The Next Step is in your hands
1 . Pray & Re-Surrender
Commit to set aside time every day to bring this to God. Ask him to lead you and give you a new level of generosity. If you are married or have children, do this together.
2 . Listen as He Speaks
God, what would you have me do with the resources you’ve provided? Assess your financial situation and look at ways you can give sacrificially, whether at once or in installments.
3 . Give
Step out in faith and give or pledge to give.
Re:Imagine Launch Video
Picture How Far We’ve Come
Imagine over 40 years ago when in 1974, three small churches risked leaving the past and launched into the future with a bold vision to do a greater work for God. Think of where we are today and the changes that our church has seen over the years. The past chapter for Hillside, marked by the success of the Imagine Campaign, has been a time of unprecedented growth and impact marked by record setting attendances, baptisms, new members and generosity. Here we stand, poised for the next 40 years as a leading Acts 2 lighthouse church in the region and knowing that the best days are ahead. Now, it is our time to imagine (or reimagine) what more God can do through our continued obedience and trust as the Spirit prompts to remove lids to create greater capacity for people to come to know Jesus.
It’s exciting to think that we’re closer than ever before to fulfilling our 2020 vision as an Acts 2 lighthouse church in the region.
They spent their time learning and they were like family to each other…All the Lord’s followers often met together, and they shared everything they had…And each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved. Acts 2:42 – 47
THE POSITIVE RESULTS OF IMAGINE
(Since our first service in the new Auditorium on Palm Sunday, March 20th 2016)
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! – Psalm 126:3
• We’ve provided more seats at optimal times which has allowed our bigger services to become even bigger (ie, Kids Christmas Musical, Christmas Candlelight, Easter, No Excuse Sundays, etc)
• We’ve grown the size and scope of our quarterly Premier Family Ministry big events (Easter Family Experience, VBS, Trunk or Treat) plus hosted SKA’s Fundraiser and annual Christmas Parties.
• We’ve seen Sunday attendance continue to grow now running over 800+ from the past 8 months – imagine! Hillside is now one of the largest churches in Atlantic Canada.
• We were able to convert the old auditorium into the Family Center – a big win! This expanded space is now used 7 days/week for kids, youth, young adults, moms, senior groups, and numerous special events.
• We were also able to expand The Vibe, begin The Launch (new tweens program) and repurpose new space for Pre-K – more big wins!
• We’ve seen more people growing deeper in their faith with over 8,000 Discipleship steps taken, including 70 baptisms, 135 new “All In” members, and solid engagement in the church-wide Believe series.
• We’ve expanded community by having more space to host annual business meetings, Band of Brothers main events and women’s events, and host larger fellowship events (Re:imagine Family Celebration Events, Concerts, Marriage Courses, Candlelight Services etc)
• As a lighthouse church in the region, we’re been able to host regional conferences (Global Leadership Summit, Believability, regional Kids and Youth gatherings) and banquets for ministry partners (Teen Challenge past 2 years)
• Plus, so much more!!!
Hosting the largest VBS and several of the largest children, youth, and family events in eastern Canada
Being rated the #1 site for overall Summit experience in Canada the past two years in a row
Getting certified with a top Best Christian Workplace rating in 2017
Welcoming a number of national speakers to our pulpit (Tim Schroeder, Shaila Visser, Jason Ballard, Barry Slauenwhite, Sid Koop, Brett Ullman)
Sonshine Kids Academy completing their successful playground project
Engaging more than 500+ keen volunteers each of the past 2 years representing people of all ages including kids, youth, young adults, families, and seniors who are serving
Increased connections with families and now ministering to 500+ children (Birth-Age 18) annually through our various programs
Welcoming a steady stream of new people to the church every Sunday and people consistently comment on the warm, friendly experience and how the Sunday services are meaningful and spiritually engaging for them and their families
Gaining significant exposure through Hillside eNews (over 1,000 weekly subscribers), plus thousands impacted through website, social media posts, online sermon views, etc.
Finishing each year with a modest operating budget surplus, tracking on target with our Imagine results, and extending close to 250K in generosity beyond our walls through our mission partnerships, Global Kids sponsorship, Christmas Sponsorship, Meals of Love, and many other initiatives
The Bottom Line: God is truly favouring our efforts and all the praise belongs to Him and to Him alone!!!
– Hillside is a picture of momentum
– We’re a healthy culture of trust, engagement, and generosity
– These collective blessings are key indicators of church health, not just church growth.
