Frequently Asked Questions
- Why hold “church services” every other week instead of weekly?
We have a strong value for in-home groups and believe that they are a crucial component of care, discipleship, and life together! That is, the church being the church. We felt a mandate from the Lord to develop a model of “doing church” that is a blend of corporate worship and small in-home gatherings, therefore we assign equal value to Life Groups and make space for them by restricting Ministry Night to every other week. We are not married to this method and realize that it could change in the future, however we are committed to it in this season.
- Why meet Sunday evenings?
We seek to incorporate and prioritize a rhythm of rest as essential to our spiritual and emotional health. We have found that it is much more feasible for our volunteer leaders as well as families with young children to experience a sabbath rest if they have Sunday mornings off. At this point in our journey meeting Sunday evenings is an enjoyable and sustainable way for us to gather. We are not married to this method and realize that it could change in the future, however we are committed to it in this season.
- Why don’t we offer membership?
We affirm that every believer is a part of the “global Church” by the power of the Holy Spirit the moment they are born again. We also affirm the crucial importance of every believer being part of a local church, where they can be nurtured, challenged, and grow in the context of community. At this point our membership criteria does not consist of a commitment made on paper but solely on the basis of relationship and participation. In other words, if you want to be a member of our spiritual family, we simply ask that you engage in relationship building and display a willingness to affirm our values, engage in our mission, and participate in our vision. We are not married to this method and realize that it could change in the future, however we are committed to it in this season.
- How long do you plan to keep meeting in Ridgeview’s facility?
We deeply value collaboration and unity with other ministries and churches. Our relationship with Ridgeview is one of the ways that we express this value. We are humbled and grateful for their willingness to make space for us and we believe that the Lord is teaching us valuable lessons about what it actually looks like for local churches to work together in a region. Renting space from Ridgeview has also allowed us to maintain financial freedom and mobility while saving and planning for future ministry expansion. We are not married to this method and realize that it could change in the future, however we are committed to it in this season.
- What is the vision for growth as a local church? For instance, would you like to become a “megachurch”?
Since our early days in 2017, we have always had a strong conviction that the Lord was instilling multiplication in our DNA and giving us wisdom to develop structures and framework that could be easily replicated and reproduced quickly in a variety of cultural and societal contexts. As we have grown and developed, we continue to feel this urgency. Therefore, our vision for Branch Community is that it would be a local church that is actively engaged in sending out teams of people to plant additional churches both in our region and nation and also among various people groups in the nations of the earth. We believe that if we fully walk in this missional mandate it will lead to radically investing our time, treasure, and talent in a way that will likely limit the size of Branch Community while leading to an explosion of impact!
- Safe Community – Safe Church
We have a growing awareness that it is on the Father’s heart to raise up churches who will address the issue of sexual abuse both within the church and in the culture at large. We have been praying about what it looks like to partner with the Holy Spirit to bring awareness, implement preventative measures, and provide pathways of redemptive healing and restoration for those who have been abused. One of the best resources that we’ve found as we have pressed into this often neglected, yet critical issue is a local organization called Safe Communities. They provide a number of workshops and seminars for free, and they have a lot of useful information on their website. We will be developing some additional resources and processes in the months to come.
- How does this work financially?
Accountability: The board of directors was set up to provide financial oversight and accountability for all funds related to Branch Community. Branch Community is a licensed 501(c)3 nonprofit and as such all contributions are tax-deductible. The board is also tasked with maintaining legal compliance for us as a non-profit.
Generosity: We believe that we are called to generosity not only as individuals but also as an organization. In that spirit, we set aside 10% of all revenue as a missions fund. This fund is invested into ministries, both regionally and globally, that are advancing the kingdom of God.
Transparency: As a non-profit ministry committed to representing Jesus Christ, we feel the administration of finances is a sacred trust. Therefore, we strive for transparency as an organization, while still maintaining donor confidentiality. At the end of each year a financial report will be provided to all donors, this report will include a breakdown of total yearly revenue and expenses.
Biblical Precedence for Tithes and Offerings: In both the Old and New Testament we see that God has ordained a way to resource his church. In the Old Testament this was expressed through setting aside the Levites to minister in the temple and function as priests for the nation of Israel. The Levites received a tithe from all Israel that enabled them to dedicate their time to facilitating Israel’s worship of the one true God. See Leviticus 27, Deuteronomy 14. In addition to this, God also gave detailed instructions for every kind of freewill and special offering. Leviticus 4, 5, and 7. Numbers 6.
In the New Testament, this lifestyle of giving continued in the lives of the Jewish believers we read about in the book of Acts. Acts 2:45, Acts 4:34-35. Paul also reaffirmed in 1 Corinthians 9:3-14 that God has established a way to resource his work through the collective financial contributions of the body of Christ. Yet, many churches and parachurch ministries lack the resources necessary to accomplish the vision God has given them! Is this because of God’s negligence? Or is it because his people haven’t fully committed to his instructions regarding finances? This is our understanding of God’s design for resourcing his work.
Tithes: The word tithe simply means a tenth. Our understanding is that all believers are called to contribute a tenth of their income to the church. There are lots of opportunities to give and the Bible does not specifically command that this tithe should be directed only to the local church. We encourage you to seek direction from the Lord about where to give.
Offerings: We believe that the tithe should be the minimum starting point for giving, and that as God provides in abundance, we can also give in abundance. Offerings are a great way to invest in people, organizations, or causes that God places on our hearts.
2021 Budget Goal:
$15 – 18,000 per month.
Current Revenue: Approximately $20,000 per month. Thank you for helping us meet our goals! All funds over our budget goals help us build financial capacity for current and future ministry expansion!