As I watched the testimony video this past Sunday my mind did one of those flashback things – you know where you recall conversations and events in your mind’s eye, all connecting with the event you are experiencing in the present.
In January 2014, Jill and I began attending Sunday services at Parkway Christian Church once a month to build relationships with the remaining members of a church in decline, who had recently voted to engage in conversations with Richwoods about merging.
This was the starting point of my flashback. As Paige told her story, she validated the risk many of the remaining members, as well as the people of Richwoods, took in merging. When someone has been drawn closer to God, whatever it took to get to that point becomes worth it.
As a recovering Calvinist, it is easy to say that Paige would have been drawn closer to God at some point because God ordained it to be so. Yet, the greater truth is we at Richwoods had the overwhelming blessing of being part of a life that was revitalized. The same can be said for those who were drawn closer to God through the East Campus ministry. The effort was worth it as God did something in and through us as a church during that season.
It seems to me that God allows us the greatest amount of freedom when we, as a church, use our energy in the reconstitution of declining churches. It only makes sense as it’s part of our history going back nearly 20 years. We see God using us to rejuvenate his gospel in what is happening at our Parkway Campus. We are part of God revitalizing struggling churches on a national scale with the 95 Network. As God prepares us to help churches reach their redemptive potential in Malawi, and eventually Brazil with the PEACE Plan, it will make us even more effective here at home as a multisite church.
God seems to want to use Richwoods in the restoration and revitalization of something that others have started. We should count it a privilege to be on this journey of reconciliation with God, after all, it fits into his larger vision of redemption.
Your consistent and generous giving to Richwoods allows us to continue to look for opportunities to be part of God’s Kingdom through rejuvenation. We are on a mission to help people find and follow Christ, because everyone deserves to experience the HOPE we found in him and the JOY of redemption.
On average Richwoods needs to receive $39.1K in gifts to meet its 2016 operating expenses, 10% of which goes immediately to Missions and helping people in our community who are experiencing financial troubles.
Our budgets are set on a calendar year, submitted by staff and approved by the Elders of Richwoods. Our ability to meet the needs of the people, provide programs, offer ministry opportunities, and so on, are all contingent on the faithful and generous giving of the people who call Richwoods their church home. As a church we do not take annual pledges to set a budget but we work off of our historical giving and attendance patterns to project a conservative budget.
If you have questions about the information shared in this fyi, you can contact our Executive Pastor, Joel Dryden by email. You can also leave a comment below.