Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This past Monday Milo Wilson and myself loaded up his truck and dropped off the 56 "Operation Christmas Child" boxes that our church collected Sunday. Thank you Ridgeview Church for participating in a great world wide outreach. We believe that good works can be the bridge upon the good news can travel. Over 7 million shoeboxes will be shipped all over the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. That's an awesome thing to be a part of!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I am currently reading Neil Cole's book "Search and Rescue: Becoming a disciple who makes a difference." He says on page 68, "There is no greater legacy to pass on than the mission Jesus gave to us originally-to go and make disciples of all the nations. These were Jesus's last word to his disciples. Last words are lasting words." God has been laying on my heart and mind the fact I must do a better job of making disciples. Sometimes it feels like I'm making spectators. Neil Cole lays out a great plan. It starts small at first; that's hard when we're focused on numbers. But, part of my problem is I am looking at church growth and health through numbers of addition (i.e. we have 20 more this year than last). Neil says we should look not at addition but multiplication. I've been challenged on how to see church multiplication- I will get to work on it soon. You can count on that because life is too short to do anything less than the will of God.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
"The fruit the Holy Spirit produced in our lives is a far greater tool for evangelism than possessing skills. It is only through transformed lives that we will ever see the Church make global impact. 'There is a direct relationship between the power of the gospel being lived out in the lives of people in a community and how much that community is altered by the gospel.' In other words, it is how you live, not what you believe, that will transform the world."
Thursday, October 09, 2008
"The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!"
Nothing in life that is worth anything is easy. What has God called you to do? Go do it; and the moment you hit your first wall don't walk away and say, "It's just too hard." If you do, then maybe you didn't clearly hear from God or maybe you really aren't interested in giving your life to him when things get tough. I'm so glad I didn't give up when I hit my first wall of rejection by a mission agency years ago about starting a church. I even had one guy from seminary tell me I would fail. Believe me, I thought about giving up long and hard many times! As I approach our 5th anniversary I thank the Lord I didn't! What about you? What is God calling you to do? Don't give up!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This week we kicked of our Fall '08 Growth Groups. Sunday night our college group met at our home led by Patrick Knorr (he's the guy...well, I guess you can figure out who he is in the pic). We had a great meeting and then we had the Hargrove/Riggs group meet at our home Tuesday night. Again, another wonderful evening. My vision for Ridgeview even before we had our first worship service was to see our church meet throughout the community in small group Bible studies. I love what we do with our groups by not only having a time of Bible study but also these groups are serving once a month on Sunday and once a month in the community. Next up- single mom's oil change. Spiritual growth happens by taking in the word and giving out as well through service. A Christ-follower needs both in his or her life. I know I do!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
1. What is a difficult or troubling situation in your life?
2. What payoffs or benefits do you get for keeping it like it is?
3. What costs do you pay for keeping it like it is?
4. How do you create, promote, or allow it to be the way it is?
5. What do you pretend not to know?
6. What do you want?
7. What actions could you take and what requests could you make to get it?
8. When will you do that?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
Rob Smith and Tyler at the Yankees game. Later that week Tyler expressed his desire to follow the Lord in believer's baptism to his dad and me. There is no greater joy in life to see your son give the reigns of his life over to Christ!
We pushed our people hard by driving all night to get there, working all day and then sight-seeing in Manhatten at night with 3-6 hours of sleep a night. Yet, each day they worked hard and their attitudes were incredible!
Dean Lewis: One of my roommates on the trip and all around great guy! Here he is getting busy painting at IS 72. Pastor Ray from Crossroads Church in Staten Island has seen some great doors open for him and the church by groups coming up and painting the public school. I've preached this many times to our church: "Good deeds become the bridge upon which the good news can travel."
