Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sunday Morning Facility?


At the Christmas party we discussed “future facility opportunities” and wanted to give a recap. Most of you are well aware that we are very intentional in protecting our “Foyer Environments (Sunday worship experience)” at ridge church to make them guest friendly. We are very careful in what information we present, how we present information, and who we present information to. We want to continue to make this a safe place for you to bring your un-churched and formerly churched friends.

This is a recap of some of the information and opportunity I shared with many of you at our Christmas Party:

Sunday Morning?
As you know our mission is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We feel like making the move to become a Sunday morning church is our number one priority currently because of the impact that it can and will have on the long term success of our mission. We have been fortunate to have an amazing amount of success meeting on Sunday nights, but we all know that it is not the optimal time to meet long term...especially for families with small children (amazingly we had almost 50 children at our last worship gathering in spite of the less than optimal night meeting).

Possible Facility?
Unfortunately, Adam and I have become quite the “professional facility hunters” in the last year searching out at least 45 facilities to no avail. We are currently looking at a recently available 21,000 square foot furniture store. It is less than three miles from our current meeting location. We are negotiating with the owner currently and all of the initial communication, including the walkthrough with the architect have been very positive.

Is this our Destiny?
Honestly, I don’t think any facility will ever be our destiny. Our destination maybe, but not our destiny. Plain and simple, people are our mission. From day one, this church has been about leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus and that will never change. We will never be defined by where we meet, but instead by who we reach. But, if this facility is part of “God’s plan” that will enable us to move to Sunday mornings, and step into our “mission” with a new and increased opportunity to influence people then I want us to pursue it with passion and commitment.

What will it take?
I’m glad you asked! We need you to fully embrace the vision and mission of Ridge Church and place your shoulders under this church. In short we need 45 people to commit to percentage giving at Ridge Church in order for us this young church (11 public services young) to continue to move toward this facility with confidence. What we are considering is well within our reach but not without your help! This would be a 24 hour facility (No load in and load out!), and among other benefits would also enable us to move to Sunday morning. We need to make a counter offer to the owner very soon. Will you pray and consider becoming a percentage giver to Ridge Church this year and let us know how you will participate in this incredible opportunity? Please feel invited not obligated to participate with us in this! If you do decide to partner with us you can let us know your decision by dropping a commitment card in the mail or by signing up online (takes two minutes!). Join us as a “Vision Partner”. We need to make a counter offer to the owner of the facility as soon as possible. Please remember that facilities come and go, but when a person’s life is changed by Jesus it is “forever”...people are our mission not facilities!

*Become a Ridge Partner online: Ridge Vision Partners (link not available to public)
*Give to Ridge Church online: Ridge Online Giving

**This is an exciting and incredible opportunity, and I want to thank you in advance for becoming “vision partners” with ridge church. We look forward to what the future holds for Ridge Church...to the lives that will be changed! I believe God has great plans for this city and we have the unique opportunity to be in rhythm with what God is doing.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Amazing Volunteers at Ridge Church

Last night 53 ridge church volunteers met on the 31st floor, Charlotte City Club in uptown Charlotte for our first "Volunteer Christmas party." It was truly an amazing night, and inspirational backdrop overlooking the city skyline at night. It was the perfect place to be able to enjoy and celebrate our volunteers and what they give to make this dream a reality.

There were many days that we would have been be overjoyed to have that many adults show up for church...having that many volunteers is a blessing and a great sign of what is to come. So it was a fun night celebrating with the people that have placed their shoulders under this young church (11 public services young to be exact!). Great things ahead for this church.

You will enjoy the video Rusty put together as our way of saying, "THANKS" to all that serve here at Ridge Church. Thanks for believing in this mission!

video

Monday, December 17, 2007

Deep Theology in the mini-van?


So we just got back in town from vacation (subject of future blogs), and the conversation tonight in the mini-van was interesting. Here is how it went:

The kids were talking about Christmas---they can't contain themselves---and Josie kept saying, "No, not the 'big Jesus' the 'baby Jesus' " Finally I asked her what she meant, and after a bit of digging I realized that in her mind they were two separate people all together. Kind of funny, and kind of cute, but worthy of clarification--I'm sure you would agree!

