Pray as we Grow, Connect, Worship, Bless

This update that was sent out at the beginning of February. Thank you for continuing to pray for us as we pursue God’s vision for The River Church in 2015.

2015 is shaping up to be a busy year at The River. We held the meeting for Vision 2015 on January 18, and planned for several events and ministries that we believe God is leading us to do. Thank you so much for your prayers! Here’s what The River Church is going to do in 2015:

PRAY: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12.

It’s so important to remember where the real battle field is. What a marvelous, simple and yet profound opportunity we have to approach the throne of God and ask for everything we need and know that He will provide! We pray that our prayer life as a church will be deepened this year and our intimacy with God through prayer will be greater. We pray the same for each of you, our praying partners. We pray that this year you experience a new intimacy with God through your times in prayer.

GROW: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

We plan to grow through continuing in our Discipleship Groups, special Bible studies, and by personal and corporate Bible reading and scripture memorization. We are praying and ask you to pray for God to multiply our Discipleship Groups. We are praying to grow through both new disciples and through contact with Christians who do not have a church to call “home” but are ready to renew their commitment to gathering with God’s people on a regular basis. Please pray God would bring us into contact with people who need the good news!

CONNECT: “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same functions, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:4-5.

We want to focus on the health of our Missional Communities. We are planning several events to further equip our leaders and teachers. These will be excellent times to learn new skills and to check in and encourage each other in the work. We plan to continue using “The Storyformed Way” with new Missional Communities as well as “The Gospel Project” and other studies that help form a strong foundation for believers, new and old, alike.

Please pray that we find and use effective ways to not only stay connected and encouraged as a body but to connect with those in our community as well.

WORSHIP: “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!” Psalm 95:6.

If prayer is our strength, worship is our joy! We look forward to continuing to gather for singing, prayer, and the Word on Sunday mornings. But this brings me to some very important prayer requests. We have been meeting in the Moxee Community Center since last June. But it is just one room! There is no place for childcare except for in the hallway which we do use to the best of our ability. We know that not having adequate space to care for small children is a huge hindrance to families with young children.

That said, a property has come up for sale in the center of town that we are working diligently to try to procure. One of our local partners does non-profit work and business-as-ministry and is interested in developing the property with us. We need favor from the city and wisdom about the decision. Finally, we need financial provision for the work that will need to be done to develop the property. There are some buildings on the property but they will need considerable renovations. To sum up: if this happens, it will be a GOD THING!! In the meantime, would you please pray that God would help us “think outside the box” in finding ways to meaningfully reach out and minister to families in our community despite serious space constrictions. We know God has a plan and a way, we just need to find it.

As a follow up, we also need God to lead us in finding a music leader. Michael and Olivia are doing a great job leading in worship every Sunday, but we would really like to find someone else to lead in this area so that Michael will be able to concentrate on other aspects of the ministry. Please pray that God would send more workers!

BLESS: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7.

We believe blessing our community is one of the best ways to show God’s love. Could you please look over the following list and pray God would lead as we plan and prepare for each event?

  • Ministry to teachers at our local elementary school
  • Backpack blessings/end of school or beginning of school party
  • Helping with movie nights in the park
  • Summer Children’s Program
  • Summer sports camp
  • Parent’s Day Away
  • Christmas Eve service

In addition to these events, we are continuing to volunteer at Sunrise House, an alternative foster care home.

Whew! Are you tired? I am! Taken all at once, the year ahead looks daunting, even impossible. But we serve a great and mighty God! If He is for us, who can be against us?! This letter might be a good one to keep and pray over each area of ministry individually throughout the year.

Love and blessings to you all. Thank you for your diligence and patience in prayer. God is moving and we’re excited about the year ahead and look forward to sharing it with you!

Michael and Cheryl Johnson

The River Church