Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How our last message series on Galatians and our current series in James should compel all of us to be involved with Mega Sports Camp next week!

Okay, that's probably the longest title for my article I've ever had! Nevertheless, I would like to make my case why you should be involved with Mega Sports camp next week. In our last message series in Galatians we read chapter 6 verse 10 which states, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith." Here is an incredible opportunity we have to work for the good of over one hundred kids at sports camp. The opportunity we will use in sharing the gospel is the platform of sports. Did you know sports touches about 90% of our population? What an opportunity to mix sports + evangelism to = kids coming to Christ! Also, did you know over 80% of people come to Christ before the age of twelve? We must make wise use of the opportunity we have with the kids God will bring our way next week!
In our current series in the book of James, Milo Wilson, our Worship and Student Pastor, will be preaching this Sunday in James 1. One of my favorite verses in that chapter states in verse 22, "But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." Mega Sports camp will provide all of us an opportunity to be "doers of the word..." It will be a fun way to play sports, share God's Word with kids, sing and get excited in the worship rally, and to present the good news of Jesus. Again, what an opportunity to be a doer of the word!
So, how can you be involved in Mega Sports camp? There are several ways: First of all, we need people to pray. If you can't come for one reason or another, would you commit to pray daily for the kids and coaches and that the gospel would take root in the hearts of many kids? Secondly, would you give financially? There is a large upfront cost to getting ready for camp such as purchasing Bible study materials, t-shirts and backpacks, snacks, publicity materials, etc. Would you be willing to make a financial donation to help see kids come to Christ? You can give online at or send a gift in by mail at our church mailing address (PO Box 1077, Taylors SC 29687). Thirdly, you can serve each night. We already have head coaches in place but could always use more huddle coaches, registration greeters, snack helpers, nursery workers, etc. If you haven't signed up to help but feel it would be the best investment of your time next week for five nights, please contact our Mega Sports camp director Beth Farmer at 918-8278 or .
Kids will come to Christ next week through Mega Sports camp. I can't think of a more important way to spend my five nights next week being a part of that experience. Let me know how you'd like to be involved. I would love to hear from you!
Pastor Tommy

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

C.H.A.M.P.S. This Sunday!

C.H.A.M.P.S. This Sunday!
I am looking forward to being with you this Sunday as we will have with us Don Matthews, director of the Church Health & Revitalization office with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Don will be preaching Sunday morning and will stay with us after church for a light meal. Afterwards, he will administer a church health survey that is about one hundred questions. If you are unable to be here we will have extra surveys you can fill out when you return. This survey/tool will help our church realize where we are and what is necessary to move to the next level of health and growth for the purpose of expanding the Kingdom. I would like to thank John Mauldin for making many phone calls to our people inviting them to attend. I would also like to thank you in advance for coming this Sunday and sharing your thoughts. I believe the input we receive from this survey will help our church make giant leaps in fulfilling our purpose of being a bridge of God's love to all people so they may experience His purpose for their lives.
See you Sunday! 
Pastor Tommy

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Two days ago I stopped by the local home improvement store. It's orange on the outside. I was looking for a lawn mower part. The guy in lawn and garden didn't have it but radioed to another co-worker in another department. Coming from the other end of the radio I heard, "Can't help him. I'm on break." The guy in lawn and garden looked at me sheepishly and said, "Sorry sir." I'm sorry too! I couln't find the part I was looking for in there. I promptly went across the street to another home improvement store. It's blue on the outside. Much better help there. There's a reason there's more cars in their parking lot.

When someone new comes through the doors of the churches we call home, do we do the same thing? "Find the worship, kid's area, bathroom, etc yourself." I hope not! Sometimes it means you leave that conversation with an old friend in the hallway when someone new walks through the doors and looks like they're totally clueless where to go. If we don't do that, they'll do what I did at the home improvement store. Walk out and probably won't return.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Tim, Anna, & Judah Norton- Internation Mission Board appointees to Madagascar

Did you know that when you give each Sunday a portion of your offering goes to what is known as the "Cooperative Program?" Ridgeview Church contributes financially with thousands of other Southern Baptist Churches in pooling our resources together. We are able to send people like the Norton family from our church to take the gospel to unreach people groups all over the world. Please be in prayer for the Nortons as they will soon be working with the Tenali people of Madagascar. Many have never heard the good news of Jesus.To stay posted on their work you can check out . Their email address is


Are you tired of work?

