BY MATTHEW GRAY, GRACE ATTENDER & VOLUNTEER LEADER
Whenever people ask why I give my time and money to my local church, here's the reason...
I grew up Catholic and my wife grew up Baptist so finding a church to meet both of our needs was not always easy. My wife was the one who found grace over nine years ago. The first time I stepped in I was a little shocked... why was it so big? Why was there a guitarist? Why smoke machines? And why was there a full kitchen set up on the stage?
Needless to say, the second week I did not go back. After some discussion, my wife and I decided to go back the third week and give it one more try. It was at the service I felt something change me. Pastor Dave was speaking and as usual, had something very intentional to say that day. That was the day I said yes and never looked back.
After attending for several months, I felt the need to get more involved. (If you've been around Grace for anytime, you know that we are a church of action!) On the big screens, they were trying to recruit for choir, drama team choir, and student ministries. After thinking about it, my wife decided to join the drama team and I almost joined the choir (believe it or not).
I remember growing up Catholic and not having high school youth group and wondering with that would be like. So, instead of joining the choir, I decided to give high school ministry a try.
Skip ahead 8 years later and I am still serving in Merge High School Ministry. Why? Because I found my calling serving teens!
But this would not be possible without YOU! Because of those who give to Grace, I have had the privilege of witnessing life transformation in hundreds of teens over the years. Not only from the small groups I’ve lead, but the short-term trips I lead too.
And because you give, these students are able to be in groups and get involved in other ministry areas that are changing the lives of generations to come! I have seen teens come back from trips and retreats and find their own calling serving in Grace Kids, the Care Center, Whiz Kids tutoring at Shepherd Community Center, and our own LIFT Disability Ministry! I’ve seen students go on retreats who had no direction be brave and take a path to yes in one weekend. I’ve seen small group members now leading small groups. I've seen former mission trip members now teaching, working for a local non-profit, intern internationally and locally, and embrace the term “world changer.”
Giving has enabled me to attend retreats and lead trips that have been life-changing for hundreds of students over the years. I’ve not only had the honor of walking alongside them but being able to deepen my calling as well; deepening my calling to care for those in poverty.
If anybody asks, ""Why give to Grace?"" Tell them it’s an investment in the next generation...tell them it’s an investment in mentors who are working with the next generation...tell them it's to provide hope and faith in the generation rising up to take our place.
Giving is an investment in the next generation.
Let them know it’s a life-changing gift.... it’s a gift to help our faith hold strong and reach others.
Don't believe me, feel free to call or text me (317.413.9182) and I would love to tell you myself!
If you want to give, it's easy. Just visit gracechurch.us/giving and text to give or set up an online giving account. Do it for the next generation!