PRIMARY GOAL – 100% ENGAGEMENT
We want every single person to take his or her next step in discipleship and grow in generosity.
SECONDARY GOAL – $3.5 MILLION
We are one movement, serving one God, with one vision. With a God-sized goal of $3.5 million, every dollar given will count as a part of our one vision to be part of God’s story in the world.
We will move God’s Kingdom Forward by providing for NORTHIRON’s daily needs
Our regular operating budget
Add staff for new growth
Pay down debt on property
Reserve money for future expansion
We will provide financial assistance and invest our time, energy, and resources in our community
Community baby shower
Providing cars to single moms
“Bed Heads” Building beds for kids in need
To move God’s Kingdom Forward, we will invest in our culture
East Building purchase
Strategic leadership development
JC Penney building purchase
Hire a children’s pastor
These funds will go directly to impact the lives of those in need regionally and globally
Sermon streaming equipment
L’Anse church plant
Munising church plant
These funds will go directly to impact lives of those in need across the world
World missions support
Building wells in Nepal
Building homes for widows in Jolo
Serving orphans in Mexico
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
An Initial Giver is someone who decides to give for the first time, out of a response to God’s Word about giving. This is someone who decides to give something and trust God and the leaders of the Church with this gift.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
A Consistent Giver is someone who decides to give something and give it consistently to exercise the discipline of giving regularly. Often, someone who decides to make their gift an online recurring gift will be someone who is learning the behavior of consistency. Non-online givers can be consistent givers as well of course; it just requires more discipline.
An Intentional Giver is someone who begins to think about their giving in relation to other things on which they spend their money. For example, this type of giver begins asking the question, “Why am I giving more to AT&T than I am giving to God? Should I be giving to God more than I give for my car payment each month?” This giver starts to make their giving an intentional choice that reflects how they prioritize and spend their money. This may be the point of intentionality when someone begins to tithe, reflecting intentionally about a certain amount/percentage they want to give to God.
Colossians 1:15-18, 22-23
A Surrendered Giver is someone who recognizes the cost Christ paid on the cross for us and is surrendered to honoring God with 100% of their resources as a result. A Surrendered Giver gives in a way that changes them. Their giving governs their spending/saving rather than their spending/saving governing their giving. A Surrendered Giver isn’t concerned with what they ARE giving but more concerned with what they’re NOT giving and why. They seek to honor God with 100% of what He has given them, whether direct monetary giving or a God-honoring use of an existing resource like a home or a vehicle.
1 Timothy 6:6-19
A Lifetime Giver is someone who thinks about the longterm effects of generosity rather than month-to-month generosity or even year-to-year. A Lifetime Giver makes decisions in the short term which have longer term effects as it relates to their generosity capacity. They think of what home they buy, what car they purchase, how much savings they choose to keep, all in relation to their generosity capacity. A Lifetime Giver might be someone who has a lifetime giving goal which governs their larger-ticket decisions. Much like a Surrendered Giver makes a commitment that will govern his/her monthly and annual decisions, a Lifetime Giver makes a lifetime or longer-term giving commitment that governs his/her larger-item purchases like homes, cars, investments, and the like.
Just imagine what God will do when every single one of us decides…
We’re going to invest in the eternal!
We’re going to dedicate ourselves to significant sacrifice!
We’re going to declare through our actions… this is Kingdom Forward!
What is our Vision?
Simply put, our vision is: Kingdom Forward. We want to see God’s Kingdom moved forward from the UP to the World!
What is Kingdom Forward?
Kingdom Forward is a vision from God for the next two years at NORTHIRON Church. This includes a generosity initiative to equip and empower EVERYONE who calls NORTHIRON home to participate in a Branches group, serve, and give generously. Focusing on being generous will develop a Kingdom Forward mentality that will help us execute our vision of becoming disciples who are making disciples from the UP to the World.
Will Kingdom Forward change NORTHIRON?
We hope so! NORTHIRON is always on the journey of change. NORTHIRON is not a perfect place filled with perfect people; we are all on the journey of change. On the other hand, what we love about NORTHIRON will not change. Our focus on community will not change. Our desire to passionately know Christ will not change. Our love of grace and our desire to serve will not change. We believe the people who enter our doors will. Generosity has a way of changing us…for the better.
What is included in the generosity portion of Kingdom Forward?
