Lift Off Mission Update

LIFT OFF Mission Status Update

Sermon Video + Highlights + Notes + More!

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Note: this is a transcript from the April 24, 2022 Lift Off Mission Status Update. Follow the links below for more info about specific ministry 'rockets.'


"If you're new, welcome. My name is Josh, the Pastor of Grace City Church. We've been working our way through the Gospel of Luke. We have two Sundays left to complete the Gospel of Luke, and I'm already mourning that a little bit. I have loved teaching that book so, so much. And so, we're going to finish that in two weeks, but today we're going to do something a little different. We're going to do a bit of a Lift Off recap and review to share all the things that are going on here at Grace City. We keep trying to tell the stories and there's just too many to tell. We thought, 'Well, let's put a bunch on one Sunday,' so that's what we're going to do this morning.

Easter’s Weather Miracle

"But before we get started, Pastor Adams mentioned it and we've noted it, but I just don't want us to miss that it snowed 40 inches on Wenatchee Heights between Tuesday and Friday of last week. Okay? And all of you thought... You all got worried. I was there. I had no stress last week. I was full of faith... Full of faith, no stress. Snowed like all the snow in Heaven got directed to the Wenatchee Valley Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday morning. Yeah, Monday was cold and rainy and miserable, and between those events, that happened. We shouldn't miss that. It was like the Lord was like, 'Josh's beard isn't completely gray, all gray yet, so watch this. This will be funny.' And so, we had the snow thing happen and then the rain and the clouds last week.

"You can now say that you've experienced God parting the Red Sea. He parted the weather sea, and we walked through on dry grass. You know what I mean? It was just remarkable. There was this much snow on the county fairgrounds grass on Friday. We thought, 'Man, should we go out there and try to drive it around and plow it and shovel it?' And we got there Sunday and not a damp blade of grass to be seen. Just remarkable. So many stories coming in from that day that we'll tell in the days to come. You've heard of them some already.

Catherine's Story

"I was talking to Catherine out there in the Junction this morning. Sweet, sweet dear follower of Jesus. Her son who's been watching online from Seattle—in fact, he might be watching right now, and if he has been, we can give him a wave—he is recently clean from heroin and is following Jesus, gave his life to Jesus, raised his hand at his house watching the service. He calls this his home church. He could not wait to get baptized at his home church, so he drove over from Seattle to get baptized with his mom on Easter Sunday.

"And she said, 'I was texting him back and forth as he was driving home. We were in tears.' We were just talking like, 'Can you imagine—could you have imagined—six years ago, bud, that you'd get baptized with your mom on an Easter Sunday at a church in a town you don't live in and be clean from heroin and be walking a new life and just crying in tears of joy?' That's what God's doing. That's what God's doing. I mean, it's just remarkable. It's just remarkable.

Jake's Story

"And some of you guys heard Jake's story. Jake wave your hand. Aren't you grateful for his story on Sunday? Wasn't that incredible? I heard Quincy Jake. We call him Quincy Jake. And what God's doing in his life and more to his story. It's just remarkable. How old are you, Jake? 36. And you heard the testimony that God's given him. And bro, seriously, I was like, as you were talking at the end, I was super tempted to scrap my sermon. I was like, 'We should just have Quincy Jake preach to us right now. Come on, give the man the mic and let that guy go.' God's doing such sweet things in his heart.
"Part of his story that he wasn't able to get in was that his dad was going into the ministry, was in school for the ministry, going to Bible school. Jake was six years old, got a Bible from his dad. And at six years old, his dad had graduated from this school, and then for whatever reason, left the family and shattered the family, tore the family apart. Older brother and sister left (they’re older than Jake by quite a bit) with the dad. He hasn't seen his older brother for 30 years. And so he was associating Jesus, church, and the Bible to his dad bailing. And so that's his church experience. 'What’s my experience in church? My dad was going to lead one and then he left us.'

"So flash forward 30 years, Jake's 36 years old. God radically is going after him. And Jake Collins from here in our church is connecting with him and praying with him, inviting him to church. He said, 'I thought I'll go because I've heard it's big and I can hide.'

We're talking-- and it's funny-- we're talking afterwards with some buddies and he's like, 'I came. I sat right up there in the back. I thought, "I'll sit in the back. Nobody will see me." I had no clue that eight weeks later I'd be talking to 4,000 people. That was not a part of the plan. Whoa.' You know what I mean? Like, dude, if you're trying to hide from God, good luck with that one. You know what I mean?

