Six Ways To Invite Someone To Easter at The Ridge

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by bobby williams

At Ridge Church, we have the mindset that we should do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get someone to church every Sunday, but especially on Easter.  The statistics prove that PEOPLE WILL COME TO CHURCH WHEN INVITED!  All you have to do 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 simple invite.

We always want to help you “carry the mat” for someone to get them to church.  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 8 ways you can invite someone to church this Sunday for Easter

Use a Ridge Invite Card |  I (Bobby) always keep a few handy in my pocket or wallet.  You never know when you need give one away.   These are simple:  Simply walk up to someone you want to invite and say, “Hey here’s an invite to my church.  I’d love for you to come on Sunday for Easter.  I will save you a seat.”  The invite card has our website on it so just tell them to check out the website for all the info on the church.

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.

Go on a Social Media Mission Trip |  This is the two weeks you should PLASTER Facebook and Instagram with invites to Ridge Church.  But don’t just post to your own timeline.  Post an invite to a friends timeline.  Take 5 minutes to open up your Facebook chat and message a few people to invite them.  Use the Ridge Church Facebook page invite to and share it on your own wall and invite your own friends.  Get creative on Instagram and make a picture inviting those who follow you there.  The possibilities are endless.

Shoot a video and post it to Facebook |  On your camera or computer, post a 60 second or less video inviting your friends to Easter services at Ridge Church.  People love videos.  Put your kids in it for a few extra views (Hey- whatever it takes right). On Instagram for example, you could shoot a creative 15 second video on Instagram and just say, “Easter..Ridge Church…Sunday March 27…come with me. Please???”

Send an Email |  Send a personal email to some friends, family members or coworkers.  Be sure to make the title something they’ll want to open and read like “A personal favor to ask”.  You don’t have to share the Gospel here, so just be honest and clear about what you’re asking.  You could say something like- Hey!  I really LOVE my church and since Easter is coming up Sunday, I’d love for you to come see why I love it so much.  I’ll even save you a seat.  Will you come to church to with me Sunday?  We have three services at 8:30 10:00 and 11:30 that day so just let me know which one I can expect you at, and I’ll meet you at the door.  If you have questions, just ask- and you can check out our website at ridgechurch.cc

Send a Text or Make a Call | Go old fashioned and send a few text messages or make a few phone calls and just make the ask.

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

What Is Your Next Step?

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by kevin bradford

What’s in a next step?

Do you remember the process you had to go through to graduate high school? You had to take this math class and that science, and don’t forget the electives! The amount of effort you put into each class was determined by what you wanted to do after high school. From there, you worked through a plan set by guidance counselors and teachers, designed to help you know which steps to take next.

The same idea applies to your spiritual growth. Let’s face it. Following Jesus is not an easy thing to understand. I look back on times in my journey where I felt dazed and confused, wondering what I was supposed to do next. Thankfully, God placed the right people at the right time in my life to help me navigate those uncertain seasons of life. I learned how to read the Bible, pray, serve, and live my life by watching those men and women, as well as by asking questions. They were patient as they showed me the next steps I needed to take to grow in my relationship with Jesus.

Jesus constantly invited people to take next steps. He told Peter to toss his fishing nets aside and become a fisher of men. He challenged a guy named Matthew, who was a tax collector (probably the most hated profession at the time) to leave behind his crooked ways and follow him. And don’t forget about the woman Mary he encountered after she discovered the empty tomb. “Go tell my brothers.” Every next step he presented was intentionally designed to help them grow.

At Ridge Church, we want to help you take next steps. Regardless of where you are on the journey, we will help you discover where to go next as you follow Jesus and walk with you along the way. The steps you take are critical to seeing transformation happen in your heart.

Here are some next steps you can take:

* Start a Bible reading plan. It can be hard to know where to start reading or what to read next. Bible plans can guide you so you can spend less time wondering what to read next and more time understanding what you’re reading! Visit http://ridgechurch.cc/next-steps/read-the-bible for some ideas to get you going.

* Join a Life Group. The goal of joining a group is to grow in your walk with Jesus around people that can support you in taking your next steps. We believe life is better when you live in community. Visithttp://www.nowsprouting.com/ridgechurch/form.php?pageID=65&loadDraft=1 to sign up for a group.

* Give to the Dollar Club. Once a month, we do the Dollar Club. It’s an offering we collect to benefit an immediate need in our community. As the title says, we ask that you give $1 (or more if you choose to) on the firstSunday of every month. The church matches the total given and then we help someone who could benefit from it.

* Join a Serving Team. When you serve on a team, you get the benefit of connecting with others and being a part of something bigger than yourself. We have a lot of opportunities to plug in. It’s all about helping you find the right fit for you that will help you continue growing in Christ. Visithttp://ridgechurch.cc/next-steps/serving for more information!

Who Do You Want To Be?

