LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY
Radical Unity for Radical Discipleship
Wow. 2020. Just saying that means so much more now.
We themed our 2019 Greenhouse Leadership Conference, “Pivot.” We felt like a pivot was coming for our Church; we just had no idea what Pivot would mean in 2020. This report holds small expressions of the efforts our church family made to help ordinary people become passionate followers of Jesus in 2020 – a year of massive pivoting in every way.
We pray this report sheds lights on a year that was super challenging for marriages, business people, educators, disciple-makers, and everyone else. It was not the year of “unprecedented harvest” for which we had believed and hoped, but it was a year of pivoting that brought about life change in our city, state, and the nations. Though it was a different pivot than we expected, it was a pivot that helped us hone in and center on our first love; Jesus, and our mission under his call to make disciples.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us in this adventure. Jesus is worthy.
Your radical giving has changed lives and brought freedom to thousands of people in our city and world.
church planting, and the poor every day in 2020
2020 was a unique financial year within Greenhouse Church. As a leadership team, we PIVOTED in March to significantly cut operational spending, but maintained our staff and missions commitments. This report will represent our faith family’s priority to put God first with their finances and the priority of Greenhouse Leadership to be good stewards. Thank you for your generosity!
- Hub loan
We are so thankful for the Greenhouse HUB! The HUB truly facilitates the vision of helping ordinary people become passionate followers of Jesus Christ. It is still amazing to see the fruition of a vision from more than 10 years ago come to pass. Praise God!
Through the generosity of our members, we were able to pay far above the minimum payment in 2020 to expedite the Hub Loan Reduction. In 2020 we were also able to refinance the Loan on the Hub from an Annual Interest Rate to 4.49% to 3.65%. A significant savings for the years to come as we pay off the loan.
Remember, every $1 given to Hub Loan Reduction in 2021 is worth $2 in the life of the loan because of interest saved. Thank you for your generosity!
KIDS DISCIPLESHIP PIVOT
KIDS ONLINE PIVOT
2020 started out strong for Greenhouse Youth. We began the year with Missions Month and our students came together to raise over $1,300 for Speed the Light. We were just a couple of days away from our High School Retreat when it seemed the world shut down due to the pandemic. What we expected to be a two-week break became 5 months. Last year wasn’t what anyone expected, but it may have been exactly what we needed. It caused us to stop and really ask the question: why do we exist and what should we be doing? And the answer is still the same.
Our vision never died, but this year necessitated a change in the way we pull off that vision. We knew we needed connection. And although we were extremely grateful for the way technology allowed us to do this—it wasn’t enough. We needed presence — the community aspect of living green. So we created a structure that allowed us to be together safely.
Though they’re more known for their cons than pros—we believe in this generation and want to bring out everything they have to offer. The students of Gen Z are more than just “screenagers,” or any box we foolishly put them in. The Barna Group says this is the most diverse generation ever and they are so full of ambition. So we fight for this generation that’s full of potential and hope and capacity to know God.
Going into 2020, the vision and the hope in Christ did not change, but instead, we pivoted toward an untrodden path where we would encounter greater faith and a new group of students hungry for more than what the season offered.
As a leadership team, we are committed to what is NEXT. While our landscape has changed, our vision and call to help the ordinary people has not. We have a massive shot to reach our Campuses. We have an incredible opportunity to mobilize students towards the Nations.
Our microchurch leaders were flexible, adaptable, and Spirit-led during an uncertain and trying year. Our faithful leaders proved that they are all-in with their commitment to make and be disciples, regardless of the obstacles!
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, we were able to launch 47 new microchurches and ensure that discipleship remained a focal point of their ministries. We saw new members joining from all over the world as innovative leaders gathered their microchurches online. We even saw baptisms happen in bathtubs, in home pools, and over Zoom! People who would have never stepped foot in a typical microchurch setting were integrated into green communities online. Disciples were raised up, virtually and in person, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. The fluidity of microchurches and the steadfastness of our leaders ensured that discipleship pressed on!
So many Christians are stuck. They want to grow in their faith but don’t have a plan or the discipline to do it. We created these training programs to give them the structure and accountability they need to become mature disciples.
After launching the School of Ministry in the Fall of 2019, we graduated our inaugural class of over 40 students in Spring 2020. We couldn’t say enough about the quality of these graduates. After being deeply tested by early pandemic lockdowns, they finished well (on zoom!) and made us extremely proud.
As the lockdowns continued and our ability to gather was uncertain, God gave us the final push we needed to provide a training format that can be accessed by any person, with any schedule, from anywhere in the world. By God’s grace, we pre-recorded the teachings, created an online platform, and officially launched the GSM hybrid program in the Fall. 70 students from 4 countries, 3 U.S. states, and multiple Florida cities are currently committed to 8 hours of training a week to become better disciples and disciple-makers.
in person in january
digitally in june
god seeking intensive
Our God Seeking Intensive is a 4-week program that helps participants develop a thriving prayer life. A group of 81 completed the program in person in January, and a digital group of 123 sought God from their homes in June.
