Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
This Sunday we finish our "New Beginnings" message series in First Thessalonians. We will cover chapter 5, verses 12-28. I will share some principles the Apostle Paul gives on what makes a church sticky. What do I mean by that anyway? What is a sticky church? Well, it's a church where people "stick." Over these last five years at Ridgeview we have had people enter through the front doors at Ridgeview and stay awhile and then exit out the back. What if we could dramatically decrease the number of people who do not stick and increase the number of people who do? The longer I am a Pastor the more I realize what makes people stick in churches. It isn't the church that has the best worship leader/team around or the best preacher or the best facility or the best children/student ministry or the million dollar sound system. It's a church that connects people to God and His Word and a church that connects people to one another. It's a church that has it's people reading the Word of God daily and meeting together weekly in corporate worship and in smaller groups whether it be Growth Groups, Student groups, C4C children's groups, bridge groups serving together reaching out to our community, or Life Transformation Groups of two to three people. Those all enhance the stickiness factor at Ridgeview.
Over the last few months God has been speaking to me on the continued direction of Ridgeview and how to bring more people into stickiness (a growing relationship with Him and a growing relationship with their church family). I believe we as a church body as a whole must be reading more of God's Word than we ever have been before. I am attempting to foster that by systematically preaching through books of the Bible. It allows you to take the text for the week's message and read it and study it before Sunday. My sermons will be much more engaging when you've read the text for that week! Also, to foster continued growth and depth into God's Word, our Growth Groups will be studying the same passage I preach from on Sunday mornings. To add even more growth to that, I will be promoting Life Transformation Groups. Life Transformation Groups (LTGs) involve two or three people each week that get together and do three things: 1) confess sin in mutual accountability, 2) Scripture is read repetitively in context and in community, 3) souls are prayed for strategically, specifically and continuously. I believe the life-change we will see this year at Ridgeview will be unlike anything we've seen before.
We have been commanded by Christ to make disciples. I believe as we do that, stickiness will no longer be a factor we worry about; we will have to worry about what to do with all the growth we will experience: both spiritual and numerical. Will you join me in commiting yourself this new year into reading daily God's Word, finding a Growth Group and/or a Life Transformation Group, and get to work on being what God would have you be? I look forward to what He does this year.
See you then!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I just finished a book by Robert Morris entitled "The Blessed Life." It is one of the best books on giving and obedience in financial stewardship I've ever read. I will share some of the insights I've learned later in the week.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Similarly, there are clear warnings from Scripture concerning the coming of the Lord. I preached from 1 Thessalonians 5 yesterday on the "Day of the Lord." It refers to His Second Coming. The Bible very clearly tells us Jesus is coming again. Are you ready? The lyrics of an old DC Talk song come to mind: "there's no time to change your mind, the Son has come and you've been left behind." Being left behind and away from God's presence for all of eternity doesn't have to be. Jesus Christ has provided the way. Are you ready?