by Kenny Rader
Are you ready for another year? No, it’s not 2017 yet, but it’s the start of another new year of church and ministry for us here at RCC. Each fall, most churches prepare for the end of summer vacations that marks the end of season of the summer slump in the church. Back to school and cooler weather means that most of us are back into the routine of normal life. We here at RCC are excited with this new 2016/2017 year.
The start of another new year of church means several things for you and me.
I am so proud to have Channon as our youth minister and I thank God for his ministry here. You may not realize that God directed Channon to us but I really believe that God had in mind for Channon to join with us to work together. He, Channon, has certainly helped RCC in so many.
Fall means that Channon gets his youth programs going into full gear; plus, did you know that he is the chaplain for the Perry Football team? Channon’s ministry is growing and I hope that you help support him in his efforts to reach not only RCC’s youth, but the youth in our community.
On Sunday, September 11, we encourage everyone to attend. At last count, we have 194 people in the photos of our congregation in the church hallway leading into the gymnasium. Allowing for a few who cannot attend due to physical ailments, we should be able to have 180 of you here on September 11.
Will you commit to coming that day? Maybe you haven’t attended in a while or maybe you know of someone who has not been here in a while. What a great day to return with others who have been missing. Come and blend in with the rest of us. We miss you. And if you know of someone who has not attended in a while, invite them. Invite. Invite. Invite. Let’s invite our people to return.
We will meet at the Allen County Farm Park immediately following the conclusion of our second service. It’s an afternoon of great food, a corn-hole tournament and a lot of good conversation. Maybe someone will even get a volleyball game started this year. Oh, did I mention the great food? You cooks are the greatest!!!
We normally do our fall kickoff along with this special day, but visitors do not usually attend the picnic, so we wanted to separate these two events this year.
First of all, we want all of you, our people, to make a sincere attempt to attend both September 11 as well as this Sunday, the 18th. Let’s experience a great big family get-together both Sundays.
Second, let’s invite our friends and neighbors. Let’s make them part of our family here at RCC. I hear all kinds of great things from others about you, so let’s invite them to experience these great things also. Let’s not call ourselves a friendly church. Let’s demonstrate our friendliness and let’s be the Church that Christ meant for us to be.
Our new series, Now Is the Time, will relate to the early Church. Most of the messages will come from the book of Acts and we will see how the newly established Church of young Christians did things (and made a few mistakes along the way). This series will address some of the issues that came to light in our church survey that you filled out this past spring and that we made available to you recently.
On September 11, we will focus on the Church – Christians – our congregation. If you are a Christian, then our focus is on you. We will not beat you up or degrade you. We will not shame or berate you. On this Sunday, we will examine what Christ experienced in living for God. We know it can be pretty tough living the Christian life as the Bible teaches, so on the 11th we will observe the example of Christ. We will do a quick overview of a few parts of Jesus’ life so that we can see and understand how that being a Christian is fun, challenging, and also mighty difficult at times.
On September the 18th and the rest of the series, we will turn our focus on what the early Church looked like and some of the growing pains they experienced. Do you think we have problems at times? Well, we are not really much different than the early Church. We will try to focus the messages to address how we, the Church, are to demonstrate Christ and live for Christ. Plus we will try to make the message appealing and appropriate for our visitors so they will feel welcome and have the desire to return and become part of our growing body in Christ.
Because of the church survey, we are putting together three ministry teams to address what you asked for. Two teams are comprised of you, the congregation, and the third team is comprised of the elders and myself.
The first two are teams focusing on two different yet similar aspects of church growth. The one team, led by Bob Butler, will focus on evangelism and outreach. This team will meet to discuss ways to reach our community for Christ. The other team, organized by Alan LaValle, will focus on getting all of us involved in some aspect of ministry. We encourage you to volunteer for either of these two teams.
The third team, made up of the elders and myself, will focus on my role and the elders’ role in ministry. We are learning that ministers’ roles adjust to focus on different aspects of ministry as a congregation grows. One person cannot do it all, so if we want to grow both spiritually and in numbers, I need to learn new components of leadership ministry. The elders, likewise, will learn leadership aspects to help our congregation grow. Ministry and growth is a team effort.
That’s it. And that is only the beginning of our upcoming year. Later in the fall we will begin another sermon series; events will take place such as trunk-or-treat, Faith-Promise Sunday, our Christmas dinner and fun, the Christmas cantata, Christmas caroling, two Christmas Eve services and one Christmas Day service beginning at 10 a.m. Are you excited? I hope so. I am geared and ready to GO!!!
This fall is the beginning of something great here at RCC. God has been waiting for us to step up and make a difference in people’s lives. Are you ready?