RIVERSIDE BLOG

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Speaker: 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.
May 23, 2023
This Little Light Of Mine | Series Outline

Have you ever been in a night-time power cut without any other light available? It’s quite unsettling isn’t it? We have become so familiar with being able to switch a light on at the flick of a switch, that we easily forget the power of darkness, and the relief of light.

What about when the entire world seems pretty dark? What about when the light doesn’t seem to shine? Join us for this teaching series in the first few chapters of the biblical book of Revelation. We’ll discover where to find true light, and discover the part we have to play in being light in a dark world.

‘I genuinely believe the best days of the Church in the United Kingdom are ahead of us. But they won’t look like the best days by the current standards or measurement of success that we use today: size and numbers and our position and influence in society. I believe they will be characterised by the Church being marginalised, organisationally weakened and humbled and on our knees before God; these are the places God has always begun his work of revival.’

 

(John McGinley, The Church of Tomorrow)

Series Outline

28 May

Session 1: Where To Look?
Venue: Riverside House (Generations Service: 9.30am)

When you sit in the dark for long enough, your eyes become accustomed to it. It doesn’t seem so dark any more. Perhaps the same is true for our society? Have we become so accustomed to one way of life that we get used to it? For the first readers of the book of Revelation, they faced a real danger – in the middle of opposition, the temptation to settle down to a life of comfort in the Roman Empire was so attractive. And yet, the light of Christ shines like a lighthouse – brightly revealing the darkness and guiding to safety. What would it look like for followers of Jesus to then shine this light brightly, like lampshades in a dark world?

4 June

Session 2: Love That Shines
Venue: Tally Ho

In the UK, what is the church known for? In a recent survey (talkingjesus.org), the most common positive responses were: friendly, caring, hopeful and generous. And yet, at the same time, the church is also known for being hypocritical and narrow-minded. As John writes to Christians in the ancient city of Ephesus he is encouraged by some of what he sees – the good things they’re doing; their hard work; their perseverance; and their inability to tolerate evil. In a sense, they ‘hate’ the right things. And yet, at the same time there is one big thing they are missing – love. What would it be like to for the church to be known for both love and hating evil at the same time? Is it possible?

11 June

Session 3: Clinging On For Life
Venue: Riverside House

Going through hard times can be one of the biggest barriers to faith in Jesus. And, sometimes, when followers of Jesus suffer questions start emerging about whether God is there, or at work. For these ancient followers of Jesus, John reminds them that the opposition and suffering they face won’t last forever. And that, one day, they will receive a prize that will help them to keep clinging on now, despite the struggles they face.

18 June

Session 4: Sitting On The Fence
Venue: Riverside House

Have you ever tried to sit on a fence? It can get uncomfortable pretty quickly! The word ‘compromise’ comes from the idea of making a mutual promise and commitment – two different views, coming together. There are so many times when such a thing is necessary and good. And yet, sometimes, compromise means settling for things that aren’t good, like trying to sit on a fence. For these ancient followers of Jesus, it seems that they were compromising in a really unhealthy way. They were trying to live in two camps – following Jesus, whilst tolerating evil at the same time. And John reminds them that sitting on the fence is neither comfortable, or a good thing in the long-run.

25 June

Session 5: Going Old-School
Venue: Riverside House

G.K. Chesterton once said, ’Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.’ What he means is that many of us change our beliefs and values throughout our lives. And, future generations will also look at many of the values our society hold dear with similar incredulity. And so, how do we know we are right? Let’s not be so quick to dismiss the wisdom from the many generations who have lived before us. Perhaps the best way to navigate the future is by going old-school and embracing again the teaching and wisdom from years gone by.

2 July

Session 6: On The List
Venue: Tally Ho

Have you ever walked in your sleep? It can be a very disorientating thing to wake up when you’re doing so. And yet, sometimes, you need to be woken up because you’re heading to massive danger. For these ancient readers they needed to be woken up. In many respects they had very successful lives, and yet they were almost unconscious to the huge problems in their midst. But if they could wake up, even though it might be disorientating, the results would be wonderful.

9 July

Session 7: The Open Door
Venue: Riverside House

We live in a world in which success is the goal, regardless of the cost. For followers of Jesus, sometimes our lack of success can be disheartening. And it can be easy to forget that Jesus values faithfulness over success. For these ancient readers, John reminds them that even though they feel weak, he has placed before them an open door. And they just simply need to faithful in following Christ. Because, at the end of the day, faithfulness is success.

16 July

Session 8: Desperate Times
Venue: Riverside House

The last few years have shown that we can’t presume that our standards of living will always keep in increasing. But should that really be our goal anyway? For the ancient followers of Jesus, they had mistaken material comfort and wealth as being the central thing in life. And John reminds them that true riches come not from physical wealth but from following 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’. 

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