The RBC Annual Report is a document designed to give you information about our major ministries, how to contact ministry leaders, and how the finances of our church are handled.
This has been an amazing year at Reston Bible Church. In addition to our ongoing ministries here and around the world, God has blessed us with a new campus with which to carry out our mission of “Knowing Christ and Making Him Known.” We have many reasons to be thankful and to rejoice in God our Savior.
This annual report is designed to give you information about:
- The major ministries of RBC where you may serve our church body and the community or learn and grow in your relationship with Christ.
- How the finances of RBC are handled
- How you can contact our ministry leaders
The staff and elders of our church family are thankful to God for the new campus He has provided. We’ve seen a 25% growth in attendance since we opened and you have responded by increasing your volunteer hours and caring for our guests in extraordinary ways. Thanks be to God! He has given us new families to care for and with which to share the Gospel.
The church pastors and staff are very happy to be together in the same building for the first time in many years. It has been so helpful to both internal and external communication and has contributed to better collaboration than we’ve ever seen. The new campus has also created opportunities to reach out to a new set of neighbors. It is a joy to see new people joining us each week for worship and service. I look forward to coming to work each day as it is a privilege to serve the Lord at RBC alongside our other pastors and elders. I love these men and respect their walks with God. We want to thank you for your generous giving which makes it possible for us to devote our energies to the preaching of God’s Word and the care of the flock He has entrusted to us.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 instructs us in this way: “…there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” May God use the different gifts he has given to each of us for the common good, the good of our church family, our community, and the world. If there is any way that we can be of help to you as you walk with Christ, please allow us the joy of serving you for God’s glory.
Executive Pastor, Elder
This year’s First Fruits took place on Saturday, November 20. First Fruits is a service project that has rallied the RBC church body for over 20 years. It is a unique serving opportunity for families, shepherd groups, and individuals to come together and make a difference in the lives and families of others in our area who are in need of help and encouragement.
You may have heard the numbers in church. By God’s grace we had over 400 volunteers spread over 27 teams, doing more than 120 jobs (including some random acts of kindness), that raised $31,500 for families having a tough time financially in our area – 59 families in particular were blessed this past weekend. The numbers are truly amazing. But, First Fruits is about so much more than the numbers.
The body of Christ was in motion like I haven’t seen before at RBC — working together, getting out of the salt shaker, and encouraging families in our area. I love how each year First Fruits brings together people that start out as strangers or acquaintances early in the morning and end as friends in the evening. This year was a particular blessing because Pastor Salvador Medina and 10 members of his congregation (from the Spanish Church that also worships at RBC) joined in and helped out during the day. They also played a key role with team visits to 3 of the Spanish-speaking only families in the evening. There is one body, but many parts (1 Cor 12:12-28) and it was neat to see this in action on Saturday — how, by working together, we were able to do more than any part could have done separately, even overcoming language and culture barriers and planting seeds that we hope and pray will yet bear fruit. It will be exciting to see how the Lord will use the relationships started at First Fruits both within the body and within the community to advance His Kingdom. The Medinas have already invited several of the families to come to church.
I also loved seeing our teens getting out of the salt shaker. This happened throughout the day, and there are many stories. One captured it well for me. In particular, one Sr. High teen shared how she and some friends went to the neighbor’s house of the job they were working on to help the woman take care of her yard. They discovered that her husband had died 2 years ago and and she was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after. They were able to minister and pray with her in ways they could not have imagined when they started the day.
First Fruits also burst the bubble that insulates us from the world right around us. One teen shared how their team visited a family of 4 living in a motel because they did not have a home. The size of their room for living, eating, sleeping, she relayed, was no bigger than her bedroom at home. She had no idea that people lived like this in Northern Virginia. “This has changed me,” she said,”I see how spoiled I have been, and I know how much I have to be thankful for.”
All of us were touched by the individual stories of the 59 families served through First Fruits. Here are a few snapshots:
- A family of 12 living in a 3-bedroom trailer with another family. Two RBC regular attenders are a big brother and a big sister to 2 of the children in the family.
- Nineteen families attend local Sterling public schools that serve some of the most economically disadvantaged in the area. All the children in these families are on the free lunch program. The father/husband of one of these families died 2 weeks ago leaving his wife and 5 children behind. The Women’s Ministry is already continuing with one of the schools a partnership started through First Fruits and we hope to continue to partner with some of the others through Backpack Buddies and tutoring.
- At least 6 families have been, are, or may soon be homeless.
- One family just moved into their own apartment after being in a shelter for the past year.
- At least 8 families (includes RBC attenders) are struggling with unemployment and being underemployed.
- Twenty or more are single parents
- Four are widows
- Many do not yet know the Lord.
The First Fruit gifts brought tears, smiles, hope, and prayers of thanksgiving. Please join us in praying for these families and thanking the Lord for the amazing team captains and co-captains that led the army of 400 workers who blessed so many. May God alone receive all the glory.
Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
Back in October, the RBC Youth Ministry hosted “Minute to Win It” over the span of two evenings – one geared for junior-highers, the other for senior high students. This event, based off the popular game show, was a big hit with the teens and their invited friends. The game show host was Erik Palmer, who fit his role well. Besides 12 challenging 60-second games, those who attended were treated to pizza, raffle prizes, cash prizes, and powerful testimonies by fellow teens.
As on the TV show, each challenge was created using household items. Everyone had an opportunity to get on stage and win. Over $500 in prizes were given away. Contestants were chosen by raffle, at random, or based on their creative costumes. Do you think you might have had a chance of winning? Try stacking five Red Delicious apples on top of each other in one minute!
On Friday night, junior-highers got to hear Mason Nalle share his story of going through three open-heart surgeries before the age of 17. Amy Stegeman then shared on Sunday night to the senior highers how she tragically lost several of her siblings and a friend by the time she reached 8th grade. A minute is all it takes for someone to lose their life. Following the testimonies, a pastor shared of God’s love and sacrifice and invited the attendees to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Several students indicated that they accepted Christ as their Savior that night. Praise our God! Knowing Christ and making Him known to teens is what this youth ministry is all about. Pray for the staff as we follow up with them, and other teens that have expressed interest in knowing more.
Oh, and we’re pretty sure Guy Fieri would be proud. 😉
(I have to give credit to Aaron McAndrew for helping me write this blog post. Thanks Aaron! Aaron is a Junior at Briar Woods High School who loves writing. He also is an editor for his school newspaper.)
The remarkable story of Joseph and his forgiveness is the foreshadowing of Christ and His forgiveness. It reveals to us the very nature of forgiving the deepest offenses. This type of forgiveness is supernatural and requires the greatest application of gospel truth. The test of a person’s character is their ability to forgive. Here are five questions designed to stimulate our thinking on the subject of forgiving.
1. Do you believe you could forgive the way Joseph forgave his brothers? Keep in mind the depth of pain his brothers inflicted on him: the pit of injustice where he was left to die, Potipher’s house where he was falsely accused, the prison where he was forgotten.
2. Are you having trouble letting go of hurts far less severe than Joseph’s? Why such an account of this man’s story if not to encourage us in our own journey of being misunderstood?
3. Do you believe God’s grace is sufficient? The apostle Paul says that it is when he addresses this issue in 2 Corinthians 12 with these words, which are from Christ himself: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
4. Are you rejecting His grace? We are reminded by the writer of Hebrews not to reject God’s grace lest a root of bitterness springs up and defiles many.
5. Are you a conduit of the very grace that saved you? Can you get over getting even with the father who never said “I love you”? What about the coach that played favorites or the boss that gave the promotion to the wrong person?
The problem with getting even is that it hurts us more than the one we wish to get back at. It shows that we do not believe that vengeance belongs to God and God alone. Getting even is not good for our health. It has been said that bitterness is drinking poison in hopes that someone else will die. Getting even shows that we don’t see the bigger picture as Joseph did when he uttered his famous words “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”
Let’s get over getting even and let God right every wrong.
– – –
How many times in life have you been told that you are making a big deal out of something that is very small? We often refer to this as “making a mountain out of a mole hill.” But is it not possible that we are just as guilty of making mole hills out of mountains? How often do we say “It’s no big deal” when in fact it is a very big deal? Consider these words from scripture:
“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3)
If we took this mountain seriously, what would we have to remove from our TV diet? Are these little mole hills punctuated throughout the landscape of God’s word, or are they monstrous mountain ranges strategically placed for our protection? To say it’s no big deal what I read or what I watch is to say that Jesus was making a mountain out of a mole hill. I don’t think we want to go there.
