And God has been, for a long time… Over the past several years, we have baptized over 96 people, the 2015 confirmation class has nearly 100 youth and our giving to missions has doubled. People are being ministered to, cared for, and prayed over. And they’re inviting their friends… And they have lots of friends! In response to this amazing growth, we are entering another defining season in our church’s history. Christ is calling all of us to go deeper into a generous and intentional life for Him and we’re calling it “DIVE IN.” It’s intentional. It’s creating waves.
Scripture records the disciples feeling defeated after Jesus’ death. They had fished all night and caught nothing. Then the resurrected Jesus calls to them from the shore. When Peter realizes it’s JESUS calling, he literally DIVES IN and swims to shore. Peter receives a call to action and from then on holds nothing back. He goes on to live an incredible life of significance, as Peter himself sends peace, hope, and love out into the world. What would happen if we Christ-followers at Dexter UMC dove into this kind of DEEPLY GENEROUS LIFE?
DIVE IN is different than anything we have ever done before. Through the DIVE IN initiative, we will continue to invigorate our mission to create gospel-centered environments for people to encounter Jesus, empower the next generation, and see lives change. Our enhanced operations will increase the scope and impact of all of our ministries. OUR CHURCH FAMILY will continue to grow and make a difference.
Dexter UMC wants to prepare a future for those who have yet to hear about Jesus. Picture a gymnasium with the best indoor/outdoor playground in a 10-mile radius. This community center could be an incredible tool, used by God, to bring people of ALL generations not just to this campus but to a relationship with Christ. OUR COMMUNITY Center/Gymnasium could exponentially increase our ability to reach the 60% of those who don’t know Christ in our community.
By becoming an increasingly sending church we seek to impact OUR WORLD. By continuing to grow in this area, avenues such as Pastor Luc’s Haiti orphanage, Omega Church in Belize, inner city Memphis and Detroit, Meru, Kenya, and Red Bird, will receive greater support.
Over the next two years, each and every one of us will be presented with an amazing opportunity. For some, this will mean a first jump in to a generosity commitment to Dexter UMC. For others, it will mean taking a deeper look at how we can further challenge ourselves in the area of generosity and sacrifice.
If you have been a part of a “capital campaign” in the past, please understand DIVE IN is different… it’s truly ONE MISSION where each aspect of our church will participate fully. The DIVE IN initiative will impact EACH AND EVERY one of our lives as we CHANGE and become more like the image of CHRIST; totally, radically and sacrificially.
As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and
Taking the plunge in generosity, jumping in with faith.
Gymnasium for children, youth and adults.
Including parking, children’s playgrounds and worship growth.
DIVE IN is what we are calling a “One Fund Generosity Initiative.” You may have been part of giving initiatives in the past where you were asked to give a second gift “above and beyond” your usual gift to make special initiatives like new buildings and ministries possible. So you gave that gift to the ‘Building Fund,’ and then you also continued to give gifts to the ‘General Fund.’ This type of giving is potentially confusing to people who either don’t have a baseline for their “usual giving” OR who aren’t able to really celebrate the total giving they are engaging in at DUMC in one single number.At DUMC, we believe we are all on ONE MISSION: The mission of helping everyday people become passionate followers of Jesus Christ. Therefore we are asking our church body to contribute to ONE FUND. For the next two years, DIVE IN will increase our ONE FUND and make a huge investment that will create a ministry impact.
Determine how God might be calling you to grow in your generosity to be a part of our expanded investment in God’s Kingdom through Dexter United Methodist Church.
• Join us for worship services over the next several weeks.
• Join us in a small group experience and personal devotions.
• Join together in prayer as a church during this defining time.
Our COMMITMENT DAY will be SUNDAY, MAY 17, and we would like to ask every family and individual at DUMC to join with us on that day in making a radically generous commitment to DIVE IN. Our prayer is that God will radically change our church during this time, and we invite you to join us in this life-changing mission.
We believe God is calling us to a new chapter in the life of our church. It all starts with a two-year commitment to lay a foundation for where God is taking us.The DIVE IN challenge is for each of us to go before God, to spend time with Him, to study His Word, to hear the stories of what He is doing in others’ lives, to be challenged by His Word through sermons and home group studies, and to discover what role He would have for us in this season.
So we would ask for you to pray over this card, to talk with your spouse if applicable, and to determine what a radically generous sacrifice would be for your TOTAL giving to DUMC over the next two years. Please feel free to use the worksheet on the commitment card as well as the gift chart below to be challenged by this number.
