Stories

How has God enabled you to reach beyond?

Danny & Alli Nathan

Danny and Alli explain why the Worship Center holds a special place in their hearts and how good stewardship of our resources continues the great legacy of those who originally built the space.

Pastor Jim Custer

“God responds when His people trust Him and obey Him. Go for it!” Pastor Jim reminisces about the history of our Worship Center, how God has used it for His glory, and the great future potential following its renovation.

Jay Sharp

Jay shares from his H.V.A.C. expertise and experience to describe the importance of “popping the hood” of our dated Worship Center and addressing the things we don’t often think about until they stop working.

Karen Rugg-Klapheke

Karen has been involved with the music ministry at Grace since she was in college. If anyone knows how much our Worship Center needs to be renovated, it’s her!

Jessica Green

Jessica shares about what she’s looking forward to with Reaching Beyond and her ability to participate in the building transformation.

Ed & Lori Miller

Ed and Lori discuss their background, experience volunteering at Grace, and excitement about the future of the Worship Center.

Dennis Landis

Dennis discusses his role at Grace, our responsibility to steward the resources God has given to us, and the many benefits that will come with a renovated Worship Center.

Mary Jo Gaskalla

Mary Jo recounts her history as Grace’s orchestra conductor and how God has enabled her to reach beyond for our building transformation.

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“During this year, our family is doing some kitchen renovation after saving up funds. Costs were not small! We also have college expenses and the ongoing costs of kids at home. When we heard about Reaching Beyond, it was easy to think that we didn’t have the margin to give much. Then we realized that if we could spend for various comforts and wishes for our kids, and update an already-satisfactory kitchen, we could certainly sacrifice for the long-needed renovation of our church facility. So we had some heartfelt conversations and prayed. As a result, God is leading us to give more than we think “safe” or “comfortable” to Reaching Beyond, and we are thrilled to do so. We can’t wait to see the ministry benefits of a renovated Worship Center for Grace!”

“My wife and I asked God what He would have us give toward the Reaching Beyond campaign. We agreed what we ‘could afford,’ then God placed on our hearts to double it… We did, and He has already provided 30% of the ‘xtra’ amount. God provides!”

“When first asked to support the building initiative, my initial response was self-focused, ‘How am I going to fit that into my budget?’ I momentarily lost sight of the fact that it all belongs to God and our God is a BIG God and can do anything with ‘my budget.’ Thankfully, my husband and I prayed and felt God leading us to contribute a financial gift we received for Christmas. Had we not acted in faithfulness and obedience, we would have missed the opportunity to see God at work. One week later, we were blessed with an unexpected financial gift. We have decided to put this new gift into an envelope we are calling our ‘Watch God at Work’ envelope. We are going to continue to add to this envelope and ‘Watch God at Work’ as He expands the seams of the envelope. What a faith building experience for our family. And, what a joyous day it will be when we give this envelope of blessings back to God in March!”

“My wife and I are extremely excited about this renovation! We look forward to better spaces to connect with others in our church and a refreshed auditorium. We prayed and thought through our ability to give and knew that along with the rest of our church it would be important to sacrifice for this effort. We love our church and pray that this will further our mission both in Central Ohio and around the world, all for the glory of Christ.”

“Why am I excited about Reaching Beyond? Sure, I’m looking forward to the more attractive and comfortable Worship Center, but I’m even more excited about the mobilizing effect that this shared sacrifice will have on our congregation. It’s such an inspiration to celebrate wins together and to see how God blesses us when we put His kingdom first. I’m hopeful that Reaching Beyond will increase each believer’s sense of ministry ownership and competence to make disciples. I’m praying that our pursuit of Christ through self-denial will provoke a spirit of service and a focus on things that matter eternally. In short, I’m hoping that our corporate commitment to renovate our primary gathering place will bear most fruit outside that gathering place as we mature in Christ and increasingly impact those around us in all spheres of life, helping them move closer and closer to Jesus each day.”

“Next to our home, we spend the majority of our time working and serving at church. We are ‘all in’ in our support of this special place. We are so excited for an update and more visitor friendly space! It is a joy to give to something when you know it is for the good of others and for advancing God’s kingdom.”

“I’m personally excited, not just for a much-needed update to our worship space, but for the bigger picture vision and opportunities ahead for our church. I can’t wait to see us reach beyond what is normal and comfortable and see what amazing thing God might have in store for Grace Polaris Church that is beyond anything we can imagine today.”

“I’m all in for the Reaching Beyond plan. What God did for me when I lost my job He’ll do above and beyond for this place of worship. He is the God of impossibility, and He’s going to open the windows of heaven to pour down financial blessings abundantly. He will make a way for people like us—even if it’s the widow’s coin—to contribute to the furtherance of His work!”

“I’ve found that planting a local church involves merely the gathering of people of all kinds to discover the transformational reality of Psalm 34:8: ‘Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!’ I absolutely love how great it feels to share with people what ‘church’ is. Vastly more than just a building to meet in, it is people gathered to Jesus’ mission who are communing with God and each other. It is such a joy to invite people to join the mission of Jesus! I love this life of gathering people to movement.”

