Sunday School A Team Effort

David Francis. LifeWay’s director of Sunday School writes,

When I am speaking to a group of teachers about organizing their classes, someone will invariably say, “We don’t have an outreach leader” or “We don’t have an outreach leader.” I always respond the same way: “Yes, you do!” You see, if you are the leader, and you don’t have someone in those or other positions, you ARE that leader! However, it is too much for any one person. So we need a team.

Time: Developing a high performance team takes time. The ideal is a weekly planning meeting. Also the entire Sunday school team should meet monthly. These meetings need to be well planned and balanced with information and motivation

Encouragement: The fuel that powers effective teams is relationships. Sometimes leaders get so busy they can burnout. Each class needs an inreach leader to encourage the class.

Accountability: Effective teams have clear roles and responsibilities, and hold each other accountable. There is one thing worse than a vacancy: a filled vacancy with one who has the title, but doesn’t do the job. Often, the reason is that the responsibilities were not communicated when they were enlisted for the job.

Mission: High performing teams share a common purpose and goal. For Sunday School teams, a mission that compels is bigger than just showing up on Sunday mornings and going through the motions. It is rather a commitment to utilizing Sunday School as an intentional strategy to help people connect to the church, to Christ, to each other, and to opportunities for ministry. Is your Sunday school/small group team built around a mission to help people invite, discover, and connect?

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Benny’s Is Closing

You are probably thinking I spelled the name wrong and how could the Marion restaurant be closing. Rest assured your Bennies salad with their signature garlic dressing is safe… for now anyway.

Benny’s is a Southern New England chain of 31 stores that has been in business for 93 years, owned by the Bromberg family. The reason given for closure is the monumental changes in the retail industry and desire of this generation of Bromberg’s to retire.

The owners concluded that their business model was no longer viable. Now it wasn’t that they couldn’t compete. The first R.I Walmart opened in Westerly a few years ago right behind a Benny’s. While their business dropped for a time, they figured out how to coexist in the shadow of the box store. The products are always the same but the way to obtain them has changed. However, in order to endure they had to continually innovate and remain fresh and relevant. Ultimately, rather than continue down the road of constant change and innovation the decision to close was made leaving 700 people looking for work elsewhere.

The message of The Ridge Church is always the same, “For God so loved the world he gave his one and only son. Whoever believes in him will not perish but have life everlasting.” However, for The Ridge Church to remain fresh, viable, and relevant we too must continue down the road of constant change and innovation.

The alternative is playing out before us in the business world.

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Great Opportunities to Serve

I am passing on to you an email I received from the Trustees this morning. It is a reminder that we are in a season of physical and spiritual growth. The Lord has blessed in so many ways as we have stepped up to receive each blessing.

One facet of spiritual growth is physical involvement in what God provides. That is, “laboring together” with God in the work God is doing. In this busy time of the year and with the busy lives we lead, we may find ourselves too busy to receive what the Lord is ready to provide. Wouldn’t it be a shame to be too busy and miss out?

Here is the email:

The Trustees are diligently working on many projects at this time! There is currently a GREAT need for helpers at The Ridge!

Before we can add on to the Pavilion storage, we need to do some cleaning and organizing. October 7th at 8:00 am has been set for this project. October 13th and 14th are the days scheduled to do the addition.

We NEED your help! Please see a Trustee for more information or call me at 559-4020.

Many exciting things are in the works (parking lot lights, classroom building, landscaping, etc.); stay tuned for more great opportunities to SERVE!

Louie, Trustee Chair

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Above and Beond

I received a text the other day identifying a few folks who had gone out of their way to meet a church need. The text-er appreciated their willingness to help in an unanticipated situation on a moment’s notice. Most certainly a Hats off is due.

I am reminded of so many at The Ridge Church that go above and beyond what is expected of them as church members. We see many of their contributions on a daily and weekly basis. The Ridge Church could not exist and we could not begin to fulfil our mission from God without their committed service.

In addition, there are many who pull up their sleeves, pitch in, and just do what needs to be done, at the expense of not only their personal time but also contributing their own personal finances, (and NO they don’t deduct it from their weekly tithe). AND, they do it under the radar, quietly, and many times anonymously. While I could mention many tasks and I hesitate to mention any, I will call out those who bring food every Sunday morning for our “Coffee And …”

Let me be quick to add that I recognize there are some who are willing but simply unable to make the kind of personal and physical contributions they used to make. However, their heart moves them to do what they can, and to hold up the ministry, leadership, and mission of The Ridge Church in their prayers.

I confess that I do not show my appreciation often enough. I apologize for that. Nevertheless, allow to me to give all of you a big HATS OFF! Thank you!

We Labor Together With God, Wes

#SummerTime #OnTheRidge

Wow what a summer we had on The Ridge. God has blessed us beyond compare. We had salvations, baptisms, increases in our fellowship, guests, worship, VBS, fun, and of course our #SummerTime #SundayNights #OnTheRidge!

