Relationship Training with Gary Parks

Greetings Riverside Community,

School has started and we are grateful for the students and teachers we have here at Riverside. We have the best teachers, families, and students. We started the school year with 29 students but we continue to pray for our empty desks and know that God is all ready to fill them. It’s all for the kids! Please continue to share with people you come in contact with what a wonderful, Christ centered school we have.

Pathfinders have started as well. We have a much larger club than we did last year. I’m excited for this Pathfinder year. Please pray that our Pathfinder ministry will also help our young people to be drawn closer to Jesus. (I only wish that we had an Adventurer program for our younger kids.)

We have also started our journey in healthy relationships with Gary Parks. We are being trained to make a real impact relationally in our homes, church, and community. Gary is sharing with us a bag of tools that we can use to be much healthier in our relationships. We are meeting each Sabbath afternoon for training from 1:30 – 4 pm. Come join us each week as we not only learn about a new tool but also learn how to use it.

In Ministry of healing we are told about Jesus’ method of reaching people and building relationships.

The world needs today what it needed nineteen hundred years ago—a revelation of Christ. A great work of reform is demanded, and it is only through the grace of Christ that the work of restoration, physical, mental, and spiritual, can be accomplished. 

Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”

There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. The poor are to be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, the inexperienced counseled. We are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot, be without fruit.”    Ministry of Healing pg 143

Jesus was seeking to create time and space to have meaningful relationships. His method alone will work. But we don’t know how, and neither do the majority of people in our church and community. People are looking for meaningful relationships, even if they don’t know it. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink but if you give him some salt it will make him thirsty and then he will drink.” We must create a trust without strings attached. People need to know that we genuinely care about them and are safe to trust. People today are guarded and skeptical of Christians because they think we are there to convert them. Jesus met people and helped them with no strings attached. He did it because he genuinely loved and cared for them. It takes more than the pastor or a few elders. This is the vision Jesus has for all of his followers: to go and make disciples.

So again, I want to invite you to set aside time on Sabbath afternoon for this training and fellowship. Even if you cannot make each time, come when you can. Riverside family, I believe when we are trained to do Christ’s method, this will change our homes, church, and community.  We are looking for those who want to take this journey with us. Come join the adventure!

Next session: Sabbath, January 19, after fellowship meal till 4 pm.

Pastor Merrill