Red Hill in 2016
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” - Psalm 127:1
Red Hill Church has begun! Our first public worship service was held on September 20, 2015. We’ve had a great first few months of ministry, sending our church family to events like the Route 66 Festival and the December Craft Fair in downtown Edwardsville, hosting a movie at the park (remember the kangaroos?), and sending individuals in our church to places like India, El Salvador, and Haiti. We began the year with one institutional partner (the North American Mission Board), but we ended the year with NAMB and 12 additional institutional partnerships that provided either one-time or ongoing help (including financial contributions, prayer, coaching, encouragement, mission teams, and physical resources)! Here’s a list of churches that have partnered with us in 2015:
- FBC Fairview Heights, IL
- Country Meadows Baptist Church, Independence, MO
- FBC O’Fallon, MO
- Church That Matters, Sand Springs, OK
- August Gate Church, St. Louis, MO
- FBC Christopher, IL
- Mosaic Church, Highland, IL
- LifePointe Church, Atwater, OH
- FBC Jackson, MO
- FBC Murray, KY
- Redeemer Church, Springfield, MO
- Freshwater Church, Bolivar, MO
- North American Mission Board
Not only has our church plant been blessed by institutional partnerships, but we’ve also been blessed by countless individuals who have prayed, visited, and financially contributed to the gospel work happening through our local expression of the body of Jesus! There are thousands of people praying and giving regularly for the work that we are doing here in Madison County. We are truly surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1), and the time has come for us to really begin the hard work of running our race to be a church that glorifies God by making disciples.
So now we turn our attention to 2016. What’s coming up next for the family of believers and friends at Red Hill Church? Our constant hope and prayer is born from Psalm 127:1. We realize that even though we have had very solid attendance and giving numbers that the work of establishing and building the local church is exclusively a work of the Holy Spirit of God. We can labor and build an institution. We can generate numbers, both bodies in the building and dollars in the bank, but only God can build a church. Our hope and prayer is that God would establish and build Red Hill into a church that brings glory to Him. God deserves and will receive all the glory and all the credit for every good thing that happens to and through Red Hill. And with that credit already assigned we can turn our attention to the work He has given us.
2016 will prove to be a critical year in the life or Red Hill Church, because in this coming year we will begin the work of clarifying and expressing who we really are and what we really value. At the heart of our church is the commitment to the gospel, community, and mission. Establishing Red Hill will lead us to put some thought, strategy, and structure to how we share the gospel, gather in community, and go on mission.
Several of you have been asking about Community Groups at Red Hill for a few months, and we’re pumped to tell you that we’ll be launching our first two CG’s on February 21st! Community Groups (CG’s) are going to be a great place to make friends and learn how to apply spiritual truth to your own life. Signups for these groups will be on TheCity, so if you haven’t registered for that yet now is the time. If you are interested in CG’s at Red Hill we encourage you pick up a copy of “Life in Community” by Dustin Willis. Copies are available now at our worship gatherings.
We also believe in covenant membership. A church is so much more than a building. In fact, a church ISN’T a building at all! A church is a group of Holy Spirit filled followers of Jesus who have committed themselves to love one another and partner together to glorify God and make disciples. Sometime after Easter, Red Hill will begin the process of inducting its first set of covenant members! If you’re interested in membership at Red Hill we encourage you to pick up a copy of “I am a Church Member” by Thom Rainer. Copies will be available at our worship gatherings beginning in March.
Our deepest desire is to see God glorified and to make disciples. So we are committed to preaching the Bible, to verbally proclaiming the gospel, and to living our everyday lives on mission. God has placed each of us here for the purpose of bringing Him glory with our everyday, ordinary lives. Yes, we will take the gospel to the ends of the earth! But we also want to take the gospel to the ends of our own streets.
2016 is going to be a great year at Red Hill Church! We are praying for God to produce a great gospel harvest in our community. We are praying that thousands of people all over the world would hear the good news, would find the hope and freedom that only Jesus can bring, and would experience the transforming power of a Spirit-filled, everyday life. We’re going to have a great year, and we hope you will be part of it!
Happy New Year!