Dear Harvest Family,
In the fall of 2018, we launched the Closer Campaign that involved four commitments. We committed to a faith pledge of offerings, taking the next step in our walk with Christ, finding ways to work for the Lord, and seeking to witness to people in our lives who don’t yet know the Lord. During the course of our campus vision meetings, we walked through what the commitments entailed and how the financial contributions were to be allocated. In regard to the financial pledge, we committed to allocating 50% to accelerated mortgage reduction and 50% to ministry expansion (through both church-wide and local initiatives).
The decision of how to use the ministry expansion funds was to be determined by the former Executive Leadership Team. We were always seeking to do as much as the Lord provided for us to do financially. After the end of the first quarter of 2019, it is now clear that we will not be able to accomplish all that was planned. We have prayerfully decided to make two changes to the campaign in order to better steward what the Lord is providing.
Change #1 – The Length of the Campaign
In order to make the best decisions, we will wait until all funds have come in before allocating them to a particular use. This will allow us to know the funding available before beginning a project. For this reason, we are changing the length of the campaign from three years to one. This means the Closer Campaign will conclude on December 31, 2019.
Change #2 – Local Campus Allocation
We are not changing the 50/50 mortgage and ministry expansion allocations. We are simply changing the way the spending of the ministry expansion portion will be decided. Starting on April 1, all contributions are now designated to each campus. At the end of the year, each campus will know how much was given towards the campaign from their campus from April-December. It will be the decision of the Campus Pastor, under the accountability of the Elders, how to use those ministry expansion funds. Each campus will allocate these funds to the following categories: Compassion Ministry, Outreach, and Campus Projects.
With these changes, we are inviting you to go before the Lord and decide on what to do with your original financial pledge. You are free to choose from one of the following options:
- Not to continue giving to the campaign
- Continue giving at a level you feel lead to do
- Redirect your offering to the general fund
This decision is between you and the Lord. The harvestcloser.org webpage has been updated to help you take your next step.
Finally, we would like to update you on the funds received before April 1. As of March 31, we have received $3,376,000. This allowed $1,688,000 to be paid towards accelerated mortgage reduction bringing our current long-term debt balance to $39,500,000. In the ministry expansion category, $1,040,000 has already been allocated, leaving $648,000 available for future efforts. The $1,040,000 was used to fund the following projects: Freedom House, IT infrastructure, production upgrades, campaign-related expenses, Near West Suburbs Campus, and the Naples Campus.
We know that it is difficult to hear that a portion of our giving went towards funding two campus launches that are no longer initiatives. But the Lord has now revealed that He has other plans for our church. The decision how to use the remaining $648,000 towards ministry expansion will be agreed upon by the Church Leadership Team and the Campus Pastors. Once a final decision has been made we will report back to our congregation.
We believe this is the wisest way forward and have sought the Lord in prayer and the counsel of many leaders and pastors in making this decision. Above all else, God wants our hearts. And we hope the time you spend with the Lord considering what to do will lead us all to give cheerfully and to grow spiritually.
The Church Leadership Team