Uncategorized

Renovation Church – Membership Meeting Agenda

churchlogo

Tomorrow (Tuesday, August 13th) we are holding our next “Membership Meeting” for Renovation Church at O So Good in Garretson. This is not a business meeting and it is not a vision casting meeting; it is a time for us to prayerfully discern the direction and leadership of the Holy Spirit in our church.

This meeting is open to ANYONE who regularly attends or supports Renovation Church. The agenda consists almost entirely of discussion questions. If you are coming to the meeting, I urge you to seriously pray through these questions, listen to the Holy Spirit, and come to the meeting ready to share your thoughts. The agenda for this meeting is below:

Membership Meeting
Tuesday, August 13th – 6:30pm – 8:00pm
O So Good – Garretson, SD

Focus of our church this Fall, Winter, and Spring
1. Rooted in the Word (Col. 3:16)
2. Empowered by the Spirit (Acts 1:4-8)
3. Centered on Christ (Col. 1:15-20)

Discussion Questions:
Rooted in the Word
Practically, what does it look like for a church to be rooted in the Bible? What does it look like when a church is NOT rooted in the Bible?

What are some unique resources/training we can offer to people to help them better understand how to read, understand, and apply the Bible to their lives? Do you have an interest in being a “mentor” to new Christians?

What are some biblical concepts that you find especially difficult to understand that we can address either on a Sunday morning or through another resource?

What do you find most difficult about rooting your own life in the Bible? How can the church come alongside of you – not from a place of condemnation – but rather from a place of encouragement and accountability?

Empowered by the Spirit
What are some pictures that come to mind when you think of the following terms – “Holy Spirit” “Living in the Spirit” “Baptism in the Spirit” and “Spiritual Gifts” – why do you think these images come to mind?

What are some questions you have about the ministry of the Holy Spirit? How can we address these questions (or concerns) during our Sunday morning service or a resource offered at a different time?

It is clear that many churches in the Western world lack the power of the Holy Spirit. How can we as a church come to a place where we depend in greater measure on the leading of the Spirit rather than our well-developed plans and strategies?

One of the emphasis in Scripture when it comes to the Holy Spirit is prayer. A praying church is a powerful church. What does it look like to be a “praying church”? How can we make prayer a priority in our church this Fall?

Those who live according to the Holy Spirit are constantly making disciples. What does it mean to “make disciples” in our everyday lives? How can we as a church better help our members make disciples who make disciples?

What are some resources, books, retreats, or other resources we can offer people to help them develop a life in the Spirit and in prayer with God?

Centered on Christ
What does it look like to be a church centered on Christ? What are some other things/people/agendas that churches can be side-tracked by? How can we avoid these traps?

Practically, what are some ways we can center Renovation Church more on Jesus rather than on Tyler?

One of my (Tyler) weaknesses is leadership development and taking on too many things. What does it look like for our church to develop godly and mature leaders? Can you think of anyone in our congregation who might make a good spiritual leader to oversee a ministry area?

A large part of being centered on Christ is having a healthy membership structure where members themselves are living in such a way that their lives are centered on Christ. How can we improve accountability/encouragement for those who are members in Renovation Church?

Another aspect of being centered on Christ is doing more by doing less. Is our church adding “busyness” to the calendars of those in our congregation? How can we help people understand that God is more concerned about who they are becoming rather than what they are doing?

Summary Question:
Are there any other questions we can use to guide our church in being rooted in the Word, empowered by the Spirit, and centered on Christ?

(P.S. – If you are unable to make the meeting, feel free to message or e-mail me your thoughts!) 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not About You

devilsgulch

Credit: Charlie Wilson (http://charleslwilson.smugmug.com)

A few weeks ago, I took my daughter Ava (who is 2) to Devil’s Gulch in Garretson for the first time. For those unfamiliar with Devil’s Gulch, it is a hiking destination filled with many imposing and jagged cliffs. It is both a beautiful and yet exceedingly dangerous place – especially for a Toddler. As we entered the park and began to hike through the tall grass and pass over the famous metal bridge, I instructed Ava to hold onto my hand. I explained to her that the cliffs were dangerous and if she were to fall from the side, she would be seriously injured.

Thankfully Ava listened to me as we explored the different areas of Devil’s Gulch but here’s the thing – she could not have fallen off a cliff even if she wanted to. Ava may have been gripping my hand but I was clinging to her entire arm. If she left go of my hand and tried to fly off the cliff (as Toddlers sometimes believe they are birds); I would have simply pulled her back to myself.

Ava’s safety was not found in her holding onto me but instead in the fact that I was holding onto her.

This is a picture of our relationship with God.

Many Christians fearfully ask the question, “Is it possible to lose my salvation?” If your salvation was based on your effort and righteousness, the answer would be a resounding yes. If your spiritual safety is rooted in you gripping the hand of God with all your might, the answer is surely yes. You do not have the strength to endure the storms of life through your will power or spiritual vigor. But here’s the thing – your salvation is not based on your effort, righteousness, or spiritual vitality. It is the gift of God you receive by faith. Salvation from your sin, the devil, and the world is based on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in your place – not your religious works.

In John 10, Jesus is using a metaphor of sheep and shepherds to explain his relationship with those who follow Him. This teaching left the crowd divided; some believed Jesus was more than a mere religious teacher while others accused him of being possessed by demons. Rather than appealing to logic to try and convince the unbelievers in the crowd to give him a chance, this is what he says –

“The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.” (John 10:25-30).

As you begin your Monday, here are a few incredible realities to ponder based on this passage:

  1. If you are a Christian, it is Jesus who has given you eternal life; not your effort to follow Him (“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.”)
  2. If you are a Christian, no one can snatch you away from Jesus; not even your own actions (“No one can snatch them away from me…”)
  3. The beauty of the Gospel is that God is holding onto you; not the other way around (“No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”)

Friends, rest in Jesus today. Quit trying to perform to earn God’s favor or nervously seeking to establish your own righteousness. Instead, find your peace in the reality that your salvation has been accomplished through Jesus on the cross. Listen to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to transform your thoughts, attitudes, and actions to look more like Jesus. It’s not about you; it’s about Him working through you.

 

 

My Schedule for a Day Long Retreat

Chair on Dock at Alice Lake in Late Afternoon

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to lead my first ever spiritual retreat. Many retreats and conferences consist of sitting in a large room with other people and listening to spiritual or business leaders give presentation after presentation; to be honest, it can be exhausting.

Instead, I decided to pattern the retreat from Mary’s posture when she sat at the feet of Jesus and simply listened to His teaching (Luke 10:38-42). Our day was structured around connecting with God through Scripture, silence, prayer, and nature. As one of the people who joined me said, “God whispers through nature, talks through His Word, and shouts in our circumstances.”

Below is the schedule and information I created for those who joined me on the retreat. I pray you find it helpful and possibly encourages you to embark on your own retreat so that you can practice the discipline of solitude and silence to hear God’s voice more clearly.


MEETING LOCATION:

As soon as you enter into the State Park, directly in front of the entrance, you will see a picnic shelter and various tables. This will be our designation meeting location. Please be there by 8am.

RETREAT SCHEDULE:
(8am – 5pm)

 8am:
– Meet at Palisades State Park
– Welcome
– Short Teaching
– Morning Prayer

9am:
– Meditation Walk/Hike
One of the “spiritual disciplines” we can practice to connect with God is to slow down and be truly present to what is around you. Go on a walk or hike around the state park with no agenda. Listen to the sounds of nature and pay careful attention to the trees, flowers, grass, and insects that you see. What does the created world teach you about the Creator? Write down a few observations in your journal.

10am:
– Centering Prayer & Meditation on Scripture
Find a place to sit down at the park – it could be on a bench, a picnic table, or even on the ground. Focus on your breathing and seek to be still in the presence of God. As you do this, meditate on 1 Kings 19:1-13. In this passage, Elijah has reached a place of exhaustion and fear – seeking to die. God reveals Himself to Elijah but only through the still small voice of a whisper. What other details do you notice about this passage? What is the significance of God speaking through a whisper?

Notice the question God asks Elijah – what are you doing here? Take a moment and write out the reason you are on this spiritual retreat. Are you exhausted? Anxious? Fearful? Why? What circumstances in your life have led you to this point? How might God be inviting you to find rest in Him during this retreat? Journal your answers.

11am:

– Spiritual Reading
Spend some time reading the book you received at the beginning of the retreat – Habits of Grace. What stands out to you from the reading? How might God be using this book to speak into your specific situation of life? What about the “spiritual disciplines” is new to you? What is a good reminder for you? Journal your observations (or continued questions) about spiritual disciplines.

12pm:
– Silence Lunch
Return to our meeting place with your lunch. We will sit down & have lunch together but we will practice a “silent lunch.” This is a monastic discipline of eating in community while seeking to be aware of nature together. During your lunch, pay attention to what is around you and how God is seeking to get your attention through nature and the meal. As you eat your food, reflect on Jesus’ death & resurrection. As the food is crunched in your mouth and as you consume your drink, remember that Jesus’ body was broken for your sin and his blood poured out for you. Receive the afternoon meal as a gift from Him.

