5 Ways Your Giving Made A Difference In 2019
Since Riverbank Church began in 2010, we’ve had one unwavering vision: To offer hope and healing to our community by sharing the life-changing message of Jesus.
Everything we do and every decision we make is measured against this vision.
“Does this move the rescue mission forward? Does this increase our reach? If we do this, will more people find hope in Jesus?”
This drove our vision for 2019: RESCUE ONE.
As a church family we committed to praying for our ONE. We would invest in our ONE, invite our ONE, and share Jesus with our ONE.
Here are five ways your giving made a difference in 2019:
1. 341 People Said Yes To Jesus
Every ONE who walks through the doors at Riverbank Church is loved and valued. They are prayed for, prepared for, and anticipated.
We know that when they come through our doors they are carrying with them a lifetime of experiences. Each ONE is walking out their story. Each ONE is filled with a unique blend of joy, sorrow, success and failure. Each ONE takes a different path to meet Jesus.
We consider it a true honor to be a part of God’s plan for their lives and our only desire is to introduce them to Jesus who will heal all hurts and bring peace and comfort that only He can. As a church when we began praying for our ONE, we had no idea what God had in store.
I had been praying for my ONE long before the Rescue ONE challenge began. I prayed and continued to invite her to come and see. It was maybe a year later that she decided to come with a friend. I was serving in rbKids but after the experience she found me with tears in her eyes. I knew that Jesus had gotten a hold of her heart and a few weeks later she gave her life to Him. Matthew 18 tells us that it is not our heavenly Father’s will that even one should perish. How amazing and humbling that we get to be a part of the Rescue Mission.
2. 121 People Were Baptized
Sometimes our next step in life can be obvious.
Sometimes we worry, stress, and agonize about what it should be.
As followers of Christ, we believe that Jesus was very clear about what a new believer’s next step of faith should be.
Baptism. A next step. An act of obedience, surrender, and declaration all at once.
Baptism marks a moment in ONE’S journey. We celebrated with so many this year as they took their next step with confidence and a newfound sense of purpose. We celebrated as they claimed their identity in Jesus!
I was Saved the first day I walked into Riverbank Church, January 13, 2019. I kept coming to church, even though I was overwhelmed with emotions and questions. When should I be baptized? Should I do Roots first? How do I find these answers? So I emailed the church and got a reply from Nicki Walker. She was instrumental in helping me navigate those first few months and understanding that baptism was me declaring publicly of my Love for God. After my first week of Roots, I knew I was ready and signed up for the next baptism March 31, 2019. The days leading up to it were scarily amazing. I practiced what I wanted to say over and over again. I was so blessed to be baptized with a new friend, Paty Parkington. Her cousin had just returned from Israel with a vial of water from the Jordan River, which we dumped into the tank. I honestly don’t remember much about the experience itself. I remember being nervous until I entered the water and then this Peace overcame me. The Baptism itself happened so quickly, but at the same time, it felt in slow motion. I felt God fill my heart for the first time that day!”
3. Thousands were Served & loved
We were also overwhelmed with gratitude this year as we were able to love our local and global communities in practical ways!
We welcomed 1,149 first time guests this year. Seeds were planted and we’re excited about how God is changing the lives of those in our community.
The full Riverbank experience was brought online. This exciting new endeavor allows us to reach anyONE at any time! To date, 2 people have given their lives to Jesus during one of our online experiences!
Over 4,000 guests were welcomed to our annual White River Fall Festival. It was such an amazing night where we welcomed our community and spent the evening serving them. We were able to provide a clean, safe, fun family event where people felt loved and valued!
Our Claremont location hosted our first ever Claremont Trunk or Treat. Even though it was pouring rain, over 150 came through our Trunk or Treat line.
We participated in the Claremont Chili Cook-off handing out free water bottles and Tums (practical for a chili cook-off) and introducing ourselves to the community.
25 servants served as clean up crew at Lebanon’s Shamrock Shuffle.
We sponsored 40 local families in need this Christmas by providing gifts for their children who might not otherwise have gotten any.
575 pounds of food was brought to the Upper Valley Haven to ensure Upper Valley residents could get what they need for Thanksgiving dinner!
Prepared and delivered a thank-you breakfast to the hard-working teachers in two of our area public schools.
Partnered with Claremont’s soup kitchen by donating nearly $2000 worth of food through our stuff the truck event.
We were able to provide 71 people with financial assistance.
These outreaches allowed us to meet our community right where they were, to love them in a very real way.
On behalf of everyone at Hartford Memorial Middle School, thank you so much for the amazing breakfast you surprised us with! It’s almost as if you knew that the last week of school was exactly when such a generous act would hit home and boost us all into the final stretch!
So many staff members commented on the thoughtful sentiments you expressed in the card, as well. We sincerely appreciate your efforts, too, in caring for the larger community. It does, indeed, take a village to raise our children… so thank you for your efforts to support and uplift community members.
4. Over 350 People Were a part Groups
One of God’s greatest gifts to us is each other. Community happens every day when we show up for each other, pray for each other, help each other, and love each other.
This year we continued to build community at Riverbank through groups. These times spent together, studying the Bible, sharing our hearts and pointing each other to Jesus helped spur us on in our walks with Jesus.
Our St. Johnsbury Watch Party also continued to grow where people come together, watch the online experience and worship Jesus with one voice. This community began because a group of people wanted a safe place to worship and grow in their faith. Greater things are yet to come!
“Groups have been instrumental in my walk with Jesus. Before, I felt so alone, isolated and was yearning for genuine friendships. It is so nice to gather with a room full of women each week that, like me, are wives, mothers, working women, and pursuing a relationship with Jesus. When I’m with them, I know that I can be completely open and vulnerable, knowing that I will receive encouragement, advice and occasionally a reality check that is centered around God and His word.
I have found the genuine friendships I was seeking through Groups at Riverbank, and am so thankful!”
5. The Next Generation was empowered
We believe in investing in and raising up the next generation. We want to empower them to stand firm in their faith, to walk confidently in their freedom, and to find their identity in Jesus! We want to give them a foundation that cannot be shaken. We want them to have answers when faced with questions and hope when faced with heartache.
Riverbank Kids & Riverbank Students served hundreds of families this year. We began a new curriculum that gave our servants the tools needed to partner with families to point kids to Jesus. As a result, 96 kids and students met Jesus and began their life long journey with him! We began to connect more with families through social media and the Parent Cue app. We are excited to continue partnering with parents on their child’s journey of faith.
We want you to know how grateful we are for your generosity. Lives are forever changed because of it! We are believing for a breakout this year and can’t wait to see what God has in store for Riverbank Church!
2019 Total Revenue $1,611,697
Total Forward Offering 2018-2019 $689,005
A note from Pastor Chris
Thank you for your contribution and participation in this rescue mission. Without your faithful giving, it would not be possible. We would not see these lives changed forever, families impacted for the next generation and a community marked by Jesus’ love. It’s humbling to know that God uses us to engage in his rescue mission! As you’ve taken time to read this article, I hope it has helped you to see that your faithful giving of time, talent and treasure is effecting the rescue mission and fans the flame of the great work of Jesus in your life!
Looking ahead towards 2020 I really believe that the momentum of last year will carry over into a BREAKOUT year unlike we’ve ever seen before – individually and as a church community. Jesus says in John chapter 8 that Believers are truly free – free from chains, guilt, and emptiness of the past! In 2020 we will BREAKOUT as a people into freedom, forgiveness, and hope. I can’t wait to hear the stories and see the results of BREAKOUT!
For the rescue!