I Am Resigning from Pastoral Ministry.

Renovation Church Family,

After a year of wrestling with God in prayer, seeking wisdom through professional counseling, discussions with my wife, and processing events alongside of our Elders – I am stepping down from pastoral ministry for a season of healing, rest, and maturity. After meeting with a professional therapist, I have recognized bitterness, anger, and wounds in my heart from the past year. I have self-medicated through workaholism – working on average 70 – 80-hour weeks between my full-time job, ministry, and schooling.

One of the passages the Holy Spirit has brought to my attention is Jesus’ words to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2. Although they gave the appearance of spiritual maturity, he rebukes them by saying they “have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” After almost 10 years of vocational ministry, I have become too busy doing things for Jesus and need a season of simply being with Jesus as a member of a church (rather than the one leading a church). I will be taking a few years away from ministry to walk in repentance and rekindle my love for Jesus.

Practically speaking, here is our plan to move forward:

  • This Sunday, we will be meeting at Tucker’s Walk at 10am for a church-wide discussion and a time for me to answer your questions. We will also process the viability and future of Renovation Church apart from my role as the Lead Pastor (NOTE: We are NOT meeting at Split Rock Park this Sunday).
  • Please know that this decision is firm. At this point of time, continuing in ministry would be disobedient to the direction I believe God is calling me to take in my discipleship journey with Him.
  • I have shared with the Elders that I am willing to continue in my role until September 1st. I do not know what future Sundays after this weekend will look like – that is a decision those who attend Renovation Church will need to make alongside of our Elder team.
  • All of us are called to love God and love people through the various seasons God has placed us in – I will continue this form of ministry by loving my family well, serving at Southeast Tech, and volunteering in Garretson.
  • I will become a member of another local church in our area. It is exceedingly dangerous to remove oneself from the protection and accountability of church membership.
  • I recognize God has given me a special gift in my ability to teach the Bible. I fully believe God will call me back to some form of vocational ministry, but I need a few years away from ministry so that my heart is right before Him first.

In Christ,

Tyler Ramsbey

Church Outside Update!

I am excited to announce that beginning this Sunday (May 2nd) and going all summer, we will be holding worship services outside at Split Rock Park in Garretson (the city park). The services will be at the Picnic Shelter. Bring a lawn chair and come worship with us in the beauty of God’s creation!

We will be closing out our journey through the Book of Acts over the next 3 weeks. After that, we will begin a verse-by-verse study of the Book of Revelation. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the Book of Revelation better (without the craziness of end-time charts and TBN preachers) – I’d be honored to have you join me. We will be studying it from a Bible-centered and historically accurate way (i.e. no microchips or predicting Jesus’ return).

(In the chance of inclement weather, services will be moved to the American Legion on Main Street).

Defending Hope (Acts 25:23-26:32)

This past Sunday, we continued our series through the Book of Acts by looking at Paul standing trial before King Agrippa. In this passage, Paul provides us an example of what it looks like to defend the hope that is in us in a respectful, humble, and clear way.

The sermon discussion guide can be found below the video. We will be meeting on Wednesday, April 28th at 8:30pm via Zoom to discuss the questions – all are invited to join us! Connection info can be found on our website – www.renovationchurchsd.com

Acts 25:23-26:32

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 25:23-26:32. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In the beginning of this passage, we see that what Satan meant for harm (namely, having Paul arrested and put on trial) God uses for the advance of the Gospel by providing Paul with an audience consisting of royalty and prominent leaders. What are some other stories in Scripture that highlight this reality? 

3. The entirety of this passage is oriented around Paul making a defense of his faith. He is living out Peter’s instructions found in 1 Peter 3:13-17 – read through this passage. What stands out to you from Peter’s instruction? What are some practical ways we can live it out today? 

4. Paul begins his defense by showing sincere respect for King Agrippa. What are some practical ways we can show respect and honor those around us when we are given the opportunity to share about Jesus? 

5. Much of Paul’s defense is him sharing his story. He begins by sharing what he was like before he met Jesus, his experience with Jesus, and then the difference Jesus made in his life. If someone were to ask you, “How has Jesus change your life?” – how would you respond? 

6. One of the roles Jesus gave Paul (and all of us) is to open the eyes of the spiritually blind. To fully understand what this means, read 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 – what stands out to you? Practically speaking, how do we open the eyes of those who have been blinded by the “god of this age”? 

7. Finally, what is at least one way you are seeking to apply this passage to your life this week? 

Truth On Trial (Acts 22:30-23:11)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Acts 22:30-23:11. In this passage, Paul is placed on trial as a result of the Gospel. Through Paul’s response, we learn that all of us should respond with boldness, humility, discernment, and with a focus on Jesus when we are judged for the Gospel.

The “Sermon Discussion Guide” can be found below the message to help you go deeper in the text. As usual, we will be going through these questions for an online small group via Zoom on Wednesday (April 21st) at 8:30pm. Connection info can be found on our website: www.renovationchurchsd.com

Acts 22:30-23:11

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 22:30-23:11. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In the beginning of this passage, Paul is placed on trial. Tyler made the point in the message that your life is the “5th Gospel” that displays to the world who Jesus is. Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 where Paul explains this in more detail. What stands out to you? 

3. When placed on trial, Paul responds in four ways: with boldness, humility, discernment, and with a focus on Jesus. Which of these is most difficult for you? Why? 

4. When Paul is struck on the mouth, he lashes out against the high priest in anger (and then apologizes when corrected). According to Scripture, what are some specific ways we should respond when we are slandered and attacked for our faith? How has the church failed to do this throughout history? 

5. In order to fully understand this passage (and much of the New Testament) you need to understand the difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Explain their different belief systems in your own words. 

6. When Paul realizes continuing to argue is a losing battle, he intentionally divides the group to remove himself from the situation. Read Matthew 7:6. First, what does this passage mean? Second, what are some signs we should look for to realize we are throwing the “pearl” of the Gospel to “pigs”? 

Peace Be With You (Luke 24:36-49)

For Easter Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach on the peace the Resurrected Jesus offers all of us in Luke 24:36-49. In this message, I explain what peace from God looks like and a few practical ways to enter into His peace.

As usual, we will be meeting on Wednesday night (April 7th) at 8:30pm via Zoom to go deeper into this text. The connection information can be found on our website (www.renovationchurchsd.com) and the “Sermon Discussion Guide” can be found below the message.

Easter Sunday – Luke 24:36-49

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Luke 24:36-49. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. The first Easter morning was not a time of celebration for many of the disciples but instead a time of mourning because Jesus did not meet their expectations of what they thought the Messiah would do. First, what did many of the Jewish people expect out of the Messiah? Second, what are some things many people in our culture expect out of the Messiah/Savior? 

3. In the midst of their fear and uncertainty, Jesus proclaims, “Peace be with you.” This peace goes in three directions: vertical, horizontal, and internal. Explain these three kinds of peace in your own words. 

4. One of the ways we enter into Jesus’ peace is by meditation on his wounds (Luke 24:37-39). Read through the Passover story in Exodus 12:1-12. What stands out to you? How should the Passover point us to Jesus? 

5. In Luke 24:45, Jesus opens the minds of the disciples so they can understand the Scriptures. This implies that, apart from divine enablement, we cannot understand the Bible. Read through 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 where Paul explains this in more detail. What stands out to you? 

6. In Luke 24:48, the disciples (and, by extension, all of us) are witnesses of “these things” – namely, the person and work of Jesus Christ. What are a few practical steps we can all take to better witness about Jesus in our families, workplaces, and communities? 

Paul’s Testimony (Acts 21:37-22:22)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Paul’s testimony in Acts 21:37-22:22. Through Paul’s example, we learn some principles on sharing our own testimonies and the power of connecting our personal story with God’s bigger story.

