Thursday, September 30, 2010

This thing is serious business people!

Man, I love it. The mission of Ridge Church is serious business. This Sunday I will begin a two part serious called "Just Ask" that I'm very excited about. Part one will be a look under the hood of Ridge and a challenge to all of us. Part two is going to be unbelievable. I won't tell you details yet but I'll tell you it's a "must experience day" and ultimately this is a "must experience series".

Here's a little video recap of some crazy powerful life change at Ridge Church over the last year or so. This is why we must keep creating environments...keep funding environments...keep growing our volunteer base. This is what hangs in the balance:

Ridge "The Stories" from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's been powerful-Don't take my word for it!

My computer was being worked on last week so I've been anxiously awaiting it's return so that I could recap the recent weeks and exciting momentum at Ridge Church.

Surrender is powerful:
Two weeks ago I challenged people to do everything in their power to get to Ridge Church and to bring their friends believing that it could literally change peoples lives...AND it was everything we thought and more. It was one of the most powerful weekends in our two years of Sunday morning services as people in both services publicly acknowledged surrender to Jesus.

Change is coming:

After that service we hosted our first 1 twelve luncheon. We're planning another one for November (stay tuned). Short story--change is coming for Ridge Church. We are officially and aggressively beginning our effort to move into a 24/7 location. Are you on board yet? It's a must have for us not a nice to have. More on that later...

Groups are where it's at--the tidal wave:
We bleed groups at Ridge Church because we believe that while people may meet Jesus in a moment they grow spiritually in community. This past weekend 100+ more adults took the step and connected in groups at Ridge Church. Many of the people that surrendered to Jesus two weeks ago took the step to get into groups this week! I'm ecstatic about the new effort to launch FUSION gatherings and groups for college and singles too. Charlotte desperately needs this! More on that later...

These are days of life change and growth at Ridge. You can sense the momentum growing week by week and every week you don't come you are missing something powerful. Don't miss out as we start a brand new series this week called "Just Ask". See you at 9:30 or 11:00. Come early...we had to start a Waumba room in the hallway because we're short on space!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Most important weekend of your life?

This could be the most important weekend of your life or your friend's life, or your neighbor's life, or your co-workers life... We hope to see you at Ridge Church at 9:30 or 11:oo.

Don't Miss Out! from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kenya needs a window unit

I'm so proud of the team of people from Ridge Church that are on their way to Kenya right now. I'm sure they are experiencing a mixed bag of emotions--excitement, fear, anticipation, etc. But, I love that they are going because it reflects a belief we embrace as a church, "God doesn't just love our nation--he loves 'the nations' " Our upstreet kids (k-5th grade) at Ridge Church support a child in Kenya through Compassion International and Patrick and Crystal will actually get to see him while they are there. (Go HERE to get a glimpse of Patrick's incredible heart and passion for Africa)

Will you pray for the Kenya Team?
With permission I share this story...The air conditioning unit went out for a family at Ridge Church and it would be a few weeks before "funds" allowed the repair. So mom challenged the children, "Every time we feel like we want to complain we are going to let it be a reminder to us to stop and pray for the people of Kenya because they don't have air conditioning." It didn't take long until the son busted one of the daughters complaining. So they stopped to pray for Kenya and it went like this, "Dear Jesus, please help the people of Kenya to get air conditioning."

This week please stop throughout your days to pray that God will protect, inspire, and use this team in extraordinary ways!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't just stand there...Do something!

My Community Group is going through the book of James together. Here is today's passage and a devotional thought. If you would like to receive two weeks of devotions from the book of James go HERE and send us an email. God's Word will shape your life!:

Don’t just stand there…Do something!
Read James 1:22-25

Recently the daughter of one of my wife’s co-workers found herself in a crazy scenario. While working at a store in the mall she witnessed a man try to kid nap a 5-year-old little girl. He kneeled to eye level with her, spoke quietly to her, then took her by the arm and began to lead her away. The college female employee removed her work apron and darted out from her workplace counter to confront the man. In typical creepy kidnapper fashion he calmly said, “It’s fine her mother sent me”. But she persisted in questioning him until he became agitated and pushed her to the side as he began to run with the little girl in tow. [STOP and think] What would you do at this point? Well, this college female employee chased the man down, screaming as she ran “kidnapper, kidnapper…call 911”. Then my favorite part, she caught up to him, tripped him, and punched him square in the nose breaking his nose (you cheered inside didn’t you?). Security came and took him away. Later they found duct tape, rope, and a black bag in his car. True story!

Interestingly during this entire episode not one person stepped in to help as the man ran through the mall dragging this small child. Not even as the college age girl screamed “kidnapper”, and pleaded for help as she chased him.

It’s literally nauseating to imagine the different possible outcomes if this college age girl had decided to stand there instead of doing something. What if she decided it wasn’t her problem?

James pleads with us in this passage “Don’t just stand there…Do something!” When it comes to God’s word there are two types of people hearers only and doers. In a matter of speaking when it comes to God’s Word there are people chasing down the kidnapper and people watching. There are people changing outcomes and people allowing them. James point is simple, when it comes to God’s word, “Don’t just stand there…Do something”. When we become active in practicing what we read or hear from God’s word it shapes different outcomes in our lives…and maybe in the lives of others too. So next time a verse grabs your attention—Don’t just stand there…do something! Ask yourself: “In light of what I’ve read what should I do?”

Sunday, September 12, 2010

6 reasons I love my church (you would too!)

