River City's Big Question

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Good afternoon, River City!

I’m wanting to spend time blogging this year as a way of staying in communication with you and as an outlet for celebrating what God is doing in our midst. There are posts coming up this month that introduce our new sermon series, posts about what’s different now that River City is moving forward as an official church, and a really important set of posts on what our mission and vision is for River City. But an important question to address first is the one that frequently pops up over River City Church:

Why Every Other Week?

You’ve heard us say that on January 13, we’re kicking off our official gatherings as River City Church, but that we’re only meeting every other week. You probably wonder what in the world that is all about. There are two main reasons. One is really boring, and the other is strategic:

  1. The primary reason we’re only gathering every other week is the boring one. It’s simply because some of those in leadership still have responsibilities to finish up at Grace Community Church, which is our sending church. Grace has been very supportive in the whole process of planting, and we’re very grateful for their assistance and oversight, which will continue for several years. They are allowing us to get River City started here in January, but I’m still on staff there until the end of March and Pastor Toby continues to work toward his certification in Bible Counseling, which should finish up around mid-February or so.

  2. The secondary reason is a much more spiritual and strategic one. Basically it’s because we’re new to pastoral leadership and church planting, and we don’t want to burn out before summer. We want to start off at a manageable pace, and meeting bi-weekly for a couple months seems to give us time to iron out the kinks, develop our routine and procedure for getting you all plugged into the ambassador spots where you serve, and to make sure we’re able to go at pace we can sustain.

    Most likely we will move to gathering every week in April or May.

What Should We Do In The Off Week?

What do we do on the weeks we don’t gather at River City? Here’s where we see the opportunity for some really special things to happen. Of course, you are free to attend Grace or another church on the off week. River City is not the church to end all churches, and we’re okay with your going somewhere else on the off dates. But here are some other ideas that support the mission/vision of River City:

  1. Invite people over for Sunday brunch. You know those neighbors of yours who might never darken the door of a church but might come over for food? Invite them into your home on those off-Sunday mornings and use the opportunity to be an ambassador of Christ’s love for them with generous hospitality.

  2. Have Community Group. Have your small group or Bible Study group to your home for breakfast or lunch on those off-Sundays and spend time in the word, or praying together. Have a specific prayer time for Riverside and the surrounding communities. Pray for those neighbors, coworkers, family members who don’t know Jesus. Ask God to give you strength and courage to speak boldly. Encourage each other in the faith, and together commit to doing suggestion #1 as a group sometime.

I see these off-weeks as an important opportunity to be intentional with your faith, to engage in outreach and make a difference in someone’s life. It’s an opportunity to turn your hearts toward those who live around you, and reach out in faith that God can use you, your homes, your table, your living room, to do something impactful for his kingdom’s sake.

Whatever you decide to do, if you’re fired up about what God did through you or your community group on these off weeks over the next three months, please write us at rivercityia@gmail.org and tell us about it so we can celebrate with you!

See you on January 13!

Grace and peace,
Rodney