Wednesday, September 30, 2009

lame video footage--great moment!

We are in a teaching series at Ridge Church right now called "How to be Rich" and it is simply amazing. Go here to listen online. Last year a bunch of people from Ridge went to Drive which is a conference our partner church North Point hosts each year. Joel Thomas did an amazing session where he talked about creating memorable experiences. He framed it in a way I had never thought about but we now say it this way at Ridge Church all the time. He said, "the thing that makes stuff memorable is when it is unexpected." He's right! People will talk about the thing that happened that they didn't expect (good or bad:-). We work hard to create unexpected and therefore memorable moments at Ridge. Here is one example of an idea Rusty Burchard pulled off (much better live because my camera/video footage is lame). You'll get the idea...Cash from the ceiling in the middle of Beverly Hills by Weezer. Pretty creative. Very fun. Definitely memorable...(and all this in a load in environment!) Don't miss next week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Now Project: God cares more about our city than we do!

Well this is just a teaser. All you get for now is the fact I believe the "NOW Project" (coming November 7) will be one of the best and most significant things we have done as a church. I'll formally introduce the idea for the first time in our 9am and 11am services this weekend. We believe that God loves our city far more than we do and this is going to be an opportunity to show it in practical ways. Interested? I'll share more this Sunday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ladder ball crazy finish (video)

We have such a fun volunteer culture at Ridge Church. The Upstreet leadership team had a cookout and "tailgate" party at our house recently. The ladder ball and corn hole competitions were pretty intense. The grand finale was a highlight moment for the ages. My neighbors probably think we are crazy. Patrick snagged some footage on his phone. Pretty funny!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Great day at Ridge! (large group pics)

We kicked off both services with the song "If I had a million dollars" and John and Adam did a great job with it. They were better than the orginal for sure...and pretty funny too! There is such a buzz of excitement around Ridge Church right now. Upstreet, and Waumba are doing an amazing job and student impact has had an amazing start as well. Keep spreading the word. Here are a few pics from the day. I'll have to post a student impact environment pic later:

Adult Worship 11am Service

Waumba Large Group (worship time)

Upstreet Large Group (worship time)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wanna be Rich?

Interested in being rich? You might be surprised by what we discover about this subject in our brand new series at Ridge Church called "How to be Rich." Life changing concepts!

Our 11am service is almost full but we have room to grow at 9am. If you can choose to attend that service please do. We want to keep creating space at optimal hours. So if you are kid-free at this season in your life or if you have teenagers (teenagers have their own service at 9am) come worship with us at 9am this week. Ridge Volunteers don't forget to take advantage of this new opportunity to "Serve one and Attend one." You can actually invite someone to visit AND sit with them in the service!

Last thing...if you roll in at 9:10 or 11:10 we will still love you but you will miss a really fun opener from the Ridge band! I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Group link over capacity!

Group Link Review:
I wanted to give a quick review of Group Link from this past weekend. Just for reference, Group Link is our event designed to give people a platform to meet others interested in groups. This event takes place in a neutral setting and people have the opportunity to walk away from the night in what we call an eight week "formational group". These groups typically turn into groups that commit to meet together regularly for extended periods of time.

We only do this event two times a year and it is currently the only way to become part of a group at Ridge Church. We had several groups coming back to add to their groups or multiply into new groups. When it was all said and done we formed "eight" new groups in addition to the other groups currently meeting. For the first time in our short history as a church we actually had so many people attend that we had to figure out a way to add the "ninth" new group after the event.

We love group life around here and we are really excited when people jump in and get involved because so much life change happens and is sustained in this setting. Thanks to all that participated in some way!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One of my favorite Sundays!

We just celebrated one year of Ridge Church meeting every Sunday morning and it was "One of my favorite Sundays yet." It's amazing to watch our staff and volunteers at work. They are so good at what they do. They are full of passion. AND they get better and better.

You can go HERE to listen and catch up on the day "Our Sunday Best". It was a day of vision. We celebrated the past and dreamed for the future. I'm pretty pumped about this fall. God is definitely stirring some things up in and through this Ridge Church community.

Some of you really missed out! Sunday only--only for people in either our 9am or 11am worship service we gave out free t-shirts in honor of our birthday. Every adult and child got one. It's was really fun to watch. I've already seen multiple people wearing them this week.

Reflections and more about group link later...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Creating potential for community

Truth: The church cannot technically create community! BUT--What we can and should do is create the potential for community. That is exactly why we do groups the way that we do at Ridge Church. We work hard, pray hard, plan hard, and think smart when it comes to the best way to structure groups. We are constantly learning and re-evaluating "how" we structure small groups so that they have the greatest potential to create great relationships and great community.

We literally have amazing things happening in all of our groups! And this next season of groups will unveil the best "potential yet." For us (Ridge Church) it never has been and never will be all about what happens on Sunday or the weekend. Creating the greatest potential for "community" to happen is the best thing and most important thing we do for believers.

