These are unique and wonderful days in the life of River City Grace. The Lord is blessing and working among us in marvelous ways. Over the last year, we have seen many be baptized and give testimony of God’s saving grace in their lives. We’ve welcomed many new people to the body, and continue to rejoice in the work God is doing among those who have been around for awhile. New marriages have begun, and new babies have been born. New focuses of ministry have been initiated, both in organized and informal ways. Many people have moved in new directions for their lives as they grow and mature in Christ. Of course, new trials and challenges come with all of this, but God is ever faithful to provide and sustain.
We are a growing church. This growth is occurring both in terms of people growing spiritually in their walk with Jesus Christ, as well as numerically. There are more and more people He is bringing our way.
Jesus promised that He would build His church (Mt. 16:18), and we certainly see much of how He is fulfilling His promise among us. By His grace, and through the preaching of His Word, the power of His Spirit, and the fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ, He is doing His work among us.
It seems timely, therefore, to share briefly what I see as four key aspects of growth that are currently taking place at River City Grace. I call these the “four roads that are converging at the intersection of growth”.
Road #1 – The development of our Deacon Ministry. This vitally important area of support ministry was officially “launched’ atthe beginning of last June, with Gary Francisco serving as the “Director of Deacons” to provide leadership here. Potential Deacons are now being identified, and processes will soon be under way to evaluate and affirm these men as Deacons. You’ll continue to hear more about this in days ahead.
Road #2 – The enlarging of our Elder Team. As you know, the Lord has raised up two new Elders among us in Sean Wallentine and Eric Steen. Sean was affirmed in this office last February, and Eric just this past September. These are the first new elders that have been added in the last 8 years. We rejoice that God is increasing the size of the Elder team, to the end that we might more effectively shepherd His flock.
Road #3 – The pursuit of a Full-Time Associate Pastor. We have been aggressively praying about and pursuing this for the last couple of years. We believe it will not be too much longer before a man is in place. There are 4 men in particular that we are currently interviewing and considering.The nature of the position we envision is one that will deepen and strengthen our overall shepherding, equipping, and training focuses, thus providing greater opportunities for people to be growing and serving.
Road #4 – The reality of our Facility Needs. As almost everyone knows, we are maxing out our current facilities, both as it relates to our corporate worship space and classroom space. We consistently have people sitting in our make-shift overflow during worship on Sunday mornings. A team of people, under the leadership of Gary Holman, is prayerfully working on these “good” problems, looking at immediate, short-term, and long-term facility needs.
I bring all of these “roads of growth” to your attention for three reasons. First, it is
important for all of us who are a part of RCG to be aware of the “big picture” of how the Lord is working among us, and the good challenges we face along the way. Second, it is important for all of us to continually be praying about the Lord’s provision and direction in all these matters. We only want His will, for His glory, in all that takes place. We are desperately dependant on Him. Finally, it is important for all of us to consider how God wants to continue to use us in ministry in the body, both in terms of serving and financial giving.
As I said at the beginning, these are unique and wonderful days in the life of River City Grace. What a blessing to be a part of His family here – we all have much to be thankful for!
Rejoicing in the Lord with you,