“My husband and I wanted to give to the Reaching Beyond campaign but typically do not have any surplus in our monthly budget. We separately formulated an amount we thought we should give and it was the same number! We stepped out in faith and gave that amount, not knowing where the money would come from to fill the gap. That same month I received a surprise Christmas bonus from my job. After six years of working there, this was the very first one I had received. And the amount? The EXACT amount we had given to Reaching Beyond campaign. God is good, God is faithful, and He will always supply our needs!”

“My wife and I had one child when the Worship Center was completed. I remember touring it before the carpet was laid! So much has taken place in our facilities since that time. Thousands have been impacted for Christ. We have attended many weddings, dedications and good-byes. There has been a lot of wear and tear, and an update is sorely needed. What we have fit our needs perfectly in the early 80s. We really need to bring it into the 21st Century in regard to seating, lighting, sound, and projection. So I am excited about this project! This will be the single, largest gift we have ever given. To anything. I am all in. I do not want my possessions, my house, my anything to be grander than the house we worship in. I desire that nothing facilities-wise be a distraction to worshiping our Lord, learning the Word, and serving others.”

“I’m interested in seeing our auditorium renovated so that it will become a sanctuary where we can focus more easily on worshipping and praising the God we love. I’m ready to get rid of the multiple entrances, the cluttered platform, and the open storage areas along the front sides. I’m ready to come quietly into the presence of the Lord and focus on Him alone.”

“I’m excited for the culture shift that will take place at Grace as a result of this renovation. We want our facilities to better fit our purposes of multiplying devoted followers of Jesus, and these changes will be a step in the right direction.”

“My wife and I decided to devote our entire tax refund to the Reaching Beyond campaign. In order to do that, we turned our taxes in early this year and plan to give the entire sum toward the building renovation.”

“God has given my husband extra business, which has resulted in extra commission income. We are so excited to be able to give back to God what ultimately belongs to Him. We are looking forward to seeing God work in a miraculous way with everyone in the church.”

“When we started attending Grace 31 years ago, we were amazed to find there wasn’t enough room in this big, new Worship Center for all the children! Kids were bussed down to the original church building and high school for Sunday morning ministry while parents worshipped here. Can you imagine doing that today? Since then we have joined hundreds of others giving above their weekly tithes and offerings to advance the Gospel by building the Family Center, the Discipleship Center, and the Early Childhood Center. Our families have been greatly blessed by these facilities but, more importantly, our church’s mission to multiply devoted followers of Jesus has been promoted through their use. We couldn’t reach out to hundreds of kids at VBS without them. Of course, our facilities are used for far more than just kids’ ministries! We are excited to contribute to this new opportunity so that our church will be even better positioned to reach beyond ourselves in the name of Jesus. We have a new generation to reach! We look forward to the many ways God will bless families through this endeavor.”

“We are excited about giving toward the renovation of the sanctuary so that it can truly become a sanctuary. A place where we can come apart and worship our God in quietness and peace. A place where our focus is on the cross, where distractions of people coming in from all directions are minimized, where stage props and unused sound equipment can be stored in the provided storage areas. The additional space that will be added to the corridor gathering space should also help to set apart the sanctuary as a special place, a place where the emphasis is on drawing close to God!”

“My wife and I have been at Grace since 1983 and we were among the many families that made the transition from the south campus auditorium to the newly-built Worship Center. God has blessed us with a facility to worship and fellowship in for many years. Over the years, we have also been blessed with other facilities to expand our outreach and to provide other ministries, such as the Early Childhood Center. This has allowed us to extend outreach for our children which my family has also benefited from.

“My wife and I both agree and support that it is time to update our Worship Center. We believe by doing this we will gain a much larger worship/fellowship area to worship in. The other importance factor is the in this expansion the heating/air conditioning unit will be replaced, this will save thousands of dollars on repairs and lower utilities bills. New lighting will also be installed and this will improve cost also.

“Please join my wife and I in supporting this campaign!”

“When we began talking about Reaching Beyond, I thought the big question I had to figure out was how much I’d be able to contribute to the fundraising. What I didn’t expect was that my heart was going to be unleashed from fear and I would be given a new way to express God’s grace to a new group of people doing the thing I love to do most…cooking! God did answer my prayer about the ‘how much,’ but the unexpected bonus was a result of prayers that the staff and church were praying, a marathon five-hour study with Dr. David Platt on ‘The Gospel, Possessions, and Prosperity,’ and a remarkable year-long story involving one of my Grace Group ladies that introduced me to the OSU Star House, which is a drop-in center for homeless youth in Central Ohio. To make a long story short, God has given me a safe and fun way to step into the homeless community of 14- to 24-year-olds where I can use cooking to fill great needs, build relationships, and open up conversation with these vulnerable people. For me, that was an ‘impossible’ journey!”