Riverview Community Church
finding what’s worth living for…
Annual Report, 2013
Report of the Pastor…Kyle Ballard
As I reflect on this past year of ministry, I think of the many ways that we have laughed together, as well as the ways that we have cried together. We have celebrated births, baptism’s, weddings, graduations, as well as the joys of doing life together. However, we have also mourned together as we have lost loved ones. Through it all, God has been faithful and His grace has sustained us.
This was another year of growth and development for our church. After eight years of patiently waiting, we transitioned into the building last April, with 324 people attending the first service (including 71 kids). We continue to see a steady increase in the number of people we are ministering to at RCC. As a result, and after much prayer, the leadership voted to transition to two services on Sunday. While this was a hard decision, and one that was needed, the greater reason for this transition was to keep us outward focused.
Last year we also saw an increase in the number of Life Groups, as well as the number of people attending Life Group. While we have typically been stronger in female participation, we are seeing an increase in male participation as well. To facilitate an “easier” transition into Life Group’s, Jill and I piloted “A taste of life group” with a number of newer couples to RCC. With this group we spent the first few weeks discussing RCC’s philosophy of ministry, vision, mission, and values. After that, we dove into the DTL together. It was incredibly fun getting to know these couples, and to see God working in each of our lives as we met together over the past few months.
While it is easy to measure our physical growth, we are not interested in numbers simply for the sake of filling seats. Our heart’s desire is that we would all continue to grow in intimacy with the King and passion for His Kingdom. We are seeing God change lives at the heart level. Last year we had the privilege of seeing 19 people take the next step in their faith journey and get baptized.
As we grow, the staff cannot possibly meet every need of the congregation. This is yet another reason why our Life Groups are so valuable. As needs arise, we have seen Life Groups rally to fulfill a variety of needs. Additionally, this year we are going to be more intentional in having an elder or deacon oversee every aspect of our ministry to ensure that we are not overlooking any areas. Our current elders and Deacons are:
Elders – Roger Maxon, Kyle Ballard, Tony Boscarino
Deacons – Tom Sherman, Jim Kucera, Brad Irland, Steve Spargen, and Lonnie Buller
In accordance with our Bylaws, Elders nominations were opened up to the congregation. All nominees were contacted, with some declining the nomination. Those that sensed God leading them in this direction were interviewed and prayerfully considered. The proposed Elders include: Lonnie Buller, Tyler Carson, Trevor Smith and Scott Ehler.
Elders in Training continues to meet every Friday Morning. This is not for the current elders only. Instead, it is open to all men who desire to grow in character and their relationship with Jesus. Please be praying that God would continue to raise up more male leadership. Our church, and our community needs more male leaders who are walking in an intimate relationship with Jesus.
I am thrilled with our pastoral staff team and it is a joy to serve with them. They are faithful, creative, have a heart for people, and most important, are in love with Jesus.
Maris “officially” came on staff continuing in the role she has performed since the beginning of RCC. As Kid’s life Director she invests much time ensuring that our children are being taught truth. She writes and plans the curriculum and activities for kids life every week so that children and adults are able to unite around one common truth from the Word. It would be easy to plug in a ready-made curriculum and there are many good ones that exist. However, the value of families processing the same truth and the opportunity to keep our kids focused on the Kingdom is something we’ve prioritized.
Jill, I often joke, does everything else that nobody wants to do. She came on staff last June as the Community Ministries Director. She has brought much needed organization to our team and increased communication within the staff and church. Her role is all-encompassing and ever evolving. She spends the majority of her time meeting with people.
Tony continues to lead us in worship and often fills the pulpit in my absence. His heart and passion for people are evident. As you know, I serve as a chaplain in the National Guard and will be leaving for a total of 16 weeks this year to attend Chaplain School. This will be the first time that our congregation has “felt” an impact from my military ministry. It will serve to keep us focused on the idea that any one person is not the church – we are all the church. Tony approached me last fall with the idea of doing a sermon series on the life of David. After some thought and prayer, I challenged him to do the series during my absence. We have been meeting regularly over the last several months to prepare.
And finally, let me speak to the building and finance of our church. We are now firmly established in the building that God blessed us with. However, this presents a few challenges for us. First of all, there is always the danger of our focus being stolen by all the things that ownership requires. I want to remind us that we are the church, not a building of brick and stone. Secondly, we still have the debt associated with the building process. The leadership has been meeting and praying trying to discern which direction God is leading us towards eliminating the debt. My desire is that we would do everything possible to eliminate the debt. Just imagine how we could impact our community if we did not have the added expense of a mortgage payment. Additionally, as Sabre Heights continues to be developed, the land that is to our immediate north could potentially be sold and developed into housing. This would prevent us from any future expansion. The leadership has been discussing the best approach for us to secure this land.