As usual, we will be meeting on Wednesday (March 31st) at 8:30pm via Zoom to discuss this passage in more detail. The connection info is on our website (www.renovationchurchsd.com) and the discussion questions can be found below the sermon.

Book of Acts – Acts 21:37-22:22

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 21:37-22:22 What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In the beginning of this passage, we see Paul use different languages effectively as a means of sharing his faith. Although we do not need to be trilingual like Paul, we do need to understand how to speak the “right language” when sharing our faith. What are some common theological words that we need to better explain to those new to the faith? 

3. Paul addresses the crowd from a respectful tone – he calls them his “brothers and fathers.” This is the same crowd who, moments earlier, were beating him to death. In many ways, he is living our Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 5:43-48. Read through this passage – what stands out to you? 

4. What is the significance of Jesus asking Paul “Why are you persecuting me?” When, as far as we know, Paul never actually persecuted Jesus? 

5. Keeping with the question above, read through 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. What/who is “God’s temple” being referred to by Paul in this passage? What are some ways we can destroy or harm this temple? 

6. The crowd tolerates Paul’s testimony up until he explains that God has sent him to tell the message about Jesus to the “Gentiles” (Acts 22:21-22) and then they respond with violence. First, why was the crowd so opposed to the Gentiles? Second, who are some “Gentiles” that religious people today reject? 

7. Finally, what is at least one way you are seeking to apply this passage to your life this week? 

The Cost of Discipleship (Acts 21:17-36)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Acts 21:17-36. In this passage, we learn that following Jesus is costly but it’s always worth it – from the example of the Apostle Paul. As always, we will be meeting tonight (Wednesday, March 24th) at 8:30pm to discuss this passage in more detail. The questions for discussion can be found below the sermon video —

Book of Acts – Acts 21:17-36

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 21:17-36. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In Acts 21:19, the text says that Paul reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry – Paul makes it clear that all of the credit and honor for his ministry rightfully belongs to God. With this in mind, read through Jesus’ teaching on abiding in Him found in John 15:1-8. What stands out to you? Practically, how can we better “abide” in Jesus? 

3. In Acts 21:21-25, Paul willingly observes ceremonial aspects of the Old testament as the urging of the Elders in Jerusalem. First, from your perspective, why did Paul do this? 

4. Keeping with the question above, Paul is living out the words he wrote in Galatians 5:13-15. Read through this passage – what does it look like to “serve one another in love?” On the contrary, what does it look like to “bite and devour one another” in the context of the church? 

5. In this passage, Paul is falsely accused and beaten as a result of his faith. In many ways, what we see happening is exactly what Jesus predicted would happen. Read through Luke 21:12-19 – what stands out to you? What are some ways this passage can apply to our lives today? 

6. At the end of the message, Tyler made the point that following Jesus is always costly but it’s always worth it. What are some ways following Jesus is costly in our own culture? If someone were to ask you, “Why is following Jesus worth it”? – what would you say? 

The Road to Suffering (Acts 21:1-16)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Acts 21:1-16. In this passage, we follow Paul as he heads to Jerusalem to face suffering and imprisonment. On the way, he visits various churches (many of them pleading with him to avoid suffering). In this message, I seek to explain the role and place of suffering in the lives of God’s people.

As always, we will be meeting this Wednesday (March 17th) at 8:30pm via Zoom to discuss this text in more detail using the question below – all are invited to join us! The connection information can be found on our website – http://www.renovationchurchsd.com

Book of Acts – Acts 21:1-16 

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 21:1-16. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. In Acts 21:4, the text says that “through the Spirit” the disciples urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, in Acts 20:22, Paul says that the Holy Spirit is the One leading him to Jerusalem. What’s going on? Is the Holy Spirit contradicting Himself?

3. One of the words used to describe the church in this passage is the word “disciples.” Read Luke 9:23-26 – according to Jesus, what does it mean to be one of his disciples? 