I pray for those moments and conversation frequently. One of my most frequent prayers actually. It was one of those unplanned "God moments" where I was able talk in detail with my children about what it means to believe in Jesus. We talked about everything from why Jesus was born as a baby, to why he died, to how he wants to live in our hearts. That one is really fun to explain to six year olds:-) I'm an adult and still haven't wrapped my mind around it.

At one point it was very serious. The part where I tried to explain that Jesus was coming back one day and would eventually take every one who believed in him to heaven. With much concern and all joking aside, Josie asked a legitmate question that we have all wondered, "WHEN IS HE COMING?"

When I told her that I didn't know exactly when Jesus was coming back-- it could be today, tomorrow, or many years from now, her interest in Jesus was at an all time high!

Most people aren't all that different from my daughter. Isn't it true that it feels like something we can do later...we can always figure out religion, deal with spiritual stuff, explore Jesus later. There will be time for it in the next season of life, after school is done, after you finish that next project, after the kids are out of diapers...After all the guy hasn't been seen for a couple of thousand years right, so what does it matter to wait awhile? But, the even better question is even if there is "plenty of time" why would we wait to experience life on earth lived with Jesus? Why not upgrade your life now? Why not receive the new life of Jesus offers now? It is incomparable. There aren't any really good reasons to wait when you really stop to think about it.

...so the conversation continues with Josie, but I count it a privilege to have those kind of "talks" with my children. Here is how it ended this night:

"So daddy is Jesus' beard white or brown?" DEEP THEOLOGY IN THE MINI-VAN!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy People Everywhere?

Take a look at each of these pictures. What do you see? Is it just me or is there something about these that don't match up with reality? Some of you are with me already while others of you are blissfully unaware. (Not always a bad quality!)

My family spent the day together today and one of our stops was the mall. I saw alot of shoppers. Some in the mall, some in the parking lot with shopping bags in hand, ready to head home, while others were taking a meal break in restuarants. BUT, for the most part they didn't seem very "happy" if you know what I mean. I saw road rage in the parking lot over that one open space, and kids crying at every turn. I saw lines so long that it was stressful just to walk by them. I can't imagine actually being in one! But every person in the pictures is really happy, and we should be too right? Couples smiling at each other...families happy with no apparent tension or sibling rivalries...and what's up with the smiling couple with bags and stacks of gifts? I wonder if they know how much money they just spent...and if so why are they still smiling?

I'm just poking fun, but the reality for many people during this time of year is over spending, the fear of having to go to a family gathering where "all isn't well", marital frustration, STRESS etc. It's a bit ironic that the angels announcement about the Christmas Season (Jesus birth) was "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth..." If we truly embraced the message of Christmas, peace would be our reality, not just the "staged pictures." That is what our current series at Ridge Church, "Choosing Christmas" is all about. If you could use a little more peace in your life, or know someone that could, then you need to make plans to be at Ridge Church for this series. See you soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Get back in line!

For many people, Thanksgiving represents the one time during the year that they are forced to think of things to be "thankful for" but for me the list is truly easy to compile and not so easy to narrow. In no particular order here are a few that top my list:

I am blessed in so many ways. My family is truly an amazing gift. My wife Angie, is incredible and has put up with me for almost ten years now. She finds joy in the things I tend to overlook, and helps my children to celebrate life. What an incredible, and enjoyable home she creates for us, and it isn't about the great food or cool decor, it is her that makes it home.

My son Brayden is truly a kind hearted, and compassionate soul. Sure, he is all boy complete with moments that he gets irritated with his twin sisters, but he is amazing in his consideration of others. I am convinced that the degree to which he possesses that compassion is an imprint of his Maker. He is destined for greatness. I can't wait to see the script of his life play out.

My twin girls Josie and Maddie are constant reminders of God's ability and choice at times to suspend the norm and do miracles. According to all the experts they (my girls) shouldn't be here, or at the very least shouldn't posses the perfect physical health that they enjoy. They are beautiful and very much "individuals". They are miracles.

My Savior Jesus Christ, for some reason allowed me to be born into a home with parents that loved and honored Jesus. I have been surrounded by great men and women that made pursuing Jesus with the totality of my life simply irresistible. Why wouldn't I pursue a relationship with the ONE that made these incredible people tick and live as they do? I want help as many people as possible to experience the revolutionary love of Jesus. I am so grateful to know Jesus personally.