As we intentionally remain faithful, choose commitment over complacency, we believe the best days are ahead!
Hillside’s mission is “To honour God by leading people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ”. Our goal is to challenge each person to take steps forward in their spiritual life, regardless of the length of time they have attended church. We believe our church will be healthier and more effective as we take those steps. The Discipleship Diamond helps people to connect, grow and serve as they go ALL IN for Jesus.
OUR SHARED VISION WITH BOLD PRAYERS FOR 2018:
#1 That each person is growing deeper in prayer
#2 That each person is actively inviting others who are far from Christ
#3 That each person will joyfully increase their level of generosity and engagement, resulting in the success of the Re:imagine Campaign
#4 That together, we will fight for every Hillside family, equipping parents and building into our children and students to make Hillside a premier place to raise a family.
You Made Room For More
We had the chance to sit down with some of the ‘more’ that have come to Hillside since our original Imagine Campaign. These are some of their stories. These are the stories that you made room for.
The plan that will build stronger community
Hillside is known as a warm, caring and friendly church where community is valued and changed lives matter. It is a safe place for people to find and follow Jesus and get connected with other believers in a growing faith community. Our strong sense of community is a value we will continue to protect and strengthen going forward. We don’t want that to change! We simply want to create the space and opportunity for more people to participate in 52 fantastic Sundays, leverage programs in our premiere family ministries, and actively take next steps in becoming fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Reducing our debt with the Re:Imagine Campaign will unlock us to do so much more than we could ever imagine.
THE VISION FOR RE:IMAGINE
To take our people on a church-wide spiritual growth experience that will deepen our faith, transform our hearts and further unify our shared vision.
To reduce our debt by $1.4M
(this means raising, in the next 2 years, what was raised in the past 3 years).
To keep the momentum, by removing lids as we seek to fulfill our 2020 Vision (celebrate the stories and invite people into the why of making room for more – more changed lives).
If the debt (currently at $2.4M) remains, however, it will be a lid to future growth – we have a choice: pay the bank OR re-imagine ministry.
LET US STRIP OFF EVERY WEIGHT THAT SLOWS US DOWN HEBREWS 12: 1
1. We made room for more, God has blessed, but now it’s time to attack the debt so that we can remove this lid and experience even better days ahead.
2. By attacking the debt today, resources can be freed up and re-imagined for future ministry: pay the bank OR re-imagine even more ministry.
For every dollar we raise to pay off our debt today, a dollar is re-imagined in an exponential way into ministry and mission of our church.
We have two choices: pay the bank or re-imagine our ministry.
1. Save $ 18,531 a month, or $ 222,372 a year, money that could be used for ministry. 2. Save close to $2M in interest over the life of the loan.
3. Model responsible stewardship.
4. Free up more dollars for ministry and mission.
5. Celebrate any reduction of our debt as a success.
EVERYONE CAN PARTICIPATE
- Pray, Pray, Pray for the mission and ministry of our church and join us in our week of prayer (April 22nd to April 29th)
- Take a spiritual walk with God, seeking what He would have you do, as you position yourself to pledge over the next 24 months. (One-time gift, monthly, weekly)
- Be a positive influence as we engage others in this important priority in 2018.
- Join us on Commitment Sunday, April 29th
- Jump in and see what God can do in and through you!
FAQ's on Re:Imagine
#1 “Why have we decided to address this debt now?”… “Are we in a financial crisis?”
No, we’re absolutely not in a financial crisis. We’re actually right where we projected we would be at the end of the 3-year capital campaign, having received approximately $1.4m in contributions toward imagine. The desire to attack our debt resulted from conversations with our leadership and other dedicated hillsiders who believe that reducing our debt is the wise, prudent thing to do. By paying off the existing debt, more funds could be re-imagined for greater impact – for the glory of god.
#2 “What is a capital campaign?”
It’s an effort to raise funds for a specified purpose that encompasses the spiritual aspect of giving while achieving certain financial goals. The primary purpose of a campaign – similar in some ways to the story, transformed, and believe church-wide series – is to be a tool or catalyst for church-wide transformation. Campaigns provide a deeply unifying focus of prayer and shared vision, as people embark on a spiritual journey with god, that deepens our collective faith and strengthens the church. We’re better together.
#3 “What are the goals of the re:imagine campaign?”
There are several key goals in particular: a) to be a powerful catalyst for spiritual growth in the lives of every hillsider; b) to develop a stronger culture of generosity and engagement in our mission; c) to significantly reduce the debt (match the $1.4m over the next 2 years which is possible due to our rapid growth – many more people in our growing church family – since imagine); d) to set us up for long-term success enabling us to look ahead to 2020 and beyond without being burdened by heavy debt.
