This past weekend, I preached a special message at Grace Community entitled “167 Hours.” I challenged our church body to look beyond the one hour most of us spend at church on a Sunday morning, and to focus on the other 167 hours in each week.
We tend to think of Grace Community as what happens on the weekend. But I believe the greatest impact in people’s lives is happening during the 167 hours we are not in a church service together.
Testimonies of God at Work
Here’s some of what we’ve seen at Grace, just this year:
- During the 167 Hours… thousands of underprivileged children were fed and loved.
- During the 167 Hours… 209 precious people were baptized in the name of Jesus.
- During the 167 Hours… 81 leaders were intensively trained, and commissioned into ministry.
- During the 167 Hours… over 1,000 people received medical care, who otherwise could not.
- During the 167 Hours… hundreds of families in Orange County were served in financial crises.
- During the 167 Hours… hundreds of West Point cadets experienced Gospel conversations, many for the very first time!
- During the 167 Hours… more than 1,000 people experiencing life-giving relationships through small groups.
There is so much more to share, and I hope you will read this year’s Impact Report to see the full picture. But while we are celebrating what God has done, I’ve got to tell you—I’m convinced there are many more lives He wants to touch.
Thousands Who Need the Gospel
In Sunday’s message, I mentioned some of the dreams burning in our hearts. There are many precious souls just waiting to hear the Gospel, living in various pockets of our community and around the world.
- Incarcerated men and women who will be reached through future prison campuses
- Military officers and their families who will be ministered to through a global, virtual community
- Spanish-speaking campus launches
- At-risk children in our inner city schools and neighborhoods
- Campus launches outside of Orange County and into the Northeast—such as in Connecticut, and Boston!
- Migrant workers and their children who will be impacted through Spanish outreach
- Countless unchurched in the New York City metro area who will first hear about Jesus in a Grace small group!
With all this in mind, I’m calling the Grace Community family to join me and my family to dig deeply and give extravagantly to this year’s special Christmas offering. This is the fifth consecutive year we’ve done this as a church body, and the fruit has been spectacular. This offering has resulted in not only three campus launches, but also thousands of lives impacted with the Gospel.
When Should I Give?
In years past, we’ve used special envelopes and focused on a special offering day. This year, we are encouraging everyone to give at any time between now and the end of the year. We are also encouraging electronic giving, or checks that are simply designated for the end-of-year offering. There are more details on how to give below.
Please take special note that this offering does not take the place of your normal tithes. Please continue to submit your regular tithes online or using the giving box. Beyond your tithes, the Christmas offering is a sacrificial, one-time amount that God is leading you to place “under the tree,” to propel us in our mission to reach Orange County and beyond for Christ by making fully devoted followers of Jesus.
Who Should Give?
Everyone has different capacities. We’ve seen individual gifts to this offering as high as $50,000. We’ve also seen gifts of $100. Over the years, the average gift has been $430. What’s more important than anyone’s amount is everyone’s hearts engaged together.
This year, we’re believing for our greatest participation yet. Wouldn’t it be a celebration to see you, and every family on your campus, dive in and be part of “167 Hours”!
So will you? Will you pray and ask God what He would have you do? And will you put feet to your prayers—within the next 14 days?
Thank you for giving to this great mission.
Truly, thank you.
P. S. Don’t miss any Sundays in January! I can’t wait to announce the totals for 167 Hours!
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I give to “167 Hours”?
- Give Online via Website or App – Simply click here on any device, or download the free GraceOC App to your smartphone, to make a one-time gift. Select “167 Hours” for your giving.
- Give by Mail or In Person – Give in person by check or cash at any weekend worship service, at any campus, between now and December 31, 2017. Please note “167 Hours” on the check memo line, or on your cash envelope.
- Donate Appreciated Assets – Gifts of appreciated assets—typically investment securities or real estate—can be very advantageous to both the donor and to the church. Contact our accounting office (Brenda.Doiron@graceoc.com) for details.
- When do I give to “167 Hours”?
- As soon as you are ready! You can click here and give even today, or anytime between now and December 31, 2017. (Please select “167 Hours” for your giving.)
- In years past, our “big Sunday” for the Christmas offering has been the “giving day.” This year, you may give at any time between now and December 31, and our “big Sunday” will be the Sunday we celebrate in January what God has done!
- Is my gift tax-deductible?
- Yes, your gift to “167 Hours” is tax-deductible. Receipts will be sent in January.
- Is this the same as “Under the Tree”?
- This is our fifth year receiving a special Christmas-time offering. On year one, it was called “Kicking the Darkness.” The last three years, we called it “Under the Tree.” This year’s name is “167 Hours.”
- What will this year’s offering provide?
- Food and ministry for underprivileged children in Orange County
- Gospel opportunities to see hundreds more salvations and baptisms
- Leadership and discipleship training for growing leaders on our campuses
- Medical care for hundreds, or thousands, who cannot otherwise receive it
- Financial support for families in crisis
- Expanding our capacity for hundreds more life-giving small groups
- Outreach to military officers and their families stationed around the world
- Positioning ourselves for Spanish-speaking campuses and New England campuses
- Ministry for at-risk children in our inner cities
- How can I hear Pastor Jarrod’s message on “167 Hours”?
- Access the message via the website, graceoc.com/167hours.
- Access the message via the GraceOC App on your smartphone.
- How can I read the Impact Report?
- Access the report here.
- Mobile devices will not deliver the full report experience, so we encourage everyone to view the report using your PC or Mac.