Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tonight I've got a date with my wife! My mother is coming over to watch over the boys and we're going out. We just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary last Friday. We went to the Peddlar Steak House in G'ville. In all my years I had never been to the Peddlar. It was good. We ran into a church member there; Linda Jackson. Anyway, our challenge as husbands is to never stop dating our wives- what's the advice? "Don't stop doing the things after you're married you did to court her before you were married." That's was close enough. Good advice.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Super Sunday!

Super Sunday!
I am looking forward to this Sunday as we continue a tradition at Ridgeview we call  "Super Sunday." It's a great time to worship together, eat together, and play together. That playing together means flag football after our potluck meal. Please bring some clothes you don't mind getting down and dirty in. We will have four teams with the final two playing in the championship game. It's going to be a great day so bring some food, bring your "A" game, and bring a friend! I will be using the break between 1st and 2nd Thessalonians to preach a message I'm very excited about called, "Living the Blessed Life." I believe this message Sunday has the power to set you free from a cursed life into a life of blessing.
We're All About Groups!
Don't miss the opportunity to experience spiritual growth in your life by being part of a small group. Our Spring Growth Groups semester will begin the week of Sunday, February 8, and will end the week of April 28. We will be keeping the groups basically the same with the addition of one more group on Saturday evening. If you would like to sign up for one of our Growth Groups, you can do so by: 1) emailing me at 2) signing up online at 3) signing up on the Connection card on Sunday morning 4) calling me at 630-9459.
We also have another exciting opportunity for your spiritual growth known as Life Transformation Groups (LTGs). They are groups of two to three people, same sex, who meet once  a week at anytime and anyplace for about an hour. LTGs do only three things: 1) Sin is confessed in mutual accountability 2) Scripture is read repetitively in context and in community 3) Souls are prayed for strategically, specifically, and continuously. This is one of the best ways I've seen disciples made in our church. More and more people each week are find a LTG partner. Let me know how I can help you find a partner and start on the path to growth.
See you Sunday!
Pastor Tommy

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!

Pastor Tommy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today I received my paycheck from our financial administrator. I immediately did the math and took 10% from the check and gave it back to my church. Tanya and I practice the biblical instruction of tithing and we give the first fruits of our labor to God. We don't buy groceries, pay the mortgage, etc and then if there is any money left over, we give it to our church. That's left overs and many people don't have any left over to give God when they practice that form of giving. That is not living the blessed life. That is living the faithless life. I don't want to live my life that way.
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

Years ago when I was a freshman in college, Hurricane Hugo ripped the coast of South Carolina and even made it's way into the upstate region. Everyone knew it was coming and many evacuated the area of the lowcountry. But, there were some who ignored warnings and decided to ride it out. Some who made that decision to not heed the warnings were killed. It didn't have to be.
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?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yesterday we celebrated our 5th year anniversary at Ridgeview. It has been quite a ride! I look forward to what God does in the next five years! Also, Milo Wilson put a video together of some snapshots of the last 5 years. You can find it by googling "Ridgeview Church 5 year celebration."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

This Sunday I'm excited to celebrate with you our 5th year anniversary. Did you know we had our first worship service January 11, 2004? Did you know that our church was started by Taylors First Baptist Church? Did you know we had 12 people come out of Taylors First to help us get started? I will share a few more details on our beginnings this Sunday and celebrate with you what God has done over these last five years. Dr. Frank Page, Pastor at Taylors First, will share with you his greetings and well wishes by means of video Sunday.

Also, let me encourage you to pick up your Bible today and read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Paul has an amazing passage on the coming of the Lord and the comfort of Christ's coming. My friends, Jesus is coming again! This passage will show you how you can have hope and comfort in facing death because Jesus has conquered the grave and is coming for His Church!

See you Sunday!