Sunday, December 18, 2011

What's up with the new facility?

Today in the midst of a completely packed house I had the privilege of celebrating progress in our building campaign. People have given $35,000 since our first big give date just a month ago. We are giving 10% of everything received since that day to our local serving efforts, so $3,500 was available for our "Unexpected Christmas Store"--which along with another $2,000 from Ridge Church operating budget and $3-4k in donations, supplied Christmas for 14 local families.

So how are we doing? Really?
We have received over $148,000 total to date for our 1 twelve campaign! So here is how it breaks down in comparison to our goals. As a refresher: "1" stands for bigger one time gifts designed to fund most of the up fit and "twelve" stands for 12 month commitments/pledges in 2012 to help absorb the remaining up fit and increased overhead costs related to our new facility.

1 "gifts": Approximately 55% of goal (*enough to at least begin the demo work in January)
Twelve "Pledges": Approximately 30% of goal

The "twelve pledges" are an absolute must for us to get into the building so lean in and dream big with us! Here is the video we showed today as a little reminder of why this matters. Awesome to be a part of this Church and this mission!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

First Day Inside our FUTURE FACILITY

Amazing day for Ridge Church. We started off the day with a pancake fundraiser completely initiated and implemented by one of our awesome community groups (you should be in a group if you're not!) Then we went straight over to the future home of Ridge Church for the first weekend of our unexpected Christmas store. Dozens of volunteers worked like crazy to help create this red carpet experience for families in need. We will provide a complete Christmas for 14 families when it's all said and done...but more than that we are providing HOPE! Hope that no matter how hard their situation may be that their Heavenly Father hasn't forgotten them.

We literally got the facility keys yesterday at 1pm and within 7 hours our amazing people had created a "red carpet" experience for our Unexpected Christmas store guests. I love the fact, that the first time we ever gathered to do anything in the facility that will soon be renovated, it was to serve our city! Here's a sneak peak inside our facility and the unexpected Christmas store--(from my phone video camera but you get the idea):

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Twelve in 2012--December 18th

I'm blown away and honored by the sacrificial generosity of the people connected to the Ridge Church community. I use the word "connected" because some of the people that have continued to support Ridge Church financially through the years don't even attend our church and some don't even live in our city--but they believe in what we are doing enough to to help fund this amazing mission.

[The "1"] We are making progress weekly on our "1 twelve" fund to renovate our future home. The "1" of the 1 twelve is our effort to collect bigger one time gifts to capture the bulk of the funds needed for our renovations. Our next big give date is December 18th

[The "twelve"] The "twelve" of 1 twelve is equally if not more important than the big gifts. The "twelve" represents a 12 month commitment in 2012 to increase our monthly operating budget. Without this monthly increase we won't be able to sustain the increased costs related to a 24/7 facility. On December 18th we are doing a "pledge" day. The chart below represents our current giving, our goal, and what it will take for us to bridge the gap. We only need 25 families or individual to either START giving or INCREASE there giving (picking up one yellow box each). This goal is very we would love for you to pray--then pick a box for 2012. TOGETHER WE CAN DO THIS!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do you have breakfast plans Saturday?

One of our community groups from Ridge Church is hosting a pancake, or if you are from the south, a flapjack breakfast Saturday, December 10th from 7-10 am at the Applebees in Matthews. The proceeds will help us do two things:
  1. Renovate a new 24/7facility for Ridge Church--
  2. Supply Christmas for 14 needy families

This is something that one of our community groups took upon themselves, to plan, promote, and do and I think it's incredible that people have owned the vision and mission of Ridge at that level. So please come out and support their efforts and our mission.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ornaments with a Purpose

I'm so grateful for the creativity of my team and how much they value excellence. I think the most amazing mission on the planet deserves extreme excellence and my team believes that too. The magnitude of the mission should determine the excellence of the effort! Here is the most recent example:

Our church is working on what we are calling an "Unexpected Christmas Store" for 14 families in need at a local title one school that Ridge Church partners with on an ongoing basis. We wanted to fill their wish lists, supply all of their needs, plus bless them with a few things they didn't ask for including Christmas ornaments, decorations, and tons of basic household items. In order to help us cross the finish line and meet our goals we decided to create a memory/keep sake ornament that says "I helped provide an unexpected Christmas-Ridge Church 2011" Each ornament represented the donation of a tree, ornaments, and a household gift so they were $50 each.

