IN SHORT, WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS TRANSITION?
After much deliberation and prayer, Trinity Grace has decided to reorganize as eleven autonomous churches. Since its inception, Trinity Grace Church has functioned differently than other multi-site churches with a highly empowered leadership model. To date, each parish has been functioning as a local church in many ways. As each new parish has joined Trinity Grace, operational and organizational complexity has increased. Recently, our parish churches have wrestled to relate as one larger church, while also propagating unique visions for their neighborhoods and parishioners. We believe this reorganization will empower each parish and result in greater missional fruit and effectiveness. Our parishes remain committed to pursuing partnership as an expression of unity as God's church in the city. We will continue to collaborate and partner together as each parish pursues renewal according to its vision and unique gifts.
You can access this initial letter of explanation from Joshua Staton, executive pastor of TGC.
WILL WE APPLY FOR NON-PROFIT 501c3 STATUS?
Yes. In addition to seeking incorporation as an independent church, we are applying for 501c3 status which well enable us to continue operating as a tax exempt church.
WAS THIS TRANSITION TRIGGERED BY THEOLOGICAL, MORAL, OR RELATIONAL DIFFERENCE?
The need for a change in structure was one the pastors have identified and discussed for about a year. There was no moral failure, no relational fallout, and no theological dispute that brought about this transition.
WHAT IS THE TRANSITION TIMELINE?
Our central office and current organizational structure will function as is through March 31, 2018. This is the period in which each church, with the help of the central team is gearing up to stand on its own two feet, both organizationally and financially. We are submitting our Certificate of Incorporation, applying for 501c3 status, determining how to replace financial and HR services, and working out new ways to relate together as partner churches in New York.
HOW WILL FORMER TGC CHURCHES PARTNER TOGETHER IN THE FUTURE?
We are committed to unity among our family of churches. We are discerning and planning what the structure for partnership will be in the future and have some of the world’s best outside consultants helping us think through the possibilities. Our relational ties remain intact, and we are excited to support each other as each church responds to its individual neighborhood.
WILL OUR CHURCH STILL BE CALLED TRINITY GRACE CHURCH?
Though some of the current TGC parishes are choosing to operate under a different name in the new season, we will continue to identify as Trinity Grace Church. Each church remains committed to partnership in the city whether or not they choose to change their name.
HOW WILL THE TRANSITION AFFECT THE STAFF?
Our church is blessed to have a full-time and part-time staff each committed to the ongoing development and ministry of our church. Our staff team will make adjustments in the transition and may be asked to take on new responsibilities to ensure that the average person in our church experiences the same level of commitment to see them grow to maturity in Jesus.
Click here to visit our staff page on the website.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OUR CHURCH FINANCIALLY?
We have enough capital reserves to afford our church a level of stability through this transition process. We aim to have a positive cash flow with income covering all expenses by the end of 2017. This will require all of us to contribute to the vision and mission of God at Trinity Grace Church. We invite you to join with us in prayer and generosity.
In 2016 we contributed 20% of our annual income to TGC Central services and ministries. At the beginning of this year that percentage was lowered to 17%, and since the decision to particularize, has been lowered further to 14%. This percentage will continue to scale down throughout the transition process. In the fall this year, our contributions to TGC Central services will be reduced to 10% and in January 2018 to 8%, where it will remain until the end of March 2018 when all Central services will officially stop. Join with us, in faith, as we joyfully partake in funding God’s mission.
WHAT WILL BE OUR GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE GOING FORWARD?
Our local elder team will continue to oversee our life and ministry just as they have been doing faithfully for the past six years. A new Board of Trustees has been formed to help guide our church through all non-ministry related tasks required of churches by the State of New York. Our Covenant Community will continue to seek Jesus together both personally and corporately and support the faithful leadership of our elder team through prayer, partnership, and personal generosity.
WHAT IF I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD LEAVE THE CHURCH?
People leave church communities for a variety of reasons. Some leave motivated by wisdom and obedience while others lead for any number of other reasons. We understand that for some of our people this change is big. If that's you, we invite you to process your desires and intents with your leaders, and we will gladly pray with and for you in this season. You can contact us here.
If you have processed this with your leaders and have made the decision to leave our community, we would especially love to pray for you as you seek to find your place in another community of faith.
HOW CAN I HELP DURING THE TRANSITION?
We continue to seek the kingdom of God in New York as it is in heaven. Our mission does not stop because things are changing. You can help by getting involved, voicing your support, contributing by volunteering, participating in events, praying, and giving generously towards the mission of God.
CAN I ASK FOR PERSONAL PRAYER?
YES! Please come up front for prayer during the Sunday worship gathering if you need support in this season. Also, if you have any specific prayer need, the leaders and staff would love to pray for you specifically during staff prayer on Thursdays. Please click here to submit a prayer request.