Blog Update

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Hi everyone!
I wanted to thank you for checking out my blog. I recently updated the format and added new pages. The other upgrade is purchasing an official domain name. When I first began the blog, it was a generic WordPress URL. The blog is now on the domain http://www.tylerramsbey.com

Below are the new pages I added to the blog. Be sure to check them out!
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Three Vices of Ministry

Scripture

Ministry is exhausting yet rewarding; brutal yet satisfying; ugly yet beautiful.

Virtually every believer in Jesus Christ would agree with that statement. There is a false belief that one becomes a minister when he/she receives a spiritual title and job description. Contrary to this belief, Scripture teaches that all Christians are called to be ministers and priests – some have the privilege of working in paid ministry; others have the honor of doing ministry without a specific salary.

I believe there are many temptations in ministry; vocational ministry has specific vices that have historically plague the evangelical church. Below are three things that I have learned since I began vocational ministry. I am a Campus Pastor for The Rescue Church and have been responsible for launching The Rescue Church in Garretson, SD.


 

  1. Do NOT neglect your walk with Jesus for ministry.

This is arguably one of the largest temptations of vocational ministry. The vast majority of pastors do not read their Bible or pray outside of a church context. They spend hours studying Scripture in order to form a teaching and yet spend no time getting to know the author of the very Scriptures they are reading. Sadly, it is extremely easy to follow in the footsteps of the religious leaders in Jesus’ day – “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” (John 5:39)

If you are in a paid ministry position or are pursuing a specific calling, do NOT neglect personal time with Jesus. It is one thing to know the history, context, grammar, and language of the Bible. It is a much more satisfying experience to know the God who inspired the biblical text.

 

  1. Do NOT find your identity in ministry.

This was one of the biggest struggles I had when I began to work vocationally for The Rescue Church. Anytime that a person sets off to plant a church in a new community, discouragement and doubt will plague his/her mind. In the community that we are planting the church, there was a church plant before us that failed. Especially in the beginning months of planting the campus, I wrestled with thoughts of failure. Every pastor, whether they admit it or not, battle against these same thoughts.

We need to remember that our identity is not found in what we do, it is found in what Jesus has already done. Pastor, regardless of whether you fail or succeed, Jesus is still Lord and Savior. God has not called you to be a mega-church pastor; he has called you to be faithful. Everything that you need to go to the next level in your life and ministry, God has ALREADY provided. Be a faithful steward with what He has given you.

Do not let success or apparent failure drive you to narcissism or depression. Worship Jesus not your ministry.

 

  1. Do NOT sacrifice your family to ministry.

This is perhaps one of the biggest issues that pastors struggle with. In ancient times, people would sacrifice their children to false gods. Many pastors who are in vocational ministry are sacrificing their children and wives to the false god of ministry. Before you enter into vocational ministry, PLEASE identify your priorities. I am a husband before I am a pastor. The needs of my wife come before the needs of the church.

No pastor would say he is trying to sacrifice his family to ministry and yet it happens all the time. If you are a pastor, on behalf of your family, I urge you to examine your life. If you are gone every day and evening in order to be a “successful” pastor you may succeed in growing your church but you will fail in being a husband and father.

I promise you that your church can have a multitude of different pastors; your wife only gets one husband and your kids only get one father. Be willing to give up your job in vocational ministry if it means saving your marriage and family.

 

 


 

If you were to come up with a list of temptations in ministry, what would you place as the top three? Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Garretson Campus Update!

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To say that I am excited about what God is doing here in Garretson would be an understatement.

In my time of reflection and prayer, I am studying the book of Micah. In chapter six, Micah lays out a type of lawsuit that God has against His people Israel. One of the main indictments God has against His people is they have forgotten what He has done for them. He calls them to remember that He is the God who delivered them out of Egypt and ends that section saying, “Remember… so that you may acknowledge the Lord’s righteous acts.” (Micah 6:5)

In light of God’s command to Israel, I decided to take some time and look over both my planner and prayer journal for the past year and reflect on God’s faithfulness.

I was officially hired on staff at The Rescue Church in December with the goal of planting a new campus in Garretson, SD. Needless to say, I was pretty overwhelmed. The whole situation literally drove me to my knees in prayer. I knew that I did not have the experience, education, or wisdom to plant a new campus and be a pastor. Thankfully, “God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world – what is viewed as nothing – to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one can boast in His presence.” (2 Cor. 1:28-29)

I want to preface what I am going to share by saying these things do not point to how great I am. They do not show how capable of a leader, how faithful of a Christian, or how good of a person I am. Everything that God has done and is continuing to do in Garretson brings glory to His name alone – I simply have the honor to participate in what He is doing.