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by bobby williams

Here’s a twist on a question you’ve been asked before surely; who do you NOT want to be?

You have most likely been asked before, who do you WANT to be? For the record, I think these are both very good questions we should spend time thinking about, no matter our age. Because who we wanted to be at 10 or 20 is probably different at 30 40 or 60.

But here’s the tension with this question; many people I talk to know more about who they do NOT want to be more than they know who they WANT to be. However the danger is that we can spend so much time and energy running from who we don’t want to be that we never run TO who we do want to be.

You may not be specifically running FROM Jesus, but are you running TO Jesus? Maybe you’re running from your past, from someone, from something, or just from a picture of who you could be. Running from something doesn’t mean you’re running TO something.

Jesus tells us to “come to me all of you who are tired, weary and burdened (beaten down).” He tells us to run to him. And it’s in him that we find our true identity. In other words, he says run to me; not run from your past, who you don’t want to be, or even to who you want to be- run TO ME. And in him, not only do we find ourselves, who we can be, but we find rest.

And rest is good.

 

Climbing From “Not Ok”

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by kevin bradford

Rusty Sampson, one of our pastors, recently spoke on how to follow Jesus as a parent. It’s a challenging message and I highly recommend you listen to it. As I listened to him speak, I found myself tracking with everything he said. I felt challenged in my parenting and I welcomed it!

But something started to sit weird with me. As Rusty talked about how to maximize your time to influence your child’s life, my mood started to sink as I wondered how in the world I’m supposed to have an influence on their lives when, as a divorced father, I only get them every other weekend? My eyes started to survey the room and I began to count close to 10 others in the room who were in a situation similar to mine. In fact, a growing percentage of the people coming to the Ridge are divorced parents.

If you are one of these people, I want you to know you’re not alone. No matter how alone or hopeless you may feel, there is a community of broken people at the Ridge who know what you’re going through and want to walk through the struggle with you. Believe me, I know.

I bounced around to a number of churches in the area for years, often feeling like a misfit. For far too long, churches have ostracized divorcees. One church I visited didn’t have a place for a divorced father of four to plug in to, so I joined their singles community group. I’ll just say it was hard for me to relate to a bunch of twentysomethings who had never been married, not to mention knew what it was like to raise kids.

My goal here is not to throw other churches under the bus, but to let those of you who are divorced parents know you’re not misfits. I too know the pain of divorce. I know what it’s like to have to cram two weeks’ worth of time with my kids into two days. It’s hard. It sucks. It isn’t fair, but it’s life. At the Ridge, I found a community of people who accepted me for who and what I am…broken and jacked up. As time passed, I discovered some of our leaders, including our pastor Bobby, had also tasted the bitterness of divorce. I finally found a place where I fit.

We have a core value of embracing the unembraced because each one of us have been unembraced at some point. That’s why when we say “it’s ok not to be ok”, we mean it. We want to help you climb out of the “not ok” so you can experience all that a life alive in Christ has to offer.

Following Jesus Takes You All In

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by bobby williams

Three weeks ago, we started an all new series called #follow. You can catch up on the message here. 

For the last several posts, we have been looking at the 4 phases of following Jesus we see in Luke 5 where Jesus calls Peter the fisherman, to drop his nets and to follow him.  Phase 1 is to simply observe, phase 2 is to be inconvenienced, phase we looked at the take action phase and today, I want to unpack the all in phase.

 

When Jesus called his disciples, they took a radical first step and left what they were doing, and started following Jesus, learning from him, watching him and even participating. But being all-in has more to do with belief than it does actions. The thing that separates phase 3 (taking actions) from phase 4 is that a Christian who has gone all-in really does believe that Jesus is who he says he is and that he really will do all that he promised us he would do.

It took some time for Peter to get there. In fact, it probably wasn’t until several years in that we can see Peter start to get there and then some time later after the resurrection that we could properly call him all-in (see Acts 1-4).

Here are a few characteristics of an all-in believer:

  • They trust God with their whole lives, not just the easy parts
  • They belong to a local church and participate in the body of believers community 
  • They seek out ways to give, serve, and pour into others Monday-Saturday, not just on Sundays
  • Jesus is submitted to (to the best of our flawed ability) in parenting, finances, careers, relationships, and every other area of life
  • The goal is not heaven, it’s to become more and more like Jesus

Those are just a few. The bottom line is that an all-in follower of Jesus submits their life to being made more and more into the image of God and then seeks to reflect that image to others and in every area of life.

Now here’s the bad news; you can’t do this.

Actually that’s really good news. It’s Christ in you through you and the power of the Holy Spirit in you that we lean on to transform us from the inside out.

If you’re not there yet, don’t worry. It’s a process that can take time. Press into the Holy Spirit more and more, lean on him and trust him to do a good work in you. God is completing the good works he has started in you in due time.