This month is our 15th year as a church! Therefore, we have spent the month celebrating the goodness and grace of our great God. Anniversaries are a great opportunity to do 3 things:
- Remember what our God has done
- Evaluate where you are
- Look forward to what is to come
What our God has done at Rolling Hills is nothing short of miraculous. From 15 people meeting for a Bible Study on Thursday nights in an apartment clubhouse to where we are as a church today is only God! I remember when God called us to step out and plant Rolling Hills, I was scared to death. After much prayer and wise counsel, I remember it came down to a matter of obedience. God was teaching me a life-long lesson – God doesn’t call us to be successful, just faithful. It is all up to Him. And, even when we can’t do it, He still gets all the glory!
Also, I remember at that time that my wife, Lisa, had more faith than I did. Lisa had a dream one night and told me the next day, “I don’t want to look back 15 years from now and say, ‘I wonder what God could have done if we had stepped out in obedience and trusted Him to plant a church,’ I want to look back and say, ‘Look what God did!’” Well, it has been 15 years, and we can definitely look back and say, “Look what God did!” All glory to Him!
Our theme verse throughout this journey has been Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can dream or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Our God has truly done “immeasurably more.” So many people have been baptized into Christ over the past 15 years, so many people who have gone on mission trips, children dedicated to the Lord, marriages, God raising up disciples and awesome life-change. We could have never dreamed or imagined what our God would do.
All along the vision has never been about a building. We have met in an apartment clubhouse, a hotel ballroom, a movie theater, a WareHouse and now another campus is meeting in a school and another in a college campus theater. The vision has always been, “A people of God reaching out, growing up, and giving all for the glory of God.” As we continue to love God and love one another, God grows His church. Things that are alive grow. We are called to grow deeper in Christ and His love. Jesus said, “By this all men will know you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35. Loving all people calls us then to reach out to our community. What I love about our church is seeing the amazing ways of reaching out in love through the years – from the Wrapping Station at Cool Springs Mall, a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, a Father & Son Bowl, a Daddy Daughter Ball, Easter Jam, Jingle Jam and so much more, we are called to be “salt and light” in our community and beyond.
Jesus’ last words to His disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, and surely I am with you to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. As we reach out, our God has changed lives and brought other people to join in the journey. Jesus’ Great Commission has inspired us to go to the poorest and smallest country in the former Soviet Union to work with orphans. After several years of taking multiple mission trips, God called us as His church to start Justice & Mercy International. Through JMI, today we have 3 Transitional Living Homes for orphans who have had to leave the state-run orphanages at ages 15 or 16. They now have a hope and a future. With 17 full-time people working in Moldova – Social workers, Vocational Directors, Psychologists and more – these precious children are coming to know Christ, being enrolled in college and finding jobs. God is changing this country. Also, in the Amazon, God is impacting pastors through the JMI Pastor’s Conferences and transforming a community called “Red Hill” in South Africa.
Our God is truly at work in His church. There is so much love, momentum and the very Presence of God. Through our campus in Franklin, Nolensville and now Nashville (Belmont Heights), God is allowing His church to impact different areas of Middle Tennessee. In addition, through our on-line campus, we are having people join in the work of His church from all over the world – the Philippines, Canada, Brazil and more – who participate on a regular basis.
What truly excites me are the people God continues to bring. I love serving our God with the people of Rolling Hills. I love seeing God bring people from all over the country and placing our lives together for a time such as this. I love our church Staff Team – What an awesome, gifted, passionate team of disciples who are completely sold-out to Christ and to serving His Body. I love locking arms and making a difference for Christ and His Kingdom with these co-laborers and friends. And, I love seeing our God raising up the Next Generation. What God is doing in the lives of preschool, children and students is incredible. These young leaders and growing deeper in their faith and truly learning to live their lives for His glory. Awesome!
Yet, for as much as our God has done in 15 years, He is not finished. I truly believe the best days of God’s church are still ahead. I believe He is preparing His church to make an even greater impact for His glory. We can’t even dream or imagine what He will do next, but our call is simply to be faithful to Him. He will bring to fruition what He has started as we continue to “reach out, grow up, and give all.” We cannot grow complacent or comfortable. We get one shot at this life and one opportunity to steward His church. This is our day and our generation to make an eternal impact for the Kingdom.
Philippians 1:3-6 says, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all prayers for all of you I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God is not finished with us as a church, and God is not finished with you. Think about what God has done in your life in the last fifteen years. For many, you have accepted Christ, been baptized, and even stepped out to serve in a spiritual leadership position. For others, you have committed your life in marriage, had children (3 for Lisa and me!), or maybe even welcomed grandkids. For all of us, God has provided through times of crisis and times of plenty His Presence, friends, community, health, finances and most of all salvation. May our God find us faithful! Praise God for what He has done in the last 15 years, and now let’s prepare our hearts for what is ahead!
Our God is not finished yet!
Happy Anniversary, Rolling Hills!