Outreach Events

At The Rescue Church we value being involved in the community. We have already had some solid opportunities to serve those in Garretson before we have even launched a campus!

1. Informational Meeting (February)

The first event we held was in February when we had an informational meeting. We invited the community to come to Anne’s Coffeehouse in Garretson and we served them a free supper and answered questions about the church. We had around 25 people come to that first meeting.

2. Easter Egg Drop (April)

On April 19th, we were able to give the Garretson Community their first Egg Drop! If you have never heard about our Easter Egg Drop, it is basically an Easter egg hung on steroids. We take thousands of plastic eggs filled with candy and drop them out of a helicopter over an open baseball field and allow kids to get as many eggs as possible. I was a little nervous about how many people would come since there were not very many people that knew about the church. God surprised all of us and we had roughly 350 people show up! Watch this video for a recap.

3. Community Group (May)

One of the weekly events we did in May is what we called the Garretson Community Group. It was a time for people in the community that were interested in The Rescue Church to come and hear about our vision and get to know some of the leaders. We did this on Sunday nights for four weeks in May. This was really beneficial because we were able to begin gathering a core group and get to know people better.

4. Outdoor Movie Night (June)

One of the really fun community events we did in June was our first Outdoor Movie Night. We rented a gigantic inflatable movie screen and invited the community to spend a night watching Despicable Me 2 at the Baseball Fields. The event was completely free (as usual) and we provided snow cones, popcorn, and soda. Around 75 people from the community joined us for the free movie!

5. Community Prayer Meetings (June – Present)

As a community in Garretson, we have begun meeting once a month to pray for the people and churches here. This has been an awesome time of uniting with other believers from varying backgrounds to cry out to God on behalf of this town. We held our first prayer meeting in June with four people coming together. The next month, July, God gave more than 100% growth to this group! We had ten people – including a local pastor – join together and plead with God that He would send His Holy Spirit to fill this community! We will be meeting again for Community Prayer on Thursday, August 14th at 5:30pm @ The Treasure Chest.

 6. Lunch Bible Study (July – Present)

One of my passions is watching people begin to know God in a deeper way through studying the Bible. We began meeting every Tuesday at 12:30pm @ Annie’s Coffeehouse in Garretson to dig into the book of Romans. It has been really encouraging to see the people who are coming begin to have a deeper hunger for the Word of God. There are usually 4 – 5 of us who meet together on Tuesdays. If you are ever in the Garretson area, we would love to have you join us!

7. Pre-Launch Meetings (August – September)

This is the next event that is coming up and I cannot wait to see what God is going to do! We are going to begin meeting this Sunday night (August 3rd) @ The Legion and will continue to meet every Sunday night until October 5th when we officially launch The Rescue Church in Garretson. The Pre-Launch Meetings will be informal and more of a discussion. The focus is going to be on praying, planning, and fellowship. The main purpose will be to continue to gather a core group of people to help launch the church in Garretson.

 


We Need Your Prayers!

As we get ready to launch, I will be the first to admit that we are in desperate need of God showing up in a powerful way. Below are some things that we need you to pray for. We believe that prayer is powerful and God responds to His people when we cry out to Him.

1. A core group of at least 30 people.

As we begin to meet for our Pre-Launch Meetings I will be setting up 30 chairs every time. Our goal is to have at least 30 people commit to being part of the core group as we get ready to launch in Garretson.

2. 100 people on Launch Sunday (October 5th).

Honestly, this sounds nearly impossible as I put it into writing. One of the things I love about our Faith is the fact that we serve a God who LOVES to do the impossible. I believe God can easily provide 100 people to join us and hear the Gospel on October 5th. Pray that this happens (and that we have enough room for them)!

3. Provision to remodel our building.

One of the awesome things God has done in these past couple of weeks is provide us with a building. We are able to sign a long-term lease for a building in Garretson on Main Street. A person in Garretson who is part of the core group offered to pay all of the rent on our behalf so the building is free! We will still need God’s provision in order to prepare the building for worship services.

4. At least 25 people to come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior in our first year.

Our passion is to reach those who are far from God. We have the tagline on all of our signs – “This Church is not a memorial for saints, but a hospital for sinners.” Pray that we can be a hospital for sinners who are in need of forgiveness. My prayer is that we see AT LEAST 25 people come to know Jesus between October of 2014 and October of 2015.

5. Pray for a Worship Leader and Rescue Kidz Leader.

These are two positions that we need as we prepare to launch. Pray that God provides the right people to step into these roles. Join with me in following Jesus’ command – “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

 

 


 

Do you have an idea that you would like to share with us as we begin to launch? Feel free to leave a comment! If you would like to know how YOU can get involved, I would love to talk to you. Send me an e-mail! – tyler@therescuechurch.com