Without it we cannot please God, yet with it, God can do miraculous things through ordinary people. We simply need to trust Him and act. For over 90 years, we have been surrounded by faithful men and women of The Grove who have run the race before us. We have seen God reach many people and build His church through their faith. As we consider what lies ahead, may we continue to be faithful and do our part. Jesus is calling us, The Grove, to BE FAITHFUL and to make Him known.
In 2019, we want to follow Jesus into our community; building and investing in the Grove Village, bringing love and hope to the streets of Watts, and making an impact for God throughout our city. We also want to faithfully follow Him around the world; digging wells in Liberia, serving churches in Belize and Uganda, providing for orphans in Malawi and Nepal, caring for students in India and refugees in Lebanon, sharing God’s love to all nations!
The question then becomes, what does God want to do in and through us this year? As you consider your role in our 2019 Love Offering, imagine what God could do as we partner in these projects and dream big! Don’t miss out on how God wants to change you to reach all people. He will be pleased with our giving and serving together; people’s lives will be changed forever. We want to be a faithful church. When all is said and done, we want our faithfulness to encourage the next generation! So together, let us consider the opportunities that lie ahead and determine to BE FAITHFUL!
Daniel Bishop, Lead Pastor
Tom Lance, Senior Pastor
History of the Love Offering
Our annual Love Offering has become more impactful than anyone could have imagined — but how did it begin?
As we prepare to launch the 2019 Love Offering this coming weekend, we thought it was important to share with you a bit of its rich history of faithfulness.
We hope you will take a few minutes to watch, learn, remember, and be stirred by the faithfulness of God and of those who came before you!
Most people know it takes faith to believe in God, but what is faith? How would you explain it to your family, friends, and strangers? Pastor Tom Lance will open our series outlining what faith truly looks like and how we can Be Faithful in all things.
A Legacy of Faith
One of the greatest legacies you can leave behind is your faith. It is greater than being nice or funny or even having great possessions. A legacy of faith has an eternal impact. Pastor Tom will be sharing what a legacy of faith that resonates today, tomorrow, and even after you are gone looks like.
A Faith that Pleases God
The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” We must learn to Be Faithful every day if we want to please God in all we do. Pastor Daniel Bishop will speak on how we can please God with our entire life. What will it look like for you and our church to please God in 2019?
We see men and women all throughout the Bible participate in God’s work by faith. We have inherited this faithfulness and it is now our turn to run this new leg of the race. Pastor Daniel will preach on how we can take action By Faith in 2019.
Continuing to serve those in our community with special needs, we want to take a huge step forward by hiring an Inclusion Ministry Director. Along with the new director we will continue to host new as well as recurring special events. These special needs individuals are loved by God and our new director will help create a team to love and care for them.
B Building Lobby Redesign
For the past 12 years, our Early Childhood and Children’s ministries have served thousands of God’s kids. Last year’s Love Offering allowed us to put new floors and other improvements into our Early Childhood Ministries in the A-building. This year, we will remodel our 1st through 6th grade B-building; updating the lobby, replacing the flooring, and creating a larger space for a new 5th and 6th grade ministry. Our children are a huge part of what makes us The Grove and we’re excited to continue to invest in them.
Each Easter, we desire to provide a powerful sunrise service. Last year, we celebrated with over 1,800 people at this outdoor gathering. Our giving helps provide the additional resources needed for this unique service.
We believe in the preparation of church leaders. One of the ways we invest in the next generation church leaders is through the contribution to a scholarship toward the California Baptist University’s Bachelors of Applied Theology (BAT) Program. This scholarship is for students who desire to be pastors. The BAT Program helps train these young pastors to lead in churches throughout Southern California. Several of The Grove’s own pastors benefited from these scholarships and now we get to help others.
