Here is a note I read at RCC’s worship gatherings on Sunday, July, 2, 2017:
Ten years ago, I first visited Rockingham Christian Church. I was wrapping up my ministry resident program at a church in Illinois, I had a girlfriend back there, and I had a God-sized future ahead of me in New England. Over the years, I married that girl, met some amazing people here, and have been able to partner with an awesome team of youth workers to build a student ministry and play a small role in the lives of teenagers and families in this area.
Many of you have heard me say that it has always been my goal to flip the statistics on their heads — the ones about how many teens walk away from the church and their faith after high school — and this church has seen some very positive results, as the majority of our students are not only still involved but pursuing leadership for Christ.
One of the things Yvette and I have taught students and families over the years is to follow God wherever He leads you. We often have no clue what He wants to do through us, but we have to be ready for the adventure. It’s that adventure that brought us to New England and specifically to RCC.
While there is still work to be done, we are currently in a very very bittersweet time of our lives, because we have recently felt and heard God saying it is time to move on. Trust me when I say that I really wrestled with God on this, because I truly love what I’m doing and we love you all. If we could be in two places at once, we would. But that’s not yet possible… And we would be hypocrites if we didn’t obey our own teaching to follow God’s call.
So in a few weeks, Yvette and I will be moving to Longmont, Colorado, to become the Student Pastor at LifeBridge Christian Church. It is a move that was very unexpected. But God has made His plan very clear. It’s a great church that has done some amazing things in its community and in God’s Kingdom, but they need a student pastor, and it has been obvious that is where God wants us for the next chapter of our ministry. We are very excited about this new opportunity, but it will be very hard to leave you all!
We cannot thank RCC enough for your openness and love to us over the years. You all have put up with me as I learned how to be a better teacher and speaker. Parents, you have entrusted us with your kids, which I am forever grateful. And you will forever be in our hearts! I don’t know all the details of God’s plans, but we say as Joshua did, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord,” wherever that takes us and to do whatever He asks of us.
Thank you, RCC!
We are really excited about this summer at RCC! We’ll have some events for all ages, and we look forward to seeing you and your “ones!” Check out the calendar below, print one off for your fridge, keep it handy, share it with others, and make sure you show up for some fun!!
All of the events are designed for the entire family. So, yes, students should bring their parents!
Camp Create is back this year. If you have not yet signed up your elementary-age child to attend, do so today before we are all filled up! You can find more information by clicking here! If you are a teenager and would like to serve as a leader, please contact Amy Snyder today.
Our Summer Kick-Off will be at Field of Dreams from 4:00-8:00 PM, which will include life-size board games, competitions, and food. We’ll wrap up the evening with some outdoor worship time starting at 6:00, including a band full of RCC students and adults. We’ll also have a brief Gospel message especially designed to help your “ones” understand Jesus. The event is completely FREE. We’ll be providing some main dishes, but we are asking that if your last name starts with A-I, bring desserts; H-Q, bring chips; and R-Z, bring sides and salads. Click here to RSVP.
Each of the Student Ministry Worship Nights are from 6:00-8:00 PM at RCC, and they are designed for both 6-12th graders AND parents! We’ll also have some food, games, music, and a Gospel-centered message each night. Again, these events are free, but we will have a donation box for those who want to help out with the cost of food and other expenses (like the band we have booked on August 6).
Our annual family camping trip is something many families look forward to attending each year. For more information on how to sign up, contact Amy Snyder today!
We’ll be providing more details soon regarding the exact time and location for our Fall Kick-Off event. For now, mark your calendars!
“I’d love to go on an overseas mission trip someday, but…
…I don’t have the time or money for one of those challenging trips to Kenya or Poland.”
…I wouldn’t want to go without a family member accompanying me.”
…the language barrier concerns me.”
…I’m not sure it’s safe.”
Well, I’m glad to inform you that “someday” has come! RCC’s newest mission destination, the Dominican Republic (www.gomin.org) checks off all those boxes. It’s a true cross-cultural experience, but more accessible, affordable, and family-friendly than our other options — though those destinations are still fantastic, by the way. RCC’s first mission trip to the D.R., which will take place within the next year, is open to adults and teens. Whatever your age or skillset, you can make an impact and have a life-changing experience with God and His people.
Interested? I invite you to attend one of these no-obligation information meetings:
Sunday, April 23 at 12:30 PM
Monday, April 24 at 7:00 PM
Day 3 in the Dominican Republic was humbling!
Our guide, Tim, introduced us to the founder of Go Ministries, Brook Brotzman. We toured the present clinic, a small house structure. And then walked to the site of the future four-story med clinic, currently under construction.
It was exciting to see 100s of children playing and learning at the school!