It is an honor to be your pastor. Thank you for your love and faithfulness church family! I’m excited about what God has in store for RCC as we focus on what matters most in 2014 and the years to come!
Pastor Kyle Ballard
Community Ministries Director…Jill Ballard
I came on staff part-time in June of this year and it’s been a tremendous learning experience for me. I’ve been learning and practicing what it means to keep focused on my job and the responsibilities entrusted to me, while remaining flexible and focused on the mission of the church. As Director of Community Ministries, my role encompasses three primary areas of focus: Integration/Immersion, Communications, and Management of Building Use.
Initially, I worked with our deacons and elders to establish facility use guidelines and procedures. From weddings, to parties, to community events, we tried to evaluate what we needed to do to be fiscally responsible and cover building and cleaning expenses, and yet how we could get as many people into the building as possible. I really want to be even more intentional in 2014 about just promoting the building space and use with the community at large.
In terms of Integration/Immersion, on Sunday mornings, I work hard to meet new faces. I encourage each person doing announcements to really highlight the connection slip since this is my only means of contact information with a new attender. I have contacted each person/couple who has filled out a connection slip since I started in my job. I invite them to coffee or pass it off to Kyle, or Tony if it’s a male. Not every person is responsive, but I have had the opportunity to sit down with the majority of those who have given us their information. I’m looking to connect those individuals – ultimately to life group – but initially even just to other member/attenders. I know that I can’t maintain a growing relationship with each new person at RCC, but sometimes just connecting them to someone who will notice them, or someone who they have something in common with, is a start. In 2014, I’ll be working on an overall structure for connecting regular attenders and leadership with new attenders as a means of intentionally watching and connecting new people to RCC.
We were able to increase communication within RCC in 2014. I created a weekly email communication to highlight upcoming events and activities. I coordinate with Tony and Paul to create FB communication and/or ads for the paper when needed. I work to keep everyone on the same page as a communication liaison for building use between life groups, cleaning, and staff.
In addition to the above areas of focus, I spend time helping oversee the ministry of life groups. Michelle Powell stepped into a role of truly taking the lead with our Women’s Life Groups and has provided tremendous vision and leadership for our coaches. I work along side Michelle in planning life group trainings, Women’s Outreach Events, and supporting our coaches in keeping the mission, vision, and values in front our groups. I also assist Kyle weekly in writing life group questions.
I also serve as a point of contact for community needs. When individuals from within our congregation (who are not connected to a life group) or those from within our community seek help, I am the point of contact for assistance. I have tried – and am still learning a great deal – about what it means to help people in the ways they need it most. While financial needs are usually what bring them to us, we desire to walk with people and care for them in every way – spiritually, emotionally, and physically – and offer as much grace as possible in that process. We desire to see God bring about the kind of restoration that brings health in each of those areas!
My role also encompassed many hours of 1:1 discipleship/care. I’ve taken time to meet with and walk with those who needed extra time or care outside of life group for specific issues. I’ve connected some to counseling, some to support groups, but mostly met, prayed over, and watched God bring the kind of healing only He can bring.
Finally, I am immersing in the unchurched community as much as possible. I look for ways to stay closely connected in volunteering at school, and in the community. Through my kids’ activities, and my own involvement in my neighborhood, and community, I am given many opportunities to both serve – and be present in the natural, relational ways we are all called to love!
I look forward to what 2014 has in store – mainly the ways God is using Riverview to draw more people into a saving relationship with Jesus. There is no greater ministry win. It is a privilege to be involved in all serving on staff at RCC – from those times we see hearts surrendered to the seemingly meaningless tasks – because underneath it all, our hearts are for the King and His Kingdom!
Worship Life Report…Tony Boscarino
2013 was a big year at RCC with the move into the building. The move GREATLY impacted our Worship Arts ministry, especially in terms of midweek practices. Gone are the days of practicing in freezing garages with winter coats and hats. No more do we have to pack, unpack and pack again all the sound equipment. Those days are simply a memory now with the building in place. The building has afforded us the opportunity to practice in one central (and climate controlled) space where the equipment is set and ready to go. This is such a blessing!
While it is an incredible gift to be in the building, it hasn’t come without challenges. Getting set and developing a system for sound, lights, projectors, presentation software, etc. required lots of time and effort and called for new leaders to rise up on the tech team. This year, we as a church body, have been so blessed by Jake Przybysz, Chris Nault, Colin McWilliams and Coulon Deviller. These guys are not often seen, as they’re usually hidden away in back behind euipment, but their impact is felt each and every Sunday. Since we’ve moved in, they have continually learned new equipment and software, fixed numerous issues, and strived to create an atmosphere that allows for people to easily connect with God by removing distractions. Truly, we are blessed to have these incredibly gifted men serving at RCC.
On the music side, we have been blessed this year with the addition of some talented musicians/vocalists. As we continue to grow as a body, I’m excited and praying about who else God will call to our team in the future. I’m continually amazed by the talented musicians and vocalists we have at RCC. The music we produce each week is truly a team effort. We’ve created an atmosphere where any member can throw out new ideas to change and transform the music so people can connect with God in creative ways. I’m thankful for each person and the gifts God has given them. I’m blessed to worship God with these people.
As my wife Jess and I have been praying about what God desires to do at RCC in regards to worship, we have been feeling the need to simplify, to get back to the simplicity of connecting our hearts with His. Too often, if we aren’t intentional, we can easily turn our musical worship time into simply music and singing, but devoid of actual worship. Worship requires a connection and a choice of the heart to meet God in the midst of the music and lyrics and to intentionally give them to Him. This is where Jess and I feel God leading our body. Over the last few months, I’ve been choosing songs with lyrics that are addressed “to” God and not simply “about” Him. Ultimately, it’s not about song choices or band set ups, it’s about a move of God’s Spirit in our hearts.
Personally, I’ve been reading through Psalms a great deal this year and what keeps coming up is God’s incredible power to transform lives. He is the Almighty God! I pray that as a body our faith would increase, that more and more we would see glimpses of the magnitude of our God. One of the new songs for RCC in 2014 was “Give Me Faith” by Elevation worship. The chorus goes…
“Give me faith to trust what you say,
that you’re good and you’re love is great
I’m broken inside, I give you my life.”
I pray those aren’t just words we sing on Sundays, but the cry of our hearts to see Jesus and surrender our lives to him more each day!
Please, pray with me that God would continue to draw our body into intimacy with Him in our corporate worship times and that in turn we would individually grow as walking worshippers, offering our whole lives to Him as living sacrifices (Rom 12).
Looking forward to 2014 and our growing church family, my goal is to have two worship teams in place and in rotation by the fall. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kid’s Life Report….Maris Buller
What matters most is people finding Jesus….this is why we do Kid’s Life! We have the privilege of sharing the excitement, hope, and joy of knowing Jesus in a personal way with the kids of RCC every week. Please continue to pray for the children in Kid’s Life to be drawn to Jesus and that our team of faithful teachers would be able to communicate the love of Christ in a positive and fun way!
At the beginning of 2013 we were meeting at Camp Carol Joy Holling. We had two spaces for the kids to use, so we had nursery (ages 0-3 years) in the entry way of the gym, where service was held, and then 4 year olds- 4th graders were kept all together and met in the Town Hall building next to the gym. Having such a wide age range of kids together had its challenges, but our teachers had a positive attitude and handled it very well. To accommodate the class size more easily, we paired the teachers up having more than one teacher in the class each week which worked well.
April 14, 2013 we had our first service at the RCC building! It was so humbling that God provided such a beautiful facility for us to call home….he blessed us abundantly! With the new building we were able to separate classes again and also add one more. We now had nursery, 3 and 4 year olds, 5 years old- 1st grade, and 2nd– 4th grade classes. With new classes, came the need for more teachers and we added 6 new teachers to our Kid’s Life team.
On August 18 we presented 13 of the 2nd graders with bibles and RCC held a Summer’s Last Hurrah party. There was food, a dunk tank, bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, and kid’s games to keep everyone entertained.
During October and November the kids worked hard at learning a new Christmas song and performed it in the service on December 15.
Darci Welling continues to serve as nursery coordinator and Jeni Hein has volunteered to help with coordinating the 3’s & 4 year olds class by planning crafts and activities for that age group. Both ladies do an excellent job in their role as do all the teachers who serve in Kid’s Life.
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
We were able to minister to our community in a big way in 2013 because of the gifts we received. My hope is that each person giving to rcc can recognize the investment they are making in the lives of people, families and futures in Ashland and beyond. It wouldn’t be possible without the generous gifts of each person who gave. God is doing amazing things in people’s hearts and lives.
General giving was up 28% over 2012 and expenses were up 24% We ended the year with donations received 4.7% below projection. Our general expenses ended 3.3% under budget. The staff has done a good job of making careful decisions on how money is spent and doing without at times. Most of the shortfall in receipts vs. expenses resulted from facility operating cost. With some history now, we can improve our estimations for future years.
Our final building cost including furnishings was $1,686,500 – or 2.8% over budget. We did not have furniture in the original budget, and we were able to postpone several items (tables, classroom dividers) to keep costs lower. We borrowed an extra $20,000 before converting the construction loan to a regular mortgage ($830,000 on 12/31/2013) to pay for additional parking to be done in spring of 2014.
Attached is a Statement of Financial Position for 2013 as well as a Statement of Financial Income & Expenses, and a 2014 proposed budget. We praise God for His provision and direction as we move forward. Thank you for your participation helping to make an impact through the ministry of Riverview Community Church.
Submitted by Lonnie Buller, RCC Treasurer