Additional Photos After Testimony
5211 cdd It Takes a Team
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 21 Number 198
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Romans 15:5-6
“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” NKJV
Hello, my name is Pastor Tristan from the Riverview Church in Pine River, Minnesota. This is our testimony of how it takes a team for us to minister the love of Jesus one person a time.
In the mid-1930s a team of a dozen or so believers in Pine River started an in home Bible study. They began praying about God’s calling for their lives. They had grown frustrated and discontented with the direction that their churches and denominations were headed.
Eventually this team, now a few dozen split from their individual churches forming the “Independent Gospel Tabernacle” in the late 1930s. They met in the back of the local drug store. A couple of pastors stepped up to lead during those beginning years as the church struggled to get established.
Then, in the early 1940s, a traveling evangelist named Harvey Swenson held camp meetings in our area establishing Solid Rock Bible Camp. He prayed at a crossroads in his life asking Jesus for his own personal direction. He sensed God calling him permanently to Pine River, Minnesota. He met with the small church. They invited him to become their third pastor. The team was growing. Pastor Swenson became the first in a series of enduring pastors to lead the team that then changed to its current name “Riverview Church.”
The team kept growing. I (Pastor Tristan) have currently been serving for about ten years as senior pastor. The time between Pastor Swenson and myself, there were three pastors who each increased the team size. Which makes me the seventh pastor. The fifth since World War 2.
Riverview has been establishing a faithful ministry team for generations and continues to grow, impacting this community for the Kingdom of God. The current leadership team is clearly called by Jesus to proclaim His Gospel and show His love and grace, while striving to reach every corner of our world.
Our team has been ministering to children and focusing on world evangelism. In the earlier years VBS programs brought children from all over the community to the church. Today the team is child focused and community centered. We continue to develop life challenging programs. Often I’ll meet people on the street who introduce themselves and thank us for involving their children in our activities. They say, “We feel like as a family we are members of your church.”
We have raised up and sent dozens of missionaries from this congregation to fields all over the world. Alaska, Europe, Mexico, Central and South America. It’s amazing how the Lord has used this small town team throughout the world.
In recent years Riverview Church has doubled down on our mission to serve our community. At the turn of the century we opened “The Warehouse” a team within the team. It has become a Bridge to our Community that offers after school programs every day. Teaching the principles of Christ to a needy community with 15 to 20 dedicated volunteers each year.
In 2016 we began “Lifehouse Coffee Shop” which expanded as a Bridge to our adult Community. A place for people to get together and grow deeper in their walk with Christ. A cornerstone of this outreach is Celebrate Recovery which has blossomed into transforming lives for Christ as they leave addictions behind.
Further our commitment to our community, two years ago the local Assembly of God church caught fire and burned to the ground. We opened our doors and during their rebuilding process they held services in our building.
During these ever changing COVID-19 times, our programs are changing and adapting, but the mission remains the same. Jesus Christ and the message of His Cross is still our focus.
The Cross that was recently planted is a beautiful and clear reminder of the mission of our team. Riverview is a healthy and busy congregation, but we must never lose sight of the Cross. If we do — all programs and ministries are in vain. Without the Cross of Jesus, nothing else we do matters.
We believe that this Cross will be a place of prayer and a constant reminder of our church’s mission for many years to come. A place where anyone can come and join our team for Jesus. Because Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and it is up to our team to spread the good news.
I am blessed to be the Pastor of Riverside Church where Christ is honored and love for all who enter is our purpose. Our team continues to grow because we love the Lord and share that love with all. A few years ago, my wife and I lost a child. The love of Riverside Church members lifted us up and carried us through. This team does it every day all year long for anyone in need in our community.
My personal favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” NKJV
My favorite part of ministry is discipleship. Helping people develop a deeper walk with Jesus. No easy task, but the rewards are out of this world. Like introducing people to a Bible regimen that fits their schedule and instructs them in understanding the word of God. Helping them open their eyes to how the Bible applies in everyday life. And establishing accountability for life’s journey while building lifelong Christian friends.
Prayer: Father thank you for building teams for Jesus worldwide that step out and declare Your Glory one person at a time. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
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