Riverview Community Church
finding what’s worth living for…
Annual Report, 2012
Report of the Pastor…Kyle Ballard
As I sit and reflect on my time as pastor at RCC, it occurs to me that since I came on staff, we have been in a constant state of transition. With mine and Neal’s transition, Judy’s stepping down, Paul coming on staff, and transitioning to the building, the potential existed for us to experience some turbulence. Yet God continues to work and we are growing. Last week there were 324 people at our first service with 71 kids in kids life. But more than numbers, we are growing in intimacy with the King and passion for His Kingdom. We are seeing God change lives. Last year we saw 27 people take the next step in their faith journey and get baptized.
I am blessed to serve with a great staff team. They are incredibly faithful, resilient and devoted to the mission. Tony and Jess continue to impact our church and the community. They are both incredibly gifted in building and nurturing relationships. Paul and Cathy Martin made the move from Alabama to Ashland, in January and we are thrilled to have them. They are still adapting and integrating into our unique culture but they share our hearts for what matters most and bring a wealth of experience with them. Judy…what do I say about her? I have never met another person who has the capacity to love people the way she does. She tirelessly invests in people’s lives and God has used her is such significant ways. Our community will feel the loss of the Browers. These days I am feeling the weight of their move to San Francisco. It has been incredible to not only serve with them, but to call them my friends. Neal and Judy multiplied their lives into mine and Jill’s and we are forever grateful. I will, as I know we all will, miss them dearly! But, we hold on loosely and know that God is working right now drawing people’s hearts in San Francisco and they will be part of a whole new community of transformation.
Personally, this has been an incredibly busy year, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will graduate towards the end of this year with my Masters of Divinity. I will also complete Officer Candidate School later this summer and, God willing, will make the transition to the Chaplaincy. I am continually blown away at the connections I am making and how God is using me to reach others in the National Guard. I’m so thankful for the way this military role keeps me connected to real people out in the world who need Jesus.
A faithful group of men continue to meet every Friday morning, for Elders in Training, to grow in character, prayer, and focus on reproducing disciples who reproduce disciples. We are continually training and discussing the values that drive our ministry. Please pray that God will raise up more male leadership. Our church needs more male leadership, our homes and community need more male leadership as well. There are no special requirements or qualifications to attend. If you are available, we would love to have you join us.
And finally, the new building is in use. Having joined this church 8 years ago this June when we were meeting in living rooms, this still seems a little surreal. We still have many needs to complete it. With that being said, we now own the building and it will require much from us in order for it to be the Community Center we have envisioned and planned for. Financially, it requires an increased investment. But it’s not about a building and it never has been. The investment is for the sake of people. Is there anything more worthy of our investment?
As I look ahead to the coming year, I am dreaming about how God will use our new facility and am praying that as a church, God will use us to make an incredible impact in our community and beyond. For that to happen, we have to stay focused on our mission and continue living out our core values! One of our core values is simplicity. It’s the reason we’ve chosen a very focused ministry at RCC free from programs. With our new facility, the temptation will be greater than ever to become distracted by good things. Your leadership is committed to keeping us focused on this core value as well as the others!
Thanks for your love and faithfulness church family! I look forward to all that 2013 has in store as we invite others to join in finding what’s worth living for….intimacy with the King and passion for His Kingdom. May we be life-giving people and a life-giving church in the process. And may this community, our 30-mile radius, and the world be changed as a result.
Pastor Kyle Ballard
Report of the Founding Pastor…Neal Brower
1 Timothy 1:5
The goal of our instruction is love
from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
A shepherd is to feed his flock, but mostly he is to love them.
If a shepherd loves, he will feed. If his love is from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith, then maybe, just maybe the sheep will grow in heart the same way. Because without love, nothing matters. Not moral character, not Bible knowledge, not good music. And with love, nothing selfish or demanding or critical remains. Nothing.
And my heart has been to so love Jesus that you too would long for intimacy with Him. And my heart has been to so love yet-to-believers that you would share my passion for those same people in your sphere of opportunity as well.
So, when you, my children in the faith, my brothers in the Lord, my fellow kingdom laborers feel the need for a certain kind of gathered worship experience, would you please remember that what matters most is people finding Jesus? When you lean toward critiquing a sermon instead of telling yourself the truth offered to transform you from the inside out, would you please remind yourself that what matters most is people finding Jesus? And when you think the cool facility we now own is taking a hit because of our choice to “give it away,” rejoice in the reality that what matters most is people finding Jesus.
You see, if you actually believe that what matters most is people finding Jesus, it will alter you. And if you’d remember one thing, care about one thing, live one thing, it would be one more soul, because what matters most is people finding Jesus. And it is love that so grips our hearts that we finally come to realize that what matters most is people finding Jesus.
