Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Milo Wilson - Leaving Ridgeview Church from Ridgeview Church on Vimeo.

This past Sunday Milo Wilson shared with our church the news concerning the next step of God's will for him and his family. That next step will be to join Pastor Darrick Castranova and a new Southern Baptist Church that will have a September launch date in Buffalo, New York. This is a huge gain for the Kingdom of God! We get to have one of our own go and help start a new church in one of the least evangelized areas of our nation. Not only that, one of the values taught in our membership class is the "Multiplication of churches and leaders" (Acts 13:2). Did you know that the multiplication of churches is one of the most effective means of evangelism we have? Did you know that in order to reach our nation for Christ we must start new churches? Praise God for how He has been working in Milo's heart to take seriously his role in the Great Commission. Many lives will be changed in the great city of Buffalo because of Milo & Erin's obedience.

Now what? Obviously, there will be a need to replace his leadership in our worship and student ministry areas. Our Advisory Team will be working with me in finding the right persons to build upon the foundation he has built. I would ask you to do two things: 1) Pray for our Advisory Team as we seek God's will in the ministry search, 2) Let us know of anyone you feel would be a viable candidate for these ministry areas.

I mentioned Sunday that God has always provided great staff team members at Ridgeview. We will all miss Milo, Erin, Daylia, & Hazyl and their presence with us each Sunday as they transition out Sunday, October 24. But, as I said Sunday, I see some neat partnerships developing between Ridgeview Church and The Well Church in Buffalo. I am excited about what God is going to do in their lives and what God is going to do in our church! He is able to do "immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine..." (Ephesians 3:20).

In Christ,

Pastor Tommy

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fall 2010 Growth Group Semester to be one of our best!

Brace yourself! I believe that if you sign up (& attend) a Fall Growth Group semester at Ridgeview you will be a radically different person by the end of this year! No small claim to make I know. But, I am passionate about the journey we will take as a church. Our theme will be "Radical: Taking your faith back from the American Dream." Much of the study will be based on the best selling book by Dr. David Platt. The power of this semester will be in its concentration. I will be preaching for 8 weeks on the radical theme. Our Growth Groups will align their study with the messages.We will be challenged by the words of Jesus and what it means to truly be His disciples and to obey what we know. We will also be challenged to take the "Radical Experiment," a one year journey of discipleship that will transform how we live in a world that has so many needs.

Here is what you will receive in the Fall Group Semester:

1. The Radical Growth Group material

Each Growth Group will go over specific facilitation questions related to the passages studied on Sunday morning and will explore them in more depth.

2. A Life Journal

Each Growth Group member will be challenged to read through the Bible and to journal daily. We will have Life Journals included with the Growth Group materials that will show you how to journal using the S.O.A.P. plan. Also included will be read through the Bible passages that will help you stay on track.

3. Summit Groups!

Our Ridgekidz will also be going through this material on Wednesday evenings during the Fall semester. We are changing the name to "Summit Groups" from Champions 4 Christ (C4C). They will also be provided a Life Journal known as SOAPY with a reading plan. The kids journal has a reading plan for different ages. Kids ages 8 and under read the first (pink) column of Scripture (usually 2 or 3 verse), kids age 9 & 10 read both the first and second (yellow) columns of Scripture (about 6 verses) and kids 11 & 12 read all three columns (purple is #3) and that's around 15 - 20 verses long. And of course, they can read beyond their age group if they want to!

I strongly encourage you to sign up for a Growth Group this semester. Our Growth Groups are listed below in the Grow section of this email newsletter with options on how you can sign up. I also encourage you to involve your Ridgekidz or Ridgestudents in the groups we have for them. I believe this will be a time of unprecedented spiritual growth in the life of our church. I look forward to seeing you on this journey!

In Christ,

Pastor Tommy

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What is God's Will?

What is God's Will?
This Sunday I will begin a new series entitled, "What's God's Will For Me?" There are so many decisions to be made in life. Should I get married? Is it him or her? Should I go to college? Should I take that job? I already have a good job. Should we have another baby? Should we adopt? Our decisions do matter! It's been said we make our decisions and then our decisions make us. Many people, perhaps even you, wonder what is God's will concerning the particular issue they are facing. I look forward to this series as we unpack this great question many have, "What's God's Will For Me?" I am not promising a mechanical formula of step one, two, three equals knowing the will of God. What I am promising is God wants you to know His will and there are things you can do today to discern it.
One thing I do know; God's will is that we seek to be a bridge of His love to all people. 1 John 4:18 states, "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." I am so proud to be part of church that puts actions behind it's love. Pictured above is Blue Ridge High Principal Renee Watson (center) and teachers as we served them Wednesday morning with Panera bagels and coffee. We're serving the Blue Ridge High marching band dinner Thursday night. We served over 90 kids last week through the Mega Sports ministry and we saw over 40 receive Christ! God's will is being accomplished at Ridgeview Church!
See you Sunday!


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Owning our Community

Owning our Community
Last night we began our first night of Mega Sports Camp with Northwood Baptist Church (see picture above). It got off to a great start and I came home grateful for the volunteers from Ridgeview and Northwood who made it happen. It is a Kingdom thing and it's great to see two churches working together for one purpose: to see kids come to know Christ and to help them grow in their faith. I've been challenged this year to "own" my community. That is to say, to take responsibility for every man, woman, boy, and girl in Blue Ridge. I want to make sure that every one of them has an opportunity to hear the good news of Christ, to repent of their sins and trust Christ for salvation, and to see their lives transformed as they live for Christ and not for self. I also realize that our church cannot reach them all. We must partner with other churches in our community. It is not about being the biggest church in our community (and yes, we want to grow numerically) but seeing our community churched. So, if a church down the street is doing a wonderful job in a certain ministry, let's pray for them, support them, encourage them, etc. Let's celebrate they are reaching people and look at a need in our community that no one else is meeting. It is about the advancement of the Kingdom of God! To this end we must labor!