#4 “Is the goal debt reduction or debt retirement?”
Ultimately both – we would love to pay off the debt as soon as we can. We’re hoping the re:imagine campaign will spur on significant progress that will eventually see the debt retired at some point in the near future.
#5 “What percentage of my contribution will go toward paying down the imagine debt?”
That’s a great question! Ultimately, the major priority for re:imagine funds is to go against the debt. We do, however, have a plan to designate 10% (a tithe) once we reach the $1m mark that will go toward removing two current ministry lids to our growth. This $100k will be used to renovate more space for waumba land (our preschool ministry) and also to enhance our upper parking area to accommodate more vehicles. Both of these improvements are essential so that we can accommodate our vision of ministering to 1,000+ people on sunday morning by 2020.
#6 “Why are we spending so much money on ourselves, while the world is so desperately in need?”
That’s another great question! The truth is that hillside is a very generous church. In fact, far more generous than most! In recent years, our combined generosity through missions, special projects, global kids sponsorship, meals of love ministry, christmas sponsorship program, small group outreach to individuals and local ministries, etc has seen us give away several hundred thousand dollars each year. Also, by making room for more, we are faithfully bringing god’s hope, love, and encouragement to a growing number of individuals and families (life change), whose impact is then felt in our community, schools, homes, and work environments. This positive impact is very real, yet understandably hard to quantify.
#7 “If i can’t give a huge gift, will my gift really matter?”
Absolutely! All pledges matter, regardless of amount, because as we all participate according to our ability, god multiplies our giving. We hope all will participate by prayer, encouragement, and, if at all possible, giving. The key is “not equal gift, but equal sacrifice”. It’s been said that “sacrifice is giving up something you love, for something you love even more”. The law of success indicates that sacrifice is essential in order for great things to happen. This is true when talking of veterans who sacrifice for our freedom; parents who sacrifice for the well-being of their children; or christ followers who joyfully sacrifice to bless others for the sake of the kingdom. How might the lord be leading you to make a sacrifice to benefit others?
#8 Will I be pressured to make a pledge?
Absolutely not! Participation in the campaign and how much you give is entirely up to you. We only ask that you pray and seek the Holy Spirit’s leading. In fact, if you can’t give cheerfully to Re:imagine, we would actually encourage you not to give. This campaign is an opportunity for those who are interested and keenly willing to participate as God so leads. Remember: “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7).
#9 “What about children and students, is there an opportunity for them to participate?”
Yes! Re:imagine is meant to be a spiritual growth experience for the whole church family. Our Premier Family Ministry team will be engaging those under the age of 18 to participate in an age appropriate way. We’re also encouraging parents to discuss and pray about it with their children. And kids are invited to attend the “Re:Imagine Celebration Event(s)” on April 8th or April 15th. Then, on Sunday morning, April 22nd, we’re looking forward to the kids, along with the Premier Family Ministry team, presenting a cheque showing their support of the campaign.
#10 “Why is making a pledge so important?”
A pledge is a personal expression of a prayerful, heartfelt commitment to God’s work; thus it’s a planned decision that produces spiritual growth in one’s heart. And, in addition to this, a pledge is also a very helpful way to enable leadership to plan ahead financially knowing what kind of resources are coming in to pay down the mortgage and develop a financial plan for the church. Though the church is not a business, it is a like a business in that it has financial obligations to meet.
#11 “Is this a “one time” gift, or do I give weekly, or monthly, etc., and for how long?”
You may give your gift in any way you desire. There are various options and combinations of options that you can choose from. Our pledge commitment cards will have space for you to write in what increments you will choose to give your gift over the course of the next two years from April 29, 2018 (Commitment Sunday) through to May, 2020.
#12 “If I make a monetary commitment and then something unforeseen comes up and I can’t keep that commitment, what happens?”
You are on a spiritual journey with God and it’s a journey based on grace not guilt. In cases like this, you are simply asked to prayerfully seek God’s face regarding His desire for the remainder of your commitment, follow His lead, and rest secure in the knowledge that we, like God, all understand that sometimes life just happens. If the Lord leads you to change your commitment, a simple call or email to the Director of Finance (Dale Somers email@example.com) will suffice to notify him that your commitment is changing. Only he will know what you pledge.
#13 “If I haven’t completed my existing Imagine pledge from 3 years ago, what should I do?”