Go ahead and take the next step. Sign up to participate in Group Link Sunday, Sep 13th @6PM. Group Link is an event designed to allow people to meet in a non threatening environment, learn how groups operate, and walk away from the night in a group if they choose to. Sign Up Here!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sippin' from the Hydrant

Sippin' from the Hydrant:
Imagine standing in front of a fire hydrant as the full force of the water is released. Got a visual? Now imagine trying to drink it in. Eye lids are flipped back, you are drenched, and it is a tiny bit overwhelming even if you are thirsty beyond measure.

That is a fairly accurate description of what I've been experiencing today and yesterday in the midst of this time of fasting, prayer, and Scripture study that many of us from Ridge Church are participating in. One of my specific prayers is that God would speak to me very clearly and draw me close and it's been pretty overwhelming. It will take me weeks to process and unpack what God is doing in me and saying to me. In no certain order here are a few unfiltered thoughts, ideas, prayers, and quotes:

  • Prov. 2:2-5 Following Jesus is active not passive. It's not a spectator sport. We involve ourselves and apply ourselves and the flurry of spiritual activity becomes obvious and apparent. How active are we in our pursuit of Jesus? Just showing up on Sunday isn't enough. Sorry to disappoint if that was your plan!
  • (Going to memorize this) Prov. 2:8 "[the LORD] guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones"
  • We [Ridge Church] exist because God wants us to (I am so confident of that!!!). I'm praying that we exist the way he wants us to. Without a doubt God gave me this prayer!
  • I want the people of this great city to experience the unexplainable yet un-deniable presence of God. I want that to be the norm for Ridge Church.
  • We ask a lot of great questions as a church. Today this simple question has my brain spinning in circles. "What are the questions that we as a church are not asking...but should be asking?"
I couldn't be more excited about what God is revealing to me and how I have personally experienced him in these days. Vision is overwhelming me. Be active in your pursuit of him! That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We are addicted to food! Hungry?

This is a longer post than usual for me. Jump down to "Inside my head and journal" if you already kind of get what fasting is about or don't care what fasting is about:-)

Fasting--Quick Explanation
Depending on your religious background or lack of religious background the idea of "fasting" may seem like some weird practice of religious fanatics...but it is available and encouraged for all followers of Jesus not just the "professionals." Truthfully fasting is much like prayer or consistent Bible study. It is a habit or discipline that has spiritual implication. It isn't a "box" that we check off in order to be accepted or approved by God. At the risk of over simplifying it....fasting, like other Christian disciplines isn't about God loving or accepting us more. It is about opening ourselves up to receive his love and love him more. It stretches our spiritual capacity! It is a proclamation of our dependence on Jesus and desire for him. (that's a very simplified explanation of fasting!)

How does it work?
Now...with that as the backdrop, a group of people at Ridge Church are fasting for 10 days. Some people are fasting meats and eating vegetables only. Some are fasting dessert, or technology, or lunch only. Some are fasting all foods and only consuming liquids. We are reading through Acts 1-10 and Proverbs 31, and 1-9 and journaling our thoughts. We use moments of hunger as promptings to remember to pray. We use some of our normal meals times as prayer moments or times to study Scripture. We are saying in essence "God we are dependent upon you more that food and we want to hunger for you like we hunger for food."

Fasting for What?
The Bible teaches that there are many possible situations where fasting is appropriate. In this particular fast we are praying about two things:
  1. That (individually and as a church) we will be spiritually hungry. Driven for God like we are driven for food.
  2. That God will bring Glory to himself through Ridge Church. We want to be a platform on which he stands in this city. We want his presence to be undeniable among us. We want to dispense his love without limit.
Inside my head and My Journal:
(these are my thoughts and some journal entries from prayer, Scripture reading, and some books I'm reading during this time of fasting)
  • Proverbs 1:5 Wise people learn to listen. It is much easier for me personally to look for stuff to do than to listen to God.
  • Acts 2:7,12,13 I noticed three responses to an "outpouring" of God's Spirit and presence among the people:
  1. People were "utterly amazed"
  2. People were "amazed and perplexed"
  3. Some made fun
  4. Interestingly: No one ignored it!!
  • "I feel like I am beginning to catch glimpses/mental snapshots of where all of this (Ridge Church) is going" That's exciting for me. The whole thing started just like this!
  • Acts 2:37 When people were faced with the truth about who Jesus is they had two responses
  1. They were cut to the heart. It bothered them that they had missed it...missed him...crucified him.
  2. They begin to ask "what now?" In light of this new truth they knew they must ACT
  • "Yesterday's victories do not guarantee tomorrow's successes." -E.Towns
  • Revival is the Latin term for "return to life." Praying for revival is prayer for life!
  • Much of what we do in life is a response to the way we see ourselves
  • Vision: "You can't achieve what you can't conceive" -unknown
That is all for now. I pray that God will awaken you to himself!!