Red Village Church https://www.redvillagechurch.com where a wooden cross and an empty tomb mean everything Tue, 24 Mar 2020 20:06:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/cropped-icon-32x32.png Red Village Church https://www.redvillagechurch.com 32 32 Where a wooden cross and an empty tomb mean everything Red Village Church clean Red Village Church webmaster@redvillagechurch.com webmaster@redvillagechurch.com (Red Village Church) Copyright © Red Village Church Weekly sermon audio from Red Village Church in Madison, Wisconsin. Red Village Church http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q640/bstritesky/Podcast%20Images/rvcrss-144x144_zpsb9f65692.jpg https://www.redvillagechurch.com/blog/ 168686715 A Reflection on Psalm 84 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/a-reflection-on-psalm-84/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-reflection-on-psalm-84 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/a-reflection-on-psalm-84/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2020 20:06:06 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4646 These words of comfort and hope were written by one of our overseas workers: A REFLECTION ON PSALM 84 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.  Psalm 84:1-2 Believers have always found hope in looking ... Read More

The post A Reflection on Psalm 84 appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
These words of comfort and hope were written by one of our overseas workers:

A REFLECTION ON PSALM 84

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!

My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD;

My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. 

Psalm 84:1-2

Believers have always found hope in looking upward to the throne of God.

This psalm called its original audience to find joy in worshipping at the temple in Jerusalem.  As pilgrims journeyed from the lowlands up to the heights of the temple mount, they were encouraged to sing and shout for joy because they were going up to the very house of God, the physical place of His presence on earth.  

The worshippers set their eyes on the temple, knowing that when they came to it, they would find a resting place with God.  Even the birds had nests in His courts (and of how much more value were they than a sparrow? v. 3-4).  The path toward Jerusalem was rocky, dusty, and uphill; yet along the way, the people “made it a place of springs.”  Even when they passed through dry, difficult places, they found joy in remembering where those hard places led—to the very dwelling place of God.  And so, they rejoiced—He would be their strength as they went (v. 5-7).  The psalmist extoled God and proclaimed that all who trusted the Lord would find Him to be a sun and a shield in the midst of their trials (v. 9-12).

In Christ, we have come to know that the temple was a copy of truer things to come.  The temple reminded God’s people of His promise that a day was coming when the law would be written on our hearts and when the Spirit would not only be in the temple but in us, enabling us to walk on pathways of righteousness (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Even now, this psalm drives our eyes upward toward the throne room of God and the promise of a heavenly home in His presence.  Jesus, through His death for our sins, His resurrection from the dead, and the gift of His righteousness when we had none, has gone ahead to prepare a dwelling place for us.  Know then the surety of this promise: 

“Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3).  

We trust that as we go toward that true and abiding home, always keeping our eyes on the gospel that saved us and sanctifies us, we will “go from strength to strength” (v. 7) Even the dry places of our lives will become like a place of springs in His presence, until the day we appear before Him in glory.  And, like the pilgrims who journeyed toward the old temple, all who put their faith in Jesus still find that the promises of His Word are a strong shield as they go through this life.

We have hope in heaven, and so we do not lose heart.  “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:16-17).  

Each of us will die one day, and it can be hard to face up to that truth.  But as believers, this life is not all we have.  We are journeying toward a greater reality than we have yet seen and toward a deeper joy in the presence of Christ—free from sin, death, and sorrow—than we have ever known.  The day is coming when we will truly abide in the courts of the Lord.

Brother sisters join this song
As we journey home;
Brother sisters join this song
As we journey home.

Hold my hand and walk with me
Till my pilgrim days are done.
And there I’ll find this jubilee
Until my chains you’ll see undone.

(Pilgrim Days,Will Reagan)

The post A Reflection on Psalm 84 appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/a-reflection-on-psalm-84/feed/ 1 4646
Let Us Serve Together https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/let-us-serve-together/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=let-us-serve-together https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/let-us-serve-together/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2020 13:40:22 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4632 We have found ourselves in the midst of a pandemic. For most of us, life in the United States has been a “peace time”, war staying far from our shores and homes. Today though, through technology and globalization, we have become acutely aware of the effects of this virus and the very probable impact it could have(and is already having) ... Read More

The post Let Us Serve Together appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
We have found ourselves in the midst of a pandemic. For most of us, life in the United States has been a “peace time”, war staying far from our shores and homes. Today though, through technology and globalization, we have become acutely aware of the effects of this virus and the very probable impact it could have(and is already having) in our back yard. In light of this we feel a heightened anxiety for our friends, our economic stability, our families, and of course our beloved parents and grandparents. 

As fear and anxiety wage war on our minds and hold us captive, we must remember who we are, and what our future holds. Let us remember that we live on a tiny rock in the middle of an expansive galaxy. The very Being that set the cosmos in place, that formed the Redwoods, the intricacies of a butterfly’s Cocoon,  that sculpted the towering Himalayas and that formed each of us, is the same being that sent his very Son to die for a people and restore them to himself. This pandemic is not a surprise to God, in fact he is, in his magnificent wisdom, working this together for an ultimate good. His promise still rings true, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God and for those called according to his purposes.”(Romans 8:28)  We are the sheep of his fold, and the shepherd will walk with, protect, and keep each of his ewes. Often we don’t know ,in this life, why suffering occurs, but we see in the broken body of Jesus, and in his blood, that God himself suffered and has defeated the final suffering. Death which used to keep us captive, has been obliterated. To the point where Paul states, “O death where is your Victory? O death where is your Sting?” The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Dear friends, if today you have found and been found be Jesus, your earthly body may decay(it will), your heart may stop(it will), your loved ones may die around you(they will), but Jesus who loved you and saved you, will guide you back to himself. You will one day be given a new body, rid of all disease and imperfection, and you will finally be able to rest in the presence of your God alongside all those who have loved Him. How great a day that will be!

In light of who we are, who God is, and what our future holds, we have a unique opportunity before us. Needs in our church body and community are beginning and will continue to spring up around us.

Let us keep this in mind, we cannot meet all the needs that come our way, but we can meet needs and have a significant impact, both today and for eternity. Here is how we can do so practically:

  1. Consider your sphere of influence(church members close to you, family, co-workers, neighbors). Become aware of the needs that they have and pray, think creatively as to how to meet those needs.
    1. For example, Amy was aware that Tori needed to self-quarantine herself due to a traveling to New York for work, so Amy took the initiative of Skyping Tori into our Sunday worship service. 
    2. The Next Door App is a way to connect with neighbors and become aware of the needs they may have. 
    3. Some of our neighbors, especially those with compromised immune systems are choosing to self-quarantine. They may need assistance with grocery shopping or be struggling with loneliness. A letter of love and support may help. 
    4. If you are young and healthy,  and if you are infected by this virus, you are very very likely to recover, so let us use our youth to serve.
  2. Red Village Church has set up an e-mail address titled help@redvillagechurch.com. If you personally have a need, know of a person with a need that you cannot meet, or are willing to be contacted to help, please send an e-mail to this address. The church is seeking to mobilize people within our church to meet the needs both within our body and outside of our body. 

