1. Relationship with Christ: We believe that Christ is the giver of all life. Only through accepting Him as Lord and Savior can we have the hope of eternal life and live our life on earth in abundance through obedience to the Holy Spirit. If you have not done this, we would be happy to pray with you and help you in this life-giving decision.
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8-9 (NIV)
2. Recovery/Deliverance: It is necessary to repent of and turn from our sins when we accept Christ as our Savior. Hurts, habits, hang-ups, and past involvement in occult or sinful activities can prevent us from living a life where Christ is Lord. We must cleanse ourselves from all sins by confessing to Jesus and walk in paths of righteousness. Justification and sanctification happened on the cross when Christ died for our sins and we accept His invitation. But there is a process of continued sanctification as we are molded day by day by Christ to become more like Him. Ridding ourselves from those things that block our relationship should not be done alone; we need others to come alongside us as we make changes in our practices; both physically as well as our character. We have Pastoral counseling, small groups and prayer teams available to help.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV)
3. Community Connection: Life is hard and we need each other to live lives in Christ. The Body of Christ (those who have made Christ Savior) is made up of many parts. We sometimes can be the one in need and sometimes we are those who can give a lending hand, a shoulder to cry on, a person to be accountable to. We believe that meeting together in honest and authentic relationship is Biblical and necessary to further our walk with Jesus. Joining a service team (like a facility volunteer, hospitality, ushering/greeting or other volunteer teams) or by joining a small group will provide a close community as we serve the Body together.
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
4. Spiritual Disciplines: (One of our Core Values) We are not bound to the law, but there are certain practices that help us grow in our relationship with Christ. Bible reading is not just a once-a-week reading, it is God's voice, God's instruction, God's love letter to you and we encourage you to pick it up daily. Prayer is also paramount to a relationship with Christ. If you said "I do" to your spouse then never talked to them again, that would not be considered a marriage or relationship, whatsoever. Prayer is the opportunity for you to converse with God and, in prayer, an opportunity to hear God. One of our core values is "our first response to anything is prayer." There are other disciplines that open a doorway to a close relationship with the Lord. Service, Worship, Fasting, Study, Confession, Celebration, Solitude, Silence, Submission, Guidance, Simplicity, Journaling, are all ways to practice obedience to the Father and produce the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We have classes and studies that can help you in this journey of Spiritual Disciplines.
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)
5. Spiritual Gifts: When we become followers of Christ, we are imparted, by the Holy Spirit, gifts to be used by God to fortify and build up the Body of Christ. These gifts are not natural abilities, but they can intensify these and those abilities can become sanctified for His service. We are not given all of the Spiritual Gifts, but we are given some. God uses these gifts through you to bring Him glory and be His "hands and feet" on Earth. You may have the gift of Administration or Apostleship; the gift of Creative Arts or Prophecy. There are 15 gifts mentioned in the Holy Scriptures and discovering them may help you direct your passion into using those gifts for the Kingdom of God. We have classes and studies that can help you discover your gifts if you do not know. And we encourage you to become involved in service to allow those gifts to grow you and serve those around you.
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NIV)
6. Reproduction: We are given our gifts for a purpose. God's purpose. We are to teach and train others to do the work of the kingdom. We can come alongside others and help them in their walk with Christ--then in turn they can help others. God never wastes a hurt is the saying of Celebrate Recovery, but it can also apply to any of our experiences in life, good and bad. There are lots of people that are one step ahead of you that can encourage you, and you are one step ahead of another and can lend a hand, shoulder and support. If you are a mother of teens, you can encourage a mother of toddlers; If you are a successful business person that honors God in your profession, you can help a college graduate that's just beginning his career. Of course, if you've gone through a tragedy or struggle, you can help one who has just begun the process. Small groups and mentoring are great ways to give and receive the love of Christ through relationships.
"He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me." Colossians 1:28-29 (NIV)
As you work through these stages of the River, you will grow in strength and wisdom. Don't coast on still waters, join the rapids of a life in Christ.