Q&A

As we have rolled out the news of launching two healthy churches and a three-year capital campaign to fund them, you have asked many great questions. Below are the most often asked questions. We will continue to update this Q&A page. If you have a question that is not answered here, contact us please. Chances are, if you want to ask the question, someone else does too.

Is there childcare at all services post-launch?

6:45 Thursday night service post-launch Beach will offer childcare for children birth through age 2.

8:45 Sunday morning service post-launch Beach will offer childcare for children birth through age 2.

10:45 Sunday morning service post-launch Beach will continue to have Pele (for pre-schoolers) and Promiseland (elementary age).

7:22 Thursday night service post-launch The Church of Eleven22 will have experiences for all ages birth through fifth grade. Middle School and High School students have the opportunity to sit in the Student Section during Thursday night worship.

11:22 Sunday morning service post-launch The Church of Eleven22 will have experiences for all ages birth through fifth grade. Middle School and High School students have the opportunity to sit in the Student Section during Sunday morning worship.

 

What is NewGen Ministry at The Church of Eleven22?

Vision: The vision of The Church of Eleven22 NewGen Minsitry is to see people ages 0-18 enter into a relationship with Jesus, become a disciple of Jesus, and then be unleashed to disciple others.

The NewGen ministry is driven to be Gospel-centered and relationship-based, focused on making disciples, building families, and having fun.

Preschool children, six weeks to four years, will learn and experience the Bible through large group worship and small discipleship groups.  Age-appropriate activities, song, movement, and prayer help to reinforce the Bible lesson in a fun and approachable way. Even our smallest children will be nurtured, sung to, and prayed over during their time with us.

Elementary children, kindergarten through fifth grade, will also learn and experience the Bible through large group worship and graded discipleship groups.  The Bible lesson will become personal through activities, Bible study and prayer.

Building families rooted in Jesus Christ is very important to us. We want to equip parents to raise Gospel-centered children by providing weekly resources to get families talking about Jesus throughout the week.

Sixth to twelfth graders will be included in inter-generational worship with a Student Section in the worship services and opportunities to serve in ministries church-wide.

With a heavy focus on discipleship The Church of Eleven22 will have Wednesday night Discipleship Groups open to all sixth to twelfth gradersgraders. Gospel centered curriculum and authentic relationships being built will raise up teenagers as disciple making disciples. In addition to groups, students will serve their church, their community, and the nations through serve events and mission trips. Connect events will include retreats and fun activities to cultivate Biblical community.

What is NextGen Ministries at Beach?

Next Gen Ministries is the umbrella name for all ministries to ages 0-18 at Beach:

BeachKids
BeachKids (Beach’s children’s ministry) will continue to offer a highly engaging and creative worship experience for children and a time for Life Group activities with other kids in their particular age group on Sunday mornings at 10:45am. Pele’, is our worship experience for pre-schoolers (2 years old to pre-K) and Promiseland (K-5th grade) for elementary age children. Curriculum for Beach Kids on Sunday mornings will be focused on children knowing Jesus as their “forever friend” and finding life as God intended through Him!

Childcare will also continue to be offered as a ministry of BeachKids for children birth to 2 years of age for all worship experiences and in most cases, will also be offered for classes and church events for children age birth through 5th grade. The Early Learning Center is our weekly pre-school ministry.

BeachKids Mission: Beach Kids ministries partners with families to Reach, Raise-up and Release a new generation to Glorify God and change the world.

Beach Student Ministry

Beach Student Ministry (BSM) will continue to offer what has made Beach a great student ministry: UNITED is our student large group worship experience offered on Sunday evenings from 6:15 to 8:15pm. It is designed by students for students. Beach Student Ministries will also continue to offer Life Groups for middle school and high school students at church and in homes mid-week. BSM will continue to offer mission trips, Epworth, and other off campus events such as Beach Days and Nights at Angie’s. BSM will also restart our Student Impact ministry where students are engaged in serving in other ministries throughout the church and our Spotter’s ministry for parents to be involved in BSM.
Beach Student Ministry Mission: Beach Student Ministries exists to see students encounter Jesus Christ, grow in faith, and be unleashed to transform their world.