"And so God's just doing a great thing in his life. He got to share that with us on Sunday and two things that are super cool are coming out of that. He invited his brother to Hometown Easter that he had not seen in 30 years. His brother comes and finds him afterwards, grabs him by the face, and looks him in the eyes and says, 'I'm so proud of you. I'm so sorry. We have 30 years of making up to do.' And now that relationship has been reconnected. Yeah, come on, you can thank the Lord for that. Isn't that awesome?

"And he was telling Adam, he said, it's just like the Lord just kind of moved in his life and like, 'I know what I got to do. I need to take a road trip.' So I think next week, something like that—he’s working on getting some time off or whatever—he’s getting in a vehicle, and he's going to take the Bible that his dad gave him when he was six, and he is going to North Dakota to find his dad he hasn't seen in— how long? And he's asking the Lord to help him find his dad in that huge state, so he can give his dad back the Bible his dad gave him when he was six years old and tell him, 'I forgive you for leaving our family. And I love you.'

"That's what the Gospel does. It gives us the capacity to love other people. Amen? So, super cool. Love you, Jake. If you're sitting close to him, if you want to just put a hand on Jake, we’re going to pray for this guy right here. We'll just extend our hands to Jake, if you're not there. Let's just pray for this brother.

Prayer for Jake

"Father, in Jesus' name, we pray that You would anoint Your son, our brother, for this mission trip he's going on, that You would fill him, that You would send him, that Your favor would be upon him. We pray that one, he could find his dad and we pray two, that his dad would be open and receptive to receiving the love of the Father in Heaven through his earthly son, Jake. And we pray in Jesus' name that the Gospel message that was once apparently alive in this man's life and then went dormant would come back to life. That You would use his physical son that he betrayed and abandoned to extend the love of Jesus to him. That You would fill Jake with Your Spirit, that You would fill him with Your words, and that You would use what You're doing here in Quincy and Wenatchee to splash over and spill onto a broken dad in North Dakota. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

Lift Off

"Tons more stories to come. Just more stories than we can keep track of. That's all coming. But first off, Lift Off Mission Update. If you are new to Grace City church, 12 months ago we initiated our Lift Off campaign. Again, if you're new, how it works is this thing takes money to run. Just like a ship takes fuel, ministry takes dollars, and Mission Advance was our first campaign to raise the money to buy this property six years ago now. And that's memorialized in that picture up there on the wall. All those folks that signed that gave to buy this property. Then Building Home came right after that. That was a three year resource initiative. And that was to raise the funds to build this space. And all the names are memorialized on that brick wall. Everyone brought a brick.
"And then one year ago, we decided to do a one year campaign and that was Lift Off. And that one we told the story of Apollo 8 and just remarkable things happened. So we launched 12 rockets from that initiative, one building and eleven ministry rockets. We want to give you an update on all those things going this morning. But before we do a little recap for those of you who are new and a moment of reflection for those of you who were there. Check it out. This is the Lift Off story.

Rocket Fuel

"That was a bit of a recap of all that happened. We gave Hank and his wife $150,000 to finish their place, 50 of which came from ANCHORED alone. Just remarkable. And so our Lift Off campaign kind of crescendo-ed on Commitment Sunday. And again, if you're new, just bringing you up to speed. How we've done these in the past is we'll talk about the vision of where we want to go and there's two ways to give to Grace City. There's a tithes and offerings that everyone is participating in. It's just kind of the normal thing around here. You give 10%—whatever you want to do, somewhere in there—of your income to Grace City Church as a tithe and offering to the Lord. And then we also do these campaigns where we give over and above gifts. So this is money that was given over and above our regular tithes and offerings just to keep the lights and ministry on here. And it was to do all of these rockets that we wanted to do.

"And so we had Commitment Sunday. People brought their gift to the wheelbarrow there. That's Chad Hurst throwing his envelope in. And the gift came in two parts. One was a cash gift and the other part was a pledge for 12 months that you hope to give over the course of that 12 months, again, over and above what you normally give. And so if a family wanted to give 1,000 bucks to Lift Off, they'd get, they might bring 500 bucks in cash and Commitment Sunday and then make a pledge to finish that remaining $500 balance over the course of the next 12 months. And we just ask everyone to pray, seek the Lord, ask him to give you a number, what you could do that would be sacrificial, that would require faith, and to bring that number.
"We were shooting to raise about $3.1 million to $3.2 million. That was our estimate for what we thought it would take to get all these rockets launched and all these construction projects finished. So cute. Anyways, that was our goal, because that's what we thought. And we didn't have a crystal ball, but thankfully the Lord did. So we have Lift Off.

