4 Ways To Use An Invite Card

 

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by bobby williams

Not sure if you know this, but statistics prove that PEOPLE WILL COME TO CHURCH WHEN INVITED!  All you have to do is ask- you never know who might be waiting for you to just invite them. In fact, you may not be aware of what hangs in the balance of a simple invite.

Sunday we asked you to stop by Ridge Central and pick up a few invite cards to give out over the next few weeks. If you missed that opportunity, there’s still plenty to grab this week.

We always want to help you with this.  That’s why we always have multiple invite cards for you to pick up at Ridge Central each week and why we put together this list.  Here are 4 ways you can invite someone to church.

How To Use a Ridge Invite Card

I (Bobby) always keep a few handy in my pocket or wallet.  You never know when you need to give one away.

Invite cards are great conversations starters. And to be truthful, it’s really about getting an opportunity to share your story more than it is about you handing out an invite card.

When you hand someone an invite card, most people will ask, “what is this?”  That’s  your chance! You can then say to them something like, “it’s an invite to my church. God has really used this place to help me heal, change my heart and have a real relationship with Jesus. I just want you to experience the same thing because it’s awesome.”  Something like that.

Here’s a few more things you can do:

Buy a drink or lunch |  If you hit up the local Starbucks in Oak Ridge (and you should)  then pay for the order of the person behind you and ask the Barista to give them an invite card when they come to pick up their order.  You might start a chain reaction.  You never know what the Holy Spirit will do with that. I once was in line doing this and saw 8 people pay it forward.

Post a picture of the invite on social media | Take a quick photo of the invite card, post it on Facebook or Instagram, and then share your story in the comments.

Leave it on a co-workers desk with a note |  This is important; make sure you leave a note or Post-It that says something like, “Be sure to ask me about this!” That gives you a chance to share your story with them. Let’s not just do drive-by invites.

These are just 4 really simple ways you can use an inviter card. Be bold. Be creative.

We would love to see you have those you care about the most with us at the Ridge on August 21st for the last week of #bestdayever series. We really believe it will be a life changing kind of day.

 

 

You never know what hangs in the balance of an invite.

Expect Great Things

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by bobby williams

We all have expectations. But sometimes there is a disconnect between the expectation and the next step that will be the catalyst for the expectation to happen.

In spiritual terms, I have often said that faith requires action.

William Carey, who many consider the father of the modern missionary movement, as JD Greear points out, once famously declared to an English church resistant to send missionaries to foreign lands,

“Expect great things of God and then attempt great things FOR God.”

JD points out that great expectations come first and great attempts grow out of great expectations.

I have no doubt that sometimes I don’t expect much and so therefore I don’t attempt much. But every time I realize I have not expected much, it always comes back to the fact that somehow, I’ve made God small in my mind.

But when I properly see God has the God who created the universe and everything in it, the God on the pages of the bible that did all that it says He did, and the God that could save even me, I begin to see God as one who can do amazing things. Sometimes I just need reminded to expect amazing things and out of those expectations, take the necessary risks to catalyze those amazing things, then get out of God’s way as He works them.

Never stop expecting amazing things of God and attempting great for God.

Sometimes We Fail One Another

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by tara gibson

Have you ever had those moments that you heard news that was so shocking that you remember every detail about where you were and what you were doing when you heard it?

In 2003 when I was on maternity leave with my first born, very colicky son, I was sitting on my new $20 thrift store couch, that smelled like someone else’s bad habits. I got a phone call from my best soul-mate sister, which was also the wife of one of the pastors of my beloved church. Her words still sting as she said “Troy has been arrested for child molestation”. I was shocked, disturbed, sickened and terrified all at the same time.

Troy was our lead pastor, the founder of our church. The entire time I was asking the typical questions…”Who? When? Where? my mind was reeling back to my childhood when another highly respected, very spiritually gifted man of God was doing the same thing to children that are now scarred up grown-ups with trust issues, low self worth, and a string of bad choices that stem from the innocents that was stolen from them. Many years have passed since then, years that have been served in prison, or for the victims in therapy or in what God only knows what else.

The news that broke this past week in our city about 32 arrested, including 2 church leaders, in connection with human trafficking and prostitution took me right back to these moments. Moments where my church family was devastated. Moments when we all questioned how we didn’t know this was part of his character…this was the man that collectively married us, buried our loved ones, dedicated our babies, baptized us! Did his sinful nature make all of that null and void? Was everything we had learned about Jesus while under his teaching now questionable? How could this happen from such a “good Christian”?

I moved from that state shortly after that. I left that church where I was once so involved that it was part of my identity. I was broken. It took me a very long time to even want to go to church again. When I did I spent years in the background of a giant church where I didn’t want to know anyone, or get close to any of the pastors, because up until this point in my life preachers have been the men that have shattered everything I understood about God’s love and protection.

I was keeping myself “safe”, but in all honesty I isolated myself from the very people that I would need. I didn’t form the relationships that I needed when my life fell apart due to my first husbands addictions, depression and ultimately his death. Because I allowed fear to take over I was completely alone in a giant church full of people.

Now, 13 years later, I have had to overcome the after effects of my lack of faith and fear of man disappointing me. I am a very active part of my church family at Ridge Church. I have learned that we are all flawed and apart from Jesus we are all capable of hurting others. Even as believers we will fail each other.

I also know that sexual sin is alive and thriving in this broken world we live in, Christians are not immune to the draw of sexual desires. I am in no way excusing the actions of anyone! I’m simply stating that God’s word gives us specific instruction on how to guard ourselves from attack of the enemy.

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

http://bible.com/111/eph.6.11.niv

Non-believers will never comprehend that spiritual battle we are in EVERYDAY as Christians. They will never understand that we are probably tempted more than anyone because the enemy knows he can destroy the character of the men and women that are spreading the gospel by luring them into his traps.

