Renewal—it is a recurring theme throughout Scripture. Each of us can likely remember favorite verses that emphasize the theme of renewal and restoration. Throughout Scripture, we see nations, communities, temples, and local fellowships of believers undergoing a renewal. As we embark on Project: Renewal, Lord willing, we will see evidence of many things “renewed” during 2018.

 Weekly Updates

“All glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us,…

These are exciting times in the life of Rush Creek Bible Church. There is so…

These are exciting times in the life of Rush Creek Bible Church. There is so much…

As we set aside this time of year to reflect on the things for which…

It’s hard to believe the temporary wall—that was feeling a bit more per-manent—has finally come…

At this point in our renovation process most the action Is happening behind the big…

As you drove in today the hole in the side of our building has transformed…

This week, instead of describing the progress to you in the bulletin, you are invited…

After a one week delay, Youth Group and DropZone are starting up. The updated facility…

Welcome back to the renovated worship center! What a blessing to worship here together this…

A Call to Stewardship

Last week we had a wonderful celebration of commitment. Among the things we can continue…

God’s purposes for stewardship may best be understood through the lens of his plan, his…

Each week in Rush Creek News we are exploring insights from the NIV Stewardship Study…

Each week in Rush Creek News we are exploring insights from the NIV Stewardship Study…

Each week in Rush Creek News we are exploring insights from the NIV Stewardship Study…

Our all-knowing God has given us the privilege of stewarding his resources.  Surely God could…

Ministry Vision Update – March

Shine like Starfish in the Universe?

I love celebrating God’s creation.   I like to visit new places and witness God’s handiwork.   It is filled with creativity and diversity.   I love learning about amazing abilities animals possess and how God has made each one so unique.   Take the starfish for instance.  The average lifespan of a starfish is thirty-five years!  I am sure it endures bumps, bruises and difficulties during those thirty-five years.   Though it has no brain and no blood, a starfish can regrow its limb if it loses one.   It’s called regeneration.   Our God is in the business of making things new, first by being made alive through faith in Christ for salvation, then the daily discovery from that life change.Just as God created starfish with the ability to renew their limbs, God has created us with the ability to renew our minds and hearts through His Holy Spirit.  Paul writes in Romans 12:1-2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.“ We are called to renewal of our minds in order to distinguish and live according to God’s will.  Our minds get marred by sin, selfishness, bitterness, and all kinds of evil.   But by Christ’s sacrifice and power of the Holy Spirit inside of us, we are able to renew our thinking and our desires once again to the will of God – His good, acceptable and perfect will.

Project: Renewal is far more than a facilities face-lift.   It’s more than a building renovation.   It is a renewal of us, from the inside-out!    Our desires need to constantly be “transformed” by the renewal of our minds.   What is God’s will for you and me?   What is His will for Rush Creek as a community?   John Piper states, “We are perfectly useless as Christ-exalting Christians if all we do is conform to the world around us. And the key to not wasting our lives with this kind of success and prosperity, Paul says, is being transformed.”  (from the article The Renewed Mind and How to Have It).   Project: Renewal should not be about success or prosperity, rather about transformation of hearts and lives.  That’s what it means to me.

I am so excited to see God use our Worship Center changes to bring more renewal and regeneration as the lost are saved!  The renovations of the stage and especially the acoustical fixes to the room will eliminate barriers for communicating God’s truth.  The clarity of new speakers along with acoustical treatment on the walls will remove the distraction of the echo and bouncing around of sound.   This alone will make the room more inviting to guests, and more warm and enjoyable for us as a community as we gather for worship.  The stage extension at the lower height will bring the pastor and worship leaders closer and lower to the congregation which will bring more of a connection between the two.   Our community will have a wonderful place for concerts, graduations, weddings, conferences, and other gatherings.   It will be a joy to offer our Worship Center with a large stage and great sound to area schools and organizations to hold events.   We do none of these changes to gain success or prosperity as the world seeks, but only to lift up the name of Christ and to promote more community and engagement every time we meet together.

