Well, another year comes to a close. My mom and grandmother used to always talk about how the older you get the faster the years go by. I used to balk at that as a kid and a teenager, but it is SO true. I can’t believe that we are at the end of another year. I can’t believe that The Ridge is going on three years old! I can’t believe how quickly my kids are growing. Time truly goes faster as I get older. Maybe it’s the pace of life, maybe it’s the hectic schedule of church planting, maybe it’s trying to keep up with eight kids! Whatever it is, I am reminded of the fact that we are one year, one month, one day, one moment closer to Christ’s return. As I look at world events, I am even more mindful of the urgency of the calling we have as the Church.
As I reflect on these things, I thank and praise God for His faithfulness, provision, sovereignty and grace. Some of the Highlights of this year for which I am in awe of God include:
- 52 baptisms in one day!
- Our first “Don’t Go To Church…BE the Church” Day in March, over 200 participate in 15+ projects in the community!
- Over 565 in Easter services
- nearly 100 salvations indicated this year!
- Commissioned one of our staff, Doug Garvin, his family and several others to go to Savannah to plant a church.
- Dozens of families and marriages strengthened, restored through Family Camp and other ministries.
- dozens of families living or working toward living debt free.
- A second “Don’t Go To Church…BE The Church” day in August as we joined with 4 other churches for a Community Makeover Weekend that saw over 3000 people doing 350 ministry projects. Over 5000 people attending the worship gathering at Sam’s parking lot to end the weekend!
- Many people far from God turning or returning to Him.
- 67 families committing to the 90 Day Tithing Challenge and seeing God’s blessing and provision.
- Many marriages restored through our Fireproof Your Marriage series.
- Average attendance reaching 400.
- Went to Africa and laid groundwork for some exciting missions partnerships.
There are many more things that we have seen God do this year! Many people finding their sweet spot in ministry and many more connecting into small groups and beginning to develop as Christ followers. There are stories to tell and perspectives that have been changed that will impact another generation for the Kingdom of God!
What does 2009 hold? Only God knows for sure, but He has laid on our hearts some exciting things that I believe will rock this community! It is humbling to think about God using us to do His work. However, I still believe that He is going to use The Ridge to impact a generation, in spite of us! Just keep your fork Ridgers because something “Sweet” is coming! Times truly are urgent when it comes to reaching the world with the Gospel. We MUST be diligent in the mission He has given us, because time truly is slipping away…faster every year!
What does He want to do in you and I? Will we be willing to let Him do it? I pray that He will do His work in us and we will let Him. Have a great New Year!