It’s why people hurt each other…they need Jesus. It’s why people drink or party or escape…they need Jesus. It’s why people (teens and adults) give their bodies away to anyone other than their spouse…they need Jesus. It’s why we make money, dress a certain way, get married, have children, and get addicted to social networking…we need Jesus.
So, what would the pastor who founded Riverview in 2005, on an un-apologetic promise of focused, simple, and immersed local church ministry say at a time like this?
Thank you, I love you, and please know that upon my every remembrance of you I will be praying that God raises you to a place of dissatisfaction with a “normal” life. May you anticipate the inevitable reality that people you love are going to find Jesus this year. You are priests. You are the church. And if you pray and watch, God will prove faithful to His kingdom purpose in drawing people into saving faith. You. Yes, you. This year.
Finally, thank you that something as difficult as leaving to San Francisco can be an exciting adventure because of my assurance that you will remain faithful to the call of God for kingdom building. We will share it miles apart, praying for each other and rejoicing with heaven every time someone lost is found.
Resting in His grace,
Pastor Neal Brower
Student Life Report…Paul Martin
Student Life 2013 began with the transition of the long time and well-loved Judy Brower out of the ministry. The fruits of her time here are easily seen as we recently welcomed many students into God’s Kingdom. The testimonies made clear that many people had invested in the lives of those who were baptized. From Lifegroup leaders to fellow students, God used the people of Riverview to help students find what’s worth living for. Our value of Multiplication continues to be present in the fruit of all the leader’s efforts.
The high school Student life group participated in the fourth annual Camp Oasis (a new EFCA Camp just South of Lincoln) retreat. Two days of fun and fellowship were more than enough for our group. As in years past, we joined Finding Life Church, which elevated our experience in a synergistic way. Students were able to hear a call to be free from the world’s idea of success and were called to join God’s mission to seek and save others.
Change seems to be the theme for the year. As we transition into the new building, new opportunities to minister to and serve the teenagers of Ashland will rise up. Our first middle school meeting in the new building will be April 31. There is already a lot of excitement surrounding this new place.
We have had a flurry of new leaders join the Studentlife staff. Ben Hazlett, Steve Breedlove, Tony and Jess Boscarino, Katie Bahm, Cathy Martin, Josh Pryzbyz and Zach Taylor have begun leading our high school group. Our middle school group is seeing new leaders being formed out of high schoolers. We currently have twelve high schoolers helping out with the adult staff on Wednesday nights. That in addition to our ten 4/5 grade leaders adds up to about twenty-five leaders. In addition to our leaders, we also have people who work behind the scenes making food, transporting students and doing what they can to help everything to run smoothly. If God is calling all of these leaders into our ministry, he surely has some big plans on the way.
Thank you to all of the support I have had. We have purchased a home and will be moving in soon. It will be a place of ministry for the families of Ashland. Our hope is that we can bless Riverview as much as it is blessing us.
Student Life Report…Judy Brower
This has been a very unique year of ministry for student life. The trip to New Orleans was central to the whole first semester and the summer. It took so much time and energy to prepare well for it and raise the money we needed to make it happen! God provided incredible adult leaders so that each hotel room of students had their own Small group leader. That relational element was so effective! The trip could not have happened without all of the support you gave us! Thanks for being the church to us. It was amazing!
Then the transition began. First my resignation, followed by Paul’s acceptance and both of our moves! Even in the midst of it all God has continued to work in the lives of students. We brought in new 4th grade students along with some new adult leaders for the girls. It has been so exciting to watch their effectiveness. So many girls have experienced the goodness of learning to surrender! I am encouraged about the future of that ministry and the impact it will have on the church as a whole.
Thank you for the incredible opportunity you gave me to love and lead students In Ashland! It wasn’t always easy but it has been so thrilling to live the gospel with kids and watch God work. Now I will watch from a distance as Paul settles in and brings his unique heart and gifts! It was a great privilege to be part of working with you all of you to establish RCC!
I love this place and all of you so much!
Worship Life Report…Tony Boscarino
I am blessed to serve alongside incredibly talented people with amazing hearts. Lately, I’ve been blown away by the team God has given us here at Riverview. The people that compose the worship and tech teams are incredibly talented, but even greater than their abilities, are their humble hearts to serve Jesus with their gifts. I truly am blessed to spend so much time them.
Looking back over 2012, I see it as the ending of an era – the end of the garage band era. Without a permanent facility to provide space for band practice, we have over the years used many different places for rehearsals. This year was spent practicing in the Przybysz’ garage. One memory that sticks out in my mind was practicing in the dead of winter. We were all gathered in the garage, circling around a propane tank heater. Everyone was wearing winter coats and many of us had on winter hats. We even took a few breaks to warm up our fingers. Now with the building, the 30 degree practices will longer be needed, but I think back on those times as great bonding experiences!