My parents are some of the most generous people I have ever known. Always giving, yet never wealthy by the world's standards. For me being taught about Jesus would have never been enough, but in them I experienced the transformational, even transcendent life that this "God-man" Jesus provides. They were different and it was obvious. They had peace in the midst of chaos, stability in crisis, fairness when it wasn't earned by my brothers and I, and character in a world that bends frequently. My brothers both love and serve Jesus with passion as I do, though we are all in very different walks of life. I am convinved that much of this is directly related to the environment we experienced as children.


Ridge Church is a dream both in formation and realization and I am so thankful for her. Over Thankgiving break our family went horse back riding and the horse Josie and I were on was oddly pre-occupied with cleanliness. She avoided every mud puddle and...well, you can figure out what else she avoided! So while all the other horses marched in an orderly line. Our horse walked by herself in the field, and sometimes in the woods on paths that weren't really paths at all. She was a pioneer of sorts. Blazing the trail, as tree limbs slapped me in the face, and briars grabbed my pant legs. There is a lesson in that---Being the pioneer isn't always as glamorous as it seems!

I suppose it was fitting that I would be on the horse that wouldn't "walk in line" though since I am the same way. Conformity is not my greatest attribute. Something inside of me says, "yes, I can when someone tells me that I can't." I have been this way since I was little, and it is even more true of me as an adult. Here is a snap shot of my horse "out of line"...where she was the entire ride!

All this to say, that I am thankful for Ridge Church, not because we are simply different to be different or because we are walking "out of line" from rebellion, but instead because we have been willing as a group to challenge the process and do what was necessary to communicate to those we love, the truth about God in a way they can understand and relate to. Sometimes that requires "getting out of line" and thinking in new and fresh ways. I am grateful to be associated with a group of people that are willing to take this risk and join us in this adventure.

There is something extreme about really pursuing God that sometimes requires us to get out of line and blaze a new trail...briars and all! I leave you today with this quote:

"The question is not whether we will be extremist, but what kind of extremist we will be. Will we be extremist for hate or extremists for love?" -Martin Luther King Jr.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Yes, I'm a DAWG fan.


Yes, I'm a pastor in Charlotte, N.C. but I am also a huge Georgia fan. I don't know how you picked your team...maybe you liked their uniform, or maybe your home team kept loosing so you picked another team, or maybe you gave in to the pressures of your spouse or in-laws (wimp!), or maybe you cheer for your Alma-Ata, or maybe you hate sports (I'll pray for you)...but for me it was and is simple. I grew up in Athens, just a few minutes from the University of Georgia.

When I lived there the city was roughly 100,000 with a football stadium that "now" holds 92,000. Without seeing or experiencing, it is difficult to comprehend the dynamic of a city that size with a football stadium that size. The whole city goes nuts on game day, and it's literally contagious. I don't know how you could live in the city for awhile and not walk away as a die hard Georgia fan. I rearrange my Saturday's according to the game. Truth be told I hope that people in Charlotte will have that same kind of response to Ridge Church. I want them to experience such affection, enjoyment, excitement, acceptance that rearranging a schedule in order to be at church seems normal.

We have set our sites on being an Irresistible Church and we are well on our way. Thanks to all of you that are a part of what God is using Ridge Church to create and do. Keep inviting people, and keeping working hard with us to create environments that reflect our Heavenly Father. Remember that everything we do as a church, reflects something that we believe about God.

**Big win today for the DAWGS. Sorry, Tennessee fans, I hope you lose so we can go to the SEC championship.**

If you happen to live in or near Athens, be sure to check out Athens Church.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ridge Church Partnerships

I had the privilege of spending a few days in Rome, Georgia this week with the lead pastors from our partner churches. For reference, Ridge Church is a partner church of North Point Community Church, lead by Pastor Andy Stanley. Ridge Church is an autonomous local church that shares the same values, mission as North Point. There is an incredible growing network of churches around the country in partnership with North Point.

What an incredible group of people! It is a unique combination of talents, experience and humility that makes this group of leaders such a great group with which to be associated. People often ask me about our partnership to North Point. Click HERE for more information and map of partner churches.

Also we are really excited about our newest partner church, Auburn Church which will be opening their doors to the public in January of '08. We are praying for them and are excited to see how God will use them to make a difference in their city.

