Mid-Year Reflections. . .
As I look back over these past six months at River Cities Church, I know we experience the faithfulness of God in this place. Even in the downturn of our finances and attendance, God will not fail us. Our confidence is in Him alone. That does not preclude us from hard times — in the past, now, or in the years to come. Nothing catches God unaware. We want to listen, obey when prompted by God to change, and keep our attitudes in check for His sake.
There are so many good things happening right here! We’ve had folks make the commitment of membership to this body; we’ve seen adults and children come to Christ and follow Him in baptism. Our emphasis on prayer this year has shown us what an important facet it really is in the church. A team prayed specifically for Family Fun Fest and 20+ people made spiritual decisions! The community was involved—HHS football players and groups from downtown. FFF is not a VBS. The emphasis is different and unique — a family focus for our church. Our children’s ministry reaches kids with the Gospel and teaches God’s Word consistently. We have a superb children’s choir ministry. We have gifted instrumentalists and vocalists that lead us in worship each week. Our “unseen” techs are so appreciated. Our seniors are cared for and loved by our SHARE team. Our Gatekeepers keep us safe each week as we come together in worship. We had over 100 people participate in the Pray for Me Campaign that finished in May. I have faithful prayer partners that lay hands on and pray for me each Sunday morning before I preach. We have a small band of people that meet on Sunday evenings to intercede on your behalf for your physical and spiritual needs. Our missionaries have not missed one support check from RC3 and are reaching people with the Gospel that we may never meet here on earth. We continue to see spiritual fruit from our Upward program and Home School Co-op as new folks attend our worship services. Royal Family Kids Camp had 110 volunteers that served 36 kids in the foster care system in June. The eternal benefit came as one received Christ as Savior on the last day of camp! Our small groups continue to grow in community and in their knowledge of God’s Word. We have 44 kids going to youth camp at Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters this week! Outreach beyond our walls happens every week in the community. We have dedicated, godly men that serve as Elders, Deacons, and Trustees that God will one day reward for their faithfulness to Him. We have competent counselors that give godly direction to those hurting from life’s trials. We continually assess where God is working at RC3.
At times we all want to remember and live in the past. We tend to block out the memories of the hard times associated with the past—but they were there. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, encourages us to move forward and aspire to even greater things for the sake of the Gospel (Philippians 3:13-14).
Do we have ample room for improvement in our church? I would be the first to say, “let it start with me.” I acknowledge my weaknesses and my faults often. Paul’s benediction in 1 Thessalonians 5 reminds us to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks, and do not quench the Spirit.” He concludes with a final reminder that “He who calls you is faithful.”
As we look forward with anticipation to what God will do in our church in the months and years ahead, may we be grateful for His abundant blessings and provisions and may we all put ourselves and all we have at His disposal to use as He sees fit for that pleases our Heavenly Father.