Through the Kingdom Forward initiative, NORTHIRON Church is giving toward one fund to support our one vision of “Moving God’s Kingdom Forward from the UP to the World.”
The Kingdom Forward initiative includes our budget for the next two years plus God’s expanded vision for our church. It also includes working toward paying down debt on our properties. Committing to give toward the yearly budget allows us to focus on the work God has set before us in missions, Branches groups, family ministries, care, connections, and so much more. Your giving each year has allowed us to do amazing ministry for the Kingdom. We will provide financial assistance and invest our time, energy, and resources in our community.
As part of God’s expanded vision for NORTHIRON, we’ll invest in our culture through strategic leadership development. Moving towards the purchase of the East Building in Ishpeming and the JC Penney Building in Marquette, as well as hire a children’s pastor to lead our children.
We will increase our influence for Jesus by investing in church planting. The first will be located in L’Anse, Michigan and the second will be located in Munising, Michigan.
We will also continue our current missions support, expand our world missions support, and run missions trips to Mexico, Jolo, and Nepal.
Why are we changing to one-fund giving?
One-fund more effectively equips and unites NORTHIRON Church to accomplish who Jesus has called us to be today and into the future. There are several reasons for this change. First, this approach reminds us that we are one movement, serving one God, with one vision. With a God-sized goal of $3.5 million, every dollar given will count as a part of our one vision to be part of God’s story in the world. Second, when we give to different funds, we place greater value on some giving and less value on other giving. When we separate “missions giving” from “supporting the church,” it is easy to forget that support for the local church is support for the mission. The church is Christ’s “Plan A” for reaching our community and the nations with the Gospel.
Will one-fund take away from our special funds and offerings? How will it change my current tithe, offering, missions, and building fund support?
During this two-year period and beyond, every contribution to God’s work through NORTHIRON is a contribution to our Kingdom Forward fund. This fund includes both the ministry we do today and the ministry we are called to do tomorrow. Every aspect of the ministry vision God is calling us towards will be funded through Kingdom Forward. There will not be separate funds. Therefore, every weekend becomes an opportunity to celebrate and contribute to what God is doing in and through NORTHIRON as we give for our church, the UP, and the World.
What are you asking me to do?
We are asking you to pray and seek God for how he wants you to respond. Prepare your heart to hear him, and then listen to what he says. Commit to being at NORTHIRON each Sunday during the Kingdom Forward series. Connect to a Branches group if you are not already a part of one. Talk with your spouse and your family about what this commitment will mean for this next season. Respond to the generosity of the gospel by giving extravagantly toward moving God’s Kingdom Forward from the UP to the World.
How long is my commitment?
Your Kingdom Forward commitment will be a two-year commitment. This will begin with our celebration weekend on November 24th, 2019 and it will culminate on December 31st, 2021.
How much is enough?
Knowing that we should give can be easy, but knowing how much to give presents a greater challenge. God has always had his people give the “firstfruits” of His provision back to Him. Throughout the Old Testament, this took the form of the tithe. Approximately 400 years before the Law was given, both Abraham and Jacob offered the Lord a tithe of everything that he had given to them. The word “tithe” simply means “a tenth.” In response to the provision and the promise of God, these heroes of the faith offered the Lord not merely a tenth of their income but a tenth of everything God had given to them.
The Law codifies the principle of giving a tithe, but it also makes pro- vision for peace offerings and freewill offerings to the Lord. Even the Law encouraged the people of God to exceed the minimum requirements of the Law!
Christ fulfilled the promise of the Law. This does not give us an excuse for no longer giving a tenth; rather, it should motivate us to give in grateful response to God. He keeps his promise and allows us the joy of being a part of his plan for meeting the needs of his people. In Acts, the Church did not allow a legalistic reading of the tithe to limit their generosity. Instead, they saw the immense needs among the Body of Christ and gave accordingly.
In short, “firstfruit giving” is a universal biblical principle. The tithe is a good place to start for many believers, but it is not a good place to stay. The principle that guides us as we give is this: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Jesus left Heaven to give His life. So, how should we give?
Why does NORTHIRON talk about money all the time?