What about the poor? The scriptures are replete about caring for the poor, yet it seems to have fallen into the mole hill category. What did our Savior say about materialism?
“A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke12:15, NIV)
I realize the list could go on and on, and I am well aware that a form of legalism looms when we see these as performance issues so that God will love us more. Mountains are in the Bible as a gift from God so that we may live life to the fullest, which is in direct opposition to earning His love. The church in our western society has fallen prey to calling holiness legalism. I don’t write this from the standpoint of pastor-to-flock, but from my own personal battle of having seen mountains become mole hills. I guess you could say I have been taking inventory to see if I am truly growing in grace and not legalism.
Would you be willing to see if your life is measuring up to His teachings? You will be glad you did, for I prefer mountains to mole hills any day.
A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. ~Proverbs 22:9
The Food Pantry workers were overwhelmed by the generosity of the members of our church who brought in groceries on October 3rd. There were so many large bags of food that it took three people four trips each to bring all of it back to the pantry. These trips included the use of carts and baskets on wheels.
God’s love and abundance really showed up through the giving of His people to those of us who are in need. So far there are 20 to 30 families who directly benefit by this food pantry every week. By offering them food, we have an opportunity to share the Gospel and the love of God with these people. Lives are being changed. Glory to God.
Remember when Bill Maher, the political satirist and comedian, accused former Vice President Dick Cheney of lying? Coinciding with his attack on Cheney’s character was Tiger Woods’ confession of adultery. Both Maher and Woods are atheists. All atheists believe that we are nothing more than chemicals wrapped in skin. We do what we do based on chemical reactions driven by random electrical stimuli.
So if I understand these men correctly, the human race is made up of six and half billion bags of fertilizer. My question is this: If one bag of fertilizer thinks that lying is wrong, what right does that bag have to impose its moral standards on another bag that can’t help but lie because its chemical makeup dictates that it do so? And why would another bag publicly confess to having numerous affairs with other bags? Is not such a confession implying that it is wrong to behave in such a manner?
And are there not other “God-denying” bags that think killing and stealing is wrong? Seven out of the Ten Commandments have to do with moral values. Tiger, Bill, and like-minded bags seem to be pushing their moral values on the rest of us sad sacks. Strangely, when we try to return the favor with the same set of values we are called self-righteous, right winged fanatics. Do I detect a double-standard in which one set of bags has the right to inflict its moral standard on all other bags? Since Christian bags hold to the same value as atheistic bags , why are we marginalized and seen as judgmental?
Well, I must bring this to a close because the chemicals in this bag tell me that it is time to fertilize my lawn. As an aside, here is a helpful hint to have a great-looking lawn. Always buy the fertilizer with the highest moral standards – unless your chemical makeup tells you otherwise. The standards are written on the sides of each bag. The highest standards guarantee a thick, green, weedless lawn and that is the kind of lawn I like. So do atheists.
The retreat this year with John Lynch was fantastic! It was such a clear declaration of God’s Grace and presented in such a living and dramatic fashion. Trusting God for who He says I am is the only way to live this life. On my worst day, I am “Christ in Dave” and clothed in His righteousness all because He led me to Himself.
My desire is to see all the men at RBC – or everyone for that matter – live from these truths. What a wonderful fellowship we would have. Knowing the Truth sets me free, and free to really love others from the strength of God’s grace on and through me.
Many thanks to all those who prepared for and ran the 2010 RBC Men’s Retreat. It was fabulous!
The older I get, the more aware I become that life is all about Jesus Christ and not about me. The older I get, the sharper my focus on eternity becomes. The older I get, the more I see life as it really is. We should all grow wiser with age because the Scriptures tell us to do so “Teach us to number our days that we may apply our heart unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). This prayer by the Psalmist should be ours as well. He sees every day as a learning experience and does not want to lose one moment of instruction from the guiding eye of Jehovah.