...one more thing---GO DAWGS!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Keeping Score...

People frequently ask me, "How is your church doing?" I've noticed that often times what they are really asking is "How many people are coming but they don't usually come out and ask that bluntly?" It's not a wrong question or even a bad question, but it does represent something significant.

Whether at home, at work, or even church, we all long to know when we are winning. My staff, our volunteers, the friends of Ridge Church and partner churches across the country all want to know if we are being successful.

So how are we doing? The short answer---We are doing great. How do we know? We know because we have identified some of the things that for us are "success".

  • We value conversations not just conversions
  • We value excellence and creativity in presentation
  • We value being an easy place to invite friends, co-workers , family etc
  • We value relationships, and creating environments that foster them
After our last worship gathering, a young man in his early twenties, told me his life was "completely different". By his own admission as a result of his experience at Ridge Church a week ealier when he drew a line in the sand and said he was ready to quit running from Jesus. He said the peace and purpose that he experienced in the days following that decision were "beyond explanation"...for us that is success!

It is vitally important that we learn "what things indicate success" and then celebrate those things consistently. We consider it a privilege that God sees fit to use us in "His plan" for this generation, in this city.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

High Flying Start to the day!

So, I'll admit that I'm a bit incoherent first thing in the morning. My roomates in college used to love waking me up just to watch the fall out of random sentences and actions. My brothers (in an act of love I'm sure) stood me in the hallway one night long after I was deep in dream land, just to watch my reaction. This was before the days of google video and youtube thankfully!

So this morning, my wife woke me up 30 minutes before my alarm went off with the announcement she had wrecked the car--I was very confused, and probably said a few weird things. (Actual photo of the event above to the right). She turned the corner in the neighborhood and some [I'm sure normally very intellegent gentlemen in a not so intellegent moment] had parked his trailor in the road with the ramps down. She hit the ramp...yes, literally hit the ramp. (The result was miraculously captured in the photo to the left.) Fortunately, the airbag did not deploy!

Car was pretty messed up, and is now in the shop. Angie and all the kids are okay. But I've noticed there never is really a convenient time or financial season for this type of thing is there? Pretty frustrating until...

Later in the day, when I went down town Charlotte again with my friend Todd Brower. He gives his Wednesday afternoon to feeding homeless men and women lunch as well as encouraging them by sharing truths about God from Scripture. It was really cold, and one of them came in with a baby in a stroller. They stood in a line that bent all the way around the store, waiting for the doors to open. Many of them thanked us over and over for "Pizza and a drink" and a few minutes in the warm. Funny thing...the car isn't as big a deal tonight as it was this morning.

A life with volumes of success but little significance isn't much of a life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A night to remember

Who among you are like me in that you find yourself ridden with the constant temptation to jump to the end of the book and read the final chapter instead of enjoying the story as it unfolds? Well, Ridge Church and each of our lives are part of a story that God is writing. A story that I am so grateful to be a part of as I know each of you are. God is continually reminding me to enjoy each page of this story he is writing, so I wanted to give each of you an excerpt from the “current” chapter.

Ridge Church has the unique privilege of having friends and supporters in Charlotte as well as multiple other cities and states, and I want you to know and experience what you are part of whether up close or from a distance. I always carry the “privilege” of a burden and deep passion but my heart was burdened and excited in a unique fashion all week leading up to our most recent worship gathering. I had a sense that it would be a defining moment in the life of our church. I had a sense that it would be a moment of spiritual breakthrough for many people individually as well as our church corporately AND, it was just that kind of night!

The Challenge was simple. First, we invited people to consider the question “In a moment of honesty, Is there area of your life, or your life in totality, that you are running from God? Second, challenge...”who among us is ready to stop running, and draw a line in the sand?” You can listen to the entire service by clicking this link: Jonah part 1

The Result was...well, truthfully it is still unfolding, and I am convinced the intensity of that night will have a ripple effect in the lives of all that were there as well as many who were not. Many tears flowed, courageous decisions were made, and many hearts were set free from running.

