December 30, 2020
Tim's Blog: Looking Forward
Are you looking forward to 2021? You bet your britches you are! Why? Well, 2020 - that's why! What are you actually looking forward to? What are you eagerly anticipating this year? Is there one thing that you just can’t wait to see happen?
I am looking forward to a few things this year. I am looking forward to the day that I can regather with family and friends without concern for someone getting sick after our visit. I am looking forward to live music concerts and live sporting events filled with the excitement and energy that comes from a room, auditorium, or stadium full of people. I look forward to being able to attend all of my son's swim meets in 2021. I am looking forward to the face-to-face personal relationships that I have been missing in 2020.
One thing that I learned last year that am taking with me into 2021 is that there really are other ways to stay connected to people when we can't meet face-to-face. I had numerous phone calls and Zoom calls with people that I might not have before. My text game took a giant leap forward, although I do still think phones should auto-dial the person you are texting when you reach 160 characters. I mean really, at some point isn't a call just more efficient? I had a very simple understanding of Zoom before 2020. Today, I might be able to answer your Zoom "how to" question on my own if your neighbor's 10-year-old is busy with e-learning.
In 2021 I am looking forward to people continuing to grow in their relationship with God in ways they hadn't considered before last year. You may have heard that we are launching an online campus this year at The Ridge. Woohoo!!!! That is due in large part to the direction that we think God has led us through 2020. It has been clear that God wasn't reliant on the building, or us meeting face-to-face to change lives. God has always been doing whatever it takes to reach into the lives of people and change them through His love and His son, Jesus. I believe that our online campus might just be the easiest next step for some people to take in their relationship with God. Last year God gave us a glimpse into how He is working through our online efforts and how lives are being changed.
In December of 2020, I got to meet Dillon and Becky and watch them each be baptized. The steps that they each took would have looked a lot different if it hadn't been for online relationships and their ability to take those steps through our online campus. Becky first connected with The Ridge online because of an open invitation to watch from someone that knew her son. Dillon's first connection started online with The Ridge during the early 2020 shelter-in-place. God used those connect points and began to challenge the hearts of Becky and Dillon. Both of them felt God leading them toward making the decision to be baptized. On December 13th, they did it! How great is that?
If you would have asked me several years ago if I thought "church" could happen online, I would have been skeptical. Today, I think that is exactly what God is doing and it's something that I am looking forward to in 2021.