Instruction is all around us, but we must be wise and understanding students. We must be attentive to the details for nothing happens without a sovereign purpose, from the falling of the sparrow to the devastation of a hurricane. The sons of Adam see everything as fate, good luck, bad luck, happenstance, coincidence, or “that’s just life.” How sad not to be able to properly interpret what is being written or said. But is this not the nature of those who are blind and deaf to spiritual maters?
As sons of God, we must not fall into such a narrow way of thinking, trapped by human reason, which in essence is atheistic at worst and agnostic at best. Remember that it is all about Him. We are not central to the purposes of God. His glory is central. This is what I am learning, the older I get.
“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
As I prefaced in my message last weekend, the topic of suffering and pain is too massive to cover in a single teaching. I recognize, as well, that even the subject of suffering can be a painful one. Though all people generally suffer, no one suffers in general. That is to say, most of us are acutely aware of exactly what causes pain in our lives. Discussion of the subject of pain in general can bring up very specific hurts.
As we deal with pain in our lives, remember that God is gracious in walking with us through the pain, despite our desire to circumvent it. And although in seasons of suffering we often feel alone and that no one hurts as badly as we do, this simply (and gloriously) is not true. Jesus willingly suffered the greatest pain history will ever know – it is no wonder He cried from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46) before committing His spirit into the hands of a faithful Father. Many of us have cried the same cry from our crosses, but we too must follow His lead and commit our spirits into those same hands.
Thank God that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses… Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:15,16) Jesus has felt our pain and more, and He is with us always.
I believe much of suffering is a battle for belief. Below are some resources I hope will help you and help you to help others in seasons of suffering. Again, there are no formulas for dealing with suffering – but my hope is that as you develop your theology on this topic, your faith, hope and trust in Jesus would be strengthened. Each of these books is available in the RBC bookstore – stop by and pick up a copy or two sometime.
– – –
“The problem with the way many Christians treat suffering is that they simply attempt to put a happy face on trials. A little personal suffering, however, goes a long way in revealing how vacuous careless platitudes can be. The issue of suffering is not to be treated in a cold and pedantic manner. Suffering is real and not something to be handled several steps removed. Yet if we address suffering merely subjectively, without focusing on the objective truths of the Bible, then there is all the reason in the world to despair.”
“If we are being honest, we will have to admit that every one of us, in a hundred different ways and for a thousand different reasons, has been guilty of murmuring “It’s not fair!” when things don’t go as we would like them to. So how do we respond when we, or others who come to us for counsel, are in such a state of despair? In a simple, compassionate, and eminently biblical way, Wayne Mack drives home the point that our only pathway to hope, when times are tough, is in apprehending the character of the just and sovereign God as he has revealed himself in the scriptures.”
“How differently would we live if we believed that every dimension of our lives – from the happy to the tragic to the mundane – were part of a beautiful and purposeful design in which no thread were wrongly woven? As Christians, we believe that great events such as a death or a birth are guided by the hand of God. Yet we drift into feeling that our daily lives are the product of our own efforts. This book brims with penetrating stories and insights that show us otherwise. Our backgrounds, our disappointments, our triumphs, and our beliefs are all part of the intentional and perfect work of the Grand Weaver.”
“How hard it is to see God’s goodness in the face of tragedy and suffering! Feeling abandoned, we cry out to him, question him, turn away from him, perhaps even curse him. It may seem like he’s cheated us – we’ve done our part following him, but he’s let us down. Hurting people must see their circumstances from an eternal perspective.”
“This clear and accessible treatment of key biblical themes related to human suffering and evil is written by one of the most respected evangelical biblical scholars alive today. Carson brings together a close, careful exposition of key biblical passages with helpful pastoral applications.”
“In the last few years, 9/11, a tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and many other tragedies have shown us that the vision of God in today’s churches in relation to evil and suffering is often frivolous. Against the overwhelming weight and seriousness of the Bible, many Christians are choosing to become more shallow, more entertainment-oriented, and therefore irrelevant in the face of massive suffering. In Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, contributors John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, Steve Saint, Carl Ellis, David Powlison, Dustin Shramek, and Mark Talbot explore the many categories of God’s sovereignty as evidenced in his Word. They urge you to look to Christ, even in suffering, to find the greatest confidence, deepest comfort, and sweetest fellowship you have ever known.”
