Before Sunday @ The Ridge…

This Sunday we will be continuing our Advent/Christmas series, “He Will Be Called…” We are looking at the famouse verse that we hear so often at Christmas Isaiah 9:6. This week we will be focusing on the second name of the Messiah: Mighty God. Don’t miss it and KEEP INVITING PEOPLE to join you @ The Ridge this Sunday, next Sunday and Christmas Eve!

Next Sunday, December 18th and on Christmas Eve, we will be giving The Gift.

In our generosity series last month, we focused one week on Ephesians 1:7-8 which says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (emphasis added)

The Gospel is an incredibly generous gift! How generous are WE with the Gospel? How generous are WE with the resources we have been given, so that we can further the Kingdom of God in our community and around the world.

This Christmas I want to challenge each of you to consider how you could lavishly give back a Gift of gratitude and love to God and His work. On December 18th and also on Christmas Eve, The Church @ The Ridge will receive “The Gift”– a special, annual gift to God in gratitude and love for His incredible grace to us.

 The challenge is to pray about what God would have you and your family give – over and above your regular tithes – to this special offering. My challenge to you is to do one of two things:

  • Match or exceed your most expensive gift purchase this Christmas
  • OR match the total amount you will spend this Christmas

 What will “The Gift” be used for in 2012 at The Church @ The Ridge? Our staff and Advisors and Stewardship Team have considered where we are and where God is leading us, we have prayerfully made some specific priorities this year.

  • MISSIONS: We want to support missions as generously as possible. This has always been a part of the DNA of The Ridge. That will continue this year as we plan to give a significant portion of The Gift to support the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This is an offering that will support the work of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering we will be joining with thousands of churches across the US in supporting over 8,000 missionaries around the world. Most specifically we will be helping in some regions of the world that are considered closed to the gospel as the IMB is making stronger efforts in these areas.
  • FAMILY MINISTRY: When God led us to start The Church @ The Ridge, “impacting another generation” was a core part of the vision He had given us. As pastors, we have felt a strong urging from the Lord that this is an area God is working in and we believe He is “calling us to return to” with a renewed emphasis. Our desire is to grow by reaching new families with the gospel and also to strengthen the families within the church body. We want to do that with excellence and effectiveness and invest in areas of ministry that are “growth engines”, not just numerically, but spiritually. One of those, we believe, is Family Fusion. Family camp has been one of our most effective tools to renew and restore marriages and families. The last couple of years the economic environment has not enabled us to do our camp, but we have instead done a conference and even a road trip. Both of these were very good and effective. However, we believe that returning to the Family Camp this year is going to be most effective and important; and will reach the maximum number of families. Therefore, we want to make it as affordable in the current economic climate as we can. So a portion of The Gift will go to help make Family Fusion Camp happen…and make it affordable, enabling families that could not otherwise attend, be able to afford this life-changing experience. Your investment in The Gift will definitely carry on for another generation!
  • SAVANNAH CHURCH PLANT: Three years ago we prayerfully commissioned one of our staff families along with several others to go plant a church in Savannah, GA. Doug & Shelly Garvin (former Creative Arts Pastor @ The Ridge) launched Canvas Church 2 ½ years ago. God has given them an opportunity to move into a space of their own in a former strip shopping center. However, many things have been on hold for a while because they need finances to complete some of the buildout. They are almost there, but still in need of funds. We would like to take part of The Gift to help them complete this so they can aggressively move forward in impacting the community ti which God has called them.
  • SUMMER INTERNS: In the past we have had some part-time staff members working with Community Ministry and Students during the summer months. The current economic climate has forced us to not fill those positions in the last year. As we are praying for God’s provision to more impact another generation, we would like to hire some part-time summer interns to assist in several ministry areas, while at the same time we will be investing in them. These college students who are called to ministry will be able to learn and gain experience that will be valuable to them in the future. In essence we will be investing in impacting another generation around the world by investing in these future leaders. FINALLY…our budget has been trimmed dramatically this year and your generous giving has met the budget the last couple of months. This is a blessing! We want to be sure to set aside a reserve fund that will help keep us on a firm footing for the next year. A portion of The Gift will be set aside for unforeseen shortfalls and/or needs this coming year.

 What is our goal? If it pleases God to allow us to raise $25,000 – over and above the regular giving of the church – we believe that we can do all of the things mentioned. This is certainly a God-sized goal, but we are trusting that God might even provide more than this goal! If so, it would set us up to do all that is before us in 2012 and more. 

How should I give “The Gift”? Pray about what God would have you give on December 18th or on Christmas Eve. Put it in “THE GIFT” envelopes provided on Sunday. OR you may give online at the church’s website HERE.

See you Sunday @ The Ridge!


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