Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Whirlwind of a year!

2013 has been a whirlwind of a year for Ridge Church. Christmas Eve was a fitting exclamation point on what was a year full of growth and life change. Our church doubled in attendance the past year and so did our Christmas Eve service. The highlight of Christmas Eve was seeing people engage in the service and respond to the Gospel. Crowd Hero wasn't too shabby either! And, while standing room only for over 70 adults was exciting on one hand it was an indication that we need to rethink our strategy next year:) Thanks for a great year! Thanks to each of you that have INVITED friends, CONNECTED in groups, SERVED at Ridge and Piney Grove, and GIVEN of your resources to this mission. Leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus is our mission but each of you are the fuel pushing it forward. I can't wait to see what God does through all of us collectively throughout 2014!

Here's our last E-News blast of 2013 with important info concerning the next few weeks: Ridge E-News

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Have you ever been owned?

There are just some people or some things that have our number. They own us. And there are days we feel just as powerless by the challenges we face in life. Some of us are owned by our past regrets. For others it's the uncertainty of the future. Regardless of what owns us, we all want to be free. That's what this new 2-part series is all about. Join us at Ridge Church  as myself and Patrick Mitchell dive into this concept. Spread the word!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Having fun at Church!

One of our core values as an organization is "Fun". Our filter for this is the question, "How are we creating memorable experiences?" In our creative and planning meetings we often talk about that one moment that people will want to tweet about or tell their co-worker about. Fun is disarming and typically engaging. We did a free, fun, family, photo booth in our foyer during our recent "Future Family" series. It turned out incredible. It was so fun watching families "have fun" together. Check out the highlight video!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Creating a Place where people can belong before they believe

We have two phrases that we've adopted/crafted over time that capture the full heart and intentions of our church. One of those phrases is that, "We want to create a place where people can belong even before they believe." It sounds good on paper and makes for a good tweet or facebook status but to be completely honest, in reality it's messy. When you create an environment that actively pursues this you can no longer make broad sweeping agenda statements about categories of people---instead you are forced to have conversations with "friends". Sometimes the conversations are hard and emotional! It's messy, but when you get it right---It's powerful and the result is epic life change. We have embraced our destiny to move toward the messes. As a result We've seen a lot of life change in the last 5 years. Can't wait to see what the next 5 years hold in store. Here's a snap shot of our 5 years of since our first Sunday morning service at Ridge Church:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Celebrating 5 years of life change!

It's surreal looking back to our humble beginnings. We had 12-13 people at our very first interest meeting for Ridge Church in 2006 (we didn't even have a name yet). Between 2006-2007, through a series of about 40 evening pre-view services and worship gatherings, we developed a core team of about 30-40 people to help launch Ridge Church. Then in 2008 we had our very first Sunday morning worship service. Since that time our people have truly committed themselves to doing literally all that they could do to support this mission AND we have watched God do what only he can do...over and over again. This Sunday we'll celebrate 5 years of life change. It is literally remarkable how much things have grown and changed. This will be an epic celebration. Don't miss out! The next chapter is yet to be written. We would love for you to be part of up early if you want a good parking spot. The opener will be too good to miss!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Prepare to be overwhelmed!

One of our distinctives at Ridge Church is our commitment to partnering with families. We leverage significant staff and budget resources toward what we call our "family ministries" (birth-12th grade). This summer we threw the biggest celebration in our history as we baptized 8 teenagers. It was an epic night. Prepare to be blown away as you watch this video. It's 18 minutes long and was embedded in a night of celebration with an overflowing, energy filled auditorium. Trust will be the best 18 minutes of your day! This is our mission in motion:

Monday, May 27, 2013

From Young life to New life

I'm a big fan of "young life", a campus ministry that aims to connect with students that might not typically attend a church. In fact, we have tried to structure our church in a similar way--we want to connect with adults that might not typically attend a church. I love Patrick's story. He became a follower of Jesus because some friends had the courage to invite him to Young Life. Now as a young adult he decided to publicly profess his faith and identify himself with Jesus through Baptism. I'm grateful that Ridge Church gets to be even a small part of stories like this!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Meet my former load in partner!

Our church, Ridge Church, is fast approaching our 5 year anniversary. We met about two Sunday nights a month for a "very long" two years then "finally" in 2008 we had our first Sunday morning worship service and began meeting every week. About four months ago we moved into our first 24/7 permanent facility and this new chapter of our existence has been amazing. In the last five years we've had the privilege of baptizing over 60 people and every time it's a reminder of why we started this church. Recently we baptized our first 7 people in our new facility, one of which was my load in partner for almost 4 years. She showed up faithfully at 6:30am for that entire time! Ridge Church wouldn't exist if it weren't for faithful servants like my friend Jessica. So it was my privilege to baptize her. Here's her story:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stop having fun or else!

Recently I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes casting vision for our "Guest Services" team at Ridge Church. I got to talk about our organizational culture and how it impacts guest services. One of our cultural values as a leadership team is "FUN". In relationship to this value we often ask the the question, "How are we creating memorable experiences?" The reality is, most people don't expect to have fun at church, so when they do it's memorable. AND, fun also increases productivity. Dale Carnegie said it this way, "People rarely succeed in what they are doing unless they are having fun."

Two recent examples where fun elements became memorable:
1) Guest Services: Usually our guest services team are the ones greeting people in the parking lots, checking people in, answering questions, and creating a warm and inviting environment for guests. So for the Guest Services Training our GS director brought in a "stand in crew" to greet the normal team as they entered for the training. They dressed crazy, parked cars on curbs, sent people the wrong direction, and did virtually everything wrong. It was was memorable!
2) Student Ministry: Our student ministry set up a harlem shakes video on youtube that now has over 400 hits [and still climbing]. All of a sudden church wasn't simply endurable it was enjoyable. Every middle school and high school kid at our church is proudly inviting their friends to "their" church this week.  It was was memorable.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Are you a Christian?

Are you a Christian? Well, that depends on how you define it doesn't it? This series will literally change the way you think about Christianity. Join us in our brand new facility 9:30 or 11am for this fantastic teaching series. We work diligently to create environments that are welcoming for people in all stages of life. I can't think of a better time to bring your friends to church with you. Check out the series teaser video below. See you at Ridge Church very soon!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Please Fasten Your Seat belts!

2012 was a great year full of milestones for Ridge Church. Without a doubt the most notable milestone was having our first service in our newly renovated building on December 16th. It was also the highest attendance in our history as a church. These new environments will enable us to to open our doors to a whole new group of people as well as bless our city in new and improved ways.

We kick off 2013 on January 6th with a great new year's challenge called "This One Thing." I want to challenge each of us to care enough about the people in our lives to invite them to join us at Ridge Church. It could literally change their lives. Fasten your seat belts--2013 is going to change everything. Don't be a spectator!

NOTE: New Service Schedule
9:30 Waumba Land (birth-pre-k) Upstreet (k-5th) and Adult Worship
11:00 Waumba Land (birth-pre-k) Student Impact (6th-12th) and Adult Worship
New Adult Worship Space

 New Upstreet Theater