FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
Why does your church need financial support from outside your church family? Shouldn't church members give to support their own church?
Our goal is to be a “self-sustaining church”; meaning the giving of our local members covers our local church expenses. However, as a brand new church that is still growing in people we need partners from the outside to give and provide time for the new church to grow and mature into its own giving.
We hope to be self-sustaining by 2023. At the end of 2019, our church family provided 57% of our budget, up from 31% in 2017.
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.
What is the most pressing need for giving at this point in your church plant?
At this point one of the places we would love to invest more is into people. We currently have 3 staff members, 2 of whom serve as full-time volunteers (Paul as our Pastor & Jenn as our Intern). Elizabeth is on part-time staff though she often gives full-time hours.
Can I designate my gift towards a specific ministry or use?
When you give to Terra Nova in our checkout process, you can designate your gift to the Church Planting Support fund. At this point, donations to the Church Planting Support fund will be used to for our normal operating expenses and build reserves.
From time to time we may have a specific initiative that we raise funds for (in 2018 we raised money for the renovation of The Green (or gathering space)).
Also, in accordance with IRS 501(c)3 regulations you can designate a gift for a specific ministry or use at any time as you choose by emailing us when you make a gift
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 North Adams? How often will you provide status reports?
The finances of Terra North Adams are managed by our outside Bookkeeper, Shroyer CPAs, who also serves the Terra Nova Network in a similar capacity. To assist our outside bookkeeper, we have one volunteer in house who helps oversee the production of timely financial reports.
The elders of the Terra Nova Network & our the North Adams’ Advisory & Accountability Council currently oversee the finances of Terra Nova North Adams 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. You can download the most recent Fundraising materials and financial report HERE.
If you have any questions please email us and we will do our best to assist you.
What is the financial relationship between Terra Nova North Adams and the Terra Nova Network?
In 2020, Terra Nova Network will be providing $30,000 to help cover our expenses and invest into our future. This funding is included in our fundraising projections shown above.
In past years, the Terra Nova Network has given varying amounts of support based on our need in the early years including an interest free loan to help us with the renvations of The Green. In 2020, we will have repaid this loan in full ($9,000 of repayments are included in our 2020 expenses.)
In return, as a member church of the Network, Terra Nova North Adams will covenant to give 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 North Adams will also contribute to shared overhead expenses (professional fees, insurance, website, etc.) and shared discipleship ministries (Men’s & Women’s Retreats, Elder Retreats, Redemption Groups, Tribe Leader Training, etc.). This helps us save money by sharing these cost across the family of churches. In 2020, Terra North Adams will contribute approximately $9,000 to the Network for the total of these shared costs.
What is the relationship between Terra Nova North Adams and The Green?
The Green is a separate 501(c)3 that is overseen and run by its own Board of Directors. You can read more about The Green at their website.
However, Terra Nova Church was an integral piece in the formulation and launch of The Green as a community center in North Adams in 2018. Our people conceived of the idea and we’ve given notable time and finances to help get it off of the ground. Terra Nova Church remains a primary member of The Green and Paul Gordon serves as the Director of The Green on a volunteer basis.
From a missional perspective, we view our presence at and participation in The Green as a way our church can serve and build relationships with our community.
Why is a church plant needed in the Berkshires?
There are approxiately 12.5k people in North Adams, or 30k people within a 10-mile radius of North Adams. Yet, about 98% of these people do not have a church home, or profess faith in Christ.
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.
To which denomination or group does Terra Nova belong?
Terra Nova Church in North Adams 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. Paul also serves as the Acts 29 Rural Collective Coordinator for New England.
How can people join in this work?
You can partner with us in three primary ways:
First, you can come join us and do life with us. Either, gather with us on Sundays or in the context of our small groups, Tribes. Be sure to stay tuned to our news & events as well.
Second, you can join us by financially supporting our work and helping to invest into the future of this 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.
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 North Adams 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 (Terra Nova Network), David Pinckney (Acts 29 New England) and Denny Sant (Converge Northeast).