So I say this to my friends and family that attend the churches effected by this disgusting crime that was revealed yesterday, stand firm in your faith, stand firm in your trust in God. Don’t let another mans actions draw you away from the community that God has called you into. Pray for discernment, pray for wisdom! Don’t read all the articles that come across and if you do don’t read the comments. If you read the comments, don’t react to them in an un-Godly way that will further damage what non-believers understand about our Jesus!

Let God fight for you!

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.””

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

http://bible.com/111/exo.14.14.niv

It is no surprise to God what happened in our community yesterday. Another thing non-believers can’t comprehend. It was NOT His will, but I can promise you He has a plan and His plans are always good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

http://bible.com/111/rom.8.28.niv

Young people, Apologists and Jesus

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by rob purdie

One of my favorite teachers – and by far my favorite living Christian apologist – is Ravi Zacharias, pictured above. I try to listen to his teachings on a daily basis.

Recently, I listened to one of his earlier messages that addressed the receding influence of Christian standards in Western culture.

I think that it resonated with me for several reasons, not the least of which is because he referenced the greatest Christian apologist of the modern era, C.S. Lewis.

Lewis was brilliant beyond measure. His transition from atheism to Christianity is probably a defining moment of 20th century Christianity. In addition to Lewis’ apologetics, his contribution to literature through his Chronicles of Narnia series is towering.

But Ravi’s point of focus in the current message was that God’s position as “a tiger,” a cosmic force to change the hearts and actions of men and women was past. Our culture now considers Christians and those who adhere to God as irreverent.

I see the tragedy in this. And I truly empathize with Ravi’s point. The world has changed in this paradigm. And the change is not inherently for the better. We, in America and in Western culture, have thrown off the anchors. We’re adrift in a sea of new-agey relativism that leaves us ungrounded.

In fact, on the temporal scale, this change is dangerous. Frightening even.

But, on the other hand . . .

The hallmark of youth is rebellion.

For most of Susan’s and my lives in ministry, we have focused on children and young people’s ministries. We wanted our children to have Christ-centered guidance. But, after a while, I came to relish the energy and a newness of perspective that came with working with young people.

And the church frequently needs to be reminded of how Scripture speaks of the critical contributions of youth.

Beyond all that, however, the element of hope in the future rest not only with God’s love being transmitted, but with a generation of people willing to transmit that to a needing and broken world.

Tonight, Refuge Student Ministries – the young people’s group at Ridge Church – are celebrating graduations and transitions with Memorial United Methodist Church in Clinton. In this celebration, they are lifting up God and what He’s doing in their lives and the lives of other people their age.

That’s why children and young people are SO very important to God. They aren’t just here to be the “someday” future.

They are here to be Jesus to a new culture – right now.

Behind The Song: No Longer Slaves

Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser bring a powerful message of freedom and restoration through “No Longer Slaves.” Here’s the full video from “We Will Not Be Shaken." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxkNj5hcy5E
Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser bring a powerful message of freedom and restoration through “No Longer Slaves.” Here’s the full video from “We Will Not Be Shaken.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxkNj5hcy5E

 

by julie bradford

“ You split the sea so I can walk right through it,

My fears are drowned in perfect love,

You rescue me so I can stand and say,

I am a child of God!”

The Ridge Band introduced the song “No Longer Slaves” a few weeks ago and it has quickly become one of my favorite songs. The song talks about how we are children of God and we are free from sin. My favorite part is the bridge, which is written above. Fear has been something I have struggled with often, so this song really spoke to me.

Fear is something which haunts each and every one of us at some point. Before January 2014, my fears were pretty trivial. I was scared of scary movies, roller coasters, and tornadoes. After I lost my husband, John Monday, my fears changed. I was afraid of sickness. I was terrified that my boys were going to get some crazy illness and they would be taken from me too. The fear began to control different aspects of my life.

I didn’t want to take the boys places where they could get sick.

I didn’t want to take them to places with a lot of children.

I would go to the gym at 4am so my kids wouldn’t have to go to the gym with me and potentially get sick.

I was blessed at this time to have someone come to my house and watch the boys, which helped ease my nerves.

But it still controlled and consumed me.

One Sunday, during the Recovering RedemptIon series, Bobby preached on fear and anxiety. It was at this point that I realized what the root issue of my fears was…..

I didn’t trust God.

I didn’t trust God to keep my boys safe. I didn’t trust God to keep me safe. I was just waiting on the other shoe to drop. I was waiting to lose someone else. Yet my perspective was completely out of whack.

  • In my head I knew God did not make John pass away. I knew biblically he doesn’t do that. I knew it was because of the fall of mankind, when sin entered the world, brought with it pain and sickness. So in my head I knew all of that was true, but I didn’t truly believe it.
  • My priorities were also jacked up. I was elevating my boys over God. I thought I would take better care of them than the one who created them.
  • I wasn’t thinking with an eternal perspective. Ultimately, my life’s goal should be to bring glory to God. I love being a mom and a wife, but that’s not the “endgame” for me. That’s not my purpose.

Once I finally trusted my boys to God and realized he has their best interest in mind and he is their Father, I was able to let go of those irrational fears I held onto. It was like there was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. That’s where the second part of the song comes in.

“You rescued me so I can stand and say, 

I am a child of God!”

God has brought me through this struggle with fear so I can proclaim I am His. He has brought me through so I can help others who are going through the same thing to see that, regardless of how awful life might be, we can still trust God. God loves us and, even when it seems like he is a million miles away, he is right there in the midst of the despair. He is taking care of us, maybe not in the way we think we should be taken care of, but in the way we need to be taken care of. Our God is a great and mighty God who loves us with a love we can’t even comprehend.