Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Radical: Where do we go from here?

This Sunday we finish our Radical message series but the journey is just beginning. The words Jesus spoke concerning the rich young ruler are haunting because they apply to me. "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God...It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:23 & 25)."
Will we choose short term treasures we can't keep or long term treasures we can't lose? If we are willing to choose the latter, then let's not miss this Sunday as I share practical ways we can lay our treasure in heaven by meeting the needs of the poor and the lost. It will be a powerful day!

Pastor Tommy

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What a privilege it was to co-teach with Milo Wilson Sunday. It was a God-honoring day and I am grateful for the many of you who came and expressed your love and appreciation to the Wilson family in their last day with us. The fellowship reception after church was delightful! I was also proud of the willing servants who showed up Sunday afternoon to help them move. Ridgeview is a giving church!

This week you will be receiving your Ridgeview financial contribution statements for the quarter. As we looked at the story last Sunday of Jesus and the rich young ruler, let me remind us all of the take-aways from the message.

1) Our use of money is a sure barometer of our spiritual condition.
2) Our use of money is a sure indicator of our future eternal destination.

When Jesus commanded the rich young man to sell everything he had and give to the poor, it says in Mark 10:22, "At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth." As I shared Sunday, the rich young man's eyes were blind. He suffered from the sin of affluenza. His face was sad. Little did he know the real treasure he was walking away from. His hands were full. He had great wealth and he wasn't willing to release his grip on things.

Fleeing from our grip on money & possessions is what Christ is calling us out from. Radical abandonment for Christ is what He is calling us to. He alone brings us ultimate joy in life. The love of money and possessions will simply rob us of that joy. Don't let your joy be robbed this week!

See you Sunday!

Pastor Tommy

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Best wishes Milo, Erin, Daylia, & Hazyl Wilson!

1) This is a trustworthy saying: "If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position." 2) So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. 3) He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 4) He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 5) For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church? 6) An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. 7) Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil's trap. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 NLT

This Sunday will be the last Sunday Milo, Erin, Daylia, and Hazyl will be with us at Ridgeview. We have had quite a ride in ministry together! I have enjoyed working with both Milo and Erin as church staff members at Ridgeview. We have been a team; we have had a great partnership. When I was part of Milo's ordination, 1 Timothy 3:1-7 is the Scripture passage we looked at for qualifications as a Pastor. His character and integrity as a minister has served our church well and brought honor and glory to Jesus Christ. I look forward to hearing how God will use their family in Bulffalo, New York to be a bridge of His love to a heavily lost population.

I would like to invite you to attend our morning worship service this Sunday as we commission the Wilson family to go make disciples in Buffalo. I would also like to invite you to bring your favorite dish for an after church potluck reception in their honor at Blue Ridge Baptist Church. There will be a money tree at the reception for you to give financially to their family. I know it will certainly help them as they incur moving expenses.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday. It will be a special day!

Tommy Hargrove

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sticky Teams

I just finished this great book by Larry Osborne. It is loaded with
tons of practical advice in leading a church. One thing that struck me
in the opening pages of the book was the warning about church unity.
He states that a unified & healthy leadership team doesn't just
happen. It must be a priority. He spent two years focusing almost
solely on building a cohesive leadership team. That's one area I am
looking to improve upon in the coming months at Ridgeview. If anyone
knows of some good resources, especially in the arena of Biblical
Church Leadership (i.e. Elders based) and some sample bylaws, I'd sure
appreciate it!

Tommy Hargrove
864 630 9459

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Gospel Demands Radical Urgency- Sunday morning extension

I wanted to follow up from the message I preached Sunday on the radical urgency we must have in sharing the Gospel. I recently read a book by Mark Dever entitled, 9 Marks Of A Healthy Church. There are several insights he shares in his book that are helpful to us in the "Radical" series we are in.
First of all, in sharing the good news, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must remember it is not about simply telling people they must live right. In sharing the Gospel with someone you are calling them to repent of their sins and rely on Christ alone to save them. Jesus said in Mark 1:15, "Repent and believe the good news!" There are many things we do that we chalk up as evangelism that are not evangelism. They build bridges for evangelism to occur. But, simply doing an act of kindness for someone is not evangelism. We must open our mouths and share the Gospel for evangelism to take place.
Secondly, how radically urgent are we to share the Gospel with people? Mark Dever makes several important points in the way we share:
1) Tell people with honesty that if they repent and believe they will be saved- but it will be costly.
We must share the truth and the whole truth with them- not holding back parts that we think will offend them.
2) Tell people with urgency that if they repent and believe they will be saved- but they must decide now.
They must not wait for a better deal to come along. There is no better deal.
3) Tell people with joy that if they repent and believe the good news they will be saved. However difficult it may be, it is all worth it!
What do we gain in coming to Christ? A relationship with God, forgiveness, meaning, purpose, freedom, community, certainty, and hope. Being honest with the difficulties doesn't mean we mask the blessings.
4) Use the Bible!
We must show we are not using our words and ideas but the words and wisdom from God.
5) Realize the lives of individual Christians and of the church as a whole are a central part of evangelism.
Our lives should give credibility to the Gospel we proclaim. This is one of the reasons why we should be involved in the life of the church and why church membership is important.
6. Remember to pray.
The Adversary does not want you sharing this radical message to others. He will do things to stop you. You must bathe your radical urgency with prayer.
 I have been convicted in my own life I must turn up the heat in my urgency to get the Gospel message to everyone in this community. There are changes I made in my life this week to do just that. I pray you would do the same!
Commissioning Service & Reception For Milo Wilson Family
Please make plans to attend the commissioning service and reception for Milo & Erin Wilson and their family next Sunday, October 17. It will be their last Sunday with us. We will commission them in the morning worship service as they head to Buffalo, New York to work with The Well Church, a new church plant. We will have a potluck reception immediately following the morning worship service at Blue Ridge Baptist in their fellowship hall. The church will provide the soft drinks and paper products. You are encouraged to bring monetary gifts to place on a "money tree" that will be at the reception. We look forward to blessing them as they embark upon their new ministry opportunity.
Pastor Tommy

Tommy Hargrove
864 630 9459