The awesome part is that both of our giving kiosk lines were full and we sold out of the ornaments! They look awesome but the best part is that they are ornaments with a purpose--TO GIVE HOPE! We want these families to have a small reminder that God has not forgotten them. We are going to re-stock for next weekend and I can't wait to see the impact on these families and this school!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's where you should "B" Sunday!

Super fun worship service planned for this weekend at Ridge. 1-2 times a year we do a family oriented worship service at Ridge Church and this weekend is one of those times. The service will be super interactive and high energy. Waumba Land (Pre-school) environment will function like usual but Kindergarten and older will join us for one big exciting "family" service. Every child will receive a cool grab bag of FUN stuff when they enter the doors that will help them interact with us throughout the service. Can't wait to worship with the ENTIRE Ridge Church Family at once! It's going to be amazing.

Check out this Ridge Church video if you haven't attended yet. Trust me, this is the place to "B":

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A courageous step (video)

We are challenging ourselves at Ridge Church to be radically generous in this next season NOT just conveniently generous. We have structured our building campaign, called 1 twelve, in such a way that it will do two things 1) build out (renovate) a 24/7 space for Ridge Church with more seats and better environments 2) build up our city--specifically we want to bless Piney Grove Elementary school by providing Christmas for 14 of the families in the greatest need.

We asked these families to give us their Christmas "wish list" and it was incredibly humbling, and honestly a bit convicting! Unlike the wish list most of us would formulate, with iphones, 70 inch tv's, new cars, new jewelry bla, bla, bla---these "wish lists" were more or less survival lists for many of them. They asked for groceries, pajamas, blind for windows, house hold items (and yes a few toys!). Many of them are just hoping to have electricity this Christmas. It was truly humbling to experience. AND I want us to rise to the challenge.

10% of all funds received for our entire 1 twelve building campaign will go directly to our local efforts over the next year (Our Goal is $27,000--one of these projects is the unexpected Christmas store for these families)

Check out this video called "A courageous step": We also want to create space where this can happen over and over again-Take your place in the story!:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Video in future Home of Ridge!

Our 1 twelve campaign (1 stands for a one time gift TWELVE stands for a 12 month giving commitment) had it's official beginning this weekend. We are extremely excited about the journey toward the future home of Ridge Church and we are very grateful for the families that are sacrificing to lean in and give generous financial support. Every gift makes a difference. Begin preparing now for the next BIG GIVE date on December 18th. Also, remember that 10% of everything we receive toward this campaign will be given directly to benefit our title one school partnership with Piney Grove Elementary School. To contribute through e-give CLICK HERE.

Here's the first video shot in the Future Home of Ridge Church. Stay tuned for three more in the days ahead:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Don't just have a Christmas--GIVE ONE!

This Sunday is a HUGE day for Ridge Church. It's our first of two "BIG GIVE" dates and we are asking people to help us do two things:

  1. Renovate a 24/7 space for Ridge
  2. Bless Piney Grove with an “unexpected Christmas” store.
It’s SIMPLE: you can do both of those things at once by making a donation to “1 twelve”. We decided to structure our renovation efforts in such a way that it would build/renovate our 24/7 space and build a better city at the same time. So, a percentage of every dollar that is given to “1 twelve” will go to create and supply an “Unexpected Christmas store” and basic necessities for 15-20 of the neediest families from Piney Grove. We want to empower the parents to be the heroes in their own homes by allowing them to “buy” Christmas for their families. Many of these families won’t even have electricity this Christmas without our help—So PLEASE BE RADICALLY GENEROUS!