Pictured above is our church trailer. Probably 10 1/2 months out of the year that trailer arrives at the back of Mountain View Elementary and a team of five to eight people arrive at 8 am to unload it. Items unloaded are: sound equipment, media projectors, children's ministry equipment (chairs, tables, bouncy seats, toys), banners, cleaning supplies, offering baskets, literature for the different tables we set up, and on and on it goes. It takes a lot of work just to be ready by 10:30 a.m. for our morning worship. On more than one occasion I have been physically drained from set up on Sunday and the worship service had not even begun.
Where am I going with this? Well, this Sunday we will finish up this great book of the Bible known as Galatians. Let me encourage you to read the sixth chapter for this Sunday. When I am physically tired and weary at times from the demands of ministry, I recall Galatians 6:9-10 which states, 9) So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up. 10) Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.    
Three words stick out to me: tired, reap, and work. Being a bridge of God's love to all people is work. When we work at being a bridge of God's love to all people we will get tired. Yet, here's the promise; "we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up." In the context of this verse it ultimately points to our salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Ultimately, we will reap eternal life. But also, I believe when we tirelessly work for the good of all sharing the grace of Christ and the truth of Christ, we will reap a harvest of people that will ultimately share that eternal life with Christ along with us. That's what keeps me going. That's what keeps you going. I cannot thank the tireless "workers" at Ridgeview who are all playing a part to bridge people to Jesus Christ.
I'd like to close with an email I received from a preschool Sunday School teacher in our church. Recently, because our church was a bridge of God's love to the community, some kids were in her Sunday School class we had reached. Here's what she wrote: 
I just wanted to tell you what a "high" I experienced yesterday as I spent an hour with (some guest children) our pre-school class for the morning.  They had not heard the story of Noah's Ark (I still can't get over that)!  I was so amazed at the attention they gave as I told the story and then they actually asked questions (what happened to all the other people that weren't on the ark?).  It was exciting to be a small part of their exposure to a glimpse of God's love for His people and His faithfulness to our obedience.  They are great kids...Before church yesterday morning I prayed that God would use me as His instrument and the kids would see Him in a real way.  I really think God revealed Himself to those kids yesterday.  It was awesome!  I'm praying they will come back for more!                                                                                                                                
When you volunteer your time and talents at a Tunes on Trade, a free single mom's oil change, a preschool, children, or student minstry event, or come set up at 8 a.m. you are a link in the chain. When you give financially your tithe and even above the tithe for the offering, you are a link in the chain. You are linked together with others of us at Ridgeview and the larger body of Christ to change the world one life at a time. So, let's not become weary in doing good. People matter to God and He's called us to reach out to them and share about His Son, Jesus. I am so glad to be on this mission with you, Ridgeview Church!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Greetings From New York!

Our Ridgeview mission team arrived here in Staten Island Sunday
morning after traveling all night in our rented Kia mini van. We
attended worship at Crossroads Church. They meet in a school like us.
We've been working with them this week to build bridges here on the
island. Monday morning we met a bus stop and passsed out several dozen
bottled waters to travelers. Actually, I found more favor giving it to
the actual bus drivers as they stopped! We kicked off the sports camp
with an amazing 130 kids this week and our numbers are climibing. Last
year the most we had was 80. We've spent the rest of the afternoon
painting the third floor of the school on behalf of Crossroads. It
really does make a difference when you serve the community. Many doors
have opend for Pastor Ray (seen above with us) with school officials
to share the gospel because of his church having painted many
classrooms. Good deeds become the bridge upon which the good news can


Many thanks to Sean Brady for securing an ice-cream truck last
Saturday for our Saturday service. Sean, Beth Farmer. Sandee Stroud,
myself, and Sean's friend and ice-cream truck owner drove around the
community passing out ice-cream and water: all free. Several people
wanted to know more about Ridgeview and where we meet. It was one of
the most unique outreaches we've done!

Renee Smith
This past Saturday before we left for New York I received the news
Renee Smith had passed away from Lou Gehrig's disease. I was able to
meet with the family that afternoon and express my love and
appreciation for their beloved daughter and sister. Did you know Renee
attended our very first mission trip as a church to Augusta, Maine?
She was one of the very first to start attending the "First Saturday
of Service" bridge projects we began. She had such a tender heart and
will be greatly missed. Please pray for her parents, Joe & Terry,
along with her brother Ronnie.

Governor Sanford & Sermon this Sunday
As I was on the subway in the city this week I overheard two men
speaking about our Governor, Mark Sanford. They were laughing at his
infidelity and what he has said he represents as a Christian. This is
such a shock to me and the actions our Governor has taken. As we
continue our series in Galatians this Sunday, one thing that jumps out
to me concerning this life of following Christ. Galatains 5:16 states,
"I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire
of the flesh." Too many Christians have fallen because they have not
been walking by the Spirit. They have been yielding to their flesh and
sinful desires. I look forward to opening Galatians to show you how
you can walk by the Spirit and starve your flesh. It's a timely
message for the days in which we live and what we all face on a daily
basis. I look forward to being with you again Sunday!

Pastor Tommy