Breakfast was with the Lincoln Christian University baseball team, who are in the DR helping with baseball clinics for children, helping stabilize a church building and playing a few teams along the way. GO LIONS!
At the end of our day, the only thing we could talk about was The Hole — a place where the people live beside a river. There are only two words we can use to describe our experience: humbling and convicting.
Only hours from now we’ll climb on the plane and say goodbye to the physical DR. For myself, a piece of it will always be with me.
We are in day 3 in the Dominican Republic, and the weather has been amazing. But what is more amazing is what we have seen and experienced! GO Ministries is a multifaceted endeavor to share the love of Jesus with the people of the DR.
We have stepped into a clinic, churches, nutrition program, seminary and a huge sports program that’s meant to focus on developing character first. Unfortunately, though, there is no hockey!
We hugged a lot of people! And we’ve seen some life changing places. I wish you could be walking beside us! Kathy, Mike and I wish you all well! Thanks for your prayers! And we can’t wait to have a chance to sit with you to tell our story!
In our Sunday worship gatherings, we commissioned three RCC servants — Kathy Peters, Michael Peters, and Andy Glass — to represent us on a short exploratory trip to the mission field of the Dominican Republic. They’ll leave early this Tuesday morning and return Friday night.
They’ll be investigating the work of GO Ministries in that island country. From the research our Global Outreach Team has done, this looks like it could be an excellent recurring mission trip destination for individuals and families who are seeking a quality cross-cultural ministry experience, but for whom a trip to one of our established partners in Poland (Graceland Ministries), Kenya (Missions of Hope), or Indonesia (Asia-Pacific International) would be too much of a stretch.
One aspect that especially excites us is that this could be a great multi-generational opportunity (parents and children, even grandparents and grandchildren, travelling and serving together); but we won’t know until we check it out more completely. That’s what this week is about.
Please pray for our friends, and ask God to use their experience as a source of wise guidance for future decisions!
“Children are the church of the future.” That’s something you might have heard a few time, maybe not, but it’s quite accurate. If you’ve hung out around Rockingham Christian Church long enough, you’ll know that’s a belief we try to debunk and encourage those in our children and student ministries to be active servants.
Tyler VanDeventer has grown up in ministry, a part of my brother’s team at a neighboring church. He decided from a young age that serving in ministry was going to be part of his life. He’s taken a more firm stance on that calling and has accepted the call to be the Worship Arts Resident Minister at RCC. He’s living with a church family, doing his own fundraising, and committing the next year to learn more about worship ministry.
You’ll see him up on stage and around the facility in various roles including leading our student band. Take a point to introduce yourself to him and take him out for a meal to let him know how much we appreciate him and want to share life with him.
Here we are half-way through December! Christmas will soon be here, and so will the end of this school semester for college students. Parents, you might have a ton of things going through your mind as you begin to prepare for their return, so here is something that should help!
As college students wrap up their fall semester and head home, it’s important to remember many of them are bringing much more than their dirty laundry. Dr. Steve Argue of the Fuller Youth Institute recently wrote a fantastic article about this very thing. He mentions these college students may bring the following:
- Their spiritual and religious doubts.
- Their politics.
- Their identities.
- Their wounds.
I highly recommend you read the entire article for all of Dr. Argue’s thoughts and how to help these students as they come back for a few weeks.
We’ll be hosting four Christmas Celebrations during Christmas week.
Here are the times:
Thursday, December 22 at 7:00 PM
Friday, December 23 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 24 at 5:00 & 7:00 PM
Invite family and friends to join you for a warm and worshipful candlelight celebration of Jesus’ birth. This Sunday, we’ll give you some attractive invitation cards. Pass them along to family and friends along with an enthusiastic personal encouragement to come!
On Christmas Day, we’ll offer one 10:00 AM gathering. This will be a simple devotional service including some carols, Communion, and a brief message. Lots of opportunities all season long to honor the Christ Child together!
We will also be providing a package of videos and readings on rccsalem.com/christmas and our mobile app for everyone to worship on their own or with their families for Christmas Day (available after December 20).
A VERY MERRY XKL
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4
9:00 | 10:15 | 11:30
Rockingham Christian Church will kick off the Christmas season on Sunday, December 4, with A Very Merry XKL during all three of our Sunday morning gatherings. We invite EVERYONE to join us as we ring in the Christmas season with a refreshing approach to celebrating God’s gift to the world, Jesus.
We’ll feature the joyful expectation yet comforting peace that God offers when take time to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. While this morning will have several of XKL’s typical elements, it will also include an extended time of worship through the singing of Christmas carols, Communion, offering and some words from Tom Gerdts on how we can all make the most of the Christmas season by focusing on the right things.
Pray about who God is leading you to invite to this very special Christmas gathering at RCC! Invitation cards will be available Sunday for you to use in inviting your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.