*Our 1 twelve Goal is to raise $275,000 dollars and to give 10% of that to our Piney Grove efforts— including the “Unexpected Christmas Store.” Your generosity enables us to bless others. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to help us turn the 1st page of new chapter. Together we can do this!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wherever you are be all there

One of my favorite quotes is from Jim Elliot, who was savagely murdered in 1956 while bravely attempting to take the love of Jesus and the message of a Savior to the Waodoni Indians of Ecuador. Jim once said "Wherever you are be all there." Truthfully I have a love hate relationship with that quote because it has both kept me centered and frustrated at the same time. As a visionary leader I can sometimes leap to the next thing and prematurely abandon the current thing...or I can effectively nod my head in agreement while my mind has raced miles ahead. So wrestling with this idea "Wherever you are be all there" at home and at work is great for me but challenging for me.

On that same note, Andy Stanley did an amazing job applying this idea to our work context in part four of "Game Plan". Go HERE to listen to the message. Andy wrapped up with four great probing questions for us to wrestle with:
  1. Based on your current performance would you trust you with a better opportunity?
  2. Are you preparing for the next opportunity or just waiting for it?
  3. What can you begin doing where you are now to begin preparing for the next opportunity?
  4. Is there an opportunity where you are now that you are ignoring because the income doesn't match the work load?

A better city?

I love the fact that there are a group of people in Charlotte that heard the name "Ridge Church" for the first time as we were serving them in practical ways! I heard one of my pastor friends in the area say this and I believe it's true for our church, "We don't just want to have a better church we want a better city". Don't get me wrong, Charlotte is an amazing city, but what city wouldn't be better with more love, more serving, more generosity, more selfless acts?

Close to 50 people participated in a work day for Piney Grove Elementary this past weekend and the goal was to make improvements to the physical grounds of the school so that the students, parents, and administration of the school would step on to that campus with pride. It was amazing to experience Ridge Church families serving along side the families and administration of Piney Grove Elementary School...TOGETHER WE ARE BETTER!

Yet again, for Ridge Church when it comes to put up or shut up you guys stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. Thanks for being generous. Thanks for being selfless. Thanks for serving. We are doing for one school was we wish we could do for all (and one day maybe we will--as this revolution of Christ love continues)! This is just the beginning.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ridge Church is Moving Soon!

I'm very pleased to announce that Ridge Church will be moving soon. Last weekend we celebrated three years of Sunday morning services at Ridge Church and we also announced that we will be moving soon to a 24/7 location. Applause erupted from the crowd which was pretty cool to experience! Stay tuned for more details as they unfold but for now just know that we have commissioned the architects and engineers. Renovations will likely begin within the next 6 weeks. The new facility is only 4000 feet from our current location. So many lives have already been changed and I can't wait to experience the life change that will happen in this new facility! You can go HERE and contribute through Egive to this project called "1 twelve".

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

This week was part two of our current series "On Your Mark..." Message Title: "Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?" LISTEN HERE. I wonder if any one appreciated the Eminem reference:-) Quick thanks for all of the comments, texts, emails, and phone calls about the sermon from Sunday. I love being the pastor of this church!

We began the morning talking about the "polarizing nature of Jesus" and I gave five statements, beliefs, and claims of Jesus. My caveat was this--I said, "I'm not asking anyone to agree with these; interpret these; or even like these;...I just want you to listen and feel whatever it is that you feel when you hear these. I said I would post these five with verses so here they are. Before you decide how this sermon will end you should check it out for yourself. You might be surprised!
  1. Jesus said he was the ONLY way to God. John 14:6
  2. Jesus claimed to exist before the world began John 17:5
  3. Jesus believed heaven and hell are literal places (and real people will spend a real forever in one of those places) Matthew 6:9, Matthew 7:19-23
  4. Jesus claimed to be God (not a good teacher or prophet) John 8:58 & Exodus 3:14
  5. Jesus predicted his death, and his resurrection AND witnesses saw him alive John 20

Friday, September 2, 2011

"I'm not afraid to die"

I can remember clearly one particular night from the early days at Ridge Church. We were doing a series of what we called "Core Gatherings" and this night a generous count would have placed 30 adults in the room (assuming 3-5 people were in the bathroom:-). I was doing my very best to cast vision of a preferred future to that handful of adults and I was hoping they would lean in and buy in! I told the story of an imaginary person and what that person would "one day" experience at Ridge Church. A person that wasn't a "church person", and had left all that spiritual stuff behind years before. If I'm honest, the story seemed far fetched even to me--it felt light years away--like a pipe dream. Now, a few years later, a lot of sacrifice later, a lot of vision later, we've all had the privilege to attach name after name after name to that imaginary story as it consistently becomes REAL! Listen to Barb's story and know this is "the story" I told that night so long ago...even though we had yet to meet her or know her name at that time. I'm humbled to be a small part of what God is doing in peoples lives. Maybe you should be part of it too?