– Afternoon Prayer
After lunch, we will slowly read a few Psalms together and pray for one another as we enter into the afternoon time.

1pm:
– Meditation on Scripture
The best way to grow in the Christian life is to read Scripture slowly, prayerfully, and out loud. Find a place in the park where you can sit down and read the Bible out loud to yourself. For this time of meditation, read through the famous “Sermon on the Mount” preached by Jesus as found in Matthew 5 – 7. What themes stick out to you? How is the Holy Spirit speaking to you through this sermon by Jesus? In what ways does this message challenge you to live differently? Journal your reflections and observations on the Sermon on the Mount.

2pm:

– Rest in God’s Presence
We have arrive at the afternoon hour of rest. Around 2pm, we often become tired and lethargic. Rather than fighting against this, spend some time “resting” your body, soul, and mind in whatever way you prefer. You can continue to read Scripture, you can read another book, you can go on a walk or a hike, you can even find a place to lay down and take a short nap in God’s presence. In order to begin your time of rest, read aloud Matthew 11:28-30 and receive Jesus’ invitation to rest in Him.

3pm:
– Reflection on the Retreat
For this final hour in solitude, reflect on the retreat today. What parts of the retreat were especially life-giving and joyful to you? What parts of the retreat were difficult? Was solitude and silence easy for you? Or was it extremely difficult?

– Three Take-Aways
Pray through Psalm 139. After praying and reflecting on this Psalm, ask the Holy Spirit to give you at least three “take a-ways” from this retreat. How is God asking you to apply ideas, themes, or principles you learned to your every day life? How can you make this type of retreat a regular occurrence in your life? How is God inviting you to sit at his feet and listen to his voice this upcoming week?

4pm:

– Meet for Sharing
We will return to our meeting place and share with one another some of the insights God has given us during this retreat. Specifically, we will share our “take-aways” we journaled about in the previous hour. How can we support, encourage, and pray for one another before we leave?

– Closing Prayer
We will close our time by reading and reflecting on Scripture together. Finally, we will pray for one another and be dismissed.

THANK YOU For Your Support

RC Cover Photo

Hey everyone!
I know that many of you who follow my blog also support the ministry of Renovation Church I just received financial statements for the first part of the year and wanted to thank you for your support and generosity.

As a church, we have been able to give over $5,000 in outreach in 2019 alone. This comes to a little more than $1,000 a month. We have been able to give to both our local community & beyond through partnerships with Simba Educational Ministries and AsOne Ministries.

We are a small church with an average attendance of 50 people (including children) in a town of 1,100 and we meet in a school each week. Nevertheless, we do not view our size or lack of a building as a handicap. Instead, we believe God has blessed us, not so we can hoard our wealth or purchase a fancy building, but rather so we can be a blessing to others & make disciples.

If you would like to partner with our church in 2019, you can give online at the link below. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization so your gifts are tax-deductible.

Thank you!

https://renovationchurchsd.com/giving/

The Resurrection Changes Everything!

IMG_0572 - edit 2

I hope and pray all of you had a great Easter this past weekend! I had the honor of teaching about how the Resurrection changes everything from 1 Peter. The message is below and I pray it challenges you in your faith and helps you understand just how much God loves you.

(If you are reading this in your e-mail, you will have to go to the actual page to see the video) 

Spiritual Retreat at Palisades State Park

aaron-burden-1054030-unsplash

From the event on Renovation Church‘s Facebook Page:

Pastor Tyler Ramsbey from Renovation Church is going to be leading a spiritual retreat at Palisades State Park. This first retreat will be completely free but is reserved for the first 15 people to sign up. We do ask, if you sign up, please make it a commitment to attend the retreat since only a limited number of people will be able to come.

Tyler is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry with an emphasis on spiritual formation through Sioux Falls Seminary. He will be utilizing many of the ancient spiritual disciplines of the Church to guide you in this spiritual retreat. The focus will be on connecting with God through Scripture, silence, meditation, and nature. The group will meet for morning prayer, afternoon prayer, and evening prayer. Much of the day will be guided meditation on Scripture and the many ways God reveals Himself and speaks to His people.

The retreat will go from 7am – 5pm and you will be required to pay the entrance fee into the State Park and to bring your own food for breakfast and lunch. Tyler will provide more information as the retreat gets closer. For questions, e-mail Tyler at tyler@renovationchurchsd.com


If you live in the area and would like to attend, I encourage you to reserve your free ticket before they run out. You can do so by going to this page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spiritual-retreat-at-palisades-state-park-tickets-60304535489