A Hats Off to our Church Council who sponsored, planned, and led each of the different Sunday night activities

  • Brotherhood – Dennis Howell
  • Deacon Chair – Mike Garlinghouse
  • Music – Debbie Henson
  • Outreach – Lisa Hottensen
  • Sunday School – Jeff Yates
  • Treasurer – Rosie Hertter
  • Trustee Chair – Chris Robison
  • WMU – Karen Dover
  • Pastor – Wes Henson

#SummerTime #SundayNights #On The Ridge

  • June 25 Church Picnic
  • July 30 – Bacon Sammich Nite
  • July 16 – Miners Baseball
  • August 13- Show N Tell N Watermelon
  • July 23 – Homemade Ice Cream
  • August 20 – Movie Night

Now let’s give summer one last HURRAH —

Join us this Sunday at 10:15 AM for STEP UP Sunday 

We Labor Together With God, Wes

I Gotta Tell This Story

A microcosm of Facebook, miscommunication, and I guess, life

So .. Someone shared a post by Joe’s Barber Shop on Facebook and as I was trolling, I saw it. Immediately I was taken back to my childhood days and infrequent Saturday mornings of visiting “Joe the Barber.” It was in another time, another place, and another “Joe the Barber.”

I shared the post and tagged my two brothers. For, as when one went we all went. Dave immediately replied that he also remembered and that there were some questionable haircuts and experiences, like a bicycle that was stolen in front of the barbershop.

BTW: I had forgotten about that incident. It seems that it was my bike and when my mom found out about it she came racing down to the shop and patrolled the area (Bowling Lane). Eventually she found someone who just happened to know where to locate the bike and for a fee … he did. (I miss the Bird. She always had my back)

Back to my story, A few minutes later the Murphysboro Joe the Barber’s, wife chimed in on Facebook and wanted Dave to know that he certainly could not have had such an experience at this place since Joe had only purchased the business a year and a half ago.

Well, we responded by assuring her that we did not mean any harm to the business nor were we referring to this barbershop. It was just that the name brought back a plethora of memories. (Of course, Dave and I had a good laugh as we texted about this privately.)

However, it all ended nice. I deleted the post on my own. She realized we were not talking about her husband. She messaged me and invited me to go by “Joe’s Barber Shop” and get my haircut, and recount my “Joe the Barber” experiences. I did this morning and got a great cut by Harold who has been cutting hair for 54 years. It’s hard to find a men’s barber shop now a days. I found one in Murphysboro.

We Labor Together With God, Wes

How to Discern An Opportunity

Last week The Ridge Church sponsored a Five Day Club presented by Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) in the community of Gorham. We provided an air-conditioned place at the community center. CEF provided the staff, materials, and an individual from the community provided the nightly snacks. Average attendance for the week was 21 children, ages 5-12, and 2 staff members.

Debbie and I attended the Friday night conclusion of the club. It appeared they had a very good week and the children were very interested and involved in hearing the Bible lesson. Playing “Drip, Drip, Drop” was also a refreshing success.

The community of Gorham has a population of about 300. There is no church in the community although the community has had several in the past. Currently, folks who attend church drive 20 minutes to Murphysboro, or 30 minutes to Carbondale. Some even drive to Pinckneyville. Most do not attend anywhere.

Thursday morning, I am driving through the community to look it over and will meet with some community officials and ascertain the possibility of having some type of block party in the community this September. Further, I wonder whether the folks of The Ridge would provide a weekly after school ministry lasting about an hour for the children this fall. Perhaps the Lord has opened up an opportunity for us to reach this community. I’m not sure.

Further, I wonder whether the folks of The Ridge would provide a weekly after school ministry lasting about an hour for the children this fall. Perhaps the Lord has opened up an opportunity for us to reach this community. I’m not sure.

If you would like more information and be willing to pray with me about this, please let me know. Call or text me at 618.559.7132.

We Labor Together With God, Wes

#CarbondaleEclipse2017

If you have been under a rock and have not heard, allow me to inform you that on August 21st Carbondale is in the path of totality for a Total Solar Eclipse. Observers will see (appx.) 2m 37s of total darkness!

Please note you must use eclipse glasses to safely view the parial phases leading up to the eclipse. We will give away 100 pair on Sunday August 6th.

I viewed the Carbondale eclipse website (www.CarbondaleEclipse.com) and invite you to do the same.

Some of the info I gleaned:

• The August 21, 2017 eclipse will travel 2,500 miles across the United States of America in an estimated 70 mile wide path, beginning its journey in Oregon, crossing 12 states, and ending at the Atlantic Ocean off the shore of South Carolina.

NASA will be streaming the eclipse live from Carbondale, one of the designated sweet spots within the path of totality.

• The last coast-to-coast eclipse occurred 99 years ago in 1918.

• We will host a picnic on The Ridge for any who would like to view the eclipse from this vantage point. (Bring your own picnic)

We Labor Together With God,  Wes

Summer Time Sunday Nights #OnTheRidge2017

Join us for Summer Time Sunday Nights #OnTheRidge2017. The complete Sunday night schedule is found inside, “The Witness”. These activities are informal get togethers designed with fellowship and fun in mind. I hope you feel motivated to invite and bring folks with you.

I want to specifically mention the “Show ‘n’ Tell ‘n’ Watermelon Feast” on August 13th.

1) We will have watermelon. The watermelon is provided.

2) For “Show n Tell” bring something that you enjoy doing, making, and/or learning about, and tell us about it. You may set up a display, have a story to tell, or maybe even show us first hand.

Give us a call at the Church office and let us know what you will be doing and what you will need for your display area. If you would rather not bring anything for Show ‘n’ Tell, no worries come and enjoy looking at what others are doing.

I am looking forward to seeing the many talents of the people of The Ridge Church on display.

This just In: We’ve added “Dips and such” to the August 20th Movie Night. Bring dips, chips, crackers, and/or veggies to share

We Labor Together With God, Wes