There will also be a strong emphasis in our Next Gen ministries on partnerships between families and community of faith so that we are constantly working together to lead the next generation from cradle to college. We believe that two combined influences make a greater impact than just two influences. We believe that together we can lead our children toward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ .

What is the difference between Small Groups, Life Groups and Disciple Groups?

Small Groups will become Life Groups at Beach and Disciple Groups at The Church of Eleven22.

What is a Life Group?

“You were never intended to do life alone. Life Groups are the heart and soul of spiritual formation.”
–Pastor Jerry Sweat

Life Groups are a primary way to raise up and release disciples at new Beach. The strategy will emulate
the model of the early Christian church in Acts 2: small groups gathering in homes doing life together.
By simply doing life together, friendships are formed which result in support, accountability and
encouragement to live a more Godly life – like the one we were created to live. At Beach we believe real
spiritual growth and life change happens best in the context of a Life Group.

What is a Disciple Group ?
“Our job is to make disciples. Disciple groups will help make disciple-making-disciples.”
–Pastor Joby Martin

Disciple Groups will meet weekly in homes for Bible Study and edification. Master Teachers will be
trained to lead our people through custom curriculum written to dig in to the weekend worship message.
Each group will also have a Care Giver who facilitates care for group members (meals when sick, birthdays,
etc.) Master Teachers will identify and coach new Master Teachers who will then lead new groups in Bible
Study, and Care Givers will identify new Care Givers and coach them to partner with new Master Teachers.
The goal is for disciples to make disciples who make disciples.

What are the service times for both churches after the launch?

Beach will have services Thursday at 6:45 and Sunday at 8:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.

The Church of Eleven22 will have services Thursday at 7:22 and Sunday at 11:22.

Are the new air conditioning units installed yet?

The Air Conditioning nnits are in, up and running! Check out he installation photos on the NEWS page. Enjoy!

Has construction started yet for The Church of Eleven22?

YES! Construction started on Monday, March 26. The old ceiling tiles were torn out and the floor tiles were ripped out. We also hung a sign to let the neighbors know who we are! We’ve already had at least one person come by the site who was thrilled that a church was being planted! The Lord is preparing hearts and minds for His gospel!

If I serve at BUMC and am going to The Church of Eleven22, will I have to stop serving?

Obviously both churches will need volunteers. Our Transition Team is working on a transition plan for volunteers, and some time after Easter we will begin to transition and train volunteers for The Church of Eleven22. We will want to determine who will serve where, but we would not want anyone to stop serving. We only ask that you seek God on where He would have you serve.

What does this mean to my small group if we go to different churches?

All small groups may stay in tact and God has his purposes for designing each of our groups the way He has. The church will not dictate any group semantics. We will leave it up to the group and God on how to proceed. Beach will have it’s own small group curriculum and The Church of Eleven22 will have theirs, each group will decide for itself what works best for them.

My income is based on commission; so I’m hesitant to commit a specific amount. What should I do?

Many people have income changes due to commission, so we hear this question often. In thinking and praying about what to commit, we suggest considering percentage giving. A tithe (10%) is a good place to start, but let the Lord lead you. Take a look at what your income has been in the recent past and commit a percentage of that amount. Put that amount on your pledge card, which will help the church budget, but don’t get stressed out about that number being carved in stone. Many of our staff members have found that when we’ve committed to a percent, the Lord has provided more so we end up giving more! The key is to make a commitment, even something a little scary or that doesn’t make sense on paper, so that we stretch our faith and practice trusting God. Also remember, committing to the campaign is to be over and above your regular tithe and offering. If you are new to both, consider a percent for the operating budget and a percent for the campaign. Our experience over the years is that God honors our effort to surrender our finances to Him!

Why do I need to submit a pledge card?

