The churches true calling


It has been a blessing to see our church growing this past year with some new faces. Our nursery is full once again and has created new demands on our volunteers. I praise the Lord that we have seen God growing our church when we desperately needed it. As I have talked to new attendees what I have found to be the reason they like Riverside is because they felt welcomed and wanted.

One of our members told me that he was encouraged that he is seeing growth even though we do not have the most glamorous worship service. This does not mean that we shouldn’t seek to play skillfully and reach our culture where it is at with our style of worship. However, it does mean that church is more than a show!

This is all exciting and encouraging and yet I feel God continuing to draw us into a deeper and sanctifying relationship with Him. We are not a perfect church and our Lord has much for us to grow in. The Holy Spirit is always asking me if the sermons, Sunday school teaching, Awana Curriculum, Small Group talks, Sunday evening studies, and even random Bible studies throughout the week are transforming people with the power of the Gospel. It is so easy to take truths from God’s word and teach good morals, positive thinking, or nuggets of head knowledge and miss the whole point and that is that we NEED His salvific work in our lives daily.

You see the Gospel is always needed. It beckons us to recognize our brokenness and need for God’s tender mercies that are new every morning. Our pride and self-reliance or self-righteousness fades away in the light of the Gospel. Our hearts and minds are then exposed and open for God to sanctify us into strong disciples that are willing and ready to pierce the darkness around us.

May we never get comfortable with good things in our lives and always be asking God to make us more like Him. Part of God’s salvific work in our lives is to redeem our selfishness and our fear of man. We then become boldly focused on being a channel by which God can reconcile others to Him as well. This transforming work in our lives changes our hearts to yearn for the things God yearns for. His yearning is that “none should perish but all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). He is always calling us into action and away from apathy. This year my prayer is that we will allow God to transform us in new ways this year, as we seek to know Him and make Him known!


Christ My Life,

Pastor TJ