In next chapter, I am convinced that God will write many stories of redemption, restored marriages, reengaged hope...there will be teenagers that stop running...there will be city “influencers” who’s hearts get in rhythm with the heart of God and begin to leverage their influence for the eternal rather than the temporal...there will be addictions that loose their power in the shadows of the newly found power of God in people’s lives...there will be conversations in the back yards of neighborhoods and office hallways, not about NASCAR, or the Panthers (most recent loss), but about the newly found or renewed purpose as a result of Jesus...there will be a wind of change and hope that begins to stir and replace the mundane and ordinary...church will be prioritized by people, no longer viewed as a place for left over time, energy and resources!!

**Call me a dreamer, but I believe that God himself left that fingerprint on my life. But, It’s not just a dream, it is a preferred future worthy of MY LIFE! It can and will be a reality. I leave you with a sneak peak of worship from our last service.

video

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Dunkin' Donut and Life Lessons"








I'm convinced that many of life's greatest moments and lessons learned happen in places like Dunkin' Donut. I have literally been marinating recently in the reality of how truly blessed I am and how that should and must produce a generous heart. One of the things I most despise, when it surfaces in my own behavior or attitude is a spirit of ingratitude, or those brief moments of thinking that "I deserve something." My wife and are are working hard to be shaping forces in the life and character of our children, and this issue of gratitude is a really big deal for us.

A few weeks back I picked up my three children from school and headed to Dunkin Donuts. We get jacked up on sugar then head to the park expend all the energy (that part probably isn't good parenting!). I am a softy sometimes, so when they asked for two donuts a piece, I didn't think for a moment about any future metabolic slow downs in their lives or how much more expensive the two doughnut per kid trend would be and I said "Sure." Maddie's doughnuts looked really good so I asked her if I could have half of her "SECOND" donut...the doughnut I purchased I might add! She quickly and definitively declined. "No I want both of them"....I could barely understand her because her mouth was full of doughnut.

This spurred a lengthy discussion (more of a discourse) about kindness, generosity...how everything in our world is God's, and because we have been "given" so much we should be quick to give to others. I must say it was a quite impressive mini sermon with a captive audience of children who had donut icing all over their faces.

I had nailed this parenting moment! This is the stuff parenting books are made of. So feeling confident about the compelling nature of my discourse I asked again, "Maddie, now can I have half of your doughnut." Just as quickly and just as definitively she said "No I still want both of them." I never mentioned the incident to her again, but honestly it was frustrating.

About a week later, on my way to work I was praying for each of my children by name. When I prayed for Maddie, it felt as though God gave me the words to pray for her about generosity and gratitude. I prayed that God would help me to do my part in shaping her character but that "ultimately" He would produce in her a generous spirit...a spirit of gratitude." It was our Dunkin' Donut day and I had completely forgotten about my earlier prayer. Due to "budget cut backs" we grabbed one doughnut a piece. As I was paying for the doughnuts I felt a tug and heard the words "Here Daddy." I looked and Maddie had torn her doughnut in half, and was holding half up for me. My heart swelled...and if you are wondering the answer is NO---I didn't eat half of my daughters only doughnut.

Immediately, God reminded me of my earlier prayer. It was as if He was saying to me "You do your part AND when you pray, I will do my part." When I couldn't force her to give up one of her two doughnuts, here she was giving me half of her only doughnut. It may seem like a small thing...but it is no small thing as a parent to know that God is interested and willing to participate in the character development not only of "our children" but also of "his children". While many of us have done what we can do with our children, our jobs, our marriages/relationships, our lives, we have yet to see what God can do with them when we lay them at his feet. God fill me with a heart of gratitude. Help me to give much and often.

Proverbs 18:16 " A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Giving gifts to who?



We celebrated my wife's birthday today. I'm not allowed to tell you which one. My children absolutely love this stuff. They love purchasing expensive gifts with my money and presenting them to their mother. "Look what I got you mom" It's funny though, they always want to buy her gifts that seem to benefit them the most. Tonight, my son called one of my daughters out on her clever plot. She said "Mommy we could go to Target and you could buy whatever you want for your birthday"---once again they are quite generous with my money. Brayden pipes up and responds, "You just want to go to Target so you can get something from the dollar rack" She was busted and she knew it---the sideways smile and lack of response to my sons accusation gave it away.

They also thought she would simply love the "gift" of a family date night (that's what we call our family nights in the Brown home) at Chuck-E-Cheeses. But, I really think this is a human deal not just a kid deal. We grow up giving gifts, doing things for people, but when we are reduced to the bare minimum truths about our motives, often we give only that which ultimately benefits us. Sad but true.