In closing, friends let this time draw us to pray expectantly, to love one another more deeply, and to seek to love our neighbors sacrificially. Jesus has secured our lives and our futures, we have found our home in Him, he is our abode, He is our rest, he is our High Tower. 

Justin, RVC Deacon

The post Let Us Serve Together appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/let-us-serve-together/feed/ 0 4632
How Missionaries Do Children’s Church https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/how-missionaries-do-childrens-church/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-missionaries-do-childrens-church https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/how-missionaries-do-childrens-church/#respond Mon, 16 Mar 2020 21:33:34 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4630 What do we do with our kids if we are doing house church? With the increase in measures to control the spread of COVID-19, Pastor Aaron reached out to RVC’ers who have lived in overseas settings where we often meet in homes for church to hear our thoughts.  As a mother of young children who has been involved in house churches ... Read More

The post How Missionaries Do Children’s Church appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
What do we do with our kids if we are doing house church?

With the increase in measures to control the spread of COVID-19, Pastor Aaron reached out to RVC’ers who have lived in overseas settings where we often meet in homes for church to hear our thoughts.  As a mother of young children who has been involved in house churches for several years, I wanted to share some of my experience.

Let’s talk about house churching with young children present. Kids are a blessing from the Lord (Ps. 127:3), but often we are used to them being in separate children’s programming during the weekly church service. So having them present in the house gathering is quite a big difference! Hopefully this post will help you think through some ideas to make the idea of children present feel less overwhelming.

Remember the needs of the kids (and mothers)

House church is a unique situation allowing us to model to our children our value of the Body and the Word. When we gather we want to make sure to include them because the Word is not simply for adults. We want our gatherings to keep in mind the needs of the youngest present, the mothers who often bear the primary responsibility for caring for the kids, and the others present. The goal is not to simply have all these parties present but to care for the hearts and minds of each of those present. Thinking about the kids as well as adults applies to the music we sing, the way we have a Bible study or teaching time, how we have prayer time, and how to celebrate the Lord’s supper.

Sometimes we can forget our kids’ needs as we gather and grow frustrated with them for their noise or decide that the service would just be better if they would go in the other room and have some screen time. I want to propose some helpful ideas to include our children in these small gatherings of the Body. 

Snacks and drinks

One basic need we need to account for our children is their hunger and thirst. Have you considered when your children may become hungry or thirsty? If it will be during the service, consider having a prepared snack already in the room where you will gather to feed them during the meeting. Our kids actually have often wanted more of a snack than they would normally eat and often earlier than I would have otherwise provided it, but having a snack present and prepared that all the parents are comfortable with has enabled longer and more meaningful conversation. I also realized I need to have drinks and appropriate drinkware for the children already at hand so I as the mother would not miss part of the service.

Naps

For very young children, it may be necessary to come to a house gathering or host a house gathering with all the supplies prepared for your child to nap. If you are going elsewhere, make sure to have whatever sleep props, bedding, and any baby monitor you may desire. Talk with the host to make sure you have a plan for a place you and they feel comfortable with the child being. Make sure you have thought through in advance how long you are comfortable with the small one crying or making noise and discussed who is responsible for getting the child up when needed. It is easy to allow distractions to keep us from the Word so minimizing these important. 

Activities

Your children may need your help knowing what they can and should do during the parts of the gathering when they are expected to be quiet. Perhaps you can prepare coloring pages, playdough, kinetic sand, or simple crafts. Maybe you can pull out toys that are not in the normal rotation or get out toys that are quiet but can be used to build or put together. Provide your child with age appropriate activities. If your child is old enough, provide them a Bible to read along or a printed copy of the text that they can color/write on. Remember that simply providing activities is often not sufficient for young minds. You can help make the time special for your children by sitting beside them, or on the floor with them (if they are young) and doing their activity with them. As an adult, you will be able to learn to focus on the text even as your hands are busy doing something else. 

Remember as you prepare to talk with any other parents to make sure they are comfortable with the activities that you are planning for your children. Some parents may not be comfortable with Veggie Tales coloring page or Barbies or Ninja Turtles, etc. The things that are not an issue in your family may be something another family would prefer to avoid for one reason or another. In the house church gathering, conversing about these things is often even more important than it would otherwise be.

Help them learn from the Word

Another thing to keep in mind as you plan the activities for the children is how to help them to learn from the Word. Consider drawing basic pictures to help explain what the text is saying for the child sitting beside you. Consider reading the text in a simpler translation perhaps even after reading it in the translation you prefer so the children will better understand. Summarize the text with simple words or ask the kids some simple summary questions before you get far into the study of the Word. If appropriate, you might even wish to ask the kids if they have a question they would like to ask. Our children might not be able to understand everything in the service, but they can understand to some extent.

Set boundaries ahead of time

After thinking through all the ways you can be helping your children, it may be important to remember that children need to know what is expected of them. They need to know the boundaries. If they are allowed to make noise (sing or play “instruments” like spoons on pots or shake plastic containers with rice) or dance during music time, they should know that in advance. If they aren’t allowed to leave the main room unless they have permission to go to the bathroom, they need to know that in advance. If they need to be quiet during the time when you are in the Word, they need to know that too. Communicate your expectations and remember you are responsible to enforce the boundaries you set. Think through in advance what you will do if/when your expectations are not met.

How others can help parents

These ideas might seem like they apply mostly to the parents of young children, but they are also valuable for others to consider. Mothers and fathers get tired caring for children especially when they are seeking to have their children quiet and not distracting others present. Perhaps the non-parents present can help simply by sitting beside children and doing activities with them. A non-parent who is willing to color or play with playdoh can be a novelty to a child helping them to listen longer as well as allowing a parent’s mind to more fully engage in the service. The house gathering church is one that allows for many unique ways to serve one another in love.

Final words

Lastly, you are not alone in figuring out how to help your child learn during house church! There may be a learning curve for you as well as the children. The benefits of having your children present are great. I encourage you even when it is hard to not keep them from the Word, worship, prayer, and the breaking of bread if appropriate. You have a special responsibility and gift of caring for these young hearts and minds. May our Lord give you wisdom and grace as you navigate these new waters, Red Village!

