Bless It Forward…What A Day!

Today was an amazing day at The Ridge! We made 2 huge announcements and did something exciting as we kicked off The Gift offering season. We talked about our Gift offering that will be given on Sunday, December 16th. The 2 huge announcements were about what God was leading us to do with the funds raised.

First, we are going to be adding another staff member at CATR in the position of Executive Pastor after the first of the year. This is a crucial position that will expand our capacity to minister in the future and expand God’s Kingdom in our community. We are excited to be bringing this person to our staff leadership team. We have offered this position and this individual is ready. There is no funding to get them started and they are going to be raising some of their support. However, we feel that the church can and should be able to fund most of this with The Gift offering. It is a huge step of faith for us to hire someone without the funds in place, but we feel that God is in this. It is God-sized! And we believe that he will be providing through his people…and in ways we cannot explain! We cannot reveal who this individual is yet, because they are currently working in a non-ministry job and we do not want to jeopardize their current job. After the first of the year, we hope to be able to introduce this person, with them beginning work here as early as the end of January or the first of February.

Second,The Gift will be used to help us in multiplying by starting/planting another church later next year! This will not be a satellite campus like many churches have successfully done, but to actually start another church in another part of the state. It is a HUGE step! Another God-sized thing! We will be sending out Doug Garvin, who is currently serving as our Creative Arts Pastor, as the Lead Pastor of a new church plant in what looks like will be Savannah, GA. More specific details will come in the near future. It is an exciting opportunity for us as a church to birth a new church at such a young age ourselves! But we believe God is in this and God has been working in Doug’s heart for some time. When God led us to start CATR, we thought that we would multiply and plant another church in 3-5 years. I actually always thought it would be closer to 5, but God has other plans. We hope to send Doug out, if it pleases God, by the end of next summer with the goal of launching the church on Easter of ’09…three years to the day of the launch of CATR! WOW! God is big and He calls us to BIG faith steps! It is exciting to be a part of His work!

Finally, we ended our service today with the biggest thing of all. Bigger that the other stuff? YES! We did what I have only heard of a couple of other churches ever doing. Most churches would never even consider this. We spoke of contentment from 1 Timothy 6:6-10 and about blessing others today and at the end of the service we challenged people to experience true contentment by “blessing forward” the blessings God has given us. Instead of taking up an offering at the end of our gathering, we GAVE back an offering to our people. We took the amount that we normally would have received in our offering and gave it back telling our people to “bless it forward” to someone else. The only rules are you cannot spend it on yourself and you cannot give it back to the church. It is a HUGE faith step on our part as a church…especially since we are young and don’t have very deep pockets. However, the opportunity to impact others in our community is HUGE! I am excited to see how the Lord blesses our church, community, and families as we are a blessing to people all over our community.

If you received a “bless it forward” envelope today and have a chance to bless someone, please go to the Bless It Forward Experience web page HERE or go to the CATR website and click on the Bless It Forward button to share your story and experience and read other’s experiences. You may even tell others whom you have a chance to bless that they may go there and share their story too. It is going to be exciting to hear what God does!

Who would have thought that today, the beginning of the week-long Thanksgiving school holiday, with several people out of town, that we would have had our second highest attendance EVER besides Easter. There were 377 people in attendance and it was an exciting, Spirit-filled day with lots of buzz and energy at The Ridge! God is moving in our community and He deserves the glory!


1 Response to “Bless It Forward…What A Day!”

  1. 1 Bailey
    November 24, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    hey i have tried alot of churches and this is so far one of the best !!

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