The Grove Village
After a year of planning and coordinating with the city of Riverside and various local agencies, The Grove Village is finally under construction. Riverside’s mayor, Rusty Bailey, challenged all the churches in Riverside to do what they could to help the homeless find a home and hope for a better future. The Grove has answered that call. In early 2019, we hope to welcome the first homeless families into our four 600 ft2 homes. We have developed a 12-18 month program where we will provide these families with counseling support, spiritual development, career coaching, and training in life skills. We hope that after time in our care, they will have the support and skills needed to move into a home or apartment of their own ready to serve the Lord Jesus with all their heart.
The Hub Renovation
God has blessed our church and allowed us to continue to grow. As a result, we have simply run out of room to adequately serve the thousands that visit the HUB each week. This will be the first major renovation we have made since the church’s initial construction, doubling the HUB’s ability to provide a place to fellowship over delicious meals and beverages. This renovation will create a very welcoming environment for all of us to enjoy!
We love hosting events and inviting people from the community to connect with our church. We have offered Movie Nights, Block Parties, and Water Mania in 2018. We are always looking for new and innovative ideas to engage our community with the love of Christ. It is our prayer that families will enjoy these free events and accept our invitation to come back and check out our weekend services.
Last year, every dollar given over the $1,000,000 mark was pledged toward our debt reduction. One donor had generously pledged to match every dollar raised over $1,000,000. For the 2018 calendar year, we will have paid down $1,291,536 in debt! Once more, we are pledging every dollar over $1,000,000 toward debt reduction. The generous donor wants to bless The Grove again by matching those funds.
We are energized to support and work alongside Rebirth Homes. We are helping develop a 24-month program focused on guiding victims of human trafficking through spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental healing. What a blessing to have this home so close to us that we can also offer volunteers to help with the many facets of this critical ministry.
God’s heart is for the fatherless and we want to continue to reach out and support families desiring to become “forever homes” for these precious children. The Grove’s Care and Counseling Ministry has offered financial assistance and support to 18 families so far this year. Imagine how many more children can be placed with their forever families in 2019 with our continued support.
We believe in the powerful influence of the Care Portal. This ministry provides assistance for local families in danger of entering the foster care system because of a lack of resources. Through the Care Portal ministry, families and foster parents are connected to a network of churches who work together to provide resources for those in need.
Health to Hope Medical Clinic
We purchased the Mobile Medical unit a few years ago and now we use it to provide clinics with free medical care to those who do not have access to such services in Riverside and surrounding counties. We are excited to provide the much needed funds to continue operating these clinics each year.
Perris Community Outreach
Perris is one of the most under-served cities in our region. There are lots of needs and little resources. We have chosen to love this community as our neighbors. This year, we brought hope to Perris through festive holiday meals, community-wide celebrations, after-school Bible Clubs, meals for over 400 needy families a month, as well as providing senior lunches for the elderly. Our desire is to love our neighbors with the resources God has provided. We have been blessed to be a blessing. We hope to continue blessing these communities through various programs and events.
Watts Powerhouse Church
This church is reaching people in one of the most notorious and dangerous neighborhoods of Los Angeles, but they are at risk of losing their building. We have an opportunity to help the Watts Powerhouse Church purchase their facility. Owning their facility will enable them to continue their calling to reach and serve the people in their neighborhood for generations to come.
Struggling Local Churches
The Grove believes in the uniqueness of each and every church. When a church is struggling we have been called to help. The help we give comes in the form of worship teams and sending help for their different ministries on the weekend. At times we send our pastors to preach when their pastor needs a break. Often it means buying supplies and helping them build or repair something on their property. We also give money when that will help them attain a goal or vision they are trying to accomplish. Join us as we love on our neighbors and help churches go from struggling to thriving and become all that God wants them to be.
Serve Week 2019
In 2018, over 2,000 Grove volunteers blanketed the city and other local communities. We partnered with local organizations to share the love of Christ in practical ways; clean-up projects, yard work for the elderly, bringing small gifts to encourage local firefighters, serving in shelters, and much more. The impact was huge, so we are excited to provide funds for new projects in 2019 when we will be reaching out again, fulfilling our mission to Reach All People!
