Ten years ago this week, I sent the following email to 16 email addresses:
I'm writing to you because you've asked us to keep you up to date with what we're thinking and let you know about "Cheesecake and Church" - a meeting that we'll be hosting on Saturday night, February 2 to eat a slice of cheesecake and begin discussing and praying together about forming a new church in Little Rock. For some time now, as I have studied and meditated on God's word, I have had a growing desire to join with others who are like minded and who share a burden and passion for advancing the work of God's Kingdom in central Arkansas in a fresh way. I'll unpack some of what I've been thinking during this get together, we'll have some time for Q&A, and we'll spend some time asking God to give us wisdom and confirm our steps. This is an informational meeting, and coming to learn more doesn't commit you to anything. Feel free to spread the word to friends or co-workers you know who might have some interest in exploring a new work like this.
We're planning to meet in the Pleasant Valley Community Center, about a block behind Shorty Smalls next to the swimming pool on Arkansas Valley Drive. We'll start at 7:00 and should be done by about 8:30. Here's a map:
We hope you'll be able to join us, or that you'll pray for God's direction for this new work.
Soli Deo Gloria!
When February 2 arrived, we had about 60 people jammed into the clubhouse at the Pleasant Valley swimming pool. My college aged son sent me a note telling me he wished he could be there with us, and he asked if he could pay for the cheesecake. Our friends Keith and Jonelle Lynch came to help lead the music that evening. And together, we talked and prayed and dreamed about what God might do if we stepped out in faith.
One week later, on Saturday night, February 9, we had our first worship service in the old Lutheran High School auditorium.
I remember it all clearly. Pretty regularly in those days, I found myself praying “Lord, we don’t know what we’re doing!”
Here’s what we did know. When two or three gather, God is in their midst. And when He is lifted up and exalted, and when His word is clearly presented, and when the gospel is in the center of all you’re doing, and your delight is in Jesus and His gospel, then whatever you wind up doing, Psalm 1 says, you will prosper.
So as we gather this Sunday to thank God for his blessing and His favor on the first decade in the life of Redeemer Community Church, I want our hearts to be focused on how God has used His word and His people to reshape, transform and reprioritize our lives. Worshipping and serving God together with you over the past ten years has marked my life in profound ways. By God’s grace and because of your impact on my life, I am not the same person I was in 2008.
I hope you’ve been thinking about what God might have you share during our service Sunday. To help us celebrate, Keith and Jonelle Lynch and some of their friends will once again help lead our music. And after we’ve spent some time thanking God for how He has worked in our midst over the years, we’ll do as we always have done. We’ll spend some time in His word. We’ll remember His demonstration of His love and grace as we take communion together. And we’ll ask Him to work in each of us so that in the decade to come, we might be a church that fulfills Jesus’ prayer in John 15:8 – “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
And don’t forget to bring a crock pot of soup or stew or something that can be dished up and shared with you to church this Sunday. We’ll share a meal following the service. And we’ll have a birthday cake we can share as we celebrated our first decade together as a church family.
Tonight’s the night for Kids Small Group at Redeemer. Drop your kids off at 5:45 and pick them up by 8:15. The kids will enjoy pizza, sing songs, hear stories and have a ton of fun.
If you have any questions about KSG, send an email to Matt Gurney at email@example.com.
If you’re new to Redeemer, and you’ve wondered about our approach to church membership, we have just the thing for you. On Saturday morning, February 17, you can meet with a few of our elders for a morning session where we’ll talk about our mission and vision as a church and about what it means to become a covenant member of Redeemer.
There is some pre-work necessary before the class. You can find out more by clicking here.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s the connection between God’s plan for His church and the ancient horticultural technique of grafting branches onto a rootstock?
We’ll see as we look at Romans 11 on Sunday.
See you in church!
Soli Deo Gloria!