Barb's Baptism from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Simply Undeniable

Ridge Church kicked off a brand new series yesterday called "On your Mark". You can catch part one of the series HERE. The truth is, every single one of us could walk into church any given Sunday and find ourselves mentally arguing with what the pastor says. We think "Yeah...but" and "What about..." or "If he only knew my story..." and we come up with all sorts of reasons why something that might be slightly challenging doesn't actually apply to us. BUT--over the years I've been in ministry the one thing that is "SIMPLY UNDENIABLE" is life change. When a person is literally changed by the grace of God people may not understand it but they can't deny it. Check out this story and Baptism from our service on Sunday.

El's Baptism from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Box Crate and Some lights

Absolutely phenomenal final installment of our "Balanced" series. This series was so well timed! Band was incredible today--lead by the stellar Chris Kincaid. You can listen to the final message installment HERE. Our Program Director Rust Burchard designed a very creative stage set using box crate that he got for free. (All in a load in church:-) We are using neutral stage sets currently so that our students can use the adult environment for their service that follows the adult service. Packed house today. Don't be late next week or you LITERALLY might not get a parking space:-)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Circles are better than Rows-September 18th

"Circles are better than rows!" We use this phrase all the time at Ridge Church but we don't want you to take our word for it--we want you to experience community groups for yourself. Two times a year we have an event called "Group Link" and the next one is September 18th. Group Link is a great opportunity for people to get connected in an non threatening environment while learning what groups are all about. At the end of the night you will have an opportunity to form what we call a Starter or Formational group that last for 8-10 weeks. Go HERE to sign up! NOTE: If you live Fort Mill, Pineville Ballantyne, Waxhaw sign up soon. We are trying to open up a group or groups for you!

**We have 3 types of Groups that people can sign up for. Limited Availability for some groups**
  1. community groups--married couples groups, men's groups, women's groups
  2. starting point groups--people who are seeking answers, new to faith, or returning to church or faith
  3. financial peace groups--Discussion groups around Dave Ramsey driven content about finances.

GroupLink Promo from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's time to do something...600 back packs!!

I'm a big fan of Miles McPherson, pastor of "The Rock" in California. He has adopted a mantra and simple challenge for his church "JUST DO SOMETHING" (He framed it as a book as well "Just Do Something"). My brother is the Chief Editor of "Outcomes" magazine and you can read his interview with Miles on this mantra "Just Do Something" HERE.

The reality is this: Most of the great and extraordinary things that happen in this world happen under the initiative or authority of people that weren't experts when they started whatever it was that they started. Sometimes the answer to change is to "JUST DO SOMETHING"

That is our challenge to Ridge Church! It's time to do something (AGAIN). We are partnering with a local title one (81% free and reduced lunches) school called Piney Grove Elementary. We've set an audacious goal of providing 600 filled back packs for children as they start back to school. This is just one of many initiatives at Piney Grove over the next year.

BACK PACK ORGANIZATION DAY: We have our first organization day Monday, August 15th 6-8pm at New Charlotte Church. Map HERE. Email to confirm your attendance. Lemonade and cookies provided.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Andy Stanley coming to Charlotte

Back in 2006, following an undeniable passion God had placed in my heart, I began talking with a handful of people about the idea of starting a church in Charlotte that would create environments that un-churched people would love to attend and a church that prioritized authentic community among believers. By the end of 2006 through a series of what we called "Core Gatherings" we had rallied about 30 adults to join us in this effort and we had officially named the church "RIDGE CHURCH" .

