who we are
Engage Church exists to connect people to God, one another and their meaningful work in the earth.
Engage is rapidly growing, diversifying and expanding its influence by adding value to both the lives of individuals and to cities. This is happening not just through church attendance, but also by establishing Expressions and Launching Innovative Reconcilers.
Fully Engaged is the next big step to continue the mission.
where we began and what we’ve become
In 2013, a group of 18 people who gathered together in a living room became more than just like-minded individuals, they became world changers. With only $10,000, these men and women dedicated their lives to something greater than themselves, something they hoped would outlast their lifetimes.
Not only did we see the dream of Engage become a reality, but it was more clear than ever that we didn’t just start a church, it was something more… we started a movement.
Currently, our numbers chart above the average across all categories:
Engage’s usual Sunday attendance, as of January 2019, is 800 individuals.* The national average for Sunday morning church attendance is less than 100 people.
Engage is ethnically diverse and is pastored by an African-American pastor. Only 13% of churches in America are ethnically diverse.** Those numbers are less than 1% when it comes to churches Pastored by an African-American.
Engage’s staff consists of 4 full-time employees which puts us at a ratio of 200 attendees to 1 staff person. The the national average 76:1.
Engage is pastored by a bi-vocational Pastor. Only 37.8% of pastors are bi-vocational.***
For Engage 37% of our budget goes to staffing. The national average is 54%.****
Engage is not funded solely by congregational giving. Only 2% of the churches’ budgets are funded outside congregational giving.
Since its inception Engage has designed its structure to work primarily in collaborative spaces. We now have a robust track-record of producing diverse, collaborative spaces.
One of our greatest examples of this is Engage’s Midtown location - currently partnered with Dance Fusion Studios. DFS is home to over 400 dancers a week and is one of the most diverse and well awarded dance studios in the city.
where we’ve been
Engage has grown to become everything we hoped for and more. Here is a small sample of some of the great things that we have been able launch and grow from our church:
We have constructed a systematic approach to human purpose development. Our initiatives help men and women discover who they are and what they are made of. We equip individuals so they are able to answer the questions: “why am I here and what am I created to do?”
The Project: We have run 3 classes out of Engage Church to date with a total number of graduates reaching 55 and more on the horizon. Participants graduate with Life Blueprints that include personalized DISC, EQ, and Strengths Finders testing, a 5 year, 1 year, and 90 day plan as well as a personal manifesto, life values and other tactical working documents to help them continue to develop their skills and talents.
The Conference: On January 25th and 26th of 2019 we held our inaugural New Rules Conference, Impossible Notions. With 300 people in attendance, there were life-changing speakers, practical break-out sessions and incredible worship and performing arts components. Special guests included thought leaders and experts in the church, athletic and creative sectors both from the city and around the country.
Cuba: A team of 20 people from Engage joined larger team to the heart of Cuba. They evangelized, ran VBS for local children and worked with English classes. The team also made their mark on history when they were able to build the first addition to a church since the revolution. It was nearly 15 years since the public was permitted to carry a Bible. In fact, today people can still be fired or expelled for becoming a Christian.
St. Thomas: A member of Engage along with 2 other people jump started the church plant and campus ministry last year. They served on the campus by helping students move in, perform God tests, tabled in the cafeteria and met with students at events.
An underfunded elementary school in the middle of Tallahassee. Over 78% of is 500+ students are African American. It is currently ranked with one star as it is the 1621st of 2,118 Florida Elementary Schools.
We currently have a volunteers who help mentor students and participate as classroom aids. Engage also receives a list of families who need help around Christmas and we “adopt” them. Other forms of involvement include lunchroom incentive program, book fair volunteering and assisting with the end of the year party, The Ruediger Rally.
A community project with the dream of making lasting impact in the city. Arts Inc. is a multi-purpose assembly and performance venue serving the needs of artists, performers, arts entities/organizations, and students/teachers in our community. In addition to providing flexible space to perform, record, practice, teach and create, the organizers will leverage their experience and existing resources to provide direct educational opportunities and engagement to community youth, as well as entrepreneurial support and assistance (co-creating/co-working and incubation) to artists (existing and aspiring) to develop the business side of their chosen craft. Building upon the efforts of COCA and their arts and entrepreneurs institute (with the support of KCCI), TLH Arts Inc.., will work to create, facilitate and program the most inclusive and unique intentional collision of arts, education and economic development activities in Leon County.
Arts Inc. was awarded $1.8 million by the City of Tallahassee and a team has been assembled to see to the progression of this undertaking. Pastor Adrian and Donald Grey, an elder at Engage, currently serve on the board for this project. They help oversee strategy, fundraising, management decisions, and community collaboration. As this space unfolds, Engage will continue to play a major role in serving. Arts Inc. may also be home to an Engage Church location in the future.
The Big Give: A yearly donation from the congregation. Over the last 4 years we have given over $77,000 away to multiple causes including, but not limited to:
Hurricane Michael Relief
Every Nation GO Conference
Ruediger School and Families of Students
North Florida Freedom School
City of Lights Church Launch
Benevolence Fund for Several Families and Individuals from Engage
Church Planting and World Missions: As a part of Every Nation Ministries, Engage is partnered with a network of over 1,500 churches in 80 nations, and counting! Engage has given over $150,000 to aid church planting, and world missions.
What started as the dream of 18 dedicated individuals planning and praying in a living room, has actualized into a thriving church body in the heart of Florida's capital city.