What exciting times for our church family!   We get to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves.   We have heard God’s calling to renewal.   We trust Him to lead us into His perfect will for our church.   If God can display to the universe His power of regeneration in a simple starfish, how much more to this community can He show the life-changed renewal of our hearts?   Let’s allow God to use us to shine for Him – as the marred and broken starfish we may be, fully relying on Him for renewal and transformation!

Highlight: Worship Center

Mike Smith

Technology upgrades are always a hard decision to make in a church.  It can always come with a lot of opinions and sometimes more want than need. As we have set out on this journey of Renewal here at Rush Creek we have put everything we do and why we do it under a microscope. We asked a lot of questions about the things we do during our Sunday gathering and what our auditorium is like during the week. Things like having an engaging worship service, the ability to accommodate special musical groups during a service and the need to effectively communicate what God is doing to people. We also looked at the week where it is now and what the possibilities could be. In the end we decided on the speakers we have currently installed into the worship center.

These new speakers bring a new life into our room. They add a professional level of clarity to any spoken word and the ability to clearly and comfortably present any music group that is on the platform. These speakers are used in many churches who value the use of music in their service. Newer speakers are designed purposefully to send its signal to the areas that are desired, creating a better experience for those who are listening and who might also be in an acoustically troubled room. It is an upgrade that will last us many years and allow great flexibility as we grow as a community.

Personal Renewal Corner

Jason Hawkins

The year is 1984. One of the most memorable and recognizable pieces of advertising was just created; “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up, is Folgers in your Cup”. I can still hear the catchy jingle repeating in my head. Folgers, the largest-selling ground coffee company in the United States, claimed the best part of your morning would be drinking their coffee. If we follow this slogan, then for our coffee consuming nation, this is the best way to start the day! Pour Folgers coffee inyour cup, and presto, you’re ready for the day.

As a Christian, and follower of Christ, what is the best part of my morning? Does the day even hold something good, or do I dread waking up having to face the hardships and brokenness of everyday life? Maybe the Christian version of the slogan could read; “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up, is Jesus in Your Heart”. Jesus – in my life. How often I take this very simple, profound, lifechanging truth for granted. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who are weary

and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. May we start each morning off with this truth. May we find time each morning to sit with Jesus and experience his loving presence. May we draw our strength from Him daily and find His rest and peace.

Verse for this week, Matthew 11:28-30.

Grace of Giving

Don TenHoeve—Board Treasurer

December 10th we as a congregation took a step of faith to move ahead with a $2.25 million-dollar project to improve and renew our facilities.  When will we begin the heavy construction?  After much discussion and prayer, the Board set a goal to have $700,000 in the bank before “moving dirt”.   Some may say, “$2,250,000!  $700,000 by the end of April! That’s impossible!”  Very true!  In our own strength it will be impossible but with the Lord’s help and each of us praying, listening and obeying His voice, we believe that we will once again see that “He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).  Our Rush Creek family has already begun to respond to this large challenge by giving “special lead gifts” towards the $700K goal.    Praise the Lord that by the end of January about $400,000 has been donated in cash and other assets towards “project: renewal”.  He is able!  As a member of RCBC, I look forward to seeing how the Lord uses each of our “five loaves and two fish’ to grow the ministry of our church here in Byron Center, enabling us to have a greater outreach and impact in our community.

Construction Corner

Brad Waayenberg—Chair of the Construction Committee

As we write this, preliminary drawings are being reviewed by some willing companies in order to provide an updated budget. By the time of printing of this, we will likely have much closer budget numbers; not the final number, however. These budget numbers will help the Design Committee determine the needs from the wants in line with our mission—real discernment and stewardship in action.

