150? It’s Up to You

Our Sunday School Director, Jeff Yates has challenged us for several weeks to reach an attendance of 150 in Sunday School/Small Groups. This goal is attainable not just for one week but as a foundation for growth.

So how do we do it?

It’s up to you! The first question is, “Do YOU really want to average an attendance of 150?” And then the question becomes, “Are YOU willing to make the necessary changes for this to happen?” We are organized for the exact number we have currently attending.

Here are several actions we can take to increase our Sunday School attendance.

  1. Pray… for the following actions, leaders, members, and guests.
  2. Invite people and make contacts. To increase attendance by 10 involves 70-100 additional contacts.
  3. Start new classes. They grow faster than existing classes. We currently have 6 adult classes, 1 college/career class, 2 high school classes, 2 children classes, 2 preschool classes, and 2 off-campus classes. (total=15)

    One of our adult classes and the college/career class should multiply. Another children’s class needs to be added. We need a singles class (older & younger), couples class, mid-week class, and one more off campus class.

The obstacle to starting these classes is not a leader, or space, but a core group to move from their comfort zone and step up.  (Read more at www.tinyurl.com/TRC-10steps)

Your answer to the two questions above will reveal whether or not we will rise to the challenge. It’s up to you. Let’s get started!

We labor Together With God,

Ordinary the New Extra-Ordinary

rambling on logo for newsletter“In the grand scheme of things, how important is your church?” So asks Erik Raymond. He then ponders the size of most churches. “Less than 200 is most probable,” he reports.

In fact Southern Baptist congregations are typically not large. The median number of participants associated in any way with the life of the congregation, is 125. When participation is limited to those who regularly attend, the typical congregation has 90 participants—60 adults and 30 children and teens.

In other words, our typical congregational attendance is just above the median (The middle). We may be tempted to conclude therefore that our congregation may be of lesser importance, or feel a little embarrassed, or unimpressed by our size. At the very least we may use the term ordinary in referring to ourselves.

Raymond would disagree (and I as well). He states, “The church is the most important organization on the planet. Its importance and inherent value is not dependent upon size but substance. The Church has the highest calling on the planet. Her job is to glorify God. There is nothing more noble nor important.

The church also has a tremendous impact on our present lives. As Christians gather and work together to hear and apply God’s word, they are serving to encourage each other to find our joy, identity, hope, meaning and purpose in God.”

Complete article by Erik Raymond can be found at www.tinyurl.com/trc-xtraord

What a privilege to be a part of such an extra-ordinary organization called, The Ridge Church.

We labor Together With God, Wes

The Hidden Power of Singing

Benjamin Shalva describes himself as a wandering rabbi, writer, meditation teacher, yoga instructor, and musician. He lives and works in Washington D.C. In a recent Washington Post article he writes this about singing, (WP article at www.tinyurl.com/trc-singloudly)

Song introduces us again and again to our inhibitions. Unlike small children, who’ve logged so few hours on earth, who’ve yet to construct personal parameters for shame, we adults can have a hard time letting go. Maybe we’ll raise our voices only in the shower, or at a concert when we imagine no one can hear. Sure, we’ll grab the mic and sing karaoke. The rest of the time, wanting to appear cool and collected, most of us tighten our throats.

Why? Why would a simple little song inhibit us? What do we fear might happen if we open our mouths and let go?

Many of us don’t want to go there. We feel ashamed of our wild child (the child within). Who knows what he or she might do?

Then as we learn to sing with abandon, embracing our inner child, an innocent delight starts spreading into the rest of our life.

We pause a little longer when we pass by wildflowers in bloom. We dance a little jig to elevator Muzak, not caring so much if our neighbors notice. The path of song extends our laughter and widens our smile. We cry more easily, too. The world moves us more, permeating our senses and nourishing our souls.

As we set free the child within, we grow to love this precious life more, too. So, sing, sing loudly no matter what you sound like!

We labor Together With God, Wes

Super Bowl Sunday

rambling on logo for newsletterSunday is Super Bowl Sunday, the day that the supposed best two teams in the National Football League play each other to prove which is superior.

If you’re looking to travel to the Bay Area from Denver or Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, stay in an average Airbnb listing for two nights, attend the game and depart Monday, the cost would exceed $7,300.

The average ticket resale price for a single ticket to Super Bowl 50—hosted by the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Feb. 7—was $5,335 on Sunday night. That price went down slightly on Monday to $5,178 (since the Patriots will not be playing this time around), but still topped last year’s average of $4,271 and is the highest average resale price recorded since the site began tracking data in 2011.

However, not everyone wants to be at the game. They have some very good reasons not to attend. For example, Every time I went, they asked for money. The people I sat next to didn’t seem friendly. The seats were too hard and not comfortable at all. I went to many games but the coach never came to see me at home. The referees made decisions I couldn’t agree with. The game went into overtime and I was late getting home. The band played numbers I’d never heard before and it wasn’t my style of music. It seems the games are scheduled when I want to do other things. I suspect I was sitting next to some hypocrites. They came to see their friends and talked during the whole game. I was taken to too many games by my parents when I was growing up. It rained the whole game. It was cold. It was hot. The stadium is in a dangerous part of town. I just needed to rest up, and the game requires I get dressed and leave the house.

The reason I know they are good reasons is because I’ve heard them before…

We labor Together With God, Wes