2012 also brought with it the beginnings of a fantastic tech team. Over the years, I have prayed for God to supply more people with gifts to serve on the tech team (running sound, slides, lights, set up/tear down) and in 2012 that prayer was answered. This past year, Chris Nault and Jake Przybysz really took the lead on the tech side. These guys have exceeded my expectations. They both are talented, eager to learn and have hearts to serve in whatever way is needed. I’m so thankful for these men who have blessed us incredibly this past year with their gifts! In addition to Chris and Jake, Colin McWilliams has also been serving on the team and has been extremely instrumental in the technical set up for Riverview Community Center.
As we transition into the building, I would also like to recognize those who made met the challenges of a mobile church and made the worship services possible each week. Eric and Sam Nault have been HUGE blessings this year by consistently arriving hours before service to set up chairs, move equipment, and meet any need that arose. Pat Willard has been consistent for years running the slides and fixing continual computer and projection issues. Ben Hazlett has been so faithful through the years helping with all aspects of tech, sound, set up and tear down. Thank you to all of you and many others who have served along the way!
Looking forward to 2013 and our growing church family, my goal is to have two worship teams in place by the end of the year. I truly believe that there are others in our body with musical gifts and I desire to provide them the space to serve. Currently, we are looking for drummers, bassists, electric guitarists and keyboard players. On the tech side, we are also in need of more people to run the computer, sound and lights. If interested in the worship band or tech team, feel free to call 402-909-2796, or email me at email@example.com.
I’m excited for what God has done and what He will do in this next season of our church!
Kid’s Life Report….Maris Buller
We’ve said as a church many times that we don’t want to get comfortable, but stay focused on the purpose of people finding Jesus. The same is true for Kid’s Life, and the result has been that we are able to see God work in ways we would have missed out on otherwise. We have had the privilege of sharing the excitement, hope, and joy of knowing God in a very personal way with the children each week. It is exciting to know that we get to introduce God’s truth to them and help them to understand who He is in their life, and in turn they tell others about Him as Kingdom laborers. Please continue to pray for the children in Kid’s Life to be drawn to Jesus and that our team of teachers would be able to communicate the love of Christ in a positive and fun way!
The beginning of 2012 came with few changes. The kids met in the educational room at the SAC Museum. Judy Brower and I continued to plan the weekly lessons for the kids together. Teaching God’s truth with games, singing, and crafts is part of Kid’s Life every week. Celebrating the holidays with special parties is always a highlight as well.
We held an Easter egg hunt in April at the home of Lonnie and Maris Buller. We played games, had prizes, snacks, and of course hunted for eggs (over 700 of them.)
Come summer, classes were switched around due to construction at the museum and grades 1st-4th were moved to the library on the upper level of the museum. In the fall, 4’s-Kindergarten were also moved to the upper level and met in the conference room.
At the beginning of November, RCC moved from meeting at the SAC Museum to meeting at Camp Carol Joy Holing. To utilize the space available, the nursery (ages 0-3 years) was in the entry way of the gym, and 4 year olds- 4th graders were combined into one BIG group in the Town Hall building next to the gym.
Darci Welling continues to serve as nursery coordinator. Those that serve in the nursery volunteer their time once every 3 months. Darci does a great job organizing this schedule. We continue to have “teaching time” in the nursery as well. Three volunteers rotate once a month to do a lesson with the kids.
Thank you to everyone that has served in some way in Kid’s Life this past year. Without your willingness to serve in this ministry, whether it was occasionally in the nursery or as a regular teacher, Kid’s Life would not be possible without you!
Treasurer Report…Lonnie Buller
Growth and consistency are healthy indications of a church body, and we are experiencing both at RCC. Consistently people are choosing to make a financial investment in what God is doing through our body. The generosity and commitment people continue to show both humbles and greatly excites me as we move into the future. I thank God to be partnering with each of you as we join in one Spirit pursuing His simple desire – people finding Jesus.
The general giving in 2012 was up by 13% over 2011 at $240,189, while at the same time, nearly $348,000 was given to the building fund to get us about 75% complete with the building project. General expenses were up by 16%, leaving us an annual surplus of $3,935.
We have spent a total of $1,196,000 on the building project so far, and currently have an outstanding loan balance of $410,691. Our building costs have stayed very close to the budgeted amount, which should allow us to complete the project with our financing within the amount we originally approved.
Attached is a Statement of Financial Position for 2012, a Statement of Financial Income & Expense, and a Proposed 2013 Budget. With the new facility and new and expanding ministries that go along with it, we are asking for your approval of a 25% increase in our budget over last years expenses. That is HUGE, and may even feel scary, but we are trusting that God has lead us here, and we have seen Him provide over and over in our past, and believe He will continue to provide.
By faith we continue to take big steps following God’s leading to minister to the community of Ashland and wherever He directs us. Thank you for your faithful participation in our ministry.
Submitted by Lonnie Buller, RCC Treasurer