Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is BRAVE?

Our vision is to see cities transformed by inspiring community and influencing culture. BRAVE is a two-year initiative to thrust our vision for transformation forward in three areas:

A Brave Vision for a GROWING CHURCH:

  • Expand 7 City’s auditorium & lobby, and launch a 3rd service and online campus
  • Expand 7 City’s kids ministry space
  • Continue our weekly life-changing ministry

A Brave Vision for THRIVING CITIES:

  • Plant two new churches in the heart of major, culturally influential cities
  • Partner with local non-profits and schools
  • Open a coffeehouse that intersects the marketplace seven days a week 

A Brave Vision for a FLOURISHING CULTURE:

  • Support a church plant, medical clinic, slavery rescue, and leadership training in Nairobi, Kenya
  • Equip and train culture-shaping leaders
  • Serve families through adoption, orphan, and foster care

Why are we enlarging our ministry space?

In the last five years, 7 City Church has grown by 75%. Our attendance trends currently reveal that we are hitting a capacity ceiling in our main auditorium, and it is often difficult for families to find a seat together. In addition, 7 City’s nursery – pre-school environments are at or nearing maximum capacity. Our nursery has grown 330% in the last four years, and our pre-school area has grown 78% in the last three years.

Why are we opening a coffeehouse?

There are three reasons for opening a coffeehouse. First, since 7 City’s inception, our vision has focused on positively influencing the various channels of culture—one of which is business. The coffeehouse is an opportunity to leverage our building and location to intersect the marketplace and business channel of culture. Second, the coffeehouse is an opportunity for community engagement. We don’t want to just minister TO our community one day a week; we want to be IN our community seven days a week. The coffeehouse will be a place where relationships are developed in the city, and where we can host events that add value to our community. Finally, the coffeehouse will generate resources that we can invest back in ministry and culture transformation efforts. In addition, we have already spoken with the FWISD about the availability of the Farrington Field Parking lot to rent parking spaces for the coffeehouse.

What are you asking me to do?

We are asking you to pray and seek God for how he wants you to respond to the BRAVE initiative. Prepare your heart to hear him, and then listen to what He says. In this process, connect to a small group, read the daily devotionals, and talk with your family about what your commitment to BRAVE will mean for this next season. Respond to the generosity of the Gospel by giving generously to the progress of the Gospel in our church, cities, and culture.

How long is my commitment?

We are asking that everyone make a two-year commitment. The fulfillment period for your commitment will begin on October 29, 2017, and will culminate at the end of October 2019.

What if I’m new around here?

We’re excited to have you at 7 City Church, and we want to invite you to partner with us in this BRAVE vision for the future. The local church is God’s “plan A” for reaching people with the Gospel and seeing transformation in our city and world. Be sure to check out 7CityChurch.com for more information about how you can connect at 7 City Church.

What if I’ve never given to 7 City before?

If you have never given to 7 City Church before, BRAVE is a great way to take your first step. BRAVE is a “one-fund” generosity initiative. It is different from a traditional capital campaign where you are asked to give an extra gift “over and above” your regular giving. Rather, BRAVE recognizes that everyone in the church is called to give generously and sacrificially. BRAVE is not merely for “super-givers”; it is for all of us. If you have never given before, this is your chance to join us with a joyful and sacrificial commitment to the work of God’s Kingdom.

How does the “one-fund” approach to BRAVE change my giving to support the general budget, missions, building, culture transformation, and other special offerings?

Traditional giving is often separated into categories such as tithes, offerings, missions, culture transformation, building campaigns, etc. But God has not called 7 City Church to separate visions. He’s called us to ONE unifying vision—to see cities transformed by inspiring community and influencing culture. Everything 7 City Church does—from weekend services, to next generation ministry, to community outreach, to global missions, to culture transformation—is designed to achieve this singular vision. BRAVE is the next chapter in this ONE VISION, and therefore all of our giving will go to ONE FUND to see the entirety of 7 City’s vision realized. During this two-year period, every contribution to God’s work through 7 City is a contribution to our BRAVE initiative. There will not be separate funds. Every gift made will go into the same BRAVE fund to see transformation in our church, cities, and culture.

Are there additional ways besides cash that I can give to BRAVE?

