New Year, New Shepherding Plan

New Year, New Shepherding Plan


It is a new year, and the elders and deacons of Ridgeview are implementing a plan to show better care to ALL the members of Ridgeview. It is pretty simple, but we think it will help a lot.

We have grouped the membership list alphabetically and assigned each member to a deacon or an elