Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rediscovering Biblical Discipleship

This past Monday & Tuesday John Mauldin, CJ Cauble, Paul Eill, Tanya Hargrove, and myself attended a conference at Trinity Point Church in Easley. This conference was called Immersion I. The point of the conference was to help churches rediscover Biblical discipleship. Okay, I know what you are thinking. Pastor Tommy has gone off to another conference and now he's going to try the latest church growth fad on us. Well, actually we have some great structure in place to continue to make disciples. This conference reiterated the things we are doing right, and how we can do them even better.

Some things we were reminded about in discipleship:

1) God's plan is relational discipleship- We weren't created to do life alone. To be successful in our relationship with God and in the mission He gave us requires relationship with one another. (John 15:4-5, Hebrews 3:12-13).

2) God's plan is intentional leadership: Jesus focused his resources on making disciples. He was a coach and didn't play all the positions himself. He invested in a few to reach the world and released his key players to develop other leaders.

We as a church must do the same. Also, as we develop intentional leadership we must all be on the same page. We must be in alignment. The key areas we must be in alignment are: 1) Theological alignment- we are a Southern Baptist church. We teach our key doctrines in our membership class. 2) Aligned philosophically- our vision is where we're going, our mission is how we are going to get there, and our process is the tools or road map to the mission. It is the intentional discipleship process. 3) Aligned relationally, 4) Aligned organizationally.

3) Relational Environments (Growth Groups!): We have always believed that true discipleship comes through relational environments with real teaching through God's word and by interacting with it.

As we continue to work through this process, we will be training our leadership on the discipleship process where we can see where people are and help to move them out of that stage into a deeper level of commitment to Christ. Our goal is to move everyone in our church into a mature, parent level discipleship where they are discipling others. We believe this is best accomplished through our Growth Groups. We will be implementing some incredible, life- changing Bible teaching through what is known as Bible storying.

I know this is a lot to process. In many ways this has been helpful for me to put in writing the things we've been through the last couple of days. I promise, this is not a conference we went to and the notebook will end up collecting dust on my bookshelf. You will see our church do a better job of making disciples in the months to come. After all, that's what Jesus called us to do!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

From Pastor Tommy

Wow, great week! Lots of great stuff happening in the life of Ridgeview Church!

1) The Advisory Team, upon the recommendation of the student search team, has approved CJ Cauble to be our new Pastor to students. CJ brings a wealth of experience to this position. He has served churches in Rocky Mount, NC and Ware Shoals, SC. He is a graduate of North Greenville University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has preached numerous times for me in my absence. Welcome aboard, CJ!

2) Stepping up our bridging! We had some great bridging opportunities this week in our community with our bridging with bread and Dunkin Donut Coffee Giveaway at Blue Ridge Middle. I will let the video share the rest:

3) Jonah series begins this week! I promise this will be a powerful message series. Here's where we are heading:
March 20- The Jonah In Us
March 27- Jonah's Prayer
April 3- Jonah Obeys
April 10- Jonah's Anger
April 17-(Palm Sunday) Act II Drama Team from North Greenville University (The Book Of Jonah Drama)

4) So proud of Kathy Green and family! Last Sunday they brought to church a young girl named Alexis that we saw come to Christ in our Good News Club a few weeks ago who is unchurched. That's what being a bridge of God's love is all about!

Also, the recent events in Japan have been awful to watch and read about. If you would like to help financially, let me encourage several options. You can write a check to Ridgeview Church and memo: Japan Earthquake Relief. We will send it to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. They have personnel on the ground in Japan and will meet physical and spiritual needs of the Japanese people.

Also, if you want to give directly to the IMB: 
The IMB has established a relief fund for the Japan earthquake. Donations may be sent to Office of Finance, International Mission Board, 3806 Monument Ave., Richmond, Va. 23230. In the memo line write "Japan Response Fund." Or you can give online by going to imb.organd clicking on the "Japan response" button. For further information call the IMB toll-free at (800) 999-3113.

I also recommend Samaritan's Purse organization led by Franklin Graham. You can give online at

Pastor Chip Ingram has a great video blog response to this tragedy entitled, "How Jesus Would Respond To The Tsunami." 

May the peace of Christ be with you this week. I look forward to celebrating Him with you this Sunday!

Pastor Tommy

Tommy Hargrove
twitter: @TommyHargrove
864 630 9459

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Random things I wanted to pass along...

*Lance Owens from SSI physical therapy will be sharing some thoughts this Sunday as we finish our series on A Bod For God. It's been a great series to focus us on the importance of taking care of the body God has given us.

*Dunkin Donuts free coffee giveway Thursday morning at Mountain View Elementary went well! Wish I had a picture to share but things were hopping so fast there wasn't a minute to spare. Great touches made!

*Our Bridge with Bread team visited several unchurched families Monday night whose kids attend our Good News Club. One family is allowing us to pick up their daughter for church this Sunday. This child accepted Christ recently at Club. That is so encouraging to me!

*Daylight Savings Time this Sunday which means set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night. 

See you Sunday!

Pastor Tommy

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Wednesday morning several from Ridgeview were able to serve free Dunkin Donuts coffee to midterm exam weary North Greenville University students. It was a great bridge event! As I came home I was reminded of the days when Ridgeview was just a dream God placed in my heart. As God continued to bring that dream to reality and brought a team of people together, I wrote a vision for the church that we now share in the membership class. I'd like to share it with you.

"Ridgeview Church will be a place where people are actively involved in a life-style of personal and corporate worship. It will be a place where Christians actively share the good news of Jesus throughout our community, our state, our nation, and our world. Our sharing will be done through acts of kindness, the development of authentic relationships, and seeking to meet needs in our community. Ridgeview Church will help people develop and cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We will also connect people to their Christian family where they will be valued and accepted and grow closer to one another and Christ through small group Bible studies. Ridgeview Church will be a place of faithfulness. We will be faithful in serving God by serving others. We will be faithful in finding how God has gifted us to serve and put our gifts into action."
Over these last seven years Ridgeview has sought to stay true to our vision. There have been challenges along the way and when one is gone another is right behind it. We also have to remember that this is spiritual work we do with real spiritual enemies who oppose the work of God's Church (Ephesians 4:12). Nevertheless, we press on! We have God's Word. We have God's Spirit. We have God's people. Serving free coffee to North Greenville University students this week was just one of a myriad of ways Ridgeview is seeking to fulfill the divine mandate Jesus has given us to "go and make disciples" (Matthew 28:19-20). We believe good deeds become the bridge upon which we can share the good news of Jesus. Sometimes it helps me to just step back and be reminded of the vision of our church. I hope it helps you too!

Pastor Tommy