Fast forward to 2007...North Point Community Church founded and led by Andy Stanley contacted me and extended their hand to us to form a formal partnership. Our team launched a series of 25 evening worship services in 2007 and then FINALLY in 2008 (in the worst economic downturn of our lifetime:-) we held our very first Sunday morning worship service and the official journey began.

We have seen and experienced unbelievable life change during this journey. NOW: We are excited to welcome Andy Stanley to come speak at Ridge Church in Charlotte on September 15th to celebrate with us--both what God has done and what is yet to come for Ridge Church. We hope you'll join us for this event! Space is limited. You can register online HERE.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back in the Black

We are in a really great series at Ridge Church that is incredibly timely in light of the economic turmoil and fear our country has been experiencing in the last few weeks. The stock market is going crazy, the country's credit crisis has caused a frenzy and people are wondering if 2011 is going to close out like a bad replay of 2008. So...our series called "Balanced" couldn't be more perfectly timed. Join us this Sunday as we continue to answer the question "How can we stay in financial balance personally when it seems like the entire world around us is out of balance?"

You can listen to last week's message by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Back from a blogging break

I thought this would be a good re-entry to blogging after a little bit of a break. We would love for you to join us in Charlotte for this event as Andy Stanley joins us at Ridge Church for a night of worship. Mark your calendars and plan ahead. Space is limited. Stay tuned for more details:

Ridge Church Night of Worship from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Guardrails Begins (pictures)

[Guardrails: a system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous or off-limit areas.] They’re everywhere, but they don’t really get much attention . . . until somebody hits one. And then, more often that not, it is a lifesaver. Ever wonder what it would be like to have guardrails in other areas of your life—areas where culture baits you to the edge of disaster and then chastises you when you step across the line?

Your friendships. Your finances. Your relationships. Your morality...

Maybe your greatest regret could have been avoided if you had established guardrails.
Great start to the series. Don't miss part two. (Adult service 9:30 Students at 11:oo) Here are a few pictures from the day:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When an idea becomes a movement!

This past Sunday was yet another reminder of why this church must exist and why we started Ridge Church to begin with. It was a reminder of why we work so hard to create relevant and engaging was a reminder of why giving our hard earned money matters! But before we ever created our first graphic, sent out our first post card, had our first interest meeting, had our first worship service or even had a name for this church, we had an idea that came from a compelling burden. "What if we could create a church where people without any weekly church affiliation would love to attend?...a church where church attenders would want to invite their un-churched friends?...a church that partnered with families as the lead their children spiritually?...a church that blessed and served their community so deeply that our loss would be mourned?"...AND every week Ridge Church steps more fully into that dream!! Week by week it becomes a realization for us and continues to grow. It's truly amazing to watch what started as an idea become a movement that I'm confident will ULTIMATELY transform our city.

This past Sunday we wrapped up our series called "Hail Mary" about prayer. Go HERE for the conclusion and to download a copy of the take away. THEN Sunday night we baptized 8 children. Coolest part...every one of those children were lead to Jesus by their parents as a result of a Gospel presentation in Upstreet called "Jump Start". One of the mother's that led her daughter to Christ just became a follower of Jesus herself last year. I baptized the daughter almost a year to the day from when I baptized her mom. Unbelievable! Here are a few pics and I'll post all of the videos over the next few weeks. Amazing to be part of a "God idea" that is becoming a movement! Huge thanks to Danielle Banks for making all of this happen!

Patrick Mitchell (Family Ministry Director) Explaining Baptism
Natalie Osborne Lead a team to create the coolest environment ever. The buffet line was made of all the children's favorite foods. Quite an interesting collection as you can imagine!

Chocolate Covered Cake balls. Enough said!This was intended to be a table decoration but my Son was eating one of those bunnies when I saw him:-)
Spanky Rouse baptizing his Son, Mac. You'll enjoy the video later!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Intuition sees nearly. Prayer sees clearly.

Great start to our series called "Hail Mary". Part One is called "Intuition is not enough". You can listen to it on line HERE. Don't forget "Intuition sees nearly. Prayer sees clearly" I'm so proud of the focus and excellence with which the Ridge Church staff and volunteers create environments that partner with families. This past Sunday we had far more children in just our Upstreet environment (K-5th) than we had in our entire church when we first began. Every week kid's literally drag their parents to be a part of what's happening in those environments.

