Riverside Community Church exists so that people will find and follow Jesus.
Becoming like Jesus is a long, slow process of growth. Spiritual maturity is neither instant nor automatic; it is a gradual, progressive development that will take the rest of your life. It will only be finished when you enter eternity or when Christ returns.
Spiritual growth takes intentional commitment. You must want to grow, decide to grow, make an effort to grow and persist in growing. Christlikeness is the result of making Christlike choices and depending on His Spirit to help you fulfill those choices. Once you decide to get serious about becoming like Jesus, you must begin to act in new ways. But you can be certain that the Holy Spirit will help you with these changes!
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God
who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)
This verse shows the two parts of spiritual growth: “work out” and “work in”. The “work out” is your responsibility, and the “work in” is God’s role. Spiritual growth is a collaborative effort between you and the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit works with us, not just in us. This verse, written to followers, is not about how to be saved, but how to grow. It does not say “work for” your salvation, because you can’t add anything to what Jesus already did. God has given you a new life, now you are responsible to develop it “with fear and trembling”. That means to take your spiritual growth seriously.
We take spiritual growth seriously around Riverside. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you take the necessary steps to develop disciplines that will help you grow, to find your spiritual gifts and use them, to learn to influence others and share the love of God the way that is most comfortable for you, and through it all help you to understand that everything in your life is an act of worship before God.
Below are four specific group environments that we've created to help you become a fully devoted follower of Christ. They are offered as a part of our Midweek Connection on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm during the Fall and Winter/Spring Semesters. Please contact David Kennard at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Learning To Follow Jesus (Christianity 101)
Learning to Follow Jesus will help you develop the seven essential attributes of a disciple of Christ. Together, we will learn how to actively live out our faith through prayer and reading Scripture. The attributes we’ll cover are: learn to be with Jesus, learn to listen, learn to heal, learn to influence, learn to love, learn to pray, and learn to manage. By sharing with others in this journey, we seek to be authentic followers of Jesus and become equipped to help others find and follow Him.
Resource: “Learning To Follow Jesus” by Daniel McNaughton and Bryan Koch
Learning To Be With Jesus (Christianity 201)
Whether we're new to following Jesus or it’s been years, there comes a moment where we wonder if we're really expressing our faith or going through the motions. Our following seems rote and our lives are becoming stale because we feel like there's no growth. We look at others’ Facebook and Instagram posts and immediately begin the Christian comparison trap. That isn't what our Father wants for us. He wants us to follow His Son the way He created us. This group is designed to help you live consistently for Christ in the way the Father designed you. We will delve into the spiritual practices that keep us connected to Christ and the challenges trying to hinder us from that divine plan.
Resource: "The Me I Want To Be" by John Ortberg
Learning To Manage (Christianity 301)
Da Vinci painted one Mona Lisa, Beethoven composed one Fifth Symphony, and God made one version of YOU. He custom-designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment. God made you “You-nique”. You were born pre-packed – for a purpose! Long before you were born, God equipped you with special and unique tools to achieve His purpose and fulfill His plan. This group will help you to discover your unique God-given gifts and talents!
Resource: “Cure For The Common Life” by Max Lucado
Learning To Influence (Christianity 401)
You’ve heard the Great Commission to “go and make disciples”. Christ is compelling us to do more than just share our faith. He is calling us to live out our faith on a daily basis by extending compassion to all and freely showing God’s mercy and grace. Throughout this small group you will be stirred to bring about biblical justice in your world as you allow the Holy Spirit to whisper to you how to live a life of compassion and view the world through God’s eyes. Your willingness to live a transparent and authentic life for Christ will bring about eternal changes in your family, your community and our world because you are allowing yourself to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Resource: "Becoming A Contagious Christian" by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg
In addition to these semester-long groups, we periodically offer a one-day event designed to provide an overview of our mission, vision, core values and culture for those who are interested in becoming members at Riverside.
The next Christianity 101 Seminar is Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 9:00 am - 11:30 am at Parkside.
You can register online to reserve your spot for Christianity 101 and the membership class here: http://bit.ly/Christianity101RCC
The next Membership Class is Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm at Parkside.
If you would like to apply to become a member, please complete this online application form: http://bit.ly/MembershipApplicationRCC