By Erin Bird,

For a majority of cultures around the world, people don’t think of themselves individualistically (as many Americans do), rather they view life collectively. Their identity is found in their family, tribe, nation, or race. For instance, if someone in South Korea takes a job, they don’t just wonder “is this the right job for me?”, but rather “is this the right job for my family and people group?”

The ancient cultures in the Bible are more like the collective cultures of today than the individualistic culture of the good ol’ U.S. of A. Which means, when it comes to the concept of discipleship (aka spiritual growth) in Scripture, it can and should be heavily impacted by relationships.

Throughout the New Testament, there are multiple allusions to the idea that church is a family (such as Ephesians 2:19 and 1 Timothy 5:1-2), and healthy families help each other. This is why we will be taking the next two Sundays to look at how we, as a church family, can help one another grow into Christlikeness by intentionally getting into groups.

Growth Groups at Riverwood
Our Growth Groups will be relaunching the week of Sept 9 (including our new Boys Youth Growth Group and Girls Youth Group Group (grades 5 and up)). If you haven’t been part of a group in the past, now is the PERFECT time to get in one. Yes, I know life is busy (I know from personal experience!), but getting into a Group is worth it. And if your schedule just absolutely does not allow you to get into a Growth Group, then start one! Ask a friend from Riverwood to meet for breakfast before work or on Saturdays to get into the Scripture together and pray for one another.

If you want to see your spiritual growth accelerated, then do what you can to intentionally meet with others for the purposes of being discipled by God’s Spirit through God’s Word. You won’t regret it!

Calendar Reminders for Riverwood Partners (Members) 
Before I let you head to the bottom of this email for this week’s News, I want to remind those of you who are Riverwood Partners that we will be holding a Partners’ Meeting on Sunday, Sept 16 to discuss the proposed church constitution and meet our Elder candidates. (If you did not get your copy of the drafted constitution, be looking for it in your mailbox.) And if you are NOT a Riverwood Partner yet, then sign-up for Riverwood 101, taking place on Saturday, Sept 8.