Amazing job by the adult service programming team as well. Bon Jovi and Doug Flutie helped us kick off the morning. Quite the combination for Sunday morning church. Here are a few pics from the stage:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hail Mary: Everybody Prays Sometime

Everybody prays some time. Even people who don’t consider themselves to be religious typically hit a bump or turn at some point in life that invites a “Hail Mary” prayer. So what are we praying for or what are we waiting for? Is there a secret to this thing called prayer? Is this ancient discipline still practical for today? This will be our topic of discussion for the next two weeks at Ridge Church. Join us at either 9:30 or 11:00.

Join the "Hail Mary" Facebook event HERE!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Becoming Mrs White in your circle of influence

Last but not least...check out this video of Paige Burchard going public with her faith. In her story she references "Mrs White", her kindergarten teacher that walked with her as she placed her faith in Jesus as her Savior. I've never met Mrs White but I hope that every person in our church becomes like Mrs White within their circle of influence. I know this doesn't happen on accident. People who have that kind of impact and influence are always doing it very purposefully and very prayerfully. Very proud of Paige. Awesome girl...very grounded in who she is in Christ. She's a great example to the younger generation of girls!

Paige Burchard from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ridge Church: Recent sets & Activities

Very busy and exciting season at Ridge Church. We are in the home stretch of an amazing series called "Time of your Life". You can listen to previous sermons HERE. Along with our time theme we decided to introduce "Minute to Win it" as a part of our service activities. It's been really entertaining. Below are a few stage shots from the series, minute to win it, and our first ever "Uptown Night of Worship!!" Night of Worship was a great night worshiping a Big God with great people in the heart of a city we love deeply. It was the first night Uptown Charlotte for Ridge Church but it won't be the last!

Omnisolv Uptown Charlotte (final band sound check)

Night of Worship: A few moments of vision for OUR city!

"Time of Your Life" Stage set
Minute to Win It: Game Host-Ed Williams

Minute to Win it "Winner" Mark Dodson (useless skills:-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My life, career, marriage was fine AND THEN...

I've heard countless stories from people through the years. Being in ministry I feel like I've heard every imaginable scenario. One of the undeniably common themes is that every story has "AND THEN" moments. Some are major others are minor but they are very real. My life was good AND THEN...MY career was launching AND THEN...My marriage was great AND THEN...My health was fine AND THEN...My relationship with my son was great AND THEN...Everything was going great at school AND THEN... What happens after "AND THEN" is absolutely pivotal. For men, women, and teenagers alike when you allow your "AND THEN" moment to lean you into God and his people (Christ Followers) rather than away, you have the potential to find meaning and hope in something that seemed meaningless and hopeless. I couldn't help but notice "AND THEN" in Hunter's story. I'm so proud of him for what he did next. Listen for yourself:

Hunter Henry from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When pain pushes you where will you go?

Unfortunately none of us, even children and teenagers, are immune to significant hurt and pain in our lives. The real question is "When pain pushes you, where will you go?" Madison's story is full of pain and peace...all in the same story! I'm grateful for her courage to publicly share her pain, her journey, and the peace she found in Christ and his followers as they rallied around her. Pain pushes us all at some point in our life. I believe ultimate peace in the midst of that pain is only available in Jesus:

Madison Skala from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What are the two most important days in life?

Mark Twain said, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why." Discovering our purpose is essential to living a meaningful and satisfying life. I love Serena's words about placing her faith in Jesus. I was privileged to have a front row seat to this one. I'm proud of her for choosing to follow Jesus and going public in baptism. Listen to her story:

Serena Richardson from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Speaking candidly...

