These are exciting days at IPC! We are firing on all cylinders again with most of the challenges of COVID-19 hopefully behind us. Familiar faces are back in the pews. So many new people are attending our church that our new member classes fill up before we even announce them! Our youth ministry is thriving. This fall alone, we had requests for 17 baptisms. IPC Connect has been a successful new way for our church family to engage in fellowship together. Grace Groups are growing with almost 200 participants this fall. The Holy Spirit is on the move! There are so many good things going on here at IPC. But in faithfulness to God’s call, and in response to your feedback, we want to do even more.
In 2020, the congregation was asked to fill out a survey about the ministries at IPC. Two areas in which you expressed the desire for greater emphasis were discipleship ministries—the Christian faith formation of our children, youth, and adults—as well as missional engagement in our world. In response, there are two significant actions that we would like to take as a church.
First, Session has approved the formation of an Associate Pastor Nominating Committee to call an Executive Associate Pastor who can assist in leading our incredibly talented staff with a special focus on the development of Children’s and Youth Ministries as well as helping lead and grow our Adult Ministries. We want everyone in our church to grow in their faith in Jesus Christ. Several pastors have departed in the last few years, yet none have been replaced. We need help to provide more leadership to our staff in addition to more pastoral care and leadership for our congregation.
Second, we want to make a bigger impact on our world with the resources God has given us. Since the earliest days of our faith, individual churches have been called to contribute to Christ’s mission in other parts of his kingdom, to share with others what God has graciously given to them (e.g., 2 Corinthians 8-9). With the biblical guide for stewardship starting at a tithe—10% of what we receive from the hands of God—we would like to become a tithing congregation, giving away 10% of what we receive in pledges to missional efforts in our city, nation, and around the world, supporting organizations, ministries, churches, and disaster relief efforts as well as our own extraordinary community ministries here at IPC. Right now, we give less than 2% from our pledge dollars. Our hope is to achieve tithing status over the next three years. In order for us to get there, we all will need to step up our commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ in and through IPC. Will you join us in responding to Christ’s call for our church?
Now is the time to say “YES!” as you prayerfully consider a pledge for 2023. Last year, our pledge total came to just under $3 million. Our goal for 2023 is $3.3 million. I know that represents a significant increase, but I believe we can do it! Over the course of this past year, my family and I have witnessed and experienced the generosity of this congregation again and again since I said, “Yes,” to becoming your pastor. I know that you want to be a part of what God is doing here to help our church grow and to make an even greater impact in our world in the name of Jesus, in whom “every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes’ (2 Corinthians 1:10).”
But don’t make a pledge just to meet a budget. Say yes because of what God has done in your life and because of what God is doing at IPC. Say yes because it is more blessed to give than to receive. Say yes because God has blessed you so that you might become a blessing. Say yes because Jesus Christ is calling each of us to do so. I can’t wait to discover what the risen Savior will do at IPC as a result of your faithfulness and generosity!
Questions about Pledging?
Patricia Harper, IPC Development Manager