RIVERSIDE BLOG

Post Author: Riverside Church

At Riverside we are on a journey to help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers across Birmingham and beyond. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, you're so welcome in this community.
January 6, 2023
Distinct | Series Outline

We have written this series to help you explore the Bible so that you might know more fully the difference that following Jesus can make to your life. Whether you would identify as not having faith, being a new Christian or mature in your faith, we invite you to journey through a book in the Bible called ‘James’. Together we will explore many of the big questions both believers and un-believers wrestle with today and discover the life-changing reality that a life with Jesus can bring.

As Scott McKnight writes, no book [in the Bible] after the four Gospels sounds more like Jesus than James. The ability to sound like Jesus without quoting him reveals that this younger brother of Jesus had so absorbed his Messiah”s teachings that he could not talk without sounding like Jesus! Let this be our prayer for this series too. That through the teachings of James we all develop a new depth of understanding and relationship with Jesus that changes our everyday lives.

Series Outline

8 January

Session 1: The Book Of James
Venue: Tally Ho Conference Centre

What difference does following Jesus make in our lives? Are the lives of Christians the same as everyone else? What would change if we really took Jesus’ words seriously? As we begin this teaching series in the book of James we find answers to many of these questions and discover the life-changing reality that a life with Jesus can bring. After all, the author should know – he was Jesus’ brother! Our prayer for this series is that, like James, we will so absorb Jesus’ words and actions that we develop a new understanding and relationship with Jesus that changes everything about our lives. 

15 January

Session 2: How Much Is Too Much?
Venue: Riverside House

How do I face temptation & show perseverance? Every week we seem to be reading a news scandal of yet another celebrity affair or celebrity evading tax payments but even in our own lives we face daily temptations both big and small. God promises that when we persevere and don’t give in to temptation we will receive ‘the crown of life’. How can knowing God in our lives help us to stand firm against temptation and help us know the assurance of his forgiveness when we do get things wrong?

22 January

Session 3: Living The Word
Venue: Riverside House

How does the Bible impact my everyday life? In the Christian series we looked at the trust we can have that the Bible is true but how can engaging with the Bible in my everyday life make a difference to how I live? In the midst of busy lives how can we fully engage with the Bible and help point others towards the difference that the Bible can make in their own lives?

29 January

Session 4: Remove The Plank
Venue: Riverside House

Christians are called to be people who love not judge. A recent study of people aged 16-29 in the United States found that 90% considered Christians to be judgmental people and for many this was a barrier to them attending churches or exploring the Christian faith further. How can we be people who show radical love to all, knowing that we have a judge who is above all but who loved us so much that he sent his son to die for every one of us?

5 February

Monhtly Joint Sunday Gathering
Venue: Tally Ho Conference Center

Guest Speaker: Damilola Makinde

Damilola Makinde serves as advocacy engagement lead at the Evangelical Alliance. Her working life to date spans the lines of law, public policy, missional engagement and church ministry. She is passionate about being a witness to Jesus in public through thoughtful Christian engagement in the key cultural and political issues of our time.

12 February

Session 5: Doing Or Believing?
Venue: Riverside House

What’s more important my faith or my works? C.S.Lewis once said “Regarding the debate about faith and works: It’s like asking which blade in a pair of scissors is most important. Throughout church history many have argued that James seems to teach in contradiction to Paul (Galatians 2:16) about faith and works but actually as we explore further we realise they are both saying the same wonderful truth. As we grow in our relationship with God we can’t help but demonstrate our faith in the ways we live our lives and the impact we make on those around us.

19 February

Session 6: The Things That I Say (Generations Service)
Venue: Riverside House

Why do the words I say matter? It’s said that for every 1 negative word that is spoken to us we need 10 positive words to cancel it out. Our words have really powerful consequences so maybe there isn’t such a thing as a little white lie or a harmless bit of gossip. James reminds us of the power of the things that we say and the importance of using our words as worship to God at all times.

26 February

Session 7: Wisdom In A World Of Information
Venue: Riverside House

How do I cultivate Godly wisdom in my life? With the internet and world of social media we have information and knowledge at the ends of our finger tips now more than ever however, as Charles Spurgeon said “wisdom is the right use of knowledge”. James looks at the difference between the knowledge we can gain from the world in comparison to the life-changing wisdom that comes from God.

5 March

Monthly Joint Sunday Gathering
Venue: Tally Ho Conference Center

Details to be confirmed.

12 March

Session 8: The Issue With Submission
Venue: Riverside House

How is submission to God a good thing? A recent article in Christianity Today explored the negativity that surrounds the word submission. Many people associating it with control, abuse of power, inequality and a lack of freedom. However, James teaches that as we submit ourselves to God he will lift us up, giving us a greater and closer relationship with him rather than pushing us away.

19 March

Session 9: But Why?
Venue: Riverside House

How can I show God’s heart for justice? At a time in our society where the gap between the rich and poor seems ever widening God calls us to live in a counter-cultural way, not trusting in or trying to gain the things the world puts value in such as wealth and power but instead trusting in God alone.

26 March

Session 10: Facing Suffering
Venue: Riverside House

How do I walk through suffering? For many believers and unbelievers one of the biggest questions we continually wrestle with is “how can a loving God allow suffering?” and yet suffering lies at the very heart of the Christian story. Rebecca McLaughlin writes & suffering is not an embarrassment to the Christian faith. It is the thread with which Christ”s name is stitched into our lives. How does this truth change the way we can walk through the darkest times?

2 April

Session 11: The Power Of Prayer
(Palm Sunday & Baptisms)

Venue: Tally Ho Conference Center

How should I pray and does it even work? The Christian author Pete Greig said, in response to the question of who prays nowadays “Everyone prays”. Even non-Christians pray. The difference when Christians do it is they are climbing into the lap of their heavenly Father! Prayer can be a mystery. Why are some prayers seemingly answered and others not? However, what if we reimagined what many seem to have allowed prayer to become, a wish list of what we think should happen, and instead turn it into a powerful relationship with an ever present loving Heavenly Father.

7 April

Good Friday Reflection
Venue: Riverside House

9 April

Easter Sunday (Generations Service)
Venue: Riverside House

16 April

Session 12: We Need To Talk 
Venue: Riverside House

Surely confession can’t be that important? The journalist Dorothy Dix was quoted as saying “confession is always weakness”; but is this really true or might confession be one of the most powerful things we can do? How often are we really honest with those closest to us? Really, really honest….telling them the things we know are embarrassing, hard and let our guards down so they see the real us, the bits that aren’t quite as shiny as we’d like them to be. Do we prefer to stick to the Instagram perfect pictures, where everything is filtered to perfection? Yet this is what we have been called to do to help us grow in our relationship with God and help us live fully in the freedom that God intended for our lives. James helps us to realise there is great power in confessing the things we struggle with so we can live fully in the light of Jesus.

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Riverside is a church made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences all with one thing in common, our discovery of God and his amazing love. 

We are on a journey together to ‘help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers’. 

Upcoming Events:

Full information about all the upcoming events at Riverside Church can obtained from the events page of our website. You can filter via ‘Featured‘, ‘Monthly‘ or ‘Weekly‘ or you can also view ALL events and filter by category using our ‘Church Calendar‘.

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