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Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Vision 20/20 is a design based on our church already with a ‘working’ reputation in the community. And it is a great reputation. Why? Many churches in the area are doing great work. But not all churches have the privilege of partnering with Byron Center schools for Drop Zone, spearheading a citywide summer program like KidsGames, or hosting the senior community on a weekly basis. With one of the larger facilities in Byron Center, it is certainly true that to whom much is given, much is required. We take this privilege of serving God and our community very seriously, evidenced by the significant jump in hosting commu­nity events in our Worship Center the past several years. Rush Creek has hosted over 14 events impacting almost 6,800 indi­viduals, families and children.

Vision 20/20 is not just about new or modified buildings; because that alone doesn’t make for ‘working’ ministry’. It’s about the people and following God’s lead to serve him in our communities of influence. It’s seeking to draw all who have an encounter with RCBC ministry efforts toward a deeper life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.

In the August board meeting, historical decisions were made pursuing that community investment. First, the board established a ‘Future Site Plan Task Force’. This task force will pursue one of the shared congregation and board priorities: ‘exploring all strategic opportunities available to engage the surrounding community in outreach, evangelism and commitment to Children and Family ministry.’

Secondly, the board established a ‘Capital Campaign Committee’. This committee will begin to carefully explore the financial feasibility and commitment toward potential projects, eventually developing and carrying out a ‘working’ design toward project phases of completion.

One way that possibility is already evidenced is through growth in giving. Every year for the last five years, our income has exceeded the prior year. We are a remarkably generous church. Traditionally overseas missions and building campaigns have been enthusiastically supported by our congregation. Rush Creek fits into the “statistics” of the top 20% of givers supply 80% of the income received by the church. It is also significant that last year over 100 new families gave for the first time in 2015. This is something for which we are truly thankful and do not take for granted. It is giving to the ministry fund that allows us to reach our community with the Gospel both inside and outside the four walls of our church.

You ask, and why are you telling us this in a report about Vision 20/20? Because finances are a vehicle to make sure we are embracing the privilege-and profound responsibility-to serve our community in these ways; relying on God’s provision and not our own efforts. May each of us be found faithful in the ways we contribute to the work that God has placed in front of us. We ask that each of you consistently commit to a time of daily prayer for the leadership and members of these new groups. Pray for wisdom and sensitivity to God’s leading. Pray for the preparation of a sacrifice in giving that will find its greatest rate of return in eternity. Someone once said, ‘the door handle is the handshake of the building.’ How’s your ‘grip’?

– Pastor John