Pledge cards enable the church to have an idea of what income to expect.  We use pledge cards to manage the campaign cash flow and plan our budgets. Just like a household budget, it’s a lot easier to plan when we have an idea of our income. If you have not submitted a pledge card, please do so as soon as possible.

How is my UTR campaign giving kept separate from my regular tithe/offering?

Part of the reason that we ask you to complete a commitment card is so we can track your giving to this campaign, and attribute it to you specifically.

As you give to the campaign, your giving is posted to the profile in our system for you and your family, and is applied to your commitment.

If you are writing a check, please mark “Upon This Rock” in the memo field.

You can write one check for both your regular giving and your Upon This Rock giving, just please indicate in the memo field how you’d like the amount split.

If you are giving electronically, you will always have the option to select “Upon This Rock” on all of our e-giving portals.  Click here to sign up for e-giving.

Will The Church of Eleven22 have classes?

The Church of Eleven22 will offer a new believers class similar to Beach’s Beginning Point class.  They will also offer discipleship groups led by Master Teachers. The Church of  Eleven22 will not offer the Disciple classes, however Beach will continue to offer Disciple classes and Small Group resources as we currently do.

Does BUMC have any legal/financial obligations on new property?

No, Beach UMC is in no way obligated for any legal/financial obligations of the new property.  The Church of Eleven22 is its own legal entity and has signed the lease on its own behalf.

What will Missions look like at each church?

Management of specific trips will be handled by each individual church. For example, Jamaica missions were started by Pastor Joby when he and Gretchen went on their honeymoon over 12 years ago, so the Jamaica trips will be led out of The Church of Eleven22. Beach has strong ties with Faithful Servant Missions in Costa Rica and Panama, so they will continue to lead trips out of Beach with FSM. However, we currently allow many other  people from all over the city go on all of our trips. This spirit will continue. Many people who attend Beach may choose to go on a trip with The Church of Eleven22. Many people who attend The Church of Eleven22 may choose to go on an trip with Beach.

 

What will Student Worship look like at each church?

United will continue as it is at Beach. BUMC will have no changes to their Student or Children’s Ministries.

The Church of Eleven22 will offer opportunities for students to worship every week at 7:22 on Thursday and at 11:22 on Sunday morning. We will encourage intergenerational worship by integrating students into the life of the church. In alignment with Titus 2 and the deeply rooted desire of students for community, we will set aside time on Wednesday nights for a discipleship-focused groups fueled by mentoring relationships.  Wednesday nights will be an environment for students to connect, apply Biblical teaching, and deepen peer relationships.

Is there a place for ‘seniors’ at The Church of Eleven22?

The Church of Eleven22 will walk out Titus 2 by valuing intergenerational worship and continuing to integrate and include worshippers of all ages. We believe age and maturity are necessary to make disciple-making-disciples and will encourage our mature members to mentor and lead our younger members.

We expect believers of all ages to engage in Worship Gatherings, Discipleship Groups and Community Transformation.  We want to look like heaven, where there will be no age – but reflect every nation, tribe and tongue. We lift up Jesus knowing He is sovereign over all and He is more than enough for everyone.

According to our spreadsheet we need more money up front. How does that work with a 3-year campaign?

Typically 40% of the total campaign proceeds are received in year one of a multi-year campaign, not counting first fruits.  We have asked for first fruits in order to cover more of the gap between what we expect to collect in year one and what we actually need in year one.  While all of the details are not firm yet, The Church of Eleven22 is prepared to use a short term line of credit for the construction of the worship space, to be repaid with campaign proceeds as they actually come in over the three years.  This line of credit will be the sole obligation of The Church of Eleven22, and NOT a debt of Beach.

Where will The Church of Eleven22 be located?

The Church of Eleven22 will be located next door to Hobby Lobby at the corner of Beach Blvd. and San Pablo in the old Wal-Mart building. See the “News” tab to view elevation drawings and our floor plan.

When will the launch actually happen?

The launch is currently on schedule to happen in September 2012.

Why hasn’t Beach been communicating with us more often about the launch?