The Design Committee will continue to monitor the progress of the architectural design. They will become more active mid-March to review progress drawings as they are deemed ready for finalizing into drawings that are used for bidding actual costs. At this stage of the process, there are many schedules to coordinate—including an extremely busy building industry. There is a real possibility that our time frame for major construction will be pushed back a couple months. Please continue to pray for God’s leading, coordination, and discernment.

Task Force Committees
Project: Renewal Task Force

Jim & Bonnie Hunt

Jim and Bonnie have attended Rush Creek since 2005 when they returned to the Grand Rapids area. Before that they attended Berean Bible Church. Their daughter Julie Gross and her family also attend the church.

Rush Creek has provided many opportunities to continue growing spiritually. The sound Bible teaching and Bible instruction has provided us with guidance, comfort and hope in our lives. The fellowship and genuine relationships with the Rush Creek family has been very precious to us. The prayers and encouragement of the Rush Creek family during difficult times helped us to sense a powerful presence of God in our lives.

We are excited to give leadership to Project: Renewal so we can share our thoughts and ideas with others for the glory of God. It is a humbling experience that God has given to us and others to move this project forward. It is also a blessing to serve with many dedicated, talented, and purpose driven individuals who seek to glorify our Savior. To be part of this team who are willing to serve that in the future many will come to a saving knowledge of Christ and be trained and equipped to serve Him.

Ted & Jane McIntre

Ted and Jane have been attending Rush Creek for 11 years. They feel that Rush Creek has been an important part of their life and journey because it has been very supportive and people that care. It’s a place where God’s word is first and our family has seen His love demonstrated.

They are excited about giving leadership to the Project: Renewal because it’s an opportunity to follow God’s leading in our community outreach and it’s our chance to see how God is moving us to a new level of outreach and community action. The excitement is seeing our plans developed through His plan for us. Always greater than we ask and/or think. That’s exciting!

Mark & Earlina Velting

Mark has attended the church all of his life and Earlina started attending after they got married in 1981. They have parents, two daughters and son-in-law’s along with six grandchildren and many more family that attend Rush Creek.

It’s been fun to be a part of something so long that you can see the amazing times as well as some of the lowest times, and yet see His amazing faithfulness! But really to also you meet so many newer people who have been such a blessing and jumped in when needed…but through it all we have been so blessed to belong to a church who loves the Lord and helps grow our faith during times like these.

We are excited about giving leadership to Project: Renewal because sometimes when you step out in faith and you don’t know what it is going to involve, you are so passionate about it all. So, you help with putting events and plans and lots of meetings, how is it we are the ones that get so blessed by it all. Even from the great committee members. As well as seeing and hearing all the ways the Lord is at work in so many ways!

Prayer Team

Jason & Melissa Hawkins

Jason has attended the Rush Creek for 12 years. Melissa is a Velting and grew up in the Berean Bible/Rush Creek Bible Church. They also have several family that attend Rush Creek.

Melissa writes “that some of the best years in her life were going through youth group and the many long-term friendships that stemmed from those years. Mission trips included Costs Rica, Puerto Rico and Zambia were life-changing experiences and I’ll be forever grateful for our Rush Creek congregation who made those trips possible financially and prayerfully. Finally, “Silent Light”, the mime troupe led by Dawn Day…definitely helped define what church, community and service meant to me growing up as a teen. Rush Creek has impacted me in so many ways, growing up and continues to do so each and every day/week”.

Jason says, “it has been great to serve and get to know the leadership at Rush Creek. God has challenged me to take leadership roles in various areas. I also enjoy the focus that Rush Creek has on missions and being involved in the community”.

We are excited about giving leadership to Project: Renewal. Being a part of what God is doing. We are truly just normal, broken people. It’s such a great privilege to be used of God for something greater than ourselves, knowing that we have done nothing to deserve or earn it. We also believe that prayer is our direct connection to God. It’s more important than any other conversation we will have in a day. To share this love and passion we have to see our church family grow closer to God through prayer…it gets us really excited. Especially since we get to work alongside some pretty amazing godly people along the way.