-Guest post by an RVC’er who lives abroad and has been involved in house church gatherings for several years.

The post How Missionaries Do Children’s Church appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/how-missionaries-do-childrens-church/feed/ 0 4630
20 activities for children https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/20-activities-for-children/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=20-activities-for-children https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/20-activities-for-children/#respond Mon, 16 Mar 2020 14:58:24 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4628 A self-quarantine can be tough for families with young children. It can also be a time of intentionally creating memories that will last for a long time. Here are twenty things (besides Netflix and Frozen 2) you can do with your kids during this season to invest in them and make your extra family time special. Go for a walk ... Read More

The post 20 activities for children appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
A self-quarantine can be tough for families with young children. It can also be a time of intentionally creating memories that will last for a long time. Here are twenty things (besides Netflix and Frozen 2) you can do with your kids during this season to invest in them and make your extra family time special.

  1. Go for a walk outside.
  2. Go to the park or Olbrich Botanical Gardens–The outside trails are free and open to the public. They’re a great place to enjoy spring and let some kids run off extra energy. Check their website before you go to make sure they’re still open.
  3. Build forts with couch cushions, blankets, tables, clotheslines, and sheets. Get creative, and let your kids sleep in it! 
  4. Cook together. Make something special or take the opportunity to start teaching your littles how to prepare meals and even help clean up.
  5. Do art projects (make a collage by cutting up magazines, string noodles or beads on yarn or pipe cleaners, make a diorama, put paint in a Ziploc bag and let the kids mix the colors, paint on icecubes with water colors, color pictures and cut them into puzzles, or make musical instruments out of recyclables!)
  6. Draw with sidewalk chalk. Leave encouraging notes and pictures on the path for cyclists and walkers.
  7. Get a head start on your garden. Plant some seeds and care for them over the next couple of weeks. Watch them sprout, and learn about how plants grow.
  8. Clean together. Little kids can help, too! Paintbrushes and water or magic erasers turn dirty walls into a fun cleaning project.
  9. Play games! If your kids are older, play board games, telephone, kick the can, hide and seek, and capture the flag, charades. For little kids, try ring around the rosy, Pictionary where the adults have to guess, balloon volleyball, duck duck goose, London bridge, or build an obstacle course.
  10. Read together. If you didn’t have time to get to the library before they closed, you can still get new reading material via their e-reading apps, Libby and Overdrive.
  11. Sing together/have a dance party. Sing karaoke and learn some new music!
  12. Memorize Scripture together and maybe even put it to music. Download the New City Catechism app and listen to the songs.
  13. Potty train your toddler, if you have one.
  14. Cut up cardboard boxes or throw pillows on the floor for lava. Create an obstacle course and avoid the lava!
  15. Plan a first day of Spring party and look outside for evidence of new life.
  16. Many organizations are creating and putting out free content to help families have fun and learn during the quarantine. Here are just a few of the options: 
    1. KiwiCo At Home Resources
    2. 30 Virtual Field Trips and Museum Tours
    3. Free Subscriptions To Educational Content
  17. Prepare a skit or memorize a poem or a verse. FaceTime with grandparents and share it with them!
  18. Set up a treasure hunt. Let your kids use your phones as walkie talkies during the hunt. Bonus points, they’ll learn your phone numbers dialing each other! (Tip for parents with iPhones—ask Siri to turn on Guided Access, which allows you to lock the user into a single app so your kids can’t delete important things or text random people photos.) 
  19. Create a list of things you’re thankful for. Post sticky notes of thankful things all over your wall and see if you can cover a whole wall. Or make two lists—“God is…” and “Therefore I am…” and fill them out as you learn about God’s attributes through your family devotions.
  20. Tell kids stories about when you were young. Recreate a favorite meal or moment from your childhood. 

Joel and Michele Flage

The post 20 activities for children appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/20-activities-for-children/feed/ 0 4628
Easter Egg Hunt https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/easter-egg-hunt-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=easter-egg-hunt-2 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/easter-egg-hunt-2/#respond Sun, 15 Mar 2020 19:20:00 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4503 Join us on January 11th at 10:00 am for our annual Easter Egg Hunt! We have thousands of eggs that will be waiting to be hunted all over our church property! This year we are welcoming children between the ages of 2-10 years old. (We will also have candy available for older kids!)

The post Easter Egg Hunt appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
Join us on January 11th at 10:00 am for our annual Easter Egg Hunt! We have thousands of eggs that will be waiting to be hunted all over our church property!

This year we are welcoming children between the ages of 2-10 years old. (We will also have candy available for older kids!)

The post Easter Egg Hunt appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/easter-egg-hunt-2/feed/ 0 4503
Next Steps Class https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/next-steps-class-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=next-steps-class-2 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/next-steps-class-2/#respond Sun, 15 Mar 2020 17:01:00 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4600 Interested in learning more about RVC? Our church history? Our beliefs? Our goals? How to get more involved? What it means to be a member? If so, join us at our “Next Steps Class” where we will answer all of those questions and more! Our next class is scheduled for January 12th right after the church service. Lunch will be ... Read More

The post Next Steps Class appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
Interested in learning more about RVC? Our church history? Our beliefs? Our goals? How to get more involved? What it means to be a member? If so, join us at our “Next Steps Class” where we will answer all of those questions and more! Our next class is scheduled for January 12th right after the church service. Lunch will be provided.

If you are also in need of childcare please email Aaron@RedVillageChurch.com.

(The class typically last around 2 hours)

The post Next Steps Class appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/next-steps-class-2/feed/ 0 4600
How to be a good small group attender in light of COVID-19 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/how-to-be-a-good-small-group-attender-in-light-of-covid-19/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-be-a-good-small-group-attender-in-light-of-covid-19 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/how-to-be-a-good-small-group-attender-in-light-of-covid-19/#respond Fri, 13 Mar 2020 22:30:31 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4620 As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to love one another as Christ has loved us.  In light of all that is taking place around us because of the coronavirus there will be plenty of important opportunities for us to show love.  Below are some things to consider as we consider how we can continue to live in community ... Read More

The post How to be a good small group attender in light of COVID-19 appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to love one another as Christ has loved us.  In light of all that is taking place around us because of the coronavirus there will be plenty of important opportunities for us to show love.  Below are some things to consider as we consider how we can continue to live in community with one another in our small groups.

1st.  If you, a family member, a roommate, or some one you recently interacted with are sick please refrain from attending a small group.  Out of love for others please consider others more highly than yourself and stay home.  Thankfully we live in an age of technology where you can participate in the meeting either through a speaker phone or video call.

