The Great Christmas Light Fight

Christmas LightsLights are a popular Christmas celebration component. No doubt the majority of Americans, if not everyone regardless of nationality, will have some connection to lights in the celebration of Christmas. Heidi and I have been amazed at the innovative use of lights in ABC’s, The Great Christmas Light Fight. If you have not seen this show over the last couple of weeks, individuals and entire neighborhoods create program driven light shows as expressions of their Christmas spirit in hopes of being declared the winner and winning significant financial prizes.

There were a few years that I attempted to see how many lights I could place on our Christmas tree. I believe that one year I placed 1500 lights on a 7’ tree. When turned on, our living room glowed and you needed to wear sunglasses to watch TV.

Although it seems that the connection is often lost to our consumer-driven holiday culture, the lights should remind us that Jesus’ incarnation was the introduction of light into the darkness of the world.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jn 8:12 (ESV)

Jesus is THE light of the WORLD. Like so many other things in life that we take for granted, light is often assumed. For most of us a world without light is difficult to imagine. I don’t think we can begin to comprehend how much our current lives have been influenced by Jesus Christ and others who have lived in the influence of His light. Science, education, health care and in general, all social order bear evidence of the light of Jesus shining through the lives of those who have followed Him.

Knowing Jesus changes life. Jesus said of his followers:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14–16 (ESV)

How will you and your church take on the Great Christmas Light Fight? How will you choose to adorn your lives with the light of He who is the Light of the world so that others might give glory to your Father?

We would love to hear how you or your church have chosen to let your light shine before others during this Christmas season.



Steps Toward Health that Most Churches Won’t be Willing to Take

Church healthBy Stan Rieb, Executive Director

James Emery White is one of my favorite authors/bloggers when it comes to connecting the church to the current culture, thus the name of his blog – Church and Culture ( It is one of a few blogs and podcasts that I think every pastor should subscribe to or regularly review. I will share some of the other significant communicators in future blogs.

This morning’s blog – Ten Steps to Immediate Church Renewal and Growth (that most churches will refuse to take) – speaks to the issues that I see in many churches I work with.

Here are those steps Ten Steps to Immediate Church Renewal and Growth (that most churches will refuse to take):

  1. Simplify your structure by putting the authority to make most decisions related to the practice of ministry in the hands of those with responsibility. Translation: let your leaders lead.
  2. Hire young, platform young, program young. Why? You attract who you platform, and most churches are growing old.
  3. Become more contemporary in terms of music and graphics, décor and topics, website and signage. It’s 2015. Really. You can check.
  4. Stop preaching and start communicating. There’s a difference.
  5. Shift the outreach focus away from the already convinced toward those who are not. It’s called the Great Commission.
  6. Prioritize your children’s ministry in terms of money and staffing, square footage and resources. Do you really not know, after all this time, that the children’s ministry is your most important ministry for outreach and growth?
  7. “It’s the weekend,
  8. Help everyone find their spiritual gifts and then help them channel those gifts toward ministry.
  9. Target men. Get the man, you tend to get the family.
  10. Proclaim the full counsel of God without compromise or dilution. All you get with a watered-down message is a watered-down church. And a watered-down church has nothing to offer the world it does not already have.

The question is why do so many churches refuse to address the fact that they are plateaued and declining in attendance. More significant than the attendance numbers is the fact that there are very few indicators that many of these churches are interested in being obedient to the Great Commission.

After looking over these 10 steps:

  • Which steps resonate with you in your current ministry environment?
  • Which steps touch a nerve, causing you concern?
  • Can you think of other steps that a church in need of renewal and growth might want to consider?

Over the next couple of blogs I would like to address my understanding of some of the points that Pastor White addresses in this post.

Oikos Seminar September 24

OikosWe are excited to announce that something new is on the horizon with “OIKOS” and we can’t wait to tell you about it.  We are going to “let the cat out of the bag” on Thursday, September 24th at 10:30 am (Eastern) during a FREE Online Training by Tom Mercer.


Tom introduces The NEW Oikos Strategy for Church Growth and will teach us the 7-Steps to turning your members into promoters to assist your church in growing exponentially. These steps will give your congregation the tools needed to become raving promoters of the gospel and your church.

His guest Chad Thibodeaux, President of RadiusImpact Consulting will be on hand to give us some insight on how churches that are plateaued and declining can see an increase in attendance, giving, and salvations this fall and holiday season as well.


BONUS #1: Just for signing up we are going to give you Tom and Chad’s eBook, “The Common Sense Guide to World Change.”  This resource will explain the principle that brought 95% of all believers to Christ and give you a tool to assist people in creating their “God story.”

BONUS #2: Be sure to show up on time on September 24th as you will receive an assessment tool that you can use to evaluate your membership and learn whether they are merely “consumers” or “promoters.”

During the webinar there are 2 other “Surprise Bonuses” we are going to roll out as well because we want to adequately resource you and your church to reach more people.  Can you tell we are excited??  We hope you are as well!

This is a FREE Webinar so feel free to invite your entire staff and ministry team to join us.


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Make it a great day and we’ll see you on September 24th at 10:30 am Eastern Time.

Stan Rieb and the entire RMCN Team

Calvary’s 60th Anniversary

Cc-F7ccrobmax8D2aZv92E09e4jdIMkDA8prikxKNTgCalvary Church is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year.  Their big celebration was on August 23 at the church at their annual Fam Fest picnic, where they welcomed over 450 people.  Doris Ballard attended as the only person who has been a part of the Calvary family since it started in 1955.  It was a wonderful time of fellowship and excitement to remember all that the church has done in the name of Christ and looking forward to what God has in store for Calvary in the future.  At Fam Fest, 10 people were baptized surrounded by their friends and family.  Since it began, 910 people have publically dedicated their life to Christ through baptism at the church.  Following the baptisms, all of Calvary’s pastoral and worship staff took a turn in the dunk tank and the kids enjoyed playing in bouncy houses and on water slides.  Fam Fest proved to be a great time for people to relax and have fun before the start of a new school year.

Calvary’s 60th anniversary celebration continues through December with a big Thanksgiving meal in November and a performance of Handel’s Messiah on December 18 and 20.  Those from other churches and the community are invited to join the Worship Choir and participate in the Messiah performance as a way to bring the whole community together to be centered on Christ for the Christmas season.  As the year continues, Calvary will continue to celebrate their diamond anniversary and 60 years of engagement as they prayerfully and earnestly look forward to what’s next for the Calvary Church family in the coming years.  As the church continues to grow in the future, their goal is to remain a Bible-centered community of believers who believe they are broken people being made new in Jesus, overflowing with gratitude, and poured out for others.