Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stop The Hop This Christmas & New Year

I'd like to share a blogpost that Pastor Steven Furtick wrote way back in January of this year. Pastor Steven Furtick is one of our nation's most gifted Pastors. He is a North Greenville University graduate and grew up near Charleston, SC. He started Elevation Church in Charlotte in February 2005 with 121 people attending their first worship service. Since that day Elevation Church has been one of the fastest growing churches in America. They saw 11,500 people attend their Easter worship services this year. They have seen over 15,000 people make professions of faith and have baptized over 4,600 people. We were honored to have Steven's father in law, Murrill Boitnott, speak at Ridgeview this past May.

Steven's blogpost is not written from a Pastor who has seen a declining church. They continue to see explosive growth. So, I share his message as a challenge to us all. It is a challenge shared with love. We are not Elevation Church, I know. But, God has called us to "go and make disciples" and my desire is for Ridgeview Church to make the biggest impact in this world for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Stop The Hop
By Steven Furtick

One of the things that really troubles me about the church today is the phenomenon of church hopping and church shopping. It's a consumeristic mindset towards the body of Christ that grieves the heart of God.

It's time for us to stop the hop. This isn't Christianity. Jesus didn't die so we could sample different churches like varieties of meat on a party platter. Jesus died to establish His church as the most powerful entity on the planet.

We are alive at the greatest time in history for the advance of the gospel. We have so much going for us.

We have the ability.
We have the resources.
We have the people.

What we don't have is them committed to a place where they can actually be used for their God-ordained purpose.

If this generation doesn't make the impact it should, it won't be because it didn't have the resources. Or even the passion. It will be because it was too busy hopping to different churches to stop and commit to one where its resources and passion could actually find an outlet.

The church is the change the world is waiting for. God help us if we keep the world waiting for us while we try to find the perfect church for us.

If you've fallen into the trap of church hopping, let me encourage you: embrace your place somewhere where God can use you. At the end of your life, God's not going to be impressed or pleased that you saw what He was doing at ten different churches. He's going be more pleased that you were a part of what He was doing at one church.

And you're never going to find the perfect one, so give up looking. If the church you're visiting doesn't have what you're looking for, it might be because God wants you to provide it.

Let's all commit together to begin a campaign to stop the hop.
Find a place to get planted. Embrace it. And start changing the world.

The question of our day isn't if God wants to do incredible things through the church. The question is will we be in place to experience it?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Is For Tim & Anna

Several years ago a young couple named Tim and Anna attended our church. They were North Greenville University graduates and were preparing to be assigned as missionaries with the International Mission Board of our Southern Baptist Convention. It was a pleasure getting to know them and it was a delight having them in our Growth Group. In fact, when I had to switch back to Verizon from AT&T (remember those days when only AT&T had the iPhone?) I painfully gave Tim my iPhone that they would take to the country they were assigned. If I had to give it up, I was consoled it would be used for missions. 

Recently, I received an email from Tim. He stated, 


I would like to think we are sent out from Ridgeview and you would claim us as YOUR IMB Ms in ____________. I just got back from the trail. I hiked 5 hours in on Monday, preached to more than 100 people before coming home today. No one responded in faith so continue to pray that God would remove the blindness and they would receive the gift of faith.

Eph. 2:8&9


Sent from my iPhone

This Sunday we will show a video of Tim being interviewed by the International Mission Board. Aren't you proud that when you give to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering you are helping Tim & Anna take the gospel to unreached people groups? There is no better investment of your money this Christmas!

Pastor Tommy