This was truly one of the best mission trips I've been on! God did an amazing thing this past week in us and through us. The key is not to leave it there but to bring it home. My prayer is that God continues to work through me throughout the summer and in the life of our church as we enter a very exciting time in the Fall.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I just finished the book mentioned above. The premise of this book: "The secret to winning and keeping customers is to reward them." Ok, as a Pastor I don't look at the people in my church as "customers." But, there is much to be applied here. Our staff team and volunteers work hard to reward those who may be first timers or long term attenders at Ridgeview Church. It comes with inspiring worship services, relationship building, opportunities for spiritual growth and service, and events each month to be outward focused in our community. In fact, tonight I received a call from a man in our church who had just come home from one of our Growth Groups led by Rob & Sandra Smith. He was rewarded by going tonight and wanted to call and let me know how much he and his wife enjoyed it. He's one satisfied Christ follower tonight. My goal is for everyone in our church and community to experience the rewards of knowing Christ and serving Him. I believe it don't get no better than that!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
This Sunday Pastor Craig Groeschel from LifeChurch.tv will be speaking at Ridgeview by means of video. He will continue the message series begun last week called "One Prayer." Craig is the originator of this campaign that is seeing many churches around the country and world take part. Pastor Craig will deliver a powerful and humorous message. His "one prayer" for the church is that God would "Make us one."
Pastor Craig shared a humorous story about someone telling him they heard their pastor say his church waters down the gospel. I had someone in my church a few years ago tell me a fellow Pastor in our area state that Ridgeview is fine for people if "all they want to do is show up on Sunday morning." This same Pastor stated about my church, "They do things differently over there." He wasn't being complimentary.
We as Christ followers can do so much more when we are united rather than divided. It is my prayer that as a Pastor I will always have a spirit of cooperation and unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ and the sister churches in my area. It isn't about competition; it's about cooperation. We have a common enemy! Imagine what we could do if we Pastors and churches focused on doing battle with him with the full armor of God rather than focusing on lesser issues.
With that thought I'm going to bed. Good night!
Monday, June 02, 2008
This past Sunday I shared with our people the good news that Ridgeview Church has officially found a home. Jeff Randolph, the developer of O'Neal Village, has graciously agreed to give our church two acres in which to build a church! We will be nestled in a mixed use commerical/residential development known as O'Neal Village. The development will have shops as well as office space. We will build the church basically on the corner of the town center square. I am delighted about this opportunity. One day our church facility will be in the middle of people going about their daily lives playing, eating, shopping, etc. This is exactly where we want to be- among people! I believe we will have an incredible opportunity to splash people everyday by showing people love and sharing how they can experience His purpose for their lives. Thanks Jeff Randolph for giving us a wonderful gift. It is an answer to prayer! Five years ago I had no idea what course Ridgeview would take. It's neat to see the doors God's Hand has opened for us. "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 4:20-21 NIV)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Clergy—87 percent percent
Firefighters—80 percent percent
Physical therapists—78 percent percent
Special education teachers—70 percent
Education administrators—68 percent
Painters and sculptors—67 percent
Security and financial services salespersons—65 percent
Operating engineers—64 percent
Office supervisors—61 percent
For every one negative experience I have as a Pastor there are ten wonderful things I enjoy about the opportunity of being a shepherd to a group of people God has entrusted me with. Let me share a few: seeing people grow, counseling people as they prepare for marriage, officiating weddings, comforting those who've lost loved ones, giving hope and encouragement to those struggling, preaching on Sunday and seeing life change by repenting of sin or commiting to an action step of growth, overseeing and being part of small groups that connect people to their church family and foster spiritual growth in their lives, leading our church to reach out to the community and being a bridge of God's love to them by single mom oil changes, community basketball tournaments and community Easter egg hunts and community Christmas eve services, and ultimately, to see people come to know Jesus and have the opportunity to baptize them showing to everyone the outward sign of an inward change.
Being a Pastor is a high privilege and I thank the Lord that He has given me this opportunity. I will have to give an account one day of how I led God's church. That's what keeps me on my knees in prayer!
Friday, February 15, 2008
I returned from my monthly trip to NYC last Saturday. I had never gotten the opportunity to venture into Central Park. My brother met me up there and we went walking through part of the park on Saturday before I returned. Neat place!
When I return to New York next month for my coaching network we will be discussing financial stewardship in the church. Unfortunately, our giving at Ridgeview has taken a major dip into January. I have to do a better job of teaching our people on giving. One thing I do know: you cannot separate giving from discipleship. Any person who claims to be a Christ follower will be a person who gives financially to his church. And when I say financially, I mean the "tithe." Some say that's Old Testament stuff, and we are now under grace. I would say I agree; in fact I believe as Christ followers we should be giving even more than the tithe, or 10% of our income. Remember, Jesus talked more about money more than any other subject. He knew that where our money goes our heart will follow. I want my heart following Jesus. Therefore, my family sends our money to support His Kingdom.