We have had a team of people working for over 11 months to create a launch strategy. Early in the process, we had to make a decision about when to start talking about the launch – we wrestled with whether to start talking early and run the risk of having very few answers or start talking later and run the risk of creating a void of information. We made the decision to wait to talk until after we had clarity on several items. Our intention was never to create room for gossip and rumors. In fact, much like Paul taught the early church, we believe that rumors and gossip will divide us. The good news is that we have answers now…and we are excited to start sharing. This website is our primary tool of communicating news to you, so please check back often.Click here to sign up for regular updates.

What is a capital campaign and how should I give?

The Upon This Rock campaign is a capital campaign. The term capital campaign is just a fancy church term that means giving above your regular giving, it’s sacrificial giving – which means we sacrifice something in order to give. So we are asking you to give to this campaign in addition to what you currently give to the ministries of Beach. This campaign is a THREE year campaign, which means that we are asking you to make a commitment to give a certain dollar amount over a three year period of time. Will that be difficult for some of us? Absolutely! That’s what giving sacrificially means – we make sacrifices in order to free up resources to give. Giving is an act of worship and should not be done under compulsion, so do not consider any commitment until you have first prayed about your decision and asked the Holy Spirit to guide you to the proper amount. Giving is also an act of faith, and is a way that God continues to grow our dependence on Him. Sometimes it looks like we don’t have anything to give, but when we step out in faith and commit to giving, God provides in ways we never expected. Once you have decided what your commitment will be, complete a commitment card and start giving at a pace that you choose (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.) in the way that you choose (check, cash, e-giving, transferring or selling shares of stock, etc.) Click here to sign up for e-giving.

How are we going to “share” the financial resources of this capital campaign between two churches over three years?

To understand how this part will work, let’s break it down into two phases:

First phase: the launch is scheduled to happen in September 2012. Between now and September 2012, we will operate as one church just as we have been doing all along. So up until September 2012 all of the money that you give to the Upon This Rock capital campaign will go into a separate fund set up specifically for tracking income and expenses of the campaign. You will give the money just as you do your regular operating giving (e-giving, offering box or plate, etc.). While we are still one church, the capital campaign fund will be managed and operated with all of the internal controls that we currently have in place as a church.

Second phase: after the launch happens, we are asking that you simply “give where you go”. There will be a mechanism in place for the finance departments at each church to combine the capital campaign giving together into a joint fund after weekly giving is collected and counted. From this account the campaign proceeds will be distributed to pay the expense of the campaign according to the approved campaign budget. The team that will oversee this joint fund will be represented by the following people from each church: Senior/Lead Pastor, Treasurer, Chairman of the Leadership Board/Elder Board, Finance Director and one independent Auditor jointly selected by both Pastors.

How will the operating budget of the church work during this launch period?

Remember that this capital campaign covers only the capital projects of the launch. The Beach operating budget (the combined budget for all of Beach, including the “22” services) is separate from this campaign entirely. The Beach Leadership Board has just approved an 8 month operating budget (again, a combined budget) that we will operate from during the period of January thru August. Since we plan to launch in September 2012, each church will have their own operating budget for the four months of September thru December 2012. In addition to your giving to the capital campaign, we ask that you continue to give your tithe toward the operating budget of Beach during the first 8 months of 2012, then continue to give your tithe where you worship after the launch. If you’d like more information on our operating budget, email us.

What are Firstfruits and why are you asking for them?

Firstfruits is a Biblical term that represents giving God your best. We are asking you to actually give an “up front” portion of your commitment at the same time you make your pledge. We will use these first fruits to jump start campaign projects such as: replacing the A/C in our Family Life Center, signing a contract with our builder, and other up-front expenses this endeavor requires. (Remember, your pledge and your firstfruit gift are in addition to your current giving, not in place of it.)