Our dream is that God would use these programs to produce fruit that remains. That passion for God would multiply, individuals would be revolutionized, families would be transformed, marriages would be strengthened, evangelists would be sent, justice would be worked, sin would lose its luster, and that Jesus would be increasingly glorified amongst His people. We’re dreaming of transformation that will last long after students graduate and that, should Jesus delay, the ripple effects of our efforts would be felt around the world for generations to come.
Prayer is how we actively practice believing. With transparency and conviction, we believe that God has us in His hands. Prayer is never the last resort of God’s people. It is our first point of action. It’s where we “let petitions and praises shape our worries into prayers, letting God know our concerns” (Phil. 4:6–7). And in 2020, during this time of increased challenge and crisis, Greenhouse Church had over 20,000 hours of organized prayer and 204 people that participated in and completed the God Seeking Intensive both in person as well as online.
Our desire for 2021 is that God’s people would increase prayer, in the unity of intercession, going into the presence of God and asking for “heaven on earth”. There is nothing the enemy fears more than broken-hearted saints, interceding in the presence of the Father, as one. Praying for His kingdom to come and His will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven!
god seeking intensive
We distributed over 300 meals to communities and families at the start of the pandemic, to help those in need adjust to the “new normal.” We partnered with schools, local food drives, and held in-house holiday meal initiatives. These efforts met needs but served as a reminder that we will remember and prioritize the vulnerable.
We also have an initiative at Carver Gardens where we host a Greenhouse based after-school tutoring program for 1st-6th graders. The program focuses on reading, math and homework help. Takes place once a week. Additionally, we host a kids church program-organic children’s ministry with Bible stories, worship and activities. Finally, we partnership with community leaders for events, community efforts, and leadership initiatives. Ex: Backpack Drive, Fall Festival, Christmas Party, etc.
We also partner with organizations such as Aces in Motion, Alachua Academy, Kids Count, Grace Marketplace, SOCK Outreach, and Gainesville Police Department HEROES Summer Program.
Our school partnership programs like everything else in 2020 had to pivot. With volunteers not able to be on school campuses, mentoring and tutoring programs had to find new ways to connect with students. The programs included pen-pal communication and relationship building conducted remotely through Zoom. With the 2020-2021 school year launching, we received the most support we have ever had for setting up K-12 students with supplies in our Back-to-School drive.
We provided lunches to 786 teachers and faculty at 9 schools in our area as a token of our appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the next generation.
We were able to bless 230 seniors with Christmas gifts at Parklands Nursing Home & Windsor Assisted Living. We also provided Elder Options with the funding to cover the essential needs (food, housing, medications, etc) of ten seniors in our community. Finally, we were able to partner with Meals on Wheels to provide food for local seniors, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
In 2020, we launched our Foster Care & Adoption Care Ministry, also known as FAM. Our mission is to provide wrap around support to every family who fosters vulnerable children in our community and to equip our church members to be mobilized in finding their God-given way to support each family in their journey. During the pandemic, we provided care to over 20 families who fostered and adopted children. We also virtually hosted Empower to Connect, a conference designed to give hope and practical tools for families serving on the frontlines of foster care and adoption. In 2021, we look forward to expanding our support to new families in our church and seeing many respond to the call to serve and love the most vulnerable children in our communities.
Church Online saw massive growth this year as many people moved their lives online. Our incredible production and technical staff stepped in to move our entire church to the online world in just days when we first found out about the pandemic. We even experienced our very first Easter online as we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus with 5,000 in virtual attendance! Even after returning in person, we are seeing wonderful engagement online as people chat to interact with the church community on our website, YouTube, and Facebook live services.
Another exciting pivot from 2020 to 2021 was moving our annual Leadership conference to a Leadership Retreat in September, where 140 leaders from our various ministries came together in Gainesville for a time of uniting, refreshing, and restoration after a difficult 6 months. We focused on wholeness and being empowered to make disciples even with the new challenges we all faced.
A major change in 2020 was not having our 4 annual Breakthrough retreats. Our Breakthrough in February was the only one we were able to have before the pandemic struck. We saw beautiful stories of redemption and salvations in the participants. With all we’ve learned about hosting events with health safety in mind, we are looking forward to upcoming Breakthrough weekends in 2021. These retreats will shift a bit to accommodate the new health considerations- Breakthrough Weekends will still begin Friday night with participants staying in their homes, coming back for Saturday, then ending the retreat on Saturday night. We are expectant for all God will do these weekends!
Other goals include the continued development of our Greenhouse family in Tampa and Jacksonville, as we feel the Lord has called us to replicate the DNA of “living in the Green” in these cities. Our heart as a Movement is to resource churches with coaching, systems, and Green DNA—best equipping believers to be disciples and disciple-makers.
RADICAL UNITY FOR RADICAL DISCIPLESHIP
2021 will be the year in which we seek radical unity for radical discipleship.
In the most polarized moment of our generation, we will be a united Church. And in this unity, we will create a revolutionary culture of discipleship that anyone can be a part of. 2021 will be the year that:
PURSUE UNITY FOR THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL