Today we celebrate our 20th Anniversary as a church at the Ryman Auditorium! We are so thankful for God’s faithfulness and provision over our Church over the last 20 years. Anniversaries offer us the chance to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we hope to go. Our church’s calling has always been to be a people of God reaching out, growing up, and giving all. Today, we breakdown what it means to give our all for the Kingdom. We are called to give our all to further the Kingdom, but what does that really mean? How do you effectively give your all to the Lord? For 20 years, we have devoted ourselves to giving our all, and we have seen first hand the growth of the Kingdom through patient obedience in His greater plan.
The Story of Thomas Ryman
As we remember the amazing things God has done at our church in the past 20 years, we recognize that God has been at work in His church of all believers since the beginning.
The stories of baptisms, life change, and miracles in our own church community over the last two decades are more than we can count. And yet, there is so much more that He has done and continues to do in our world than we will ever comprehend on this side of heaven.
Our celebration of the 20th year in the life of Rolling Hills took place at the Ryman auditorium in downtown Nashville. That historic building is a concrete example of the vastness of God’s goodness throughout time and for all people.
In the late 1800s, the evangelist Sam Jones was sparking a revival in Nashville. God used Jones to reach a wealthy riverboat captain named Thomas Ryman who heard the Gospel, gave his life to Christ, and changed his lifestyle for the better. Impassioned by his salvation and love of Jesus, Ryman commissioned the building of a great church for the Lord. In 1892, the church opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle and impacted many lives for Christ.
Though Broadway has grown around the Ryman and the building now also serves as a concert venue, the historic location still bears testimony to the way God multiplies the efforts of anyone who seeks to reach the lost and to pursue Him. God used Sam Jones, and it changed the course of Nashville’s history.
Why We Give All
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” —Mark 12:43-44
To build the most beautiful or culturally significant building is not the goal of Rolling Hills Community Church. The church is God’s people — not a building in Nashville, or Nolensville, or Columbia, or Franklin. The mission is to build up His people. We set our eyes on what is eternal, not just what we can touch and see.
Every building we set foot in on a Sunday morning is a blessing from God, and the glory is all to Him. Throughout our church’s history God has done amazing things no matter where we worship. Whether in a movie theater, or an elementary school, or at a hotel, or on a college campus, what has always mattered most is God’s people, their desire to follow Him, and His grace and love for them. Our buildings have come and gone, but the Lord has been with us every step of the way.
God does not require extravagance on our parts. He is not more impressed by worship in the Ryman auditorium than in a dainty prayer closet. Though Thomas Ryman was one of God’s beloved children, that’s not because of the impressive building Ryman built in His honor. It’s because of the heart behind His investment in the Kingdom.
God does not need anything from us; He’s God! He could demolish and raise a more beautiful church than the Ryman in an instant. What is beautiful is that we give Him our all anyway.
When one of us gives our all like Thomas Ryman, there’s almost certainly still not going to be a historic building named after us a century later. But that was never the point! We don’t give our all for the fame and approval of man. We give our all for love of God. And although one person’s all may seem bigger than someone else’s all, God measures the heart. We believe in His power to do more with all of our little than half of our much.
Our Hope to Come
One day, Jesus will return. One day, all who believe in Him will be joined together in heaven. Those who accepted Christ and worshiped Him at the Ryman over a hundred years ago will one day join us in the presence of God.
God’s story for mankind is unfathomably big. It is our blessing to be invited into that story, not because He needs us, but because He wants us to be with Him.
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