The Biblical explanation of Firstfruits: When God gave the law to Moses, He instructed Israel to celebrate various feasts to Him. Two of the many feasts were Passover and Pentecost. Passover was the feast of the unleavened bread and Pentecost was the feast of firstfruits. At the feast of firstfruits, Israel brought to the house of the Lord the best fruits of their soil. Much like the chosen people Israel, we are called to recognize the Lord is the provider of all and the One who deserves the firstfruits of all we produce.

In the Old Testament generosity was expected of all the people on this occasion. Out of their generosity, God provided for his temple, his priests, and the less fortunate. God’s law is immutable. He does not change and his law is consistent. As Christians we know that Christ came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Acts 2 is an example of this law: Christ died at Passover, the Holy Spirit fell at Pentecost, Peter preaches the gospel, three thousand are saved and  “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” These new believers were the firstfruits of Christ’s payment for sin, and they responded by giving everything they had. So what does this have to do with our capital campaign? Everything. Old Testament Israel was required to give their best to the Lord. New Testament Christ followers are not only called to give our best, but to give everything. To sell our possessions and give to anyone as he has need.

For additional information/education about firstfruits you can see all of the scriptural references here: http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=firstfruits&qs_version=NIV1984

 

What does the United Methodist denomination think about this movement?

A word from our District Superintendent:

Exactly what Beach debt will be paid off when we meet our $7 million goal over three years?

Here is a breakdown of the current mortgage debt of Beach:

    • Post Office Parking Lot: $1.3 million
    • Family Life Center: $2.2 million
    • Education Building: $1.3 million
    • Total: $4.8 million

Beach began incurring debt in 1998 and continued through 2005 in order to purchase property for parking, for future growth, to build the Family Life Center (where we worship and have small groups, etc.), the Education Building (where Children’s Ministry and Early Learning Center operate). Our debt peaked at a high of $8 million in 2005. Since then, we have reduced it down to $4.7 million. The Upon This Rock capital campaign will pay off the $2.2 million mortgage on our Family Life Center. By paying off this mortgage by the end of the 3 year capital campaign, we will save $700,000 in interest over the original life of the loan.

This $700,000 amount could fund various Beach ministry budgets, build 5 orphanage dorms in Panama, and fund over 500 missionaries to be sent out from Beach in Jesus’ name. To give you a tad more perspective, consider this: $700,000 would sponsor 100 Compassion children from the time they enter the program until they graduate from the program to live on their own. Wherever God leads us to use the money, we have no doubt: saving money by paying off debt simply opens the door for more kingdom work.

Why aren’t we paying off all of the mortgage debt of Beach?

The total mortgage debt at Beach was accumulated over a period of growth from 1998 to 2005 – a seven year period. We felt it wasn’t reasonable to expect to eliminate 100% of our debt over a three year period when it took us seven years to accumulate it. In addition, during the three year period of this capital campaign, we must still operate the church. Remember that the capital campaign giving is above and beyond our regular giving. Regular giving supports our annual operating budget, which is approximately $5 million per year. We felt that focusing our efforts on paying off 45% of the mortgage debt of Beach (the amount being paid off in this capital campaign) and building a worship space for Eleven22 would be the best use of our resources during this season of explosive growth. Paying off one of the mortgages will position Beach to be able to afford the debt service on the remaining two loans while creating a long term campus strategy plan, which will address the remaining two mortgages.

Why does Beach still have mortgage debt after we’ve had two capital campaigns in the past?

Since 2002 we have had two capital campaigns that have raised $5 million. The campaigns were created to fund the building of the Education Building as well as the Family Life Center. In both cases, we received less than was committed, leaving us with debt that wasn’t covered by capital campaign proceeds. Also, beginning in 1998, leaders of Beach began purchase property and parking space which allowed us to accommodate the explosive growth we have seen since 2008. Much of this property was purchased without a corresponding capital campaign, thus leaving us with remaining debt. Our debt peaked at a high of $8 million is 2005 and is now at $4.7 million.

In terms of staff, who will go and who will stay?

Throughout 2011, we worked with each staff member to help make the decision on where they feel God is calling them to serve. This was a serious decision, not taken lightly by anyone.  Photos of all staff for both churches are featured in the “News” menu under “Staff.”

Staff by list for BUMC:

Jerry Sweat, Senior Pastor

Marion Shotwell, Executive Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator

Carmen Johns, Pastor of Pastoral Care & Disciple Study

Gary Tiller, Executive Director of Ministries

Don Jacobs, Executive Director of Operations

Karl Lackey, Worship Arts Pastor

Gina Duffy, Executive Assistant to Worship and Ministry Director

Chris Peltz, NextGen Student Pastor

Courtney Stahlman, NextGen Experience Director

LeeAnn Farr, NextGen Children’s Minister

Dyan Gronczniak, Communication Director

Denise Pecci, Executive Coordinator Student Ministry

Kay Birden, Executive Coordinator Children’s Ministry

Becky Woodward, Childcare Leader

Lynn Tyndall, Early Learning Center

Children’s Curriculum, Dotty Jacobs

Kim Clayton, Assistant Worship Arts Minister

Monica Gutos, Web & Social Media Administrator

Shawn New, Technical Arts Director

Laura Slabicki, Finance Director

Cheryl Griffis, Director of Operations & Missions Administration

Larry Leaf, Director of Facilities

Staff by list for The Church of Eleven22:

Joby Martin, Lead Pastor

Carly Arkell, Lead Pastor Admin

Ryan Stone, Lead Ministries Pastor/Spiritual Formations Pastor/New Gen Pastor

Staci Brown, Lead Director of Operations

Carrie Williams, Servant Ministries Minister/Gathering Coordinator

 Ben Williams, Worship Arts Pastor

 Mandi Miller, Servant Ministries Coordinator

Clifton Stanton, NewGen Minister, Student Gathering and Servant Ministries

Caitlin Ross, NewGen Minister, Spiritual Formation

Cliff Long, Technical Director

Brad Bowen, Facilities Director

Selena Long, Finance Coordinator

 Jacki Clark, It Director

 

In terms of leaders and the rest of our church family, who will go and who will stay?

This is a question that is up to each individual to answer. We hope that every person seeks God’s will on where He would have them worship and serve, just like each staff person did. We believe that where each person ultimately ends up is more an issue of obedience to God, than a human choice. We also trust that part of the reason God is having us do this launch and re-launch is to open seats that He plans to fill.

Why are we doing this now, in the middle of the worst economic crisis we’ve had in years?

This is a great question, and one that we have heard often, and have even asked ourselves at times. As leaders, how we have gained perspective and surrendered to this plan is to remember the recent history and heritage of Beach in the last 20 years. In the late 90’s a worship leader had the vision to start contemporary worship at Beach, drawing many people in from the community. Some people didn’t like the idea of “rock and roll” church, but God accomplished His plan nonetheless – drawing people unto Himself. In the early 2000’s we started our South campus, which eventually became Ponte Vedra United Methodist Church. At that time, we asked many of our members to make a long term commitment to attend South campus to help it have a healthy start. Many didn’t like the idea, but God accomplished His plan nonetheless – drawing people unto Himself. In 2001, the worship pastor who started contemporary worship at Beach passed away from cancer, our Senior Pastor resigned from ministry, and Pastor Carmen woke up from routine back surgery permanently blind. Then 9/11happened. And nothing was ever the same. On the eve of 9/11 we were just about to roll out a capital campaign. As the fear began to permeate our lives after 9/11, including our financial lives, many said that we must be crazy to kick off a capital campaign in that environment. We moved forward anyway, knowing that it was what God called us to. And because we did so, we now have space that has allowed over 1,500 people to surrender their life to Christ here on this very campus over the last several years. What if we had been too afraid to kick off that campaign in the wake of 9/11? What if we hadn’t stepped out in faith, trusting every outcome to God? Sound familiar? You see, more hangs in the balance than we can see with our own eyes. So we listen closely to God, find the smartest people we can to help us build plans and then ask you to join in on this movement. A movement that only God can accomplish.