1.) We are a church that INVITES adults to belong before they believe...
2.) We are a church that (also) INVITES children/teens to belong before they believe while also partnering with families. This weekend we celebrated 2 years of Sunday mornings at Ridge and had more children in Upstreet (k-5th) than we had adults in our launch team 2 years ago. 3) We are becoming a church that INVITES the undeniable presence of God. We want people of all ages to experience God...not just us!
4) We are becoming a church that INVITES radical participation in God's activity. This week a team from Ridge Church leaves for Kenya. Next month a team leaves for Panama. And locally? Man you've gotta scroll down and read some of the domino effect stories on our Fan Page!
5) We are a church that values people sitting in circles more than people sitting in rows. We value authentic biblical community. You can sign up for Group Link HERE.

6) Last but not least. Along with my family--I get to be some small part of what God is doing through Ridge Church. You can too!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When my facebook status changes

You can tell a lot about people by their facebook or twitter status. You can often times learn what people are passionate about or what makes them happy or angry. Some people's status seem to indicate that they don't have any friends since the information they are sharing with the public sounds like some deep emotional thing you would normally only share privately with a dear friend. You can spot the glass half full people and you can definitely spot the glass half empty people. The proud parent and disgruntled employee surface frequently as well. There's the frequent flyer status person who's proud of their new smart phone capabilities and posts multiple times per hour and there's the once a month "out of hibernation" status guy or girl.

You can also tell a lot about people by paying attention to the "changes" in their status. I only follow a handful of people on twitter and in recent days the status updates of one of my dear friends changed immediately and distinctly. No more links. No more pictures of daily excursions. No more funny commentaries. No more sport team updates. No more witty or pithy sayings. 6-7 status changes in a row were about his teenage son that was in a terrible ATV accident and had to be air lifted to the hospital. Updates and prayer requests only...and if I were in his shoes that's exactly what would have happened to my status!

This got me thinking--when your life forces your "status updates" to change, and it will because life is unpredictable, will any of the people reading your status care enough to get involved? Does any one in your life feel a sense of responsibility for you? Plenty of people care about you, but does any one see you as THEIR responsibility? Answer this question now because after the status updates start to change it's too late.

This is just one more reason that I love the structure and mission of our church. We do everything in our power to convince people to be a part of what we call community groups. In these groups you have the potential for Accoutability, Care, and Belonging. Trust me...when your "status" changes you will either be glad that you decided to surround yourself with community or you will wish that you had. Fortunately both my friend and his son have chosen to surround themselves with community and people that care about them and in this hour they need it!
What about you?
NEXT GROUP LINK: September 26, 6:30 @ Levine Senior Center [Sign Up HERE]

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Would they mourn our loss?

This Sunday will mark two years of Sunday morning services for Ridge Church so I've been reflecting back and dreaming forward...Last year at our celebration of one year of Sunday morning services I posed the question--if our church ceased to exist in our city "Would they mourn our loss?" Would anyone know or care if we were gone? The idea came from Acts 9:39 where a group of people were mourning the loss of a lady named Tabitha. The striking thing in this passage is that the people that Tabitha had served were the ones that were devastated by her loss because of how selflessly she had served them and invested herself in them and given to them. So the piercing question is if we ceased to exist, "Would they (anyone in our city) mourn our loss?" I'm so passionate about seeing the Queen City (Charlotte) experience the overwhelming, restoring, enabling grace of Jesus. You can Listen to that sermon HERE--Andy Stanley kicked off the message and I wrapped it up with local vision:

That day I framed three things that if we pursue them and become them, they will enable us to become the kind of church who's loss would be mourned by our city if we were gone. I want to remind all of us of these three:

ONE: We must become a church that INVITES people to belong before they believe
TWO: We must become a church that INVITES the undeniable presence of God
THREE: We must become a church that INVITES radical participation in God's activity.

Again, go back and listen to the second half of that message to get the full context. It's a good reminder of the kind of church Ridge has set her sites on becoming--and is becoming! Go HERE to listen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crowd control-Ridge is seeing double!

Just a quick update and reminder. This coming Sunday is our final Sunday with only one service time. It was a crazy packed house last week so the timing is perfect. On September 12th our service options will expand to 9:30am and 11:00am!

Here's 3 reasons why we are adding a service time:

1) For our volunteers: Many of you volunteer in Waumba, Upstreet, or Student Impact and don't get to attend or invite people to worship services. We want you to ATTEND one worship time and SERVE one worship time. You, our volunteers, are also the best "inviters" among us, so now you can invite friends to come with you to the 9:30 worship time.

2) For our students: We believe God desires to use teenagers to bless people here and now. Two services allow them an opportunity to attend their worship environment at 9:30 as well as volunteer during the 11am worship time.

3) For open seats: When we open up new service times it opens up new seats so we can continue to grow. Take the time to invite a friend to attend Ridge Church with you. Sometimes all they are waiting on is a specific invitation. Have you asked them yet? If not it's time.

We will offer identical adult worship experience at 9:30AM and 11:00AM. Student Impact for grades 6 - 12 at 9:30AM and Waumba (birth-5yrs) and Upstreet (K-5th) at 11:00AM.

**We are experiencing explosive growth in our family ministry areas and are already in need of considering expanding to add a second Waumba and Upstreet environment at 9:30AM. BUT we need your help! It takes many committed volunteers to create these excellent environments. Help us create more seats so people can continue to experience God's love and plans for them! Maybe it's time to get off the sidelines and get in the game! We simply MUST NOT run out of space for families!!! Sign up HERE!