Starting September 12, we will be adding a third service here at Reston Bible Church. New service times will be 8:15am, 10:00am, and 11:45am. If you have attended RBC since our move to Dulles, you know we are experiencing church growth. We believe healthy things grow, and we praise God for His blessings. The challenges we are facing in these “growing pains” are the kind of challenges many churches dream of having. In the video above, Pastor Ed Nalle revisits several of the major goals we had in relocating to this new campus and gives thanks to God for the blessings He has given us. He also outlines the plan for adding a third service, offers ways we can help alleviate parking congestion, and encourages us to engage in worshipful service here at RBC.
Our Youth Ministries – Jr. High (BreakThru) & Sr. High (Gap) – will meet 9:45 – 11:10am.
The Bereans Adult Bible Fellowship will meet at 10:00am in Room 250 (upstairs in the main building).
The Young Adults gathering LINK will meet at 11:30am in Room 240 (upstairs, main building).
QUEST children’s church and nursery programs will continue to be available during all three services. Different content will be offered for those children who are there for two blocks.
For general information on our weekend services, click here.
In our worship services on the 29th of September, I read a prayer and asked you to pray it with me. I’ve had a number of people ask for the text, so here it is. It is adapted from D.A. Carson’s wonderful book on the prayers of Paul, A Call to Spiritual Reformation.
Lord God, I ask your blessing on all who call Reston Bible Church their home, for without your blessing there will be no real benefit. We may have education, but not compassion; we may have forms of praying, but not fruitful adoration and intercession; we may have oratory, but be lacking in unction; we may thrill your people, but not transform them; we may expand their minds, but display too little wisdom and understanding; we may amuse many, but find few who are solidly regenerated by your blessed Holy Spirit.
So we ask you for your blessing, for the power of the Spirit, that we may know you better and grow in our grasp of your incalculable love for us. Bless us, Lord God, not with ease or endless triumph, but with faithfulness. Bless us with the right number of tears, and with minds and hearts that hunger both to know and to do your Word. Bless us with a profound hunger and thirst for righteousness, a zeal for truth, a love of people.
Bless us with the perspective that weighs all things from the vantage point of eternity. Bless us with a transparent love of holiness. Grant to us strength in weakness, joy in sorrow, calmness in conflict, patience when opposed or attacked, trustworthiness under temptation, love when we are hated, firmness and farsightedness when the climate prefers faddishness and drift.
We beg of you, holy and merciful God, that we may be used by you to extend your kingdom widely, to bring many to know and love you truly.
Grant above all that our lives will increasingly bring glory to your dear Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip us with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
As RBC settles in to our new campus in Dulles, VA, several things have changed in the Jr. High Ministry (6th- 8th graders). Now that there are separate Jr. High and Sr. High rooms, both can meet during the 11 am service. With the new location and time also comes a new name – BreakThru.
While the Jr. High years are a key transition time in a teen’s life where they are starting the process of “BreakingThru” from a child to an adult, they are also foundational years in their walks with the Lord. In Jr. High, teens have the capacity to understand the truths of God, but for the most part are not yet being challenged by all the trials of the world. This is why the vision for the Jr. High ministry comes from Matthew 7:24-27. In this passage, Jesus says that anyone who Listens to His words and Acts upon them is like a man who Builds his house upon the rock. That house stands firm even when the winds and the rain come and slam against the house, because it has a solid foundation.
But just like laying the foundation for RBC’s new facility was hard work, laying a solid foundation in our lives is no easy task. You have to cut down all the trees and brush. You have to dig down through the loose topsoil. You have to BreakThru rocks and boulders in the way, till you can lay a level foundation on solid ground. In the same way, we want our teens to Listen to the Word and begin to Act upon it, and in this process they are building a solid foundation for their lives on God’s Word and His wisdom.
If you are a parent of a Jr. Higher (6th-8th graders), we would love for you to join us on September 5th during the 11am service in Classroom 3 in the Youth Building, for a meeting where you will meet other parents, get a clear overview of what we do and why we do it, and experience a little of what your Jr. Higher does each week at BreakThru.
We look forward to helping your teen lay a solid foundation for their lives on the rock of Jesus Christ, so they can be prepared for lives of knowing Christ and making Him known.