As we go through this Dive In journey together, we want to challenge you to determine where God might be challenging you to grow in your own discipleship of generosity with Him. Allow these steps along the journey to help challenge you and grow you as a giver to God’s Kingdom.
Be creative as you explore ways you and your family can give toward DIVE IN. You might have stocks, property or other items of that nature. Or you may have some stored resources that God has blessed you with in the past that He just might be calling you to give out of during this time. If you have questions about this type of giving, please contact Carl Espy, our church Business Administrator at 734-426-8480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIVE IN is about your total, radical, and sacrificial generosity for DUMC. We believe that God calls us to action in times of hardship just as much as He does in times of abundance, and that looks different for every person. But DIVE IN is about a heart change- one that is accomplished by surrendering our lives completely. So that may mean that you are being challenged to sell things, to pick up odd jobs, or even to trust God in faith by making a commitment that you don’t quite know how to fulfill right now but that you believe God will provide for as you seek ways to sacrifice and work toward that commitment. We would like for everyone to be a part of DIVE IN so that we can all be supporting, loving, encouraging, and praying for one another through this spiritually-stretching season at DUMC.
If you are someone currently seeking to make payments to pay off debt right now, we commend you for making progress on that. And you should continue to do so. We would encourage you to go through the Financial Peace University course if you have not done so already. Being in debt does not, however, make someone “excused” from giving. Giving isn’t about what God wants from you; rather, it’s about what God wants for you. So it should be our joy and privilege to give at all times. Please contact us if you need assistance with this or if you would like to speak with a budgeting counselor, and we would be honored to help.
DIVE IN is about the vision of our church. We believe that the local church is one of the most compelling missions to give toward, and we would really love for you to make DUMC your home and join us in DIVE IN. If you are ready for it, this is a perfect time for you to put a stake in the ground and make this your church.
People take different spiritual steps at different times. Some people begin praying before they begin attending church. Others begin going to small group before they begin talking to God in prayer. Giving is another spiritual step, and it comes at different times for different people. Just like other spiritual disciplines, giving draws us closer to God. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 6:19 Whether you have taken the spiritual step of baptism or not, we would encourage you to still join us in this DIVE IN initiative. We firmly believe that it will draw you closer to God and hopefully prepare you to make the decision to become baptized when you are ready.
Through the last 10 years we have had several vision committees, assessments, and long-standing master site plans.
We’ve had 2 visioning committees in the past year:
Yes and no. Some official visits were made, and others were observed.
That is partly to-be-determined, but we picture regular hours, open gym, children’s times, as well as activities that would draw people from around the area.
To be determined, but we think open gym would be free (as opposed to the Wellness Center and schools), though if there are classes with regular instructors, there would be a small fee to cover costs.
This is another to-be-determined, though we would push for convenient hours for the maximum number of people.
By staff and our cleaning company.
Yes! You wisely answered the maintenance question with this one. We believe this will change our current staff configuration, and we will respond, as we have been adding & shifting staff for the last 10 years of growth.
We won’t stop planning how to keep making room for folks, but if finances don’t make sense, we will have to make adjustments and refinements, based on resources, costs, and calculations. But I truly think we can even exceed our goals. The trick to remember is, we’re already growing in such a way that we have to do something. This initiative is simply responding to what’s already happening, and how we want to continue to reach into our community.
Yes and no.
When we put forward our Master Site Plan in 2006, this was all there. And it was voted on unanimously, I think.
And no, in that we didn’t have a recent all-church vote. We’ll have the opportunity to though, when the final plans are proposed at a charge conference. Again, I see this as people voting with their feet. We had over 800 in worship last Sunday on Palm Sunday! And, as the number of people who now consider themselves active church members has increased, we have more missions, more serving opportunities, more giving, and more program than ever before. All for Christ.
Thank you for your concern! ☺ As with any of us, we don’t know. But what we do know, is there is much happening beyond any one person. We also know that the majority of moves in the UMC are initiated by the pastors, not the conference or the churches. And there is a motto – if the church is growing, and the pastor is growing along with it, then the conference does not tend to move people in those situations. Though we don’t know, the leaders do know “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
As the pastor of our church, I feel that I’m being called to lead this simply in response to what’s already happening here! With so many caring and committed people around here, it’s hard to keep new folks away. They want this to become their church home, and so many of our new folks are jumping in with both feet – in giving and in serving.