We have an opportunity to continue building upon the foundation our teams have laid in Punta Gorda, Belize. This year, we will be funding the construction of a chapel on a Belizean military base. We are preparing to send a team from the Men’s HANDS Trek to work alongside the Belizean military to complete this chapel as well as some other very necessary projects in this area.
Liberia Water Project
We are planning to bring safe drinking water to villages in Liberia, providing a platform to share the gospel in those communities. Working with the Hentschls and IberoAmerican Ministries, we will bore two wells in poor villages that currently have no clean water.
Good Samaritan Ministry
We plan to send teams of chaplains and medical professionals to serve alongside the Good Samaritan Ministry in the remote areas of Vietnam. These teams will also provide medical and dental care to the poor and elderly.
Since its inception ten years ago, ELAM has been able to reach hundreds of thousands of Iranians with the Gospel. This year we want to print more Bibles for the Persian-speaking world and support the women’s training program which aims to empower local women to share the Good News with their family and friends.
Malawi Orphan Food Program
We will help meet the many needs of orphans and vulnerable children in the village of Chamadenga by showing them the love of Jesus. We are joining our Global Partner, Kellen Hiroto, in supporting Bright Vision Orphan Care, which started as an occasional feeding program for a small number of children, but now brings hope to the whole community.
Joshua Vision India Students Gospel Training
We are planning to help local believers attend an excellent evangelical gospel training program in India. They will be trained to plant new churches in communities still unreached by the gospel throughout India and Nepal. For years, this ministry has been bringing the gospel to the unreached regions in this part of the world.
Lebanon Refugee Medical Work Support Vehicle
We are hoping to purchase a desperately needed vehicle for Amy Alexander and her medical team. A new vehicle will enable them to provide care within refugee communities in the Lebanon region as they travel around the various camps and housing sites.
Nepal School and Orphanage
We are planning to help build an orphanage in Khandbari, Nepal to house children at risk of being sold or sent to Buddhist monasteries. This orphanage will provide a supportive learning environment focused on Christ’s love and will also create a church for the children to attend. Our giving will help provide for the teachers, facilities, and educational needs for their school.
Ajumani Church Plant
Within the desperate refugee camps at the Uganda/South Sudan border, we are bringing hope. We are doing this by continuing our partnership with a network of churches and providing training for church leaders. This will be a three-year partnership with local pastors culminating with a new church plant in Adjumani, Uganda.
We are being changed by God to reach all people! The Grove continues to fulfill God’s Great Commission by partnering with like-minded individuals and organizations around the world. Our continued desire is to monthly support 87 global partners who are carrying the Gospel to the most unreached corners of the world. Not all of us are called to go abroad, but we can all help those who have given up so much to respond to God’s call to go into the whole world and make disciples.
Remember Nhu Sponsored Homes
We want to increase our monthly support of Remember Nhu to allow even more children to escape the darkness of human trafficking to enjoy a healthy Christian environment where they will be loved and cared for. We will continue to sponsor children in two homes in Chiang Mai, Thailand even as we increase our support of this fantastic organization.
The Family Place
The Family Place is a dynamic community center in North Africa that shares the love of Christ through relationships developed by teaching and working in this difficult to reach region. God has been allowing the Gospel to be shared from this place in wonderful ways. This will be the fifth year we are continuing our support of this ministry.
Derek & Kim I / Charlie & Brooke W
These families are serving in Turkey together. They are gifted evangelists who reach out to people with their love for God by using their business expertise.
Jinnie will be working with the Soon Movement, which is a ministry of Campus Crusade that focuses on discipling Korean college students. She will be working to mobilize college students and young adults to live for Christ in their communities as well as internationally when they graduate.
John and Lisa Gotz
We will begin to support these godly workers in Punta Gorda, Belize who have become wonderful hosts for our Grove treks to Belize. They serve this “fatherless country” in various ways; from a camp for special needs children, to community development, to partnering against human trafficking.