FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
Why are you looking to raise this amount of money over 5-years? What is that money going to be used for?
Our goal is to raise $250,000 from outside support for the first year 1 of our church plant. For each of the successive 5-years we are looking to have outside funding scale down by $50,000 each year. This provides time for the new church to grow and mature into its own self-sustaining community.
The funds raised will primarily be used to provide enough funds for 2-3 pastors/staff, facilities to rent, costs to run ministries both within the church and to serve the community around us. The largest of these expenses will be our human resource cost. We are aiming to have 2-3 pastors/staff because we have found in our church planting experience at the Terra Network that planting teams of core leaders at the onset is more successful at planting a new church and sustainable in the long-term.
Additionally, while we are looking for outside partners to support our work for the first 5-years, we also plan to give back from our beginning. As a member of the Terra Network, we will contribute 10% of our general giving towards other church planting efforts and our goal is to use an additional 10% of our general giving to bless and serve the communities we live in.
Can I designate my gift towards a specific ministry or use?
Yes, when you give to Terra Nova in our checkout process, you can designate your gift to the Terra Berkshire church planting fund. At this point, donations to the Terra Berkshire fund will be used to gear up for the full public launch and build reserves.
As we get closer to a launch date we may have more specific needs that will require funding and we will be sure to share those as they arise. Once the church is launched and running, you can designate a gift for a specific ministry or use at any time in accordance with IRS 501(c)3 regulations.
What happens to the money that is raised before the church is publicly launched?
As we receive funding prior to our public launch, or before we begin incurring the full costs of running the church, donations will be used to cover preliminary church planting costs and build reserves. Even in these early days, there are costs such as fundraising costs, printing, web building, assessment training and travel.
For 2016, the Terra Nova Network has committed to pay the salary of Pastor Paul and in 2017 personnel costs will shift to Terra Nova Berkshires.
Is Terra Nova an approved 501(c) 3 organization that I can give tax-deductible gifts toward?
Yes, Terra Nova Church holds its own IRS 501(C)3 approval letter.
Who oversees the finances of Terra Nova Berkshires? How often will you provide status reports?
The finances of Terra Berkshires are managed by our Financial Administrator, Odette Klass, who also serves the Terra Nova Network in a similar capacity.
The elders of the Terra Nova Network & our Advisory & Accountability Council currently oversee the finances of Terra Nova Berkshires until we can identify and raise up local elders to oversee this piece of the new church.
The elders of Terra Nova receive quarterly financial reports and Terra Nova produces annual reports for the church. We will be updating the fundraising status of Terra Berkshires here on our website through the interactive graphic above.
If you have any questions please email Odette and she can assist you.
What is the financial relationship between Terra Nova North Adams and the Terra Nova Network?
In 2016, while we prepare to plant a church in the Berkshires, the Terra Nova Network will be providing a salary and compensation to Pastor Paul, the Lead Church Pastor. The salary was approved and set aside by the elders of the Network at the onset of 2016. This investment, or seed money towards the Berkshires, is allowing Pastor Paul to focus on building community and planting the church.
Beginning in January 2017, the Network will provide $24,000 per year, for three years, to Terra Nova Berkshires to help invest into its future. This funding is included in our fundraising totals shown above.
In return, as a member church of the Network, Terra Nova Berkshires will contribute 10% of general giving back to the Network as we will be participating with the other Terra Nova churches in our vision and strategy for planting churches. Terra Nova Berkshires will start giving 10% back to the Network immediately when we launch and we will continue to give 10% per year as we grow and mature.
Why is a church plant needed in the Berkshires?
If you spend enough time in Western New England, you will see many church buildings in cities and towns that speak of a rich spiritual legacy in New England from our forefathers. However, today this area is known as one of the most biblically illiterate and unchurched regions of the United States.
We believe the Berkshires need a church plant because we need a place where God’s eternal, life giving story is lived out and God is worshiped in ways that make sense in our time. In a church like Terra Nova we have found authentic, modern community that is transformational and life giving. We desire to plant a church so we can build a community and share that experience and faith journey with others.
Where is the church going to be located?
At this point, we feel confident that God has called us to plant our first church in Western New England in North Adams, MA to be a part of, and serve the people of Northern Berkshire County. While we don’t currently have a permanent gathering location, our desire is to begin gathering in places where community is already happening. We want to be a part of the community and be where people are, not expect people to come find us in the more traditional church setting.
As we build towards being able to gather every Sunday morning for worship, we are gathering every other Sunday (email Pastor Paul for more information), and also in homes scattered around northern Berkshire county on a regular basis in our Tribes. Our goal is to be a church of Tribes, not a church with Tribes so please come join our Tribes as we plant a church. You can follow our news and events posts as well.
When will the church be launched?
Currently, we meet every other Sunday for worship. You can find more information by emailing Pastor Paul.
We hope to launch public Worship services in the fall of 2017. Feel free to interact with our brief timeline.
And while we think it is important for the church to gather regularly for teaching, worship, and fellowship; the church is also about its people. Therefore, in a sense the church is already gathering regularly in small groups called Tribes around the Berkshires currently. Come join us!
To which denomination or group does Terra Nova belong?
Terra Nova Church in the Berkshires is a part of the Terra Nova Network of churches. Terra Nova is also a member church of the Acts 29 Network and Converge. Paul Gordon, the Lead Pastor, also serves as the Executive Pastor of the Terra Nova Network, an has been assessed by Acts 29 and Converge Northeast.
How can people join in this work?
You can partner with us in three primary ways:
Second, you can join us by financially supporting our work and helping to invest into the future of this church. Over the next 12-18 months we will be gathering provisions to help plant our church.
Third, please join us in prayer for our efforts. We know that unless the Lord builds this community, we labor in vain. So, we are consistently seeking His guidance in order to stay in step with His Spirit. To receive our regular prayer updates you can text “TNCBerkshires” to 86677.
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
Who is welcomed to be a part of this faith community?
This church community is open to everyone. At some point in our lives, all of us were far from God. Yet, Christ came to seek and save each of us, even when we were far from Him. When we embrace this radical invitation from Him, we find the place we truly belong. Therefore, we hope this community is welcoming to folks who don’t yet know this truth, are just starting to realize it, and those who have been following Jesus for some time.
We desire creative worship, transparency, vulnerability and authenticity in our pilgrim journeys. We aspire to what the Bible calls us to as we try and redeem flawed community; things such as love, unity, truth, grace, compassion and forgiveness.
We welcome you to come and see how we try to live out our faith in Jesus.
To whom is the leadership of Terra Berkshires accountable?
Ultimately, we believe that we are accountable to our Chief Shepherd and the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ.
Additionally, as part of the Terra Nova Network, we are represented at and held accountable to the elders of the Terra Network.
Further, we have set up an Advisory & Accountability Council to oversee our work until we have local elders for our church. Currently serving on this Council is Ed Marcelle, Steve Klass and Denny Sant.