"On that day we celebrated raising in cash and gifts $6.3 million, which was double the amount we thought we needed and that we were shooting for, which was just remarkable. That told us that God was either protecting us from some unforeseen event or providing for us to do more things than we thought we had originally planned, both of which have turned out to be true. Not only did we realize that God had more planned for us than we had ever could have ever anticipated, God was also protecting us and providing for protecting us from this little global event we could not anticipate called global inflation.

"And so we raised $6.3 million in pledge. It's only been 11 months. We're going to end, of course, that pledge period at the end of May next month. Would you like to know how much you have given in the last 11 months over and above keeping the lights and ministry going here in tithes and offerings? Would you like to know how much of that number you've given so far? Okay. Here it is. You have given 92% of that 6.3 million. Isn't that amazing? Come on, give yourselves a hand. It's incredible. It's mind blowing. It's absolute mind blowing.

"So here's the deal. Three things. One, if you finished your pledge, thank you, thank you, thank you. We’re so grateful for that. If you haven't finished your pledge and can, I couldn't more strongly encourage you to execute on that and finish that in the next four or five weeks. And if you haven't been able to finish your pledge and can’t—something happened unexpectedly or catastrophically in your life—please hear me say this morning, you are absolutely off the hook. Now, it's between you and the Lord. And if you're like, 'Well, I gambled this. And I bought four new motorbikes. And I went to Disneyland nine times,' that's also between you and the Lord. But if something happened outside of your control, you were not anticipating it, do not carry it as a burden.

"I know that people at Grace City Church are, 'My word is my bond. I'm a person of integrity.' I understand that. I get that. I appreciate that. The Lord sees it, too. But if something happened that's just been, like I said, unexpected and catastrophic in your life, please do not carry this as a burden. Be relieved. Be let off the hook. The Lord’s been providing, bringing people to play, and he knew what was going to happen in your life and in our life. He's made provisions for it. It is okay.

"And lastly, if you weren't here when we started and you'd like to participate in it, there's still room to help us out. And this is why it's critically important that we hit this. I'm going to give you an update here in a moment. We made an estimated plan for what we thought building this was going to cost with patio and atrium and the barn. And the barn, as you'll see in the video... Well, I'll let the video tell that story. We shot for what we thought was going to be about a $6.1 million construction project. We had money to put in on that on top of that plus rockets to launch. It's become about a 37% increase due to inflation. Now big numbers. Percentage rates with big numbers add up to bigger numbers, right? And so we're actually quite grateful that number's not smaller. We're talking to suppliers that are like, 'Yeah, well this used to cost 10 bucks a foot. Now it costs 40 bucks a foot.' 200, 300, 400 percent increases on some supplies.

Rocket 1: Building Projects

Check out the Building Projects update here!

Rocket 2: Son Mission
Rocket 3: Roatán Church

Check out the Uganda Son Mission Hub and Roatán Church updates here!

Rocket 4: Chelan County Jail Chaplaincy

Check out the Chelan County Jail Chaplaincy update here!

Rocket 5: Vector Academy
Rocket 6: Life-Trac University 

Check out the Vector Academy and Life-Trac University updates here!

Rocket 7: Publication Platform
Rocket 8: Grace City Worship

Check out the Publication Platform and Grace City Worship Updates here!

Rocket 9: The Man Conference
Rocket 10: The Well Conference
Rocket 11: Mancard Week
Rocket 12: Forged

"We launched The Stand, which was the ladies' conference in October. They're planning for that next one this fall. A really great lineup of speakers, that I'm excited to tell you about in the days to come.

"Battle Ready was the conference that we launched for the men last fall. We're going to take the Man Event that was last June and the conference of the fall and combine it into one super event we're calling Forged on Father's Day weekend. We'll drop the trailer to that this week. Please spread it. Invite all the dudes you can: fathers, sons, cousins, uncles, brothers, friends, neighbors. It's going to be epic. We're going to hit a ceiling capacity. We're approaching that. So please, please sign up as soon as you can. It's going to be an epic day. We're going to talk about what is a man and how to become one, what a Forged rite of passage looks like.

"And this next here, just to the end our time, this is a Battle Ready and Stand recap that was done by one of our Story Team vecterns. We call them vecterns. A Vector intern. Vectern. This was done by a vectern, and this is one of the things they've done this year. Check it out.
"I love the dudes of Grace City. Oh, super fun. Great job to the vecterns for putting that recap together. Like I said, we launched that last year.

"Forged is going to be this father's day weekend, Friday and Saturday. We'll drop the trailer this week. Get signed up while you can."
Register here for the Forged Conference!

Need Some More Good News?

Check out our "No Town Like Hometown" update here!