Advanced Gift Team

Jim & Linda Hirdes

Jim and Linda have attended Rush Creek (Berean Bible Church) for about 30 years. Linda’s parents, both her sisters and brother-in-laws attend the church.

Rush Creek has been an important part of our life and journey. We love the family atmosphere and were involved in AWANA years ago. Jim has served on the board several terms. All the programs allow us to give back of our time. We met here (Berean) and have many friends and family here.  RCBC is our home. During very difficult times of our life, we were and still are surrounded by our Rush Creek family. Rush Creek has always used the Bible as the basis of our worship, and that is very important to us.

This will be our 4th project we have taken part in at some level. Projects always create excitement and challenges. They give a level of satisfaction especially when you are doing it for someone else, (people we don’t even know, that have yet to step into Rush Creek). We are called to serve and by doing so we feel that we are blessed by being able to take part in this and other projects. It is an honor knowing that God does not need us. But he wants us. Answering this call from God is humbling. By listening to God and serving him, he grows us. That is how it works.

Randy and Nancy Velting

Randy and Nancy have attended Rush Creek (Berean Bible Church) for 47 years.  They have brothers, sister-in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles that also attend the church.

Rush Creek has been an important part of their life and journey. They have been blessed with strong Bible teaching and also great support and love through good and bad times. Serving in different areas of ministry has helped us grow individually and as a couple. We have been blessed with godly mentors and we thank God for each one who has invested in our lives.

They are excited about giving leadership to Project: Renewal by giving of their time, talents and treasure that has always been an area of unity and joy for them. They would love others to experience that also.

Ministry Vision Update – February

The Renewal Project has an impact on every age and stage of ministry efforts within the church and even into the community. Along with intentional ministry and programming efforts, the building enhancements have been sifted through the lens of our church-wide mission… striving to foster authentic relationships in and through genuine community in order to become a more vivid reflection of Jesus Christ.

It is far more than hitting the refresh button on our frequently-used and well-worn facilities.  Our prayer and Mission have always revolved around the lives touched and changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.  How will Rush Creek be light and life to a changing community in and around us?

HEART Prov. 4:23- ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.’

It all starts here, inside each of usKnowing our salvation means it- ‘being’ salvation. Our obedience as Christians is a matter of our hearts- aligned at the core of our beings- before God.  Someone once said, “Don’t let where you ARE distract from where God wants you to be.”  What would it look like Rush Creek- if we asked the question; do our words of faith match our actions from the heart?   Without hearts renewed, day by day, there can be NO genuine community.    That begins with your commitment to pray and listen.

COMMUNITIES – One of our core values is to seek the flourishing of the communities where God has placed us.  How can the voice we are NOW- be more vibrant- more reflective- more loving- in ACTIONS seeking community? Being Incarnational means living and sharing the gospel ‘where life happens’!  We want to be a church that as the Body of Christ is known for the ACTIVITY of Christ.  We’ve got to explore ways our lives should differ from culture- not withdrawn into shrink wrapped churches but tear into the heart of the soul with something meaningful, impactful and relevant: Jesus Christ is alive and lives to be the church through reflective Grace in the gospel.

Look for upcoming events in Rush Communities that seek renewal and power of life change through Christ.


FACILITIESWe have intentionally increased the use of our building in every way to reflect the mission.  We are especially committed to children’s ministry and as such must improve security and increase ministry options.  Betsy DeVos once said, “To say children are our future is to say the obvious.  But they need us to help insure that they will have happy, healthy childhoods and that they will have the opportunity to reach their potential.”  She was talking about her involvement with the DeVos Children’s Hospital, but the same could be said about the church.  A facility best equipped and prepared for ministry by the hearts of those who serve, demonstrates to families a level of commitment that matches our mission.