Did you know Jesus spoke more about money than he did about Heaven and Hell combined? We believe he did this because money is a frequent area of spiritual attack. We sometimes allow ourselves to believe that money provides security and identity, when those things are supposed to come only from God. When we begin to place our faith in money instead of God, the enemy rejoices. Generous giving is a discipline that helps us remember we are dependent on God and helps us steward our resources to serve God and others. Jesus tells us, “Where you treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). We talk frequently about money because Jesus did, and because we want the people of NORTHIRON to be healthy in heart and in faith. The questions God is calling us to consider are, “Do you really love Him and His word?” “What is He worth?” and “How much do you long to see His Kingdom moved forward?” According to Jesus, your answers to these questions are found in where you place your treasure. What does your treasure say about your heart for Christ and his gospel?
What if I’ve never even given to NORTHIRON before?
If you have never given financially to NORTHIRON, Kingdom Forward is for you! Kingdom Forward is a “one-fund” generosity initiative. It is different from a traditional capital campaign where you are asked to give an extra gift “over and above” your regular giving. Rather, Kingdom Forward recognizes that everyone in the church is called to give generously and sacrificially. Kingdom Forward is not merely for “super-givers”; it’s for all of us. It is a call to radical generosity for everyone at the NORTHIRON. If you have never given before, this is your chance to join us by taking the first step with a joyful and sacrificial commitment.
What if I’m a college student?
God has blessed NORTHIRON by allowing us to invest in the lives of college students. Although college students are notorious for living on tight budgets, the college years are an ideal time to develop a Kingdom-focused plan in the areas of personal budgeting and generous giving. This is a time when students from all the colleges and universities represented at NORTHIRON Church should join forces and go all-in by giving generously over the next two years to help us move God’s Kingdom Forward from the UP to the World!
What if I don’t have a job right now? What does that mean for my Kingdom Forward commitment?
Kingdom Forward is about your total, radical, sacrificial generosity for the advance of the gospel. God knows our every need, and NORTHIRON Church wants to help meet the needs both in our church and in our community. If you do not have a job and are actively seeking one, we’d love for you to share this with us as a prayer request on NORTHIRON.info so that our team prayer partners can be praying for you. Also, consider connecting to a Branches group, where you will find a community of people who are ready to encourage you and pray with you. Our hope is that you will be able to find a job so that you can be engaged in all God has for you.
What if I can’t afford to give right now?
Even in times of scarcity, God wants our hearts. The widow who gave her last mite (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4) did not make a very big financial contribution, but Jesus said she gave the largest gift of all. Kingdom Forward is about all of us coming together, giving generously, and trusting God to do the rest. It may mean that God is asking you to trust him by making a faith commitment that you do not know how to fulfill right now. God has supplied our every need in Christ, and we trust that he will honor a heart that wants to give generously in response to the gospel. Kingdom Forward means all of us, together — for each other, for our neighbors, from the UP to the World.
There may also be ways to be sacrificial with your lifestyle to create margin for generosity in your life. Some will cancel cable, and some will lower their mobile data plan. Others will play a little less golf and still others will forego a few vanilla lattes every week. Some families will buy a smaller home or rent a smaller apartment to be able to give generously for the progress of the gospel. Find ways to involve the entire family in the process of giving generously. Use this as an opportunity to teach children and grandchildren to obey the Lord with a generous heart and to trust him. This is a great opportunity to take a look at our overall stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us.
What if I’m severely in debt right now? Should I still give?
It’s important for generosity to be a part of our lives at every point. If you are in the process of paying off debt, we commend you, and you should continue to do so. But, the Bible does not teach that we withhold giving until we are debt-free. When we honor God first with our giving, He promises to be involved with every other aspect of finances.
Are there additional ways besides cash that I can give to Kingdom Forward?
Be creative as you explore ways you and your family can give. Don’t overlook stored assets that you own. Gifts of appreciated property (stocks, real estate, mutual funds, jewelry, artwork, collectibles, etc.) often make great gifts with significant tax advantages. Please consult with a professional advisor for advice in your particular circumstance. If you need assistance with making a gift of property or stock, we would be delighted to help! You can contact Pastor Travis Ryan for questions about and instructions on how to do this.
Will we have updates on the Kingdom Forward initiative?
Yes. We will share the total commitments with the church during celebration weekend on November 24, 2019.
Throughout this two-year process we will celebrate what we’ve been able to accomplish together to help move God’s Kingdom Forward.