What are you asking me to do?
First and foremost, we are asking that you pray and seek God’s direction on what He is asking of you. Prepare your heart to hear Him and then listen to what He says. Take your next step. Engage in personal reflection with God in this journal. Talk with your spouse, your family, or others you trust about what this commitment will mean for this next exciting season of your life.
We are asking that you make a sacrificial commitment to gospel-centered generosity—whatever it is that God leads you to do. Follow His leading.
Finally, we ask that you prepare to be amazed. We serve an awesome God, and He is going to move in huge ways. We anticipate an unprecedented impact from our collective Decades commitments—something only God can do.
What is the primary goal of Decades?
We are more focused on everyone who is a part of the Bayou family seeing their giving as an integral part of the discipleship process and then being challenged by God to take a next step. The bulk of this journal is focused on helping us dig into some key biblical principles that guide us in this area as we follow Jesus. This is our first priority—100% participation in the process. Even if someone wrote us a check today for $18 million, we would still do this initiative. Whether we’re just starting in our giving journey or we’re very committed givers, we all have a next step to take and room to grow in this area.
How does $18 million over two years compare to current giving at The Bayou Church?
Our current annual giving is approximately $4.25 million, multiplied by two years is $8.5 million. So, in essence, we’re believing God to grow our resources approximately $4.75 million per year for a total financial target of $18 million.
Are we getting an insurance payout for the destruction of the Ministry Center? How is that included in the plan for Decades?
Yes! We have already received an insurance payout of over $1 million from the destruction of the Ministry Center. These funds will be needed in addition to the $18 million target for Decades in order to complete the future expansion plan.
Does The Bayou Church currently have any debt?
No! Because of the faithfulness, generosity, and sacrifice of the Bayou Family over the past 50 years (five decades!), we do not carry any current debt on our facility.
Are there additional ways besides cash that I can give toward Decades?
Be creative as you explore ways you and your family can give toward Decades. You might have some stocks, property, or other items of that nature. Or you may have stored resources that God has blessed you with in the past that He might be calling you to give during this time. Please let us know if you need assistance with facilitating gifts of property or stock, and we would be happy to help you. Deana Young, our Director of Operations, is able to assist with all such gifts. ([email protected])
What if I have never given to The Bayou Church before?
Decades was crafted specifically with you in mind. Decades is a “one fund” generosity initiative. It’s different from a traditional capital campaign where you are called to give an extra gift above and beyond your normal giving, thus creating two steps for people who aren’t yet giving. Decades is a call to sacrificial, gospel-centered generosity for absolutely everyone who is a part of the Bayou Family. If you have never given before, this is your chance to get in the game with a committed sacrifice. We pray that you will.
How long is my commitment?
We originally asked that everyone make a two-year (24-month) commitment. The fulfillment period for those commitments began in March of 2022 and it will culminate in February of 2024. But you're not too late to get started now! We suggest that you simply plan for your commitment to end in February of 2024.
Why isn't there a designated Student area in the new building? Why isn't there something for Students on Sunday mornings?
The main reason for both of these things is that both our experience and multiple long-term studies have shown that one of the primary things to influence the long-term faith of students is their integration with the larger life of the church during their teenage years. We have intentionally designed both the space in our future building as well as our Student programming to encourage participation of our students in the broader life of the church. We want them to attend the Sunday morning services and find a place to serve on Sunday mornings so they are no longer set apart from all of that.
Our commitment to age-specific ministry also compels us to have a separate Students Sunday Night program that includes worship, teaching, and small groups (and that complete experience lasts about 2 hours). By keeping all of those things together, we ensure 100% participation in student small groups, which are a key component to our strategy to forge life-long faith in each student. So while our birth to 5th grade ministries need to be separated in order to provide the best experience for kids, our students need to make the transition from being separate to being integrated into the broader life of the church.
What if I don’t have a job right now? What does that mean for my Decades commitment?
Decades is about your total, radical, sacrificial generosity to God’s mission at The Bayou. We believe that God calls us to action in times of hardship just as much as He does in times of abundance, and that looks different for every person. Decades is about a heart change—one that is only accomplished by surrendering our lives completely over to God in this area of giving in order to expand the reach of the message of Jesus for decades to come. That may mean that you are being challenged to sell things, to pick up odd jobs, or even to trust God in faith by making a commitment that you don’t quite know how to fulfill right now but that you believe God will provide for, as you seek for ways to work towards that commitment. We would like for 100% of us to be a part of Decades so that we can all be supporting, loving, encouraging, and praying for one another through this spiritually-stretching season at The Bayou Church.
What if I am severely in debt right now? Am I still supposed to give?
If you are someone currently seeking to make payments to pay off debt right now, we commend you for making progress on that. And you should continue to do so. We would be happy to help you in this journey and/or to recommend a budgeting class that might minister to you. Being in debt does not, however, “excuse” someone from giving. Giving isn’t about what God wants from you; rather, it’s about what God wants for you. It should be our joy and privilege to give at all times. Please email us at [email protected] if you need assistance with this or if you would like to speak with a budgeting counselor. We would be honored to help you!
What if I’m new to The Bayou Church?
Decades is about the vision for our church and our personal discipleship in giving as followers of Jesus. We believe that the local church is one of the most compelling missions to give toward, and we would really love for you to make The Bayou Church your home and join us in Decades. If you are ready for it, this is a perfect time for you to put a stake in the ground and make this your church.