2nd.  Please take time to thoroughly wash your hands throughout the day and be cautious of others if you feel a sneeze coming on.  Even though these might seem like small things to do they both are always at or near the top of the list that medical professionals recommend doing to help others healthy.

3rd.   Be cautious with things like hand shakes and hugs.  At times the right thing to do is to offer a hug when someone is in need of one but please be sensitive to offer a hug only during those times.

4th.  Take time to pray for whoever is hosting your group.  Pray that God would keep their home healthy, that He would help them to trust in Him, and that He would fill them with His joy.  

5th.   Seek as many opportunities as you can to show practical love to others in your group.  Could you write letters of encouragement?  Could you help your host do a deep clean before and after others arrive?  Could you help care for the children?  Could you help make a meal for others who were not able to make it?  

6th.   Work hard to see and to convey to your group the evidence of God’s grace whether it be in His promises to us in His Word or in providential blessings that are around us.  Let us not waste this time by being crippled by fear, worry, and anxiety, but may we use this time to ever more boldly declare the glory of God!  

The post How to be a good small group attender in light of COVID-19 appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/how-to-be-a-good-small-group-attender-in-light-of-covid-19/feed/ 0 4620
Sunday Service (3/15) Cancelled https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/sunday-service-3-15-cancelled/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sunday-service-3-15-cancelled https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/sunday-service-3-15-cancelled/#respond Fri, 13 Mar 2020 13:23:55 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4610 Over the course of the last 24-48 hours as more information has come out we have decided that it would be best to cancel our services for this coming Sunday (and most likely more Sundays to come) as well as our Habits of Grace Seminar.   We hope and desire that this decision is not motivated by fear but by wisdom and ... Read More

The post Sunday Service (3/15) Cancelled appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
Over the course of the last 24-48 hours as more information has come out we have decided that it would be best to cancel our services for this coming Sunday (and most likely more Sundays to come) as well as our Habits of Grace Seminar.   We hope and desire that this decision is not motivated by fear but by wisdom and love for neighbor.  Below is a letter written by one of our members (who is a lung doctor) that I thought was incredibly helpful and insightful.  Please take time to read through it.  

We are working through a plan for this Sunday in that we still believe that it is the Lord’s Day and still a day to set aside for worship.  The hope is by Saturday night to send you a guide to have a time of worship at your home which will include a recorded message, a prayer guide, and songs.  We also are asking the church to take Sunday to fast and pray.  I attached HERE a blog by David Mathis that gives information on fasting, if that is a spiritual discipline that you are not familiar with.    I also attached HERE a little blog that I wrote on family worship that will give you an idea on what we are aiming for on Sunday. 

 If you are willing to host people this Sunday or are desiring to find others to worship with please let me know.   We also are looking for some help organizing how we might be able to meet through video conference calls for those who might be sick and will have to take more extreme measures of quarantine.

 Please let me know what questions or concerns you have.  Please also take time to pray for our church, for decisions we might be making as a church, and for decisions our government leaders might be making for our country.  

May God use this time to cause us to trust in him more and to use his people (including us) to passionately and boldly share his gospel of peace to all of those around us!  

With Love, 

Pastor Aaron


From Dr Jay Tuck:

Greetings in the Name of our Sovereign Lord – 


Pandemics are not new for mankind. But for most of us they’re things that happen in other places and in other times that haven’t affected us personally. The current COVID-19 virus pandemic is different. It appears to be a worldwide phenomenon that is directly threatening the health and sometimes the lives of many. And it’s indirectly affecting the normal patterns of life of most. Our congregation is no different. The pastors and deacons of Red Village church have been working with medical professionals in our congregation on some practical advice and policies to share with our people.


General
Use common sense preventative measures. Vigorous, frequent handwashing is an effective measure to prevent the spread of viruses. 
Coughing and sneezing is often unavoidable. Make sure you’re doing it in a way that minimizes the spread of your respiratory secretions.
Minimize attendance and group events (more on this below). It’s possible to be infected with COVID-19 without ever getting sick. And, like most viral illnesses, COVID-19 spreads from infected people before they get sick. 
“Flatten the curve.” It’s probable that a lot of people are going to get sick from this virus. One of the most important things we can do collectively is to keep that rate of infection low, so our healthcare systems don’t become overwhelmed. We have the capability of taking care of a lot of critically ill patients, but there’s a limit to that number. This article explains this principle in detail (warning: there’s math).
Do not expose your neighbors to your illness. If you are showing signs of infection (including fevers, chills, sweats, runny nose, etc.) you should avoid unnecessary gatherings of people. 


Gathering Together
Christians should treasure gathering as a body. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23–25). There are, and have been, Christians who risk their lives to meet together under threat of persecution. On the other hand, few would advocate that we should meet during a natural disaster (like an earthquake or a tornado). A pandemic, if severe enough, is more like a natural disaster. One of our challenges is that we don’t know how severe it’s going to be. Because we don’t know, and because meetings of large groups of people may be making this pandemic worse.


For now, we aren’t discouraging our small group Villages from meeting together. Gatherings of small groups aren’t as much of a threat as large groups for spreading infections. But we’re also not requiring our Village leaders to keep their meetings going. If you do meet, make sure to show courtesy to one another using the general principles outlined above.


Other Things to Keep in Mind
Not everyone can afford to self-quarantine or practice “social distancing.” Economic pressure often makes this impractical. Please keep your eye out for people who may need help with practical matters (like money, help running errands, childcare, etc.).
If you need help or you know someone who does, your pastors and deacons are a resource for you.
God saved us “to love kindness” (Micah 6:8) and to be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).
God works all things for our good, so we shouldn’t fear trials (Romans 8:28).
To die is gain, so we shouldn’t fear death (Philipians 1:21-23).
God takes care of birds and lilies, he’ll take care of us (Matthew 6:25-31).


Links:
The CDC
UWHealth Covid-19 Info
Madison and Dane County Public Health
How DC Churches Responded When the Government Banned Public Gatherings During the Spanish Flu 1918

The post Sunday Service (3/15) Cancelled appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/sunday-service-3-15-cancelled/feed/ 0 4610
In Light of COVID-19 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/in-light-of-covid-19/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=in-light-of-covid-19 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/in-light-of-covid-19/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2020 15:39:04 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4604 In light of everything taking place around us right now in response to the Coronavirus I thought it would be good for me to give you some updates and some decisions we are working through.  Today I have spent time talking with the medical people at RVC as well as other churches to start putting a wise plan in place for ... Read More

The post In Light of COVID-19 appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
In light of everything taking place around us right now in response to the Coronavirus I thought it would be good for me to give you some updates and some decisions we are working through.  Today I have spent time talking with the medical people at RVC as well as other churches to start putting a wise plan in place for us.  Below are some changes we will be making and potentially making:

Sunday Morning Worship Service:  We are still planning to continue to meet on Sunday mornings for our church service but we will have a few changes including, for the time being, not participating in the Lord’s Supper or serving food.  We will have hand sanitizer located throughout the sanctuary for you to use, and we ask you to avoid things like hand shaking or hugs.

Village Kids:  At this point we still plan to offer our Village Kids classrooms but are planning to follow any policies put forth by the Madison School District. If schools are cancelled we will also be cancelling our Village Kids programs.  Your kids are still welcome to join us in the sanctuary.

Cleaning:  It seems like the most effective time to clean the building will be on Sunday mornings before the service.  We are going to need about 5-10 people to come to the church building on Sundays by 8:00 to ensure we give a deep clean before people start arriving.  If you would like to help let me know!  Please don’t just assume others will sign up.   It would be a much better problem to have more than enough people sign up than not enough!  As we get people to sign up I will work on creating a volunteer schedule. 

Villages/small groups:  We are going to leave it up to each Village on whether or not they plan on meeting and what that might look like.  However, that being said, our Villages might become even more important in the weeks ahead because it is beginning to look like it is possible that tight restrictions could be coming for large group gatherings which could affect our Sunday morning services. Small group gatherings could be a great way to stay in community and be in the Word.

Habits of Grace Seminar:  The seminar is still scheduled to take place March 20-21, but I have been in contact with our speaker, David Mathis, and it seems increasingly likely that we will end up rescheduling until a later date.  I will keep you posted as soon as decisions are made.

Sickness:  If you or even if someone in your family/roommate is sick we ask that you would stay home until the sickness has passed.  From what we are learning the virus can start out with the same symptoms as the common cold.  If you end up staying home from church please note that you can find all of our sermons on our website as well as on iTunes.  

Opportunities:  Even though this seems to be a very serious issue that is before us this also seems to be a great opportunity for us to live out our faith with our words and with our deeds not just towards each other but to all of those around us.  

As you talk with your neighbors and co-workers about everything that is taking place, can I encourage you to speak to them about the peace of Jesus Christ and find practical ways by which you can serve them?  

Prayer:  There obviously are a good number of things that we can be praying over.  If it helps you organize your prayer life here is a little list:  wisdom as decisions need to be made, unity for our church family, our seizing of opportunties to show love,  healing for the sick, and that the gospel light would shine.   Let’s also be praying for those serving in the medical field and their families.   Between doctors, med students, nurses, health care providers and Epic we have a sizable portion of our church who are involved in the medical field.  

Trust:  As a church we are seeking to be as wise as we can be as decisions are made, but the wisest decision we can make is to fully trust in our God who is Sovereign over all things, including this.  May God give us the grace to trust in his goodness, his power, and his plan as we long for all sickness and death to be forever removed from us when our Lord returns.   May God also help us to remember because of the resurrection of Jesus we are ALWAYS people of hope.

As more decisons are being made I will keep you posted.  Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!  

Grace,

Aaron

p.s. Here also is an article that I found to be helpful on the Gospel Coalition.

Here also is more information from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention

Philippians 4

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness[d] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned[e] and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

The post In Light of COVID-19 appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/in-light-of-covid-19/feed/ 0 4604
Staff Meet and Greet https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/staff-meet-and-greet-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=staff-meet-and-greet-2 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/staff-meet-and-greet-2/#respond Mon, 09 Mar 2020 21:00:47 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4597 New to RVC? If so, we invite you to our Staff Meet and Greet on Sunday March 15th right after our Sunday morning service! At the meet and greet you will learn a little more about RVC, our history, how you can plug in and get a tour of our facility. The meet and greet will take between 20-25 minutes. ... Read More

The post Staff Meet and Greet appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
New to RVC? If so, we invite you to our Staff Meet and Greet on Sunday March 15th right after our Sunday morning service! At the meet and greet you will learn a little more about RVC, our history, how you can plug in and get a tour of our facility. The meet and greet will take between 20-25 minutes. If you would like to join us please meet at our welcome center in the back of our sanctuary after our worship service!

The post Staff Meet and Greet appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/staff-meet-and-greet-2/feed/ 0 4597
Being a Disciple-Making Parent https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/being-a-disciple-making-parent/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=being-a-disciple-making-parent https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/being-a-disciple-making-parent/#respond Fri, 14 Feb 2020 20:09:15 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4572 All Christians know Christ’s parting command to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Hearing this brings to mind far flung and exotic locations—it is easy to imagine preaching to inhabitants of remote islands that have never heard the Gospel. But we need not travel to the far reaches of the earth to find ignorant pagans, they are all around ... Read More

The post Being a Disciple-Making Parent appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
All Christians know Christ’s parting command to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Hearing this brings to mind far flung and exotic locations—it is easy to imagine preaching to inhabitants of remote islands that have never heard the Gospel. But we need not travel to the far reaches of the earth to find ignorant pagans, they are all around us. I am not here referring to the wiccan down the road or the atheist in his ivory tower, but rather to people far more closely related to us—our children. 

As every parent knows, children don’t naturally discover the Gospel. No young child learning his multiplication tables ever says “Dad as I was studying I came to realize that the universe is ordered, which means there must be a Creator. I don’t think I’ve lived up to His expectations, but I imagine that He somehow made a way for me to be redeemed from my errors and reconciled to Him.” Knowledge of the Gospel is not innate—it must be proclaimed, it must be taught. 

Parents bear the primary responsibility of training up children. Parents are told to “bring up [their children] in the training and instruction of the LORD” (Ephesians 6:4). At a minimum this instruction requires parents to tell their children about God’s plan for salvation. But it requires far more than that. One can simply “tell” something to someone and be done, but to instruct requires much work over an extended period of time. The same is true of training. Every athlete and musician knows that proficiency, not to mention mastery, requires long hours of hard work and dedication over a span of years. 

This is what God calls us to with our children! Not a mere telling of the truth and how to live, but instruction and training, day in and day out, over years. A lot of parents hesitate to embrace this role thinking it should be left to pastors and elders, i.e. to the “experts”. This is a false belief. 

First off, if you as a parent wish you were more mature in Christ, you can be! “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life” (II Peter 1). If you aren’t the type of role model you wish you were, you can become more like Christ—in fact, this is His desire for you! And showing your children that Christ and His Holiness are worth pursuing is one of the best things you can ever model to your children! 

Second, your failures and your successes alike can be models to your children. I would love to consistently model patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control to my children, but I don’t. But when I fail to model these things I have the opportunity to model humble repentance and the asking of forgiveness and they get the opportunity to practice forgiving others. The wisdom and power of God was demonstrated most clearly on the cross when God took the evil actions of men, the unjust killing of their Creator, and used this great sin as a means of bringing about His redemption of the world. In the same way God can and does use even our sins for good if we repent of them and trust in Him. Obviously we should strive to avoid and overcome sin, but we must also remember that God’s grace is greater than our greatest sins. Our moral failures should not prevent us from carrying out God’s call on our lives to disciple our children. 

Finally, many of us parents don’t think we have enough wisdom to guide our children well. This too should motivate us to grow in wisdom, but most of us have more wisdom than we realize. 

I have studied and taught history for a number of years. The future is unknown as are the particular problems that our children and grandchildren will face. However, one thing I firmly believe is that the best way to face the unknown problems of the future is to see how others have faced and either overcome or failed to overcome the problems of the past. One great way to do this is through the study of history. But when it comes to instructing our children a more practical way is to reflect deeply on our lives. 

Your young children don’t know what it is like to start school, but you do. They don’t know how cliques in middle school feel, but you do. They can’t understand the peer pressure and the desire to fit in that high school students go through, but you do. They can’t anticipate the anxiety of being in over their heads at a new job, but you know what that is like. Whether your younger years were good or bad, full of success or full of failure, you have years of experience that your children lack and as a result you have the wisdom that they need. What is more, you know them better and love them more than anyone else. Not only are you commanded to disciple them, but no one is better positioned to do so. 

The alternative to seriously embracing the call to disciple our children is bleak. Our children are not naturally good and they won’t naturally become mature and godly men and women. If we as parents fail to disciple them there are a number of other people and forces eager to form them—athletes, entertainers, pop music, Netflix, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, etc. Our children aren’t going to remain as they are; they are all becoming something different. The question is: who do you want to form them, what do you want them to become like? 

Discipling our children is the heaviest and often scariest task that many of us will ever face. But it is a task that God has placed on us. The world is a dangerous and unpredictable place. Our children will be tossed about in the winds and waves of its stormy seas. To fail to disciple them is to send them forth into the world’s storms without first teaching them how to swim and sail. They are not going to naturally pick up what they need; they need us to instruct and train them. 

—Monte Knetter

Monte grew up in the Madison area. He is acting Headmaster of Charis Classical Academy, a Christian University-Model school that meets on Madison’s east side. He lives with his wife and five children in Sun Prairie. They enjoy reading, playing board games, and hiking. 

The post Being a Disciple-Making Parent appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/being-a-disciple-making-parent/feed/ 0 4572
Women’s Brunch https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/womens-brunch/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=womens-brunch https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/womens-brunch/#comments Tue, 11 Feb 2020 00:20:06 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4565 Join us on Saturday, February 29th from 9-11 am for a brunch at the Red Village Church building! This event is open to women of all ages! Please feel free to invite your friends to join us and bring a brunch item if you want!

The post Women’s Brunch appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
Join us on Saturday, February 29th from 9-11 am for a brunch at the Red Village Church building! This event is open to women of all ages! Please feel free to invite your friends to join us and bring a brunch item if you want!

The post Women’s Brunch appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/womens-brunch/feed/ 2 4565
Family Worship https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/family-worship/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=family-worship https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/family-worship/#respond Sun, 09 Feb 2020 00:48:44 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4558 In a recent sermon I encouraged our families to have some kind of devotion time that they do together.  If you were like me and didn’t grow up doing something like that you might not know where to start, so I thought I could share with you what was shared with me in my spiritual disciplines class in seminary.  My ... Read More

The post Family Worship appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
In a recent sermon I encouraged our families to have some kind of devotion time that they do together.  If you were like me and didn’t grow up doing something like that you might not know where to start, so I thought I could share with you what was shared with me in my spiritual disciplines class in seminary.  My class was taught by Don Whitney, who is passionate about family worship.  There are three simple components to family worship that he recommends:

Read—Depending on the age of your children you might read from a children’s Bible or if your kids are older you can simply read Scripture.  Our family might read a passage or two each night, and we take a bit of time to talk through what we have read.

Pray— There are obviously many things you can pray for.  What our family does is pray back to God the passage that we just read.  We also rotate through a list of ministry areas at RVC, a missionary, one of our neighbors, and this year we kept all of our Christmas cards to pray for everyone who gave us a card this past year.

Sing—Neither Tia nor I are musicians, so we keep this pretty simple—all we do each time is sing the doxology.  If you are more musically inclined, I would encourage you to add instruments as you sing!

In addition to these 3 components our family works on Scripture memory together.  We use the Desiring God Foundation Verses.

From start to finish this might take us anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. For our family we found that this works best for us around the dinner table although when our kids were younger we did our family worship right before they went to bed.  There is a lot of freedom on how this might look for your family, but I think what is important is keeping things simple and doing them consistently!  

If you have not had family worship as part of your family life I would encourage you to start!  Please let me know if you want to sit in sometime with us to see first hand what we do!

Blessings,

Pastor Aaron

Follow THIS LINK to find some helpful articles from Don Whitney

https://www.crossway.org/articles/author/donald-s-whitney/

The post Family Worship appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/family-worship/feed/ 0 4558
Praying for Your Waitress? https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/praying-for-your-waitress/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=praying-for-your-waitress https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/praying-for-your-waitress/#respond Thu, 06 Feb 2020 02:21:23 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4555 Praying for Your Waitress? I’ll never forget the day, two years ago, when I was at lunch with some church buddies at a Tex-Mex joint in Austin. One of my friends, Tina, asked our waitress if there was any way that Tina could pray for her as she came to take our order. So many thoughts and emotions flooded my ... Read More

The post Praying for Your Waitress? appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
Praying for Your Waitress?

I’ll never forget the day, two years ago, when I was at lunch with some church buddies at a Tex-Mex joint in Austin. One of my friends, Tina, asked our waitress if there was any way that Tina could pray for her as she came to take our order. So many thoughts and emotions flooded my mind all at once: Did she really just ask that? You can do that? That’s so easy! Why haven’t I ever done that before?

I had been following Jesus for more than 20 years at the time. A deep desire to share Jesus with anyone who didn’t know him had been with me every one of those 20 years. But, so often, even though the desire was there, I didn’t end up sharing with those I wanted to. Why not?

