FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the mission of Gulf Community Church?
Our mission is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We hope to inspire people to follow Jesus because we have learned personally that Jesus makes your life better, and makes you better at life. We accomplish our mission by creating environments where people are encouraged and equipped to pursue intimacy with God, community with insiders, and influence with outsiders.
What does it mean that we are a “Partner Church” of North Point Ministries?
North Point Ministries is the parent organization of North Point Community Church, its 8 Atlanta-area campuses, and numerous Partner Churches across the world. Gulf Community Church is a Partner Church of North Point Ministries. That means that we are part of a network of churches that share the same mission, strategy, values and beliefs as North Point Ministries, but are a separate entity.
Is this a video church?
As a Partner of North Point Ministries, our typical service consists of both local, live elements as well as live broadcast elements of worship and teaching from North Point Community Church. We have a several Teaching Pastors including Andy Stanley, as well as our local Lead Pastor, Jake Miller.
I heard that Gulf Community Church is a non-denominational church. What does non-denominational mean?
It means that we are not affiliated with a denomination, such as Baptist, Methodist, etc. In organizing this church, our foremost desire was to be an attractive environment for those who do not regularly attend church. For the most part, our feeling is that denominational titles mean more to churched people than unchurched people. We clearly state what we believe on the “Who We Are” page of our website.
What is the leadership structure?
The phrase we use to describe the function of government at Gulf Community Church is that we are guarded by the Elders (Steering Team), guided by the Staff, and gifted through the attendees. However, in more specific terms, the church government is built around three teams of people.
The Staff Team consists of those employed by the church. The purpose of this team is to lead the church, determine programming, give vision to the various ministries, and to oversee the day-to-day operations.
The Steering Team functions primarily as discerners and shepherds. They serve as the conscience and guardians of the church. Their role is to evaluate everything going on in the church in light of three things; our mission, our resources and our doctrinal statement. The Steering Team consists of men and women who serve 2-year terms. Steering Team members are chosen by the Lead Pastor and meet the qualifications of Elders/Overseers outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-11 and Titus 1:5-9.
The Stewardship Team oversees the financial matters with the goal of preserving the financial health of the church. The Stewardship Team is made up of men and women who serve 2-year terms. Stewardship Team members are chosen by the Lead Pastor and typically work, or have worked, in the financial space.
Why doesn’t Gulf Community Church have Adult Sunday School?
We believe that sustained life change happens best in the context of a small group environment within a home. A small group environment is a place where people can pursue spiritual growth and authentic relationships. By encouraging adults to meet in homes during the week, rather than on Sunday mornings, our attendees can participate with a volunteer team on Sunday mornings. We have also found that meeting in a home is a safe, predictable environment where no one slips through the cracks. Additionally, we feel that the strategy of meeting in homes is a good stewardship of our resources that would otherwise go towards adult education facilities.
What is the financial situation?
We are 100% dependent on the generosity of our attenders. We are not funded by North Point Ministries. As a church, we strive to be great stewards of all that is given to us as an organization and to be transparent with our financial status. Financial records are available upon request. Your generosity to our church and, more importantly, what God is doing in the lives of people through our church, is greatly appreciated. Gulf Community Church is a 501(c)(3) organization, and as such all gifts are tax-deductible. You can give to our church online by visiting this page.
What about membership?
At Gulf Community Church, we want you to know that the moment you walk through the doors, you belong here and can consider this place your church home, no title needed. Since we don’t have traditional membership, you won’t be able to “join” the church as a “member” – but we hope you become fully engaged in the life of the church. You can engage with us through serving strategically, connecting in a group, inviting others, and giving systematically. Those who are fully engaged with us are considered our members.
Serve: We believe when people engage in service it leads to life change. Whether you serve on a ministry team in our church or in our community, God calls us to serve one another.
Connect: Growing spiritually doesn't happen when we know what Jesus says. It happens when we apply what he says. Application happens best within the context of community. To grow spiritually, you have to be connected relationally.
Give: We are 100% dependent on the sacrificial giving of the people here at The Gulf. It’s what allows us to create excellent environments.
Invite: We believe it's vital that as we become fully engaged in church, we invest in unchurched people in our lives.
When did Gulf Community Church start?
Gulf Community Group began when a small group of 9 people dreamed of starting a different kind of church for their community. A church where people could come as they are. A church where they could belong before they were even sure if they believed. A church where people could not wait to bring their friends. A church where next steps would be clear and simple. A church where people would willingly invest their time and resources to make a difference.
The dream that began with nine people in a living room has become a reality. Together and committed, God began to shape and grow their core group into what is now known as Gulf Community Church.
In early 2018, we hired our first Lead Pastor, Jake Miller, and partnered with North Point Ministries (NPM) as a Partner Church. Though Gulf Community Church is an independent church led by our staff, driven by our volunteers, and guarded by our Steering Team, we are excited to be able to leverage North Point’s experience and network of like-minded churches in order to maximize our effectiveness at leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus.
What is the long-term vision for the church?
Simply put, our long-term vision is to create a church that unchurched people in Naples will love to attend. Everything we do is pointed toward that goal. We program and plan with the unchurched guest in mind because we believe the local church isn’t just for church people – it’s for all people.
Our strategic plan over the next several years includes launching and growing Family Ministry Environments for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school aged children and students, Small Groups for adults, and regular Community Service projects. As those environments begin to take shape, and as we continue to grow, we will look toward a permanent space for our Sunday gatherings.
Will you always stream your services from North Point?
We are committed to creating the best possible environment for our attendees on Sunday mornings. At this time, we believe streaming a large portion of our service from one of our Atlanta area campuses is the best way to accomplish this goal. Currently, a typical service at Gulf Community Church features a live host with video-driven worship and teaching. Our local Lead Pastor communicates live on a regular basis as well, and we plan to introduce live, local worship music in the future.
How can I get connected to a Volunteer Team?
Stop by the Guest Services Desk on a Sunday morning, or visit this page.
How can I get connected to a Community Group?
Stop by the Guest Services Desk on a Sunday morning, or visit this page.
Will we ever have our own building?
We certainly hope so. Our dream is to one day have a permanent facility for our church. However, we do not view a building as a destination for our church, but rather a natural next step in the growth of our ministry in Naples. Not only would we utilize a permanent facility for our Sunday services and other ministry-related events throughout the week, we would make our facility available for public use.
If you have any further questions that were not answered above, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.