Here's another story from one of the recent baptisms at Ridge Church. Logan has a quick wit and it comes out in his story. I remember a couple of years ago hearing Jeff Foxworthy (who attends our partner church North Point Community Church) say that one of the defining moments for him was when he realized that his humor and natural ability to see the funny side of things wasn't a curse but instead was part of God's unique design on his life. He said it freed him to use that for a "bigger purpose." He now partners frequently with Andy Stanley and his church using that gift to raise money for charities. God created us uniquely and when we surrender "all of us" to him those gifts come alive and make a difference! Enjoy:

Logan Martin from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tell the World

We recently baptized 6 teenagers at Ridge Church and that's such a huge deal and reason to celebrate. It doesn't mean their lives will be perfect, sinless, or wrinkle free from now on. In fact the act of Baptism in of itself doesn't have any special saving power but what it represents is absolutely powerful. When a person is baptized they are "publicly" acknowledging that Jesus is their Savior and they want to follow him with their lives. It takes courage to "go public" with your faith. Baptism is an event that celebrates a person's personal faith in Jesus but being a follower of Jesus isn't simply an event it's a journey. It's a life long journey where we relentlessly pursue a relationship with our Heavenly Father who pursued us through his Son Jesus. Thanks for being courageous! I'll post each of their stories and baptisms in the days ahead, starting today with Robert Spurrier's story!

Robert Spurrier from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Everywhere...God doesn't just love our nation!

Here, There, and Everywhere is our invitation and challenge for every person that attends Ridge Church to do one thing "SERVE" in three ways:
  1. Serve Here--Local Church: we call it strategic service
  2. Serve There--Our city: we call it intersect (more on this later!!)
  3. Serve Everywhere--Our world: we call it Global X
We are planning two trips this year. One to Nicaragua and a return visit to Kenya. I want every person to be involved with global x--not just a select few! But we realize that not every one can go or can go at this time so our desire is that every person would either GIVE or GO (or both)! This year, when you get a a support letter from someone you volunteer with at Ridge Church or from your group etc--please give generously because it really matters! Check out this video shot by Patrick Mitchell (edited by Rusty Burchard) last year on our Kenya trip. Ridge Church's partnership with "Erik" has changed he and his family's lives--not to mention what it has done in all of us just to be a part of their lives!:

Eric Movie from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Here, There, and Everywhere (a revolution!)

We just concluded our teaching series called "This is the year..." and it was one of my favorite Sundays in a really long time! Chris Kincaide led worship and killed the national anthem--I've honestly never heard it that good. If you're wondering why in the world we played the National Anthem...well you should have been there:-) You can catch the series wrap up HERE.

I'll blog more about this later but we unveiled something called "Here, There, and Everywhere" that gets me so pumped up. I believe it is a reflection of us pursuing the heart and purposes of God as a church. This is a video that went with the "Here" portion--"Here" is our Strategic Service Efforts. The way we say it is "People putting their heart and hands in the place of greatest demand". Check out the video:

Here, There, Everywhere. from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This is the year...self deception ends!

Man--part two of our series "This is the year..." was incredible! We talked about how to end self deception and how commitment and conviction aren't enough. There is a third component that is crucial if we are to stop living with self deception. You can catch the audio message HERE if you missed it. We believe so deeply in the shaping force and support that a community group can be in a persons life. Hands down, groups are the most vital thing we do as a church. Check out this video that closed out both of our Sunday services, to hear how groups are influencing peoples lives here in this great city of Charlotte. Go here to sign up for our next group link. All of us need community!

Grouplink Winter 2010 promo from Ridge Church on Vimeo.

Monday, January 3, 2011

"This is the year"...kick off was awesome

We just kicked off a brand new vision series at Ridge Church called "This is the year..." You can catch up on part one HERE if you missed it. We talked about how "Nostalgia is a dream killer." It was a ton of fun and the day started with a DJ mixing our pre-service music and mixing with our band for the first song. Chris Kincaide did an amazing job closing the service with a Sick Puppies tune called "Maybe". It was the perfect closer to the day. The CD take away from the morning will be a game changer for people--can't wait to hear those stories. Trust me--last week was awesome but this week will be even better!

I had a ton of people ask me this weekend about our "Unexpected Christmas Project." It was truly one of the most humbling and inspiring things I had the privilege to be a part of last year. You can check out the video here. Many thanks to all who contributed time and resources to make this happen:

An Unexpected Christmas from Ridge Church on Vimeo.