by Erin Bird
In this post, we are concluding our short series on the three values of Riverwood. We've already looked at the topics of Grace and Truth, which means this week we come to Value #3 - being a church of trust.
When we say we value "Trust," we are actually talking about two things.
The first is pretty obvious. We want to see people trust Jesus. It is no secret that at Riverwood, we want to see people trust Him with their present, their futures, their difficulties, their relationships... in other words, to trust Him in all things.
But the idea of being a Jesus-centered community of trust goes further than that. The second part of "trust" is that we would also trust one another, specifically by entrusting others to do the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:12) Here’s what I mean:
Imagine you serve in an area of ministry at Riverwood that you LOVE. Maybe it’s greeting. It might be planning events. Perhaps it is teaching kids about Jesus. Or it could be leading a Growth Group.
Now, let’s say you not only serve in that area, but you are so good at it, you've practically become an expert. Everyone compliments your service. They turn to you to find out how you do it so well. Other churches want to learn from you. In fact, you are so good at your area of ministry that people are begging you to write a book so they can learn how to be as good as you.
Many experts love being recognized as experts. They hoard their knowledge so that everyone has to come to them for the answers. They hold tightly to their area of ministry so that the spotlight has to remain on them.
But that’s not how we want to operate at Riverwood.
At Riverwood, to be a community of trust means we entrust others to do the ministry. So if you become an "expert," then we want you to pass on your wisdom to others, seeking to make them experts as well. And if you AREN’T an expert - you can STILL entrust your ministry to others while getting better at it yourself!
You see, to be a Jesus-centered community, we can’t keep the spotlight for ourselves. We have to put the spotlight on Jesus. And one way to do that is to trust that He can use us to help someone else serve him.
That’s why Bridget doesn't teach every Sunday in Kids Creek. It's why Jake doesn't lead every single song in our Worship Gatherings. It is why Jake and our Elders teach occasionally on Sundays.
If Bridget, Jake, or I wanted the spotlight for ourselves, then we wouldn’t let others have the chance to lead. But because we want the spotlight on Jesus, we gladly give others the chance to lead from the mic as well.
After all, entrusting ministry to others is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus is not still physically on Earth, leading and doing the work of the ministry Himself. Rather, he empowered His disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 to do the work of the ministry, and part of that ministry was to raise others up to carry on the mission (2 Timothy 2:2).
If the Church is the family of God, then we have to trust God can work in and through our fellow family members. Just as LeAnn and I have given responsibilities to our children to do laundry, clean bathrooms, and help make dinner; the leaders of Riverwood want to empower you to entrust others to serve and lead in the areas God has called them to.
It is my prayer this value of Trust continues to become a regular part of Riverwood's culture. And not just on the stage, but in every area. I hope we have a culture of reproduction, where we each are looking to not only find areas to give our FIST (finances, influence, skills, and time) but looking for ways to help others give their FIST as well.
So by all means, serve enthusiastically, using your gifts and talents to make Riverwood an amazing church family. But realize that part of being a church family also means entrusting others to do the work of the ministry. After all, it’s way more fun to do ministry as a team!
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