Our vision does not stop here. We believe Engage will be a globally recognized organization, know primarily for it’s solid, and well tangled roots in the biblical doctrine and it’s unique ability to equip people with the tools and resources needed to go into the world, and evangelize the goodness of God through the intentional expressions of faith and purpose.
Establish Expressions and Launch Innovative Reconcilers
We have perfected how Engage makes maximum impact. The formula is simple: Establish Expressions and Launch Innovative Reconcilers.
What is an Expression?
The main goal of an Expression is to add value to places and spaces.
Expressions embody diversity, development, spiritual family, authenticity, innovative reconciliation.
Expressions are viable.
Financially sustainable in 3-5 years
Minimum lifespan of 3 years
What Expressions are we establishing?
Church Locations: We believe that every Engage location should bring positive cultural influence to the surrounding area.
Currently, Engage has 1 main location and the expansion of 2 additional local churches would advance the mission on several fronts. Having 3 local churches, would create more multi-use facilities, more opportunity for diverse spaces, and it would bring the church to meet people where they are at on different sides of town.
Tallahassee is an intensely divided city, both ethnically and financially. In 2015, Tallahassee tied for the highest levels of overall economic segregation in the United States.
Ruediger: Our goal is to establish a greater presence on this campus as well as grow our program to an encompassing process that works with students on leadership, character , and purpose development. The goal is to see the next generation equipped for success at an early age as well as real time results including, but not limited to: fewer referrals, fewer expulsions, higher grades, overall more students who are eager to learn and grow at school.
New Rules Project: This program has only gained traction since its genesis. Our hope is to be able to accommodate all approved applicants, which is now not feasible due to time, space, and manpower constraints.
Performing Arts Venue: Outside of the college campuses, there is no space to accomodate a venue of 500-800 people. We intend to purchase, renovate, use and rent-out a facility to meet this need in the city.
Church Plant: Pastor Adrian is driven by his passion for what he calls “The Secondary Class” of people who often go unnoticed, unappreciated, and unseen. The “Secondary Class” is made up of people that by God’s divine design are full of purpose, but for whatever reason, find themselves in the “murk” and “mire” of life and not tapping into their full potential, or in better context: Purpose. Guided by the fundamental belief that we are all given a purpose in life, Pastor Adrian inspires purpose across people, spaces, places and time in a way that shifts the very constructs of systems that have gone latent in complacency.
We believe that oftentimes, college towns fit this exact description of “The Secondary Class.” They are often gravely undervalued and severely underserved. The likelihood of an adult converting to Christianity after the age of 30 is only 4%***** This creates a small window of evangelism that is open in the lives of most college-aged individuals. These cities may not be coveted metropolitan areas, but they are ripe with potential. Because they are smaller, the time it takes to gain influence is much less than it would take in a more densely populated city. The aspect of having a bi-vocational pastor also leads to lower budgetary needs and a greater potential for quick impact in these areas.
Empathy is Free Tour: Begin a traveling symposium centered around racial reconciliation. Touring different college campuses across the country, the tour will create champions of racial reconciliation who will be able to cultivate, foster, and facilitate racial reconciliation in their respective places and spaces.
Missions Teams: Create an established, consistent team dedicated to Cuba, Panama, and St. Thomas. This team will travel to serve the local universities with the goals of evangelism and purpose development.
New Rules Conference: On January 25th & 26th of 2019, we held our inaugural New Rules Conference: Impossible Notions. With 300 people in attendance, there were life-changing speakers, practical break-out sessions and incredible worship and performing arts components. Special guests included thought leaders and experts in the church, athletic and creative sectors both from the city and around the country.
With the overwhelming success of the first conference, the Conference will turn it into a yearly national event. With the hopes to partner with other like minded organizations, we plan on regional gatherings as well.
The Path to Reconciliation: A series of writings, talks, workshops created to give church builders the tools and resources they need to gain an understanding of and facilitate communal reconciliation using faith and innovation practices. It will guide leaders to learn how to design bi-vocationally. The goal is for this to grow into an internship program.
LAUNCH INNOVATIVE RECONCILERS
Who is an Innovative Reconciler?
A person fully equipped to to connect people to God, one another and their meaningful work in the earth.
How will we launch them?
Global Impact Director: Innovative Reconciler who will create strategies and lead teams to carry out the plans for Ruediger Elementary School, and in the countries of Cuba, Panama, and St. Thomas.
TLH Arts Inc. Liaison: Innovative Reconciler who will be heavily involved with this community project. They will be highly qualified so that they may add significant value to this endeavor. This person will work for Engage at no cost to Arts Inc., as a symbol of Engage’s heart for the city of Tallahassee.
New Rules Project Director: Innovative Reconciler who will work full-time building our local New Rules Project. With our deep passion of helping people find their meaningful work, having a dedicated leader will enable us to graduate over 240 Innovative Reconcilers who will be able to carry out their meaningful work in and outside of the city.
will you join us?
While we are forever grateful for the 18 individuals who gave so much of themselves to begin this journey, we need more resources to see Engage continue this mission.
Every individual has the choice to believe that they were born at this point in history for a reason. There is great work to be done, and we invite you to become part of it.
When Engage began, our prayer was the same prayer Moses prayed in Exodus 33:15 - we never want to go anywhere without the presence of God. Since day 1, it has been something consistently prayed over this church and today we know that God is taking us somewhere new, but we know that He wants us to partner with others to get there.