“Once our food comes out we’re going to thank God for our meal. Is there anything going on in your life today that we could also ask God to help with? Any miracle he could do in your life right now?”

The question my friend asked was so simple, so natural, and yet so genuine and caring. She really wanted to know how she could pray for her waitress. I hadn’t ever seen an evangelistic approach that (in mymind, at least) found a good balance between the two most common extremes–one that was both intentional and caring. The approaches with which I was most familiar always seemed to fall either to the side of being awkwardly direct, or of being socare-focused that you never actually get around to sharing the gospel at all but just spend a lot of time “building the relationship.” 

What Was Missing

Perhaps these are anxieties especially suited to an ENFP on the Myers-Briggs. Either way, I had lived in and out of both approaches most of my life without ever being fully satisfied with either one. And to be completely honest, I saw very little fruit, if any, in all those years with eitherapproach. I know now that there are multiple reasons for this–perhaps the biggest one being that at the end of the day (or month, or year) I just wasn’t really sharing the gospel that often. But that’s not what I’m going to talk about here. I don’t think the average American Christian primarily just needs more reminders to “go and share.” I also don’t think there’s a silver bullet– a perfect approach to evangelism. The best we can do is to follow the example of Jesus and his disciples, which filters down into several guiding principles and truths.

That being said, looking back at my struggles, I can see now that what I was deeply missing over those 20 years was not any knowledge of the gospel. Nor was it a desire to share the gospel. Nor was it lack of sermons, books, and conversations encouraging me to share the gospel. The Holy Spirit had put the desire there, and had continued to prompt me to do it my entire life.

What I was lacking and very much needing to mature in obedience and faithfulness in proclaiming was someone who could model for me what it looked like to share the gospel in everyday life–not in a “share the gospel, and when necessary, use words” sense–but in a way where the gospel was regularly coming out of my mouth, even in the everyday moments of life, and in a way that was also helpful to the listener. In short, regular, simple, and helpful.

I hadn’t experienced the kind of lifestyle Tina was demonstrating, in such close proximity, in 20 years of following Jesus. The more time I spent with Tina and her husband Austin, the more I saw that they did this everywhere they went: at the grocery store, in their driveway when other neighbors happened to be out in the yard, with their barista. You get the picture. (Yes, they still did planned evangelistic outreaches with friends and with their church, and so do I. We should.  But Austin and Tina didn’t live as though evangelism was a separate ministry in their life to which they gave some time in their schedule alongside family time, Bible study, fellowship, work, and hobbies. For them it was an on-the-go lifestyle in a way that I hadn’t witnessed before.)

Reproducing a Disciple-Making Lifestyle

Austin and Tina didn’t just wake up one day, full of conviction and the Holy Spirit, and start doing this. It turned out that they had seen their friends Chris and Becca do the same thing. So they asked Chris and Becca if they could learn from them and spend time with them. And Chris and Becca had learned from mentors of theirs, who had also been discipled in a similar lifestyle. Each believer in the chain was faithfully learning, living, and reproducing what they were living into other disciples, not just by instructing them, but by living it out in front of them and with them.

That last part was so important for me. The way I learn by seeing and doing is so much more powerful than what I learn in a classroom, in a podcast, or in a book. What I was missing most to grow in the ways the Holy Spirit had been prompting me to grow was someone to model for me what an evangelistic lifestyle actually looks like: a way that was simple, helpful, reproducing, and fruit-bearing.

The prayer conversations I witnessed above were not just asks for prayer. Austin and Tina had a comfortable rhythm of connecting with anyone and everyone which turned into sharing the gospel by means of a few simple questions, a 15-second testimony of how Jesus had personally changed their life, and a simple gospel illustration. Prayer was just the entry into care and into opening up a spiritual conversation in the otherwise mundane moments of life with family, friends, and strangers.

I needed to see that. I needed to see that regularly. It built up my confidence quickly and encouraged me. This is easy! Why had I made it so complicated? I couldn’t get enough. I also couldn’t stop trying to help my friends learn how to do the same after floundering for so many years in my own attempts. I wanted to save others from the kind of angst of feeling like you’ve been trying to use a hammer your whole life when a screwdriver would have been much easier and more effective.

The Wrong Focus

It’s no coincidence, I think, that around the same time God used one of the most familiar passages in my Bible to gently rebuke me and draw out a lesson for me that I had not noticed before. The passage is Matthew 28:18-20.

Go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

Something hit me, and it hit me hard. Jesus didn’t just say “go and make converts.” He said “make disciples.” I realized that after more than 20 years of following Jesus, I couldn’t say with any certainty that I had made even a single disciple in my entire life. I just stared and stared at that passage as I meditated on the words… make disciples.

I had invited others to church. I had shared the gospel (occasionally). I had led Bible studies and book studies. But I really couldn’t say that through any of that I’m sure it ever produced a disciple. (The emphasis here is intended to be less about any one person taking credit for when a disciple “is made”, and more about a deep and growing conviction from the Holy Spirit that I had gotten off track somewhere from what Jesus taught and modeled).

So now this passage is staring me in the face. I read it over again. And again.

…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

What an interesting combination of words I hadn’t really noticed before in the Great Commission. 

What would be the difference in saying “teach them everything that I have commanded you,” and, “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you”? They sound very similar at first, but the difference is crucial. 

What is a disciple? Someone who learns, grows, and obeys Jesus.

Those two extra words, implying obedience and not just knowledge, jumped out at me like they never had before. As a disciple, how was I doing at obeying? Pretty well, I thought.What about all of Jesus’ commands? How was I doing at obeying the command to go and make disciples? Not so well, I realized. I had learned a lot about discipleship (gained head knowledge), had grown in maturity and in spiritual disciplines as a follower of Jesus over twenty years, but how was my obedience in disciple-making going?

And, going one step farther, how was I doing at teaching others to obey Jesus’ command to make disciples? That’s when a lot of the dots connected between Jesus’ discipleship command and my evangelism struggles. My aim for 20 years had been too small. Namely, my efforts had been primarily to impart right thinking or right doctrine, and my goal primarily to make a convert. I wasn’t really aiming for anything more than believer  when I really should have set my sights on faithful, reproducing disciple, like Jesus did.

Jesus’ Discipleship Model

Jesus’ ministry wasn’t just a lot of preaching and teaching behind closed doors, followed by commands to his disciples to “go and do it.” It did include all of those things. But as Jesus preached, and taught, he also went and did exactly what he spoke about, with his disciples literally following him around everywhere he went. He was modeling. They watched. They listened. They observed. They practiced on their own with Jesus present to guide and then eventually without Jesus being physically present (Luke 9 and 10). He was showing them, every step of the way, how to live out all of the things he was teaching. He was modeling for them how to preach (share) the gospel and how to make faithful, reproducing disciples.

This leads me to imagine that, after three years of ministry with Jesus, as he leaves them with final instructions to “go, and make disciples of all nations,” not one of his disciples had to call a team huddle to debrief Jesus’ command. I don’t think any of them were scratching their heads about just what it was he meant by “disciples,” and what their role in the process was. All of them knew exactly what making disciples looked like because they had actually been doing it with Jesus for three years. He had taught and then modeled for them what it looked like in an everyday, day-by-day mentorship. I didn’t realize how much I needed that kind of life-on-life mentorship of practical obedience, how much I needed to be taught to obey, not just taught. 

It’s been a rich and joyful journey since encountering Austin and Tina, full of simple tools, lots of baby steps, even more mistakes, followed by more questions and learning and observation from those who are a step ahead of me, followed by even more practicing. Rinse and repeat, along the way, every day. Now I’m learning how to take others with me as I go–how to be a “Tina” to others. God continues to kindly teach me more about what it looks like to be obedient in disciple-making and what it looks like not just to teach others, but to teach them to obey

If any of this resonates with you, I love to help others where I’ve been helped. Please reach out!

Steven Prinsen

Steven.Prinsen@launchglobal.org

The post Praying for Your Waitress? appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/praying-for-your-waitress/feed/ 0 4555
Celebrating 10 years of RVC–Hans Stennes-Spidahl https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/celebrating-10-years-of-rvc-hans-stennes-spidahl/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=celebrating-10-years-of-rvc-hans-stennes-spidahl https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/celebrating-10-years-of-rvc-hans-stennes-spidahl/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2020 22:11:17 +0000 https://www.redvillagechurch.com/?p=4551 (This post is part of a series of blogs we will be doing throughout 2020 as we prepare for our 10 year anniversary at RVC that we will be celebrating on 12/5/20. Search under the tag “RVC 10 Years” to read other post in this series.) The Early Days I was first introduced to RVC around this time of year ... Read More

The post Celebrating 10 years of RVC–Hans Stennes-Spidahl appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
(This post is part of a series of blogs we will be doing throughout 2020 as we prepare for our 10 year anniversary at RVC that we will be celebrating on 12/5/20. Search under the tag “RVC 10 Years” to read other post in this series.)

The Early Days

I was first introduced to RVC around this time of year seven years ago by my good friend Alex. He and his roommate invited me over for a game night and the topic of churches came up. I had just started taking my faith more seriously but was not yet connected to a church in Madison and Alex was excited to connect me to the church he loved so dearly. Within my first several weeks at RVC, I could see why.

While meeting in a high school and singing worship music accompanied by guitar was a major shift from growing up sitting in pews and singing hymns accompanied by organ music, I also felt a sense of welcome early on. I also heard the Word of God taught in a way that challenged me to learn and to grow in my faith. I was at first an irregular attender, coming about twice per month and working other Sundays. When asked if I would consider becoming a member of the church, I remember telling one of the pastors that RVC was a good model for the church I would one day join, but that I felt my campus ministry was my church for the time being.

Deeper Involvement

Thankfully, my convictions shifted before long and I became a member in 2014. I continued to grow with the other members of RVC and took much joy in serving Christ by serving the church. Eventually, I decided to intern with Red Village and began in the late Spring of 2016. I was blessed to work alongside the leadership and congregation, to see how church life functioned, gaining a clearer perspective of both the highs and the lows. Pastor Aaron and others in the church provided great support as I prepared for two years of overseas missions work. I got as far as going to a conference where I was matched with three top choices for service destinations when the unexpected happened. 

Mania, the Fog, and the Journey Back to Normalcy 

I had a great deal of restlessness, excitement, and stress following the conference, which only snowballed from there. Nights with only 4-5 hours of sleep became sleepless nights, dreams were replaced with racing thoughts as I lay wide awake for hours each night. I thought that I was gaining increased clarity and insight and that my actions reflected my clarity of mind. I became convinced that Jesus would return within a matter of weeks and that I had a huge role to play in leading the world to prepare for His return. However, my roommates, church friends, family, and others were increasingly confused by my words, messages, and actions. Eventually, my family got me into a hospital where I was diagnosed with a manic episode and ended up spending 11 days. 

The journey back to normalcy was long and difficult. I spent several weeks with my parents, who were very patient and helpful as I took steps towards mental and spiritual health. The church and other friends in Madison were also very faithful, especially through their prayers. Pastor Aaron made the 2 ½ hour drive to La Crosse to provide support and encouragement, which I remember as a boost for me. Eventually I felt prepared to return to Madison and came back to a city which was much the same, but which was more difficult to navigate in the midst of continued recovery. The delusional thoughts of mania gradually gave way to a dense fog of depression. Through the fog, God remained my guiding light. I prayed when I did not know what to pray and often falling asleep in prayer. I understood that in the midst of hardship God sees, hears, and He knows (Exodus 2). When I felt it was impossible to get off the couch to make a sandwich, go for a walk, or go to work, God’s grace allowed me to. It was also God’s grace that gave me encouraging friends and family as fellow sojourners who would point me towards the light of Christ, to lift my head up when it was downcast. I am forever grateful for the ways that my friends at RVC listened to me, gently encouraged me, or simply sat in silence with me during that time. Psalm 18:19 is a scripture that rings true following that time: “He brought me out into a broad place he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” 

Moving on, but Always Grateful

As I came out of that season of depression, I was blessed with meeting Jen, the beautiful woman who would eventually become my fiancée. She is a wonderful person to journey life with and she consistently points me to Jesus in the highs and the lows. We recently decided that the best move for our family is to be part of a church body which Jen is already involved in and has a significant presence in the village of McFarland, where we will make our home together. In March I will have my last Sunday at RVC. I’m sad to be leaving, but am forever grateful for the people of Red Village Church and the ways God has graciously worked through RVC in my life and in the lives of many others. It has been an immense blessing to be part of seven of RVC’s 10 years as a church and I am confident that God will continue to use the church in powerful ways both in this city He loves so much and to the ends of the earth. May Red Village Church become even more faithful as a church “Where a Wooden Cross and an Empty Tomb Mean Everything.”

The post Celebrating 10 years of RVC–Hans Stennes-Spidahl appeared first on Red Village Church.

]]>
https://www.redvillagechurch.com/2020/celebrating-10-years-of-rvc-hans-stennes-spidahl/feed/ 2 4551