A Message from Greg
In the fall of 2011, Cedar Ridge Christian Church embarked upon a three year Stewardship Journey called Radical Faith. It was meant to be a journey that was more about faith than about finances. And for many, it has been a time when their confidence in God has grown. That’s what happens when we trust God to do what we cannot do on our own.
Radical Faith has three components that include: Global outreach with our partners on the continent of Africa, local outreach which included launching our Coweta campus and freeing up funds for ministry that are currently committed to debt repayment.
God has been doing exciting things in each of these areas through Radical Faith. Believe it or not, we’re in the final months of this stewardship journey and so, we’re asking everyone to help us finish strong.
Would you join us on a two-week spiritual adventure beginning March 30th and ending April 13th, in which we will ask God for guidance on how we might individually participate in the homestretch of Radical Faith? We’ll offer some suggestions about fasting and praying over that two-week period (one of which we’re calling Project 633). In our services April 13th, you will have an opportunity to maintain or adjust your Radical Faith Commitment or make a first-time commitment to Radical Faith in the homestretch.
We will also take a special “Pay-down Offering” on April 13th. Reducing our church debt is a component of Radical Faith. And because of the faithfulness of Radical Faith participants, our total church indebtedness has decreased from $2.3 million in November of 2011 to $575,000 currently. On May 13th, our bank will renew our current mortgage note. It’s just a formality that happens every five years, but can you imagine if we didn’t have to extend that debt? What if we were able to “retire not renew” that note, for good.
Without any debt, we would free up $5200 a week (that’s $270,000 a year) for ministry. Those funds would allow us to invest in our growing children and student ministries and fund much needed capital projects at our campuses. It would also give us some breathing room in our ministry budgets that were cut in 2009 and have remained flat ever since (and we’ve added two campuses since then). While paying off the $575,000 debt is not an unrealistic goal, it would be impossible for us to accomplish it without God.
So what is being asked of you? During our two-week Homestretch Spiritual Journey, engage with God through prayer and fasting. Ask him to speak to your heart, then simply respond to him in humble obedience. I’m looking forward to celebrating what God is going to do.
What is Radical Faith Stewardship Journey about?
- GLOBAL OUTREACH – the Global Outreach component allows us to come alongside two of our key global partners and help accelerate their work in making disciples:
- Northern Africa – Ryan and Jill help operate a physical therapy center for children with special needs in northern Africa. Their end-goal is to help establish a church among an unreached people group.
- South Africa – Paul and Micky Prince oversee The Fold Children’s Home. They offer a loving, secure environment for orphaned, abandoned and abused children in the Limpopo region.
- LOCAL OUTREACH – the Local Outreach component is designed to help us reproduce Cedar Ridge campuses in other nearby communities to help connect people who are far from God. We opened a campus in Coweta in 2012.
- FREE UP FUNDS – this component is the largest and would allow us to eliminate our remaining building debt and redirect approximately $5200 a week/$270,000 a year from mortgage payments to ministry opportunities.
On Celebration Sunday, November 13, 2011, the Cedar Ridge Family made Radical Faith commitments
totaling $1,948,748. As we enter the homestretch, we have received $1,348,223
(as of March 9th) in Radical Faith commitment offerings.
What has been accomplished with Radical Faith Stewardship Journey Funds so far?
- GLOBAL OUTREACH – the Global Outreach Team has received over $150,000 for mission projects.
- Mission Trips: During the last two years, we have sent six mission teams to north and South Africa, funded entirely with Radical Faith funds. Two more trips are planned for this year. And, because of the availability of Radical Faith funds for initiatives in Africa, other Global Outreach funds were freed up to help with Cedar Ridge mission trips to New York and Ethiopia, as well as Student Ministry trips to Mexico to build housing for the poorest of the poor.
- Northern Africa: In August, 2012 we began a two-year commitment to send $2700 a month for operating costs to the children’s physical therapy center in northern Africa. This will allow therapists to help more than 60 children with special needs and allow them to build relationships with the predominately Muslim people, with the eventual goal of establishing a church in an unreached region.
- South Africa: The Fold Children’s Home is located an hour away from town. We have helped them solve connection issues by contributing $23,000 to help purchase a large van and $2,000 to install internet service. We recently sent $11,000 to purchase a generator. The Cedar Ridge Global Outreach Leadership Team is working with The Fold to determine the best ways to assist them in caring for the children.
- LOCAL OUTREACH: One of the major components of our Radical Faith Journey is to reproduce additional campuses. We launched our Coweta Campus on April 1, 2012. Several have said that after not attending for several years, they were glad to be back in church. The Coweta Campus is averaging 115 people in worship each week, more than 15 men are participating in weekly discipleship training and we are serving the community in a variety of ways including partnering with Coweta schools to feed chronically hungry children in the Coweta community.
- FREE UP FUNDS FOR MINISTRY: We have been able to reduce the debt on our current Broken Arrow Campus building from $2.3 million in 2011 to $575,000 by making extra payments to principal. We have saved over $400,000 in interest over the life of the loan.
What is Radical Faith Homestretch all about?
We’re in the homestretch, the last nine months of our three-year Radical Faith Stewardship Journey. We want to encourage everyone participating to finish strong and we want to encourage anyone new to the Cedar Ridge family to join us in the Radical Faith Homestretch.
- Two-Week Spiritual Journey: Engage with God through prayer and fasting, ask him for direction and respond to him in obedience.
- Pray: Set your phones to 6:33 p.m. We will all pray together at this time every day, following the Project 633 Prayer Guide. (Matthew 6:33)
- First Week – begin a fast of negative comments
- Second Week – begin a fast of entertainment and replace it with scripture reading and prayer
- Give: Make a commitment to pay down your pledge, pay down the debt, or give a special offering. Turn in your commitment card on Pay-down Sunday, April 13th.
- Help us Retire NOT Renew our debt: Our mortgage is scheduled by the bank to be renewed on May 13th. If we could retire that debt instead, it would free up $5200 a week ($270,000 a year) that could be used for ministry.
Key Dates to Remember
- March 30: Launch our two-week Spiritual Journey
- April 13: Pay-down Sunday
- November 16: Radical Faith Stewardship Journey Concludes