On April 22nd there will be culminating call for action of financial support.  Will you be committed to Pray- Listen- and be Obedient to what God is challenging your heart.  After all; hearts that beat together as one become the heartbeat of Christ Himself.

Ministry Vision Update – December

Renewal Project Proposal

Summary of Facility Enhancements

On December 10, 2017 our congregation will vote on moving forward on some exciting enhancements to our current facility. While most areas of the church are enhanced by this renewal project, the overview below describes these improvements in terms of the ongoing staff and board priorities of focus; Corporate Worship, Youth & Outreach, and Families.

Corporate Worship

Improvements and upgrades focus on four issues:
1) Updated sound and video, and enhanced acoustics within the room.
2) Enhanced platform connection/engagement with our congregation.
3) Expanded/extended use of platform real estate for easier and varied platform-event uses.
4) Improvement of traffic flow within the worship center.

Youth & Outreach

Minimal renovations reflect normal capital replacement (carpet, furniture, equipment, etc.) in the youth wing. A new door from the youth wing into the courtyard, along with a patio area, will create a two-season use from another unused space.

With the continued need for a full-sized gym, the changes to the gym focus on a warmer experience aesthetically (i.e. paint), acoustically, and in terms of Sunday morning traffic flow. Equipment improvements may include rolling kiosks such as an enhanced AV kiosk as well as a coffee kiosk.


A new entrance into a very secure, and inviting children’s wing – entering from inside and outside of the church building – is the thrust of this priority. The consideration of traffic flow, reconfiguration of rooms throughout the hallway, and the (Sunday morning) dedication of the entire wing to children’s ministry efforts is based on family-centric considerations; with an emphasis on new families.

Facility-wide and Grounds Renovations

Extensive church-wide carpet, paint, replacement of chairs, tables, equipment (as needed) etc. will be tackled with this project along with the replenishing of our capital replacement fund in anticipation of future capital replacement needs.

Sample Ballot

The board of Rush Creek Bible Church is recommending to the congregation pursuing capital improvements to our existing facility and grounds, as well as a corresponding fundraising effort to underwrite these improvements through the giving of our congregation. This proposal authorizes the church to raise $2.5 million dollars with the 10% of the amount raised set aside for capital replacement.

My vote to move forward also indicates my willingness to financially participate toward this project by increasing my current giving.

___ yes, I am in favor and will financially support this project.

___ no, I am not in favor of this project.


Ministry Vision Update – November

Renewal Project

Return on Investment

Worship Center

  1. Ensures improvements and replacement of obsolete technology in the worship center.
  2. Allows for a minimum of structural change for the worship center i.e. the platform for more and varied.types of events, sound absorption and diffusion for better acoustics, additional scattered seating areas.for wheel chairs, and better traffic flow.
  3. Systemically addresses our worship center’s poor acoustics.
  4. Provides for technology—and the central coordination of that technology—in more classrooms and throughout the church, i.e. audio, video, and streaming of teaching resources.
  5. Provides potential to extend our digital reach, i.e. streaming services.
  6. Provides potential to better host simulcast gatherings, concerts, and community functions.
  7. Provides for the ability to replace the grand piano—existing piano circa 1959 (30k)

Dedicated Children’s Wing

  1. Demonstrates a commitment to families with young children—particularly those who have not yet attended.
  2. Entire wing dedicated to children’s ministry (no longer mixed use during Sunday a.m.)
  3. Optimal environment for Sunday a.m. children and family ministry.
  4. Reconfigures south end of the wing to include a children’s worship center.
  5. Line of sight drop off and pick up as well as other optimal security features.
  6. Provides a new entrance from the outside into the center of the children’s wing.
  7. Ability to expand children’s programming options if desired.
  8. Provides an area for young children to hang out in proximity to parents after service.
  9. One additional restroom on south end of the hall for ease of access for children and teachers.
  10. Streamlined check-in and clearer signage for visiting families with young children.
  11. Expanded children’s worship area in the dedicated children’s wing.
  12. Provides additional storage space.