I don't claim to know every thought that resonates from the mind of God, but I couldn't help but think today, as I walked outside and breathed in the most incredible fall air, as I looked at the incredible sunset seemingly fingerpainted by my heavenly Father, as I enjoyed the amazing creation around me...that my Heavenly Father gave those "gifts" with me, with us, in mind.

Don't misunderstand me. I know that God's Glory is the ultimate culmination and conclusion of everything around us, but Scripture indicates that God enjoys giving good gifts to his children... to us! The reality that I would ever cross the mind of my Heavenly Father causes me to pause. That thing in your life that when you see or experience it brings a smile to your face...what if God authored that thing while thinking of you? I wonder if he ever says to the angels, "Watch this, they are going to love this one! They are about to experience that thing that I created specifically for them." I want to to learn to live my life "Giving gifts like my Heavenly Father." Gifts with others in mind that benefit them the most rather than me. It is a slow process for me---maybe a life long journey!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Permission to Speak Freely



...a quick post to say "wow!" What an incredible talk by Andy Stanley, in our current series "Persmission to Speak Freely". If you were at Ridge you know what I mean...if you weren't with us tonight you need to check it out on the Ridge Church website. The short summary is that prayer is about so much more, and is so much more meaninful than the experience that most of us have come to expect. Check it out online www.ridgechurch.net

Ben Richter and his band lead worship for us tonight, and did an incredible job. All you children of the 80's will be singing the opener "867-5309/ Jenny" all week whether you want to or not! What a fun night,. What a helpful biblical concept. What a refreshing way to do church. What a privilege to be a follower of Christ!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Rich...yeah right!"

Are you rich? Let's be honest for a second. Typically when we think of rich people we don't include ourselves on the list. No matter how much stuff, money, etc we have, we can always point to other people that have more...except for that one person "whoever he or she is" that actually is the richest person alive! So my comments apply to every one but that one person---so every one else listen up!

Today I went to downtown Charlotte with my friend Todd Brower and I was both blessed and broken. Some time ago, Todd sensed God leading him to begin reaching out to some of the homeless individuals of Charlotte. Today I handed out tickets at the door as they filed in--nearly 60 of them--, to get the meal he would purchase for them...as he does every Wednesday. The group sat down to eat and from a small PA system, the word of God, the hope of God, the love of God was shared to the group...but not so surprisingly since this is the way God typically manifest himself to the world around us...it was embodied in a person. One man willing to be obedient to that whisper from God that I'm sure didn't make sense at the time. I'm sure he smiled and thought "Good idea God, but wrong guy"...or "But, God I have never worked with homeless people" or the most famous one "God, I will pray for them!"

I think you will understand me when I say, I am so grateful that Todd isn't still in his prayer closet, praying for the homeless...but instead he is serving them. Today, I watched him carry on conversations with them. They respect him, you can see it in their eyes. He is their friend and they know it. Several of his "friends" have gotten jobs along the way and gotten back on their feet. A fresh start in life!

Let me ask again. Are you rich? I know I eat several meals a day, live in doors, and drive a car to work. I know my refrigerator is full and so is the food pantry. I know that I had a coffee from starbucks today. I know that I am sitting in air conditioning, typing on a mac book pro (sorry pc guys). Yeah, I'm rich, and so are you! Yet, Jesus, our fearless leader, said that he didn't come for the healthy, but the sick. I wonder how much our schedules would change if our hearts were adjusted in such a manner that they truly lined up with the heart of our Heavenly Father? Just a thought. And thanks for a good day, Todd. Thanks for living out God's Word.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Blog Begins!



These two "beginnings" simply belong together....the beginning of a church and the beginning of a blog! It's poetic. Just a few short weeks ago we opened the doors of ridge church to the public. Literally years of personal and corporate prayers and preparations went into the formation of Ridge Church. I can't explain the excitement we all felt...the anticipation as we opened the doors and silently thought "We hope someone shows up!" And they did! The journey for ridge church did not begin with our public launch but is was a definite marker...a milestone in the journey.

One of my colleagues, Carey Nieuwhof, recently said about starting ridge church "I hope that it is much more than a fun ride...I hope it is a deep meaningful experience" Wow! That is our prayer and gratefully our experience so far.