“Remember the Alamo” was the battle cry in 1836 that turned the war for Texas independence and freedom from Mexico. “Remember Ai” is an entirely different cry, not for victory but for something more vital- “Remember God”!
In Joshua chapter 6, the nation of Israel had just come from the great victory over Jericho. Leadership sought the Lord every step of the way, followed His commands completely and secured the victory with His power. They were on a winner’s high!
Then in chapter 7 we read about a small outpost, nowhere near the size or importance as Jericho, named Ai. Instead of consulting with God, as before Jericho, Joshua simply acted on his own. Because of that arrogance he didn’t know someone in Israel had violated God’s commands. The battle was lost, 36 men died and the people were thrown into great despair. It was then that Joshua consulted God, who told him the real problem and what needed to be done before victory again.
Last month after years of prayer, studies, values clarification for ministry, survey’s, hiring consultants, and listening to the voice of God, this church voted by an overwhelming margin to proceed with the Renewal Project. The excitement, energy and renewed vigor that followed could be viewed as a victory for ministry expansion and outreach.
Yet; “Remember Ai!”
Just after the vote, Mike Gilpin, a former board member with an active leadership role in the Renewal Project wrote;
My prayer is for humility.
I pray that leadership and our church attenders proceed on this journey with humility. While we make a significant impact in the community, I pray we stay humble and as we wave the flag for Christ we don’t catch ourselves raising The RCBC flag above Him.
I pray for humility in the decision making process. There will be a lot of details forthcoming and many involved in providing their thoughts and opinions. My prayer is that as a congregation we will be humble in our ideas, respectful with a listening ear and seeking understanding when things are not how we think they should be.
I pray for humility in the movement we take. A strong yes vote was great to see, but that does not mean God is no longer needed in the prayer and petition going forward. Because a direction has been set and there is work to be done, it doesn’t mean we don’t humble ourselves before God each step of the way.
John Ortberg wrote, “We are not called just to work FOR God. We are called to work WITH God.”
What a powerful truth. Paul knew that when he prayed; “All glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever.” Ephesians 3:20-21, NLT
‘Infinitely more than we might ask or think’. You’ve said ‘yes’ to this next step in Rush Creek’s growing impact of the gospel in our own lives and the people God sends us to. We are the Hope to the hopeless; we are the Peace to the restless. WE ARE because HE IS at ‘work within us.’ We are asking you to continue to pray. Pray for what God would have you do toward this Renewal Project. Keep praying. Keep listening. Then act on what he is challenging you to do. This commitment is financial, spiritual, physical and social, realizing it will take all of us to make it happen.
‘Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done…as we walk humbly WITH our God. “Remember Ai!”
The Votes Are In
On December 10th, the congregation voted on a significant next step in the life of our church; Project: Renewal. And the votes are in.
With 382 people voting, an enthusiastic 88% of the votes were in favor of proceeding with this important project even as they committed to support this project financially.
God is leading this church to fulfill his purposes—and he is leading us together. May we be good stewards of the opportunities he has placed in front of us.
Recently the congregation gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to Project: Renewal. We are grateful to God for the unity of this church as we take next steps in obedience to his leading.
So what are those next steps?
First, let us encourage you to read (again, perhaps) the prayer that Mike Gilpin graciously allowed us to share with you in the preceding article. Our individual and collective humility will
be key in any and every next step we take. Humility is born out of dependence on God and seeking him in prayer.
Second, Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Keep this Truth in mind as next steps unfold. The leadership is planning, continuing to do due diligence, and looking at the financial picture carefully as we move forward. Yet, the Lord will continue to establish our steps.
Third—with humility, prayer, and the subsequent planning in mind—that plan includes beginning major renovations in May 2018. There are many steps along the way to get us to that point. One goal we are aiming toward is to have $700,000 cash in hand by April 1st. This is a significant step of faith, and humanly speaking an ambitious goal. As of the writing of this article (prior to Christmas), we are already nearly 30% toward this goal!! Please pray with us that God would first speak to each of us and then to the congregation at large toward our personal and financial participation.
Finally, Project: Renewal Campaign Leadership team includes Jim and Bonnie Hunt, Ted and Jane McIntyre, Jim and Linda Hirdes, Randy and Nancy Velting, and Jason and Melissa Hawkins. Together they have graciously agreed to ensure that everyone in the Rush Creek family has the opportunity to utilize both their financial gifts and their personal giftedness to lay the foundation for the next decade of ministry through Rush Creek Bible Church through Project: Renewal. Please be in prayer for these leaders.