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An Appeal For Help, An Opportunity For Missions

This week the blog is sponsored by New Covenant OPC and is written by Michael Grasso, Pastor of New Covenant OPC.

Our church, New Covenant OPC, recently started a building campaign to build a new place to worship because we have outgrown our current facilities.  I have been told several times about the difficulties of such an undertaking, which are made even more daunting in light of our location: the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most expensive areas in the country.  Though the process is challenging, we believe that this project will advance the kingdom of God and that supporting it is akin to supporting missions in some important ways.

The Bay Area is not only one of the most expensive places in the country but also one of the darkest.  Certainly, the past decade has seen a general spiritual decline throughout the US and the West as a whole, but for this area, the darkness has been thick for decades.  Another OPC church in San Francisco faced lawsuits, vandalism, and firebombing in the late 1970s and early 80s over the issue of homosexuality.  (You can read more about this here).  If there was anywhere in the US that could be considered a mission field, surely San Francisco would be it.

In the midst of this darkness, those who are standing up for the truth are few and far between.  The vast majority of churches have compromised the truth.  It was common for churches in our area to caution against celebration at the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision in 2022.  Even in the relatively conservative homeschool groups, my family is a part of many of the families told stories of how their churches wanted to make space for those who might be grieving a legal decision that saves the unborn.  Faithful, expository preaching is the vanishingly small exception to the general rule of compromise.

In this darkness, we at New Covenant are trying to hold forth the Word of life faithfully to a lost and dying generation.  I myself am a relatively new pastor, being in my fifth year of service.  We moved from Greenville, South Carolina because we wanted to serve in a place where the gospel was needed, and we can say that God has blessed the ministry.  The church has grown by the grace of God, and what we’ve found is that much of the growth has been from people new to the Reformed faith and expository preaching.  It has been a fairly regular occurrence that new members are excited merely that the Bible is preached.  That is often the main thing that draws people to our church and is so different from what’s happening around us.

Faithful, expository preaching is the vanishingly small exception to the general rule of compromise.

Michael Grasso

Because of our growth, we are at the point of needing new facilities, a problem for which we thank God.  Most churches would probably think that the new building we are proposing would still make us a small church, but this illustrates how serious our problem is.  We can currently only fit 72 people in our main worship area.  We make use of an overflow room with closed-circuit TV upstairs, but if we were to use every room in our building (which would require some work to set up on our end) the most we could reasonably hope to accommodate is about 90-100.  Our current attendance is anywhere from 65-75.

On top of this, we live in one of the most expensive areas in the country.  It is difficult for the congregation at its current size even to support me as the pastor given the cost of housing in the area, let alone seek to build a new place to worship in such an area.  Our problem is that we cannot accommodate the growth required to be able to support a building project.  We need the building to grow, but we need to grow to have the building.

Hence our appeal.

Our church has historically been one in need of aid, but we hope to become one that gives it through church planting.  By the grace of God we’ve seen growth and regularly put before the congregation the vision of planting another church in the Bay Area.  Our new facility, which would be able to accommodate 160 in the main worship area, would enable us to accommodate enough growth to begin thinking about planting more Bible-preaching, Reformed churches in the Bay Area, churches that are committed to standing for the truth in the face of great darkness.

Hence missions.

What is missions but to labor for the advancement of the gospel and the planting of churches in areas that don’t have it?  Having a church building that can accommodate more growth is a crucial strategic step in being able to plant another church, not to mention the added ministry opportunities a new building could facilitate.

And so, here is our appeal: would you consider supporting our new building project so that more people might be able to sit under the preaching of the Word in a dark area?  Our current goal is to raise $500,000 from sources outside the congregation.  The total project cost is $2.4 million.  Any gift is helpful.  If many people give $100 or $1,000 this adds up.  If you are a person of means, we would ask you to consider giving a more substantial gift to help us.  If you’d like to partner with us for the long haul, consider giving a monthly gift.  Whether or not you give, please join us in praying for the advancement of God’s kingdom in the Bay Area.

To give, visit our Gofundme page:

You can also send gifts via Zelle using the email: [email protected]

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