Gym Modification

  1. No substantive structural alterations ensures existing usages of the gym but also does not expand usage as once proposed.
  2. Modifications will focus on hitting the refresh button enough to provide more inviting institutional/gym space and nicer “corridor” between the revamped children’s wing and revamped worship center.
  3. Sound absorption on walls for better in-room acoustics.
  4. Rolling modular coffee kiosks, A/V kiosk, and welcome center.

Youth Wing

24. Provides for French doors to courtyard from Youth Room.
25. Industrial flooring and new room divider (current one is broken) for more suitable space.
26. Equipment: Picnic tables for courtyard patio, rec room equipment and furniture, sound system.
27. Better traffic flow for ongoing programming including a service window adjacent to kitchenette

Refresh and Refurb + Replenishing the Capital Replacement Fund

  1. Refresh carpet (flooring), paint, furniture, and decor through hallways.
  2. Hits the refresh button—after 18 years of use—on what will now be 3 main public entrances, common areas, and corridors.
  3. Refresh the Fireside Room accomplished within Rush Creek.
  4. Reduces our capital depreciation and accelerates the funding of our capital replacement fund—items.such as roof, parking lot, HVAC, and carpet.
  5. Replacement of all folding chairs with stackable chairs.
  6. Keyless entry system at office door.
  7. Server/network system for file sharing, security, and transfer.

Considerations & Opportunity Costs

It is worth highlighting that improvement processes such as the Renewal Project are a moving target. While these two pages describe the desire and intent of the board and respective committees, the need to make financial trade-offs and the potential changes that will be made in the continued due diligence process may not allow us to do everything described in this document in the way it is described. This document is designed to show the desire and intent as we continue in the process.

Net Effect on Classroom Space

Creating a new and secure entrance in the children’s wing caters to young families with children, an important thrust of our outreach efforts. On Sunday morning that children’s wing will be dedicated for children’s ministry the entire morning. The opportunity cost is the addition of one children’s classroom and the reduction of two adult classrooms (during Sunday a.m.). Currently no additional adult classroom space is needed. Should the need arise we may need to consider temporary units.

Expanded Capacity for Sunday Morning Worship

Stage 1 does not address corporate worship expansion space nor adequately address most on- campus growth models for Sunday a.m. worship. An option that remains available to us is a two service format. The staff and board continue to refine growth models for campus expansion. Currently no additional corporate worship space is needed. Should the need arise in the next few years our options may be more limited.

Family Life Center

The Family Life Center will not be built during Stage 1. Even as leadership revisits a revised understanding such a facility as well as future facility needs based upon our growth model, it is important to note that moving forward with Stage 1 likely means that such a facility will not be pursued for a few years.

Office Space and Storage

Because Stage 1 adds no additional square footage, office space will remain capped with no room for growth within existing facilities. Due to an additional entrance in the children’s wing, we are able to gain a bit of storage and an additional room near the (current) southernmost entrance.

Youth Wing Minor Improvements

Not pursuing a Family Life Center means the continued realities of an insufficient space and/or space not fully suitable for the current uses of our facility. While this is obviously workable even if not ideal, some relatively minor modifications to our youth wing will create an additional contiguous outdoor venue opening up the use of the courtyard.

Entrance Adjustments

In order to ensure security in a renovated children’s wing, the current southernmost entrance will be used for emergency exit only. The new children’s entrance will be approximately 50 steps further north toward the west side of the building.

September 10, 2017 Congregational Meeting

PowerPoint Handout (The Breton Group Study)

February 26, 2017 Congregational Meeting

Meeting Documents

Other Expenses Related to Ministry Expansion

Future Site Task Force Update


Construction Management Firm Update

Pre-Campaign Feasibility Study Process


Ministry Expansion
Special Congregational Meeting