Yes! In addition to cash, you can give from stored resources that you own. Gifts from savings or gifts such as stocks, real estate, mutual funds, assets, jewelry, artwork, collectibles, etc. often make great gifts with significant tax advantages. We would be glad to answer any questions you might have in this process. Feel free to contact Pastor Stephen at sblandino@7citychurch.com

Will 7 City borrow money for the renovation of the building?

The amount of money we raise will obviously determine how much money we have to borrow. If we raise the full $3.5 million for BRAVE, we estimate having to borrow in the neighborhood of $1.3 million to complete the downstairs renovation of the building.

What if I’m a student?

God has blessed 7 City Church by allowing us to invest in the lives of students. The teenage and college years are an ideal time to develop a Kingdom-focused plan in the areas of personal budgeting and generous giving. This is a time when students from all of the schools, colleges, and universities represented at 7 City should join forces and bravely give over the next two years to help us see transformation in our church, city, and culture.

What if I don’t have a job right now? What does that mean for my BRAVE commitment?

BRAVE is about your total, radical, sacrificial generosity for the advancement of the Gospel. If you don’t have a job and are actively seeking one, we’d love for you to share this with our staff so we can be praying for you. Also, consider connecting to a small group, where you will find a community of people who are ready to encourage you and pray with you.

What if I can’t afford to give right now?

Even in times of scarcity, God wants our hearts. The widow who gave her last mite did not make a very big financial contribution, but Jesus said she gave the largest gift of all. BRAVE is first and foremost about 100% participation. It’s a commitment of all of us to come together to give generously, and then trust God to do the rest. It may mean that God is asking you to trust him by making a faith commitment that you do not know how to fulfill right now. God has supplied our every need in Christ, and we trust that He will honor a heart that wants to give generously in response to the Gospel. There may also be ways to be sacrificial with your lifestyle to create margin for generosity in your life. Some will cut back on luxuries, hobbies, or even forego a few caramel macchiatos every week. Others will reign in spending to increase their capacity to invest in the work of God’s Kingdom. This is a great opportunity for all of us to take a look at our overall stewardship of the resources God has entrusted to us.

What if I’m severely in debt right now? Am I still supposed to give?

If you are in the process of paying off debt, we commend you, and you should continue to do so. But, the Bible does not teach us to withhold giving until we are debt-free. When we honor God first with our giving, he promises to be involved with every other aspect of our finances. A member of our team would be glad to provide you with some great resources that will help you get debt free and improve your financial health.

What does the Bible say about tithing and generous giving?

God has always had his people give the “firstfruits” of his provision back to him. Throughout the Old Testament, this took the form of the tithe. Approximately 400 years before the Law was given, both Abraham and Jacob brought to the Lord a tithe of everything that he had given to them. The word “tithe” simply means “a tenth.” In response to the provision and the promise of God, these heroes of the faith offered the Lord not merely a tenth of their income, but a tenth of everything God had given to them. Christ fulfilled the promise of the Law. This does not give us an excuse for no longer giving a tenth; rather, it should motivate us to give in grateful response to God. He keeps his promise and allows us the joy of being a part of his plan for meeting the needs of his people.

In his letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul gave us a principle to guide our giving. He said, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus, the King of Kings, left the richness of Heaven to sacrificially give His life. How then shall we give in response to His extraordinary sacrifice? The apostle Paul was so concerned about our tendency to separate our giving from our living of the Christian life that he admonishes us to excel in the grace of giving (2 Corinthians 8:7).

Why do churches talk about money and giving?

Jesus spoke more about money and possessions than he did about Heaven and Hell combined. The church talks about money because Scripture addresses the issue repeatedly throughout the Old and New Testaments. Furthermore, Jesus warned us that money competes for our hearts (Matthew 6:19-21). We do not believe it’s possible to be fully devoted to Christ while we are simultaneously stingy with the resources God has entrusted to us. As followers of Christ, we take different steps in our spiritual journey (praying, reading Scripture, participating in a small group community, serving, etc.). Giving is one of the spiritual steps God has called us to take. Like all other spiritual disciplines, giving draws us closer to God, and God expects that faithful followers of Christ will be joyful and generous givers.