How can one preach about investing in eternity, which translate to please give to our church budget, while giving examples of outreach that didn't come from that budget?

The bottom line is that sometimes we can become fully devoted followers of someones agenda and label it Christ's agenda.

Tony said...

How is the investigating what your percentages are coming?

Tony said...

While you're are investigating, look into why the Summary of and Reasons for the By-Law Revisions doesn't state that they are eliminating the Head Usher position of the church. That the Limitation on Expenditures no longer requires a congregational vote just a congregational approval? What does that mean? Does that mean a Ya/Na vote so any expenditure can be approved without resistance?
Appears to be some questionable motives in the new By-Law Revisions. I guess I will have my chance to raise these questions at the Meeting on Feb. 15th.

Linda said...

Doesn't look like you're going to get your answer Tony. I mean how hard can it be to get this information? Probably can't give you an answer because there is no such fund.

Linda said...

Is anyone going to respond to Tony's questions???????????

Tony said...

Yes Linda, I'm still waiting. They obviously read the new posts but still have yet to comment on the requested percentages. Could that be because there is no such fund in their budget? I was told they were investigating it but that was back on Jan. 25th.

Tony said...

Saw you past me today and it reminded me that I'm still waiting your response on the church's benevolence fund percentage. Not sure why it's taken almost 3 months to answer this question?

Daron said...

I appreciate your willingness to hang in there. I have rearranged my priorities for my life. This blog is not a good one anymore because I am not able to dedicate much time to it, per my realignment of my priorities.


I am a perfectionist at heart so I have tried to go beyond the published percentage of 26% for outreach. I know that the other ministry areas in our church target reaching out but have no access to the precise numbers.

But I wonder how this information helps you to be more fully devoted to God and to serve Him in our church. I also wonder why you did not stop me and introduce yourself to me. Please do so. I'd love to meet you. In fact, I wonder if you would allow me access to your profile. I'd like to know you better.

Again, my apologies for my infrequent updates. I trust I will get better at blogging. Do you blog? If so, I'd like to read what you are thinking or at least learn more about you through your blog roll by checking out what you are reading.

Tony said...

Since your personal blog no longer allows anyone to leave comments? I can’t reply there so I will reply here at the one that is not a good one for you anymore.

Having no access to precise numbers of your church’s budget seems to be a problem for many. Not sure why that is? So you are not alone in that.

Since you’ve raised the question, I wonder how spending 5.1 million on a building expansion helps one be more fully devoted to God and serve Him? Compare that amount to what it could do to address the needs of those in our community rather than create a Country Club image and play into the Materialism/ Consumerism of Christianity.

The reason I didn’t stop you is because you passed me on the road in your car.

Tony said...

It's interesting to me how you've now disable comments on this blog as well as your own. Have I said something to offend? I've simply posed some questions that appear to be ignored and now attempts have been made to eliminate any further questions or comments. Why would that be? Are there not answers to the questions? Or would the answers just raise more questions? It will soon be 3 months since my last post and still no reply? I would have posted this comment on your latest entry but of course comments have been disabled.

Tony said...

It's obvious that efforts have been made to silence any questions that one might have about the practices of your church. IE - Not addressing comments, disabling comments, etc.
If there is one thing we know is true about Jesus it's that he was real, extremely transparent, honest and did not hide or manipulate his motives. If there's one thing I know about your church it's that these same qualities are not found in it's Leaders.

Daron said...

Thanks for your opinion, Tony.

Tony said...

That's it?
By the way, not an opinion but fact. Time will prove this to be true.

Tony said...

By the way, I enjoyed your most recent blog entry, if only Grace's Leadership would apply these principles to their own budget and vision? No, just the members need to apply these principles, right?
Because now the Leadership can simply extend a building campaign without congregational approval?
Don't buy stuff you can't afford.....Unbelievable!