4. Another description used to describe the church is that of “brothers and sisters” – in other words, the church is to be the family of God. Tyler made the following statement in the message last Sunday – the church is a family to be loved, not a commodity to be used. What’s the difference?

5. In Acts 21:9, we are introduced to Philip’s four single daughters who had the gift of prophecy. Unfortunately, the church often views single people as if there is something wrong with them. Paul refers to both marriage and singleness as gifts from God. Read 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 – what are some of the benefits of singleness highlighted in this passage? How can we better honor single people in our church? 

6. Finally, what is at least one way you are seeking to apply this passage to your life this week? 

The Legacy of Paul (Acts 20:17-37)

This past Sunday, I had the honor of teaching through Acts 20:17-37. In this passage, we see the priorities of the Apostle Paul that enabled him to be effective in making disciples. In this message, I share each of these priorities and challenge Christians today to reorient their lives around Jesus. 

As usual, I will be leading an online small group this Wednesday at 8pm via Zoom to go deeper into the text. All are invited to join us – the connection info can be found on our website: www.renovationchurchsd.com – and the questions are below the message.

Book of Acts – Acts 20:17-37 

Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:

1. Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).

2. Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.

Discussion Questions

1. Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 20:17-37. What themes stand out to you? What questions do you have about this passage?

2. Paul sends for the “Elders” of the church in Ephesus. The position of “Elder” within the local church is used regularly in the Book of Acts. With this in mind, what exactly is an “Elder” within a church? 

3. The first thing we see emphasized in the ministry of the Apostle Paul is incarnational ministry – this is seen through his emphasis of being WITH the church. First, what does the word “incarnation” mean? Second, how can we become more “incarnational” in the way we share the Gospel with those around us? 

4. In Acts 20:21, Paul makes it clear that one of the major themes of his preaching is that of repentance. Read 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 – what are some characteristics of true repentance does Paul explain in this passage? 

5. Towards the end of the passage, Paul warns the church about “wolves” who are false teachers that lead people astray by distorting the Scriptures. Read through Jude 1:8-13 – what are some of the major characteristics of these wolves that we should be on our guard against as a church? 

6. The last point I emphasized in the message is that Paul modeled discipleship through both his generosity and prayer life (see Acts 20:36-37). One of the best ways we can fight against hypocrisy is by living out our confession of faith. What are some ways the church needs to better model discipleship for the non-Christians around us?

7. Finally, what is at least one way you are seeking to apply this passage to your life this week? 

Know Your Enemy

(I recently had the honor of writing an article for an internal publication at Interstates where I work as an IT Support Specialist so I figured I would share it here on my blog as well!)

The residents of a small town in Florida were nearly poisoned when a hacker used a program called “TeamViewer” to hack into a computer and multiply the dosage of sodium hydroxide nearly 100 times above the normal level. Thankfully, the employee sitting at the computer realized what was happening and was able to stop the process before it became serious. Due to this seemingly small vulnerability (they were all using the same password), this small town almost succumbed to poisoning, sickness, and death.

One of our values at Interstates is a commitment to safety. As our world – and company – becomes more reliant on technology we need to remember that prioritizing safety must extend into our digital practices. The greatest vulnerability in a computer network is not outdated systems, shared passwords, or malware. Instead, the vulnerability most exploited by hackers is the “human vulnerability.” Hackers use various forms of social engineering through email, text messages, and phone calls to deceive companies and wreak havoc on organizations (even, at times, seeking to poison water systems).

At Interstates, we are committed to all forms of safety – including digital safety. One of the ways we do this is by running “phishing campaigns” which seek to stimulate these forms of social engineering to bring awareness to this very real danger. The goal of these phishing campaigns is not to trick users but rather to come alongside of users in a friendly, helpful, and understanding way to help you succeed with this new form of safety.

Sun Tzu, the author of the famous book, “The Art of War”, explained the importance of understanding our “enemies” –

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

The reality is there are enemies who seek to manipulate, attack, and destroy others through digital technology. Our goal is to help you know yourself, know your enemy, and rise above the digital battles waged against our company.