Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Clergy Appreciation Month

Pastors Tommy and Milo are presented appreciation notes and gift cards for "Clergy Appreciation Month" from Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Milo and me were pleasantly surprised Sunday night at the Fall Festival by your kindness in recognizing us and showing us your appreciation of our ministry at Ridgeview Church. There is nothing like being in full-time Christian ministry working in a church like Ridgeview. We get to experience the highs of life with you (baptisms, weddings, births of new family members, graduation, service projects, mission trips). We get to experience the lows of life with you (funerals, marriage problems, school issues, health issues/hospital, loss of job). We've prayed for you, encouraged you, challenged you, and sought to help you experience the abundant life Christ has promised (John 10:10). At times, ministry can take a toll on Pastors. I read a survey a while back done by the Barna research group and Focus on the Family that relayed some sobering statistics:
  • Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
  • Fifty percent of pastors' marriages will end in divorce.
  • Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
  • Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
  • Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression
  • Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
  • Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons.
Those are sobering statistics! We are both grateful to be serving in a church like Ridgeview. This is an incredible church family! We both are giving God our best by serving alongside you. First Thessalonians 5:12-13 from the Message states, "And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!" Your encouragement last Sunday night was most appreciated and means a lot to both of us. We'll continue to do our best with God's help to lead Ridgeview to maximize her potential to bring God the greatest glory!
Pastor Tommy 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Festival Fellowship This Sunday!

Fall Festival Fellowship This Sunday!
This is my favorite run of the year- the trifecta of Halloween/Fall Festivals, Thanksgiving, & Christimas! We kick it off this Sunday for our Fall Festival fellowship at the home of Sandee Stroud from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. There will be good food (potluck), games, a bonfire to make smores, all culminating in trunk or treat. So, bring some candy, dress up your trunk, and be prepared to scare little children. See you then!
Earthmovers series continues this Sunday with "4 keys to a life of miracles"
Last Sunday, a first time guest shared with me how excited he was about this message series we've started. This Sunday I will share four essential keys to living a life of miracles. I look forward to sharing with you some stories on how God has been working through these principles in my own life and in the lives of people I know.
See you Sunday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Earth movers: You were born for this" message series begins this Sunday!

"Earth movers: You were born for this" message series begins this Sunday!
Recently, I read Bruce Wilkinson's latest book entitled, You were born for this: 7 keys to a life of predictable miracles. It impacted me greatly. This Sunday we are going to base our new message series from the principles of this book which bases its principles from the Bible. Our series is based on the premise that God wants to work through (a "Special Delivery Agent") you to accomplish only what He can do to significantly change someone's life for the better.
Imagine if you will a lifestyle of where God works through you in unexplainable ways to do miracles on a regular basis. God is waiting for obedient people to say "here I am" to move on this earth what He wants done. You were born to live a supernatural life doing God's work by God's power.You were born to walk out of your door each morning believing God will use you to deliver a necessary miracle today. This message series will show you how!
I will see you Sunday!
Pastor Tommy

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ridgeview Church Health Summary Results: The good and the areas of improvement

This summer over fifty people from Ridgeview Church participated in a
survey administered by the church health department of the South
Carolina Baptist Convention. I received the results from our church
consultant, Dennis Lynn, who went over them personally with me. We
then met with our Advisory Team two weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon to
go over the results with them. I'd like to share some of these results
with you. We scored strongest in worship, followed by ministry, and
then fellowship. Our lowest areas were: evangelism, followed by
prayer, and our lowest category we scored in was that of discipleship.
You can see our actual results from the bar graph above.

What does this reveal to me? It confirms what I already knew about our
church and has made me aware of the things we need to work on. It has
given me great hope and optimism. We have already begun working on
areas we need improvement in (i.e. evangelism and discipleship) and
will continue to do so during this Fall season. The next step for our
church is what is known as a collaborative workshop. It will be a
Friday night and Saturday morning time for us to meet with our other
church consultant, Don Matthews. We will come together to seek input
and more solutions on how our church can maximize our fullest
potential. We will see ways we can better fulfill our purpose to be a
bridge of God's love to all people so they may experience His purpose
for their lives. I will be getting dates to you soon on when this
workshop will be conducted. Due to the busyness of the season, our
Advisory team has recommended it be held in the first quarter of 2010.

God is at work at Ridgeview Church! There are exciting things planned
this month and next for all six of the categories measured from the
survey. It is a joy to be on this journey with you!

In Christ,

Pastor Tommy