First, don’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes circumstances happen along the way that can impact our financial situation. That’s understandable, so please don’t lose any unnecessary sleep over it. Ultimately, the decision going forward is yours. You can either focus on completing your old pledge (which would be great) or, if you prefer, you can simply begin a new one. Either way, it would be helpful if you complete the new Re:imagine pledge form and indicate your plans. This will give an updated indication of your intent, which would be appreciated.
#14 “If I completed my Imagine pledge and was giving by automatic withdrawal, when will those withdrawals stop?”
Unless you have indicated otherwise, the 3-year Imagine Campaign pledge period is now completed (April 2018). Thus, no more withdrawals will be taken out of your account. However, if you would like to participate in the Re:imagine Campaign, you’re certainly invited to prayerfully consider making a new pledge. Your continued support would be a great encouragement, as we seek to further attack the outstanding debt of this very successful expansion project.
#15 “If I made a 5-year pledge during the previous Imagine campaign, should I bother completing a new Re:imagine pledge?”
Completing another pledge form in this case (assuming your intent hasn’t changed) would not be necessary. However, if you would like to participate in our Pledge Commitment Sunday experience, you can simply indicate on the new Re:imagine Pledge card that you’ve already pledged through your ongoing 5-year commitment.
#16 “How should my financial gift to Re:imagine affect my regular giving?”
Ideally, your commitment to the Re:imagine campaign should be over, above, and in addition to your regular giving. If you are not currently giving regularly to our ministry (what the Bible calls tithing), we would encourage you to begin there. After you have begun tithing, then we would encourage you to prayerfully ask God what gift over and above your regular giving He would like for you to make. Re:imagine is similar to other special projects in the Bible where God’s people gave a special offering beyond their regular giving.
#17 “How can I make a pledge?”
For your convenience, there are several options to submit your confidential pledge. You can complete and submit your pledge form online; you can complete and submit it in the Pledge envelope during a Sunday morning service; or, if you’re away and/or it’s simply more convenient for you, you can drop it off to the church office through the week or mail it to the church. Ultimately, we would like to have the pledges submitted, if possible, on or before Sunday, April 29th.
#18 “What can I expect on Commitment Sunday?”
Commitment Sunday on April 29th is going to be an exciting day and represents the culmination of the Re:imagine Campaign. In many ways it will be like one of our 52 fantastic Sundays: we will experience engaging, heartfelt worship together and hear a timely message from God’s Word. And then, as a focal point of the day, we will be receiving your confidential pledge as part of the morning offering. You can either submit your pledge in an enclosed envelope on that day or, if you prefer, complete a confidential pledge form online. Either way, the ask is that pledges be received on or by April 29th. Also, if you choose the option of completing the online form, you can still bring the confidential envelope to church to participate in this very special offering.
#19 “What about a legacy gift – is that possible?”
Absolutely! The answer is yes. We realize that often there are people (including seniors) who want to contribute to the campaign but current resources are limited. Realizing this, the Finance Committee is in the process of establishing a new Legacy initiative at Hillside. If you are interested and would like more information, you’re asked to sign up to attend one of their information sessions that will be offered this spring. Strategically including the church as part of your estate is a practical way to invest in the ministry of the church you love. To do this, be sure to indicate in your will and let your family know. Many believers honour God by giving a tithe (10%) of their estate to kingdom purposes. We expect many Hillsiders will be participating in this new initiative.
#20 “What steps should I take that can help me to best determine my pledge?”
Because the #1 goal of a church-wide campaign like Re:imagine is spiritual growth (to make us more like Jesus), everyone is encouraged to prayerfully follow these 3 steps. First, surrender or re-surrender your life, including your financial resources to serve God and his kingdom purposes; second, pray, inviting the Lord to personally speak to you about how he might want you to participate in this campaign; and third, once you determine how God is leading you, have the courage to act upon and obey what you believe he is calling you to do. As you prayerfully consider your pledge, you are also encouraged to take some time to carefully read over the creative giving ideas with practical tips on “repurposing” a portion of your resources; and also, as a point of reference, to reflect on the gift table which is on the back of the Pledge Card. The success of the campaign is ultimately not based upon equal gift, but upon equal sacrifice. Every gift will not be the same and each gift is vital.
Finally, keep in mind these words below by King David. In this text (1 Chron. 29:14-17), he celebrated the immense joy he felt when God’s people so willingly and generously gave to honour God through a special project, saying: “Everything comes from you, and we have given what comes from your hand… I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you”.