Building Update

Redeemer Building Update

Church family,

So much has happened recently the elders want to make sure everyone has a clear picture of what is happening with the building so you can pray, participate, and give as you feel led by the Lord.

Land: The church membership voted to purchase a 3.5 acre parcel of land in the center of the Spotsylvania Courthouse Village development. This parcel is adjacent to the new white brick Planter’s Bank building facing Courthouse Road. This parcel will accommodate a sanctuary and up to five additional smaller educational buildings. Now that the congregation has voted to purchase the land, Vakos Properties will parcel this piece of land out of the larger acreage according to our site plan. Deacon Travis Elkins will pick up from deacon Benjamin Pennington’s efforts and continue work on the overall site and building plan. Only after a final site plan is approved by the county and the land is officially parceled out, will the land purchase officially take place. It will take some months for this due diligence to occur. During this waiting period the cash for the land purchase will remain set aside in the building fund.

Building: The plan is to build a one-level sanctuary that will seat at least 500 people and up to two smaller educational buildings in the first phase of building. Each educational building will give us eight good sized classrooms. The goal of building in phases is to avoid the prolonged period of fund-raising or a heavy debt load from building one large multi-story building. The goal is to raise enough funds to make sure a mortgage is less than what we currently pay in rent. In this way, we can assure the mortgage cost will not change the focus of ministry. We will know for sure that such a mortgage is within a manageable and modest church budget. Right now, the building and financing situation is a moving target. Both building and financing costs are rising, but the Lord has, and will, provide His church a necessary place to meet. By our estimates we need to raise at least $2,000,000 to seriously look at beginning to build. This may seem like an insurmountable task, but nothing is impossible with God!

The Lord provided $700,000 for land without us even talking about the subject, and the elders believe the Lord will provide again! The Lord will provide through the sacrificial generosity of His people. When you go to the on-line giving portal there is a designated “Building Fund” giving account, or you can designate your gift placed in the offering box next to the welcome desk. 100% of what is given to the building fund will go to building. If you have non-cash gifts (such as stocks) that you feel led to contribute, please see an elder, or our treasurer, for how to accomplish that. We will be patient and wait for the Lord to provide. The focus of Redeemer Bible Church is not going to become building a building. We will remain focused on the disciple-making call of Jesus Christ. When the Lord wants us to have a different building, He will provide in a way that will glorify Himself. The elders believe that as we take this need to our good Heavenly Father, He will move people to give cheerfully, and the need will be met in His perfect time.

May the new church buildings be built with joy, without controversy, without manipulation, through self-sacrifice, partially by the work of our own hands, and all to the glory of God that the lost may come to salvation in Jesus Christ.

New Rental Space: At the last member business meeting we voted to sign a one-year (renewable for two more years) lease on the first floor of the adjacent building. This building will allow Redeemer to double our current educational space. These classrooms will make room for more children’s ministry on Sunday morning, more youth small group space on Wednesday night, and more adult small group meeting space throughout the week. We are very thankful for this answer to prayer! This rental space will be occupied until we can build the new educational buildings.

This space will require some renovation that must be done by the church. We are so grateful that deacon Andrew Mines will be heading up this project. Like our last church renovation project (the grocery store – now the sanctuary) we will do most of this work ourselves to save significant cost. The savings will be put toward the new building. So much joy and relationships come from working together in the church. If you are handy or can paint, please contact Andrew to sign-up for work crew days. We will begin work as early as late July. Our hope is to have the space ready for children’s ministry when school is back in session this fall. This will take diligent work from across the church body. I’m excited to see the Lord provide through His body working together!

Please pray about giving toward the building of a permanent church building. Together the Lord will provide.

In all things may Jesus Christ be glorified,

The Elders of Redeemer Bible Church

Father’s Day

The month of June is known across America as a month to celebrate LGBTQ and transgender practices. I believe it’s important for you to listen to an inspiring testimony of a woman named Laura that came to salvation during her transgender rebellion against God. It’s a moving and important testimony of redemption that will help us all better share Christ with those who struggle with these areas of sin.

Please click on the link below to listen to her story. Press “play” between the title and her picture to hear the story.

Laura’s testimony

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring
 them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4
This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. Leading a family and raising children in this day is a daunting task. The Lord will give strength for the task, but it’s important to refocus on the fundamentals.

Being a father is a God-given authority. The authority of fatherhood follows after the loving and good authority of God the Father toward us. As fathers live under the authority of God the Father, so our children live under our authority. At a minimum, this means parenting should be parent-directed, not child-directed. The spiritual leadership of the father is meant to direct the life and formation of the child. To be a father is not to stand-by while your child does whatever they choose, but with proper godly love, discipline, and education to direct the course of your child’s life. This loving direction, education, discipline, and training is constant when a child is young but should taper off as they enter their teens, and end as they launch into adulthood. When a child enters adulthood the father’s goal is for the child to establish their own home beginning again the fatherly role in the next generation. Your authority as a father hems in your children to guide their path. As a father it is your role to teach your children who God is, what He expects of them, and how they can experience the love of God through the forgiving grace of Jesus Christ.

I would argue that the most important attitude of a father is to love their child. Love is the master virtue of the Christian life and the first fruit of the Holy Spirit. As believers in Jesus Christ, we experience the love of God through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. We have peace with God through the cross and go from
being enemies of God to being His beloved adopted children. The authority of fatherhood will never be effective, and will instead be hurtful to a child, without authentic love. Dads, you know whether you love your kids or not. Your kids know whether you love them or not. If you view your children as a drag to your finances and free time this indicates a lack of love. If you can’t discipline without anger, there is a lack of love. If you don’t want to spend time with your kids, you don’t love them like God wants you to. I believe every dad struggles with these issues. I know I have.

The answer is always the same when we begin to recognize a lack of Christian love in our lives. We must draw near to the Lord in prayer and Bible study. In prayer you have to earnestly ask the Holy Spirit to work in your heart to bear the fruit of authentic love that you can’t contrive. Confess your sins and failures asking the Holy Spirit to make you the gentle and kind father you know you should be. If you need to ask for your child’s forgiveness, do that as well. If you did not have a loving and gentle father growing up, know that you can learn these ways from your Heavenly Father.

Fathers, I encourage you to see your children like empty vessels that need to be filled up with your love afresh each day. You fill them with words of affirmation and blessing, by making good memories together, through praying for them, listening to them, working with them, doing your best to tell them about Jesus, and most fundamentally – just telling them you love them. This will wear you out. As you pour out, you also must be filled. This filling must come from the living water of Jesus our Lord. Living water that never runs dry. You must spend time with Jesus every day. You must MAKE time for Jesus every day and ask Him to make you into the type of father you could never be on your own.

After loving our children, we must train them. Fathers, you must lead the way in training. Teach them to put the things of the Lord first. Teach them to love their mother and their siblings. Teach them to pray and read the Bible. Teach them to love learning and respect their elders. Teach them respectful manners and practical life skills that are related to their gender. Fathers, teach your boys to be men, and cherish your wife as she teaches your girls to become women. Be patient with your children as they learn but press them always to grow in the talents God has given them.

Next, you must discipline your children. Hebrews 12:5-11 is very clear that God will discipline us in the Christian life to correct our path, because He loves us. Every parent that loves their child will discipline their child. Discipline done with love builds character and turns a child away from sinful, selfish, and irresponsible actions. Discipline teaches a small child that they must live under authority. Discipline uses a small amount of pain brought into their life by a father who loves them, to turn them away from a great amount of pain in later life that will come from those who hate them. I understand that spanking is well out of fashion in this day and that there are important exceptions to children that have been abused, but the Proverbs speak about the need to bring the quick and decisive discipline of a spanking into a child’s life (Proverbs 13:24, 22:15, 23:13-14, 29:15). All discipline must be administered without anger, but proper discipline from a loving father will work to shape the soul and character of a small child.

Fathers, never give up on your children. Never stop in pursuing your children with love. Never stop preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to your children. Never give up on the faithful discipline of stubborn small children. Never stop praying for your kids and investing in their lives. Pray for their souls until they come to salvation. Knowing that your child authentically believes in Christ as their Savior is infinitely more important than any other life goal. Their soul before God is more important than what college they go to, what sports they play, what job they get, or what level of worldly success they attain. Your children should emphatically know that you care more about their soul than any of these things.

May the Lord help us to be godly fathers,
Pastor Vic

Some basic parenting resources:
Shepherding A Child’s Heart, 2nd Edition, by Tedd Trip (for small children)
Parenting by The Book: Biblical Wisdom for Raising Your Child, by John Rosemond (for small children)
Age of Opportunity, 2nd Edition, by Paul David Trip (for teenagers)
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, by Paul David Tripp
Focus on the Family: a long-standing trusted ministry with podcast and countless resources

Building Update

Further Building & Land Update
There’s a lot happening at Redeemer these days! We have all prayed much about this church, and asked God to bless and guide us. We have prayed for the lost to be saved and for this church to be a blessing to the community. We praise God that these things are happening at a rate much faster than we expected. With these joys also come growing pains of adjustment and lots of decisions. But I tell you, it’s exciting to join the Lord where He is working! It’s exciting to pray for big things, and see the Lord answer those prayers. I will do my best to keep you updated on what is happening and how you can be involved.

At the last member meeting we voted to purchase 3.5 acres of land diagonally across the quad from where the church is currently located. The lot is right on Courthouse Road and directly in the center of this development. This land purchase will allow us to build a sanctuary seating over 500 and at least one small educational building. Depending on what funds the Lord provides, we may possibly be able to build a second educational building in the first phase. The second phase (years down the road) allows us to build up to three additional educational buildings to create more classroom space. The plan includes an outdoor picnic space and fenced children’s play area.

I believe the most amazing part about this is that the land was offered to us at a significant discount which matched up with cash we had in the bank. A long time ago the elders decided that we would stop passing a plate in the service because it was an obstacle for unbelievers coming to church and being asked for money. Second, it allowed every dollar given to be given joyfully and from the heart. In this we would know that God was supporting the ministry and the church could see God at work providing for our needs. So, without any direct fund-raising the Lord has provided!

Concerning the land, we now enter a due diligence period of preparation for the building site plan and buildings themselves. Benjamin Pennington will be stepping down from this roll to pursue a master’s level theological studies in his off hours. Travis Elkins will take up the mantle to lead the effort to solidify building plans and keep the church updated on the process.

As a church, we must continue in faithful giving and consider possibly making additional gifts toward the building fund. We have a designated building fund in the drop-down menu of the on-line giving portal. All funds given to that designated fund will go toward the building. Would you pray about making a designated gift toward building the new building? By each of us choosing generosity for the sake of gospel ministry, the church will be built! Let’s be in prayer that the way the church continues will be like its past – clearly the Lord is at work.

In the meantime, over at least the next two years, we must joyfully continue to minister in our current building. As most of you are aware, we have a serious shortage of classroom space. During children’s ministry (11:00 hour) we have zero extra. In the small amount of classroom space, we have over 100 children and workers every Sunday. We will come to a point soon, where we will have to turn people away because we do not have room for their children. During the 11:00 hour the young adult ministry meets outside rain or shine. This large group would need two classrooms to meet inside. We have zero adult classes that meet Sunday morning because of a total lack of classroom space. On Wednesday night the youth group fills every available space during small group break ups. This includes a small group meeting in the children’s ministry lobby. We rent the coffee shop across the quad to make room for one adult group to meet.

This over-crowding has been a significant concern for months to the elders, ministry leaders, and children’s teachers. We have all been praying and searching out possible answers for how to handle this and be able to effectively minister to those God is bringing to us. Building is too far out to help over the next few years, and moving the church again was not desired by anyone. However, according to God’s perfect providence, the new building at the end of the street will open in July. When that building opens, two businesses will relocate from the first floor of the adjacent building to the new building. This will open the entire first floor of the adjacent building. Vakos Companies has offered it to us at a discounted price per sq/ft to continue support for Redeemer.

After some weeks of due diligence walking through the property with key ministry leaders and deacons, we have come up with a way to create three large classrooms and three medium sized classrooms by only extending two walls by ten feet, knocking down two ten-foot walls, and cutting in four doors. None of this will require moving plumbing or electrical. This classroom addition would double our current educational space and make it possible to bring inside some adult small groups, young adult ministry, and space out our children’s ministry to make room for growth.

We have called a member meeting Sunday to present this and possibly move for a vote, because Vakos Companies has already held this off the market for a month and does not want to unnecessarily delay a choice. They have a nearly 100% occupancy rate on apartments in our area. If we choose to not take this space, it will immediately be renovated into apartments.

There’s not much to discuss on this decision. It’s pretty much take it, or leave it. The rental price is set, the square footage is set, and the terms of the year-to-year lease are set. The elder board recommends that we extend our budget to sign the lease and expand our educational space. We have the giving income to meet this need and believe more will come with growth. If you’re a member at Redeemer, please be in prayer about this decision and reach out to an elder if you have questions. I’m excited to be on this journey with you and look forward to seeing you Sunday.

May the Lord go before us and make the path straight,
Pastor Vic and the elders

Praising God

Praising God, No More Moments of Silence!

Sometimes I feel like I don’t praise God enough. After all, He is the one and only true God. But if I believe that, which I do, then why don’t I speak of Him more and give Him praise for all things in my life.  He brought the world and all its fullness into existence by simply speaking His Words (Gen. 1). He certainly is almighty, sovereign, and worthy of the praises of all creation. I could write a book about the sovereignty and holiness of God, but the Bible already does that. The point is, that we are here for a purpose in this world. We are the creation of God and Him alone. Praising Him and thanking Him in all things should be a natural response to who He is. Praise is important to God, and He is worthy of it.  From His people, it is the testimony of His greatness, goodness, and sovereignty to the people around us. When we praise God great and mighty things happen! People are changed.

 What happens when we praise God? The Bible tells us “You are Holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” (Psalms 22:3) God inhabits the praises of His people. When we begin praising God He joins us, and His presence is with us, and He becomes more real to us and others. Did you know that God moves into action when we praise Him! This verse actually when translated in Hebrew means “God dwells in the praises of His people.”

 We should never take credit for what God does in our life or in the world. He alone is worthy of praise, and He dwells in this acknowledgment that is due Him and Him alone. We live not of ourselves, but we live because God has created us and sustains us through His goodness and Grace. (Psalm 100:3) We belong to Him and Him alone. God hates a proud look and a deceitful heart (Prov. 6:16-19), but He is pleased when we acknowledge Him in truth and praise.

I love the passage in Acts 16:25 when the apostle Paul and Silas were arrested and locked up in the dungeon of a prison. Instead of crying and cursing their situation, they began praising God and singing hymns. It was then at the midnight hour the jail shook, and doors were opened. God began to move in the midst of their praise and worship. In that same verse, we also see the words “The prisoners were listening to them.” As a result of their praises during difficult and unbearable times, others heard them, observed them, and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for their own salvation.  

There is no time in this world for “Moments of silence!” It is time for the church to stand up in boldness and acknowledge God in praise and worship. Not just on the good days but also in the midst of our worst circumstances.

On this side of heaven, we will never understand why bad things happen to good people in this world, but we know one thing. God is good, He loves us (John 3:16) and there is a purpose for everything that happens in life. We must remember “The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1)

I hope that today we will praise God more in all things. Even when life is hard and difficult to understand. Trust God with all your heart and give Him praise! The world is watching the church. The world is listening. No more moments of silence! Let there be boldness through praise and worship from the Church to Jesus the Messiah. The one and only true God. Amen

Rev. Dalton Lilly

Redeemer Bible Church Stafford

Redeemer Bible Church Stafford (Update)

For those who may not be aware, Redeemer Bible Church is planting a church in Stafford.  Praise God!  For all of you who have been walking through this process with us, Pastor Vic asked me to send out a short update to keep you up to speed on our progress. 

Why are we planting a church?

  • The local church is primary in God’s redemptive plan for sharing the gospel and making disciples.  Those involved with this church plant have felt God’s calling and leading to be part of this commission in Stafford.
  • The local church should be local.  For the handful of families that drive from Stafford to Spotsy each Sunday, this church plant represents an opportunity to gather for worship and outreach in our community where we live, work, go to school and do life.  Our aim is to strengthen and compliment, not compete with, the other biblically faithful Christian churches already established in Stafford.       
  • From the beginning, Redeemer Spotsy set out to be a church that plants churches.  Sending out Redeemer Stafford is the first step towards this goal.

How will the church be organized?

  • Unlike other church models, Redeemer Stafford will not be a satellite campus of Redeemer Spotsy but an autonomous cooperating church.  This means that both churches will hold to the same core beliefs with regard to the Bible, theology and church governance/essentials (link to RBC cooperating agreement).  We will also share the same name, Redeemer Bible Church, and continue to seek ministry partnerships together (i.e. orphan care, short term missions).  However, Redeemer Stafford will be led by its own team of elders and ruled by the church members in Stafford. 

Where will the church meet?

  • Since Aug of ’21, North Stafford Baptist Church has expressed a desire to potentially join with Redeemer Stafford.  We have held two combined church services with North Stafford Baptist and are in ongoing conversations with their elders about becoming one church.  Should this happen, we will come together as Redeemer Bible Church of Stafford at their current location (11 Meadowood Drive, Stafford). 

When will weekly Sunday church services begin?

  • Since last October, we have been meeting weekly on Sunday evenings for small-group home Bible studies and once a month for church services at North Stafford Baptist.  
  • Our goal is to begin meeting for weekly Sunday services on August 21st

How can you pray for us?

  • Pray for unity between North Stafford Baptist and Redeemer Stafford.
  • Pray that more people would be called and equipped to fill key leadership roles within the church (elders, deacons, ministry leaders).
  • Pray that in all of this, the families of Redeemer Stafford would be filled with joy and stay focused on our primary mission of exalting God, growing disciples of Christ and making the gospel known through our words and deeds!

You can find more information on our website (redeemerstafford.org) and you are welcome to join us this Sunday from 5:30-7:00pm at 11 Meadowood drive for our monthly worship service and see for yourself what God is doing through Redeemer in Stafford.

On behalf of the elders and families that currently represent Redeemer Bible Church of Stafford, we genuinely want to thank each of you for your steadfast encouragement and prayers on our behalf.  I can say without hesitation that Molly and I have never been a part of a church family that has supported and loved us like you have over the last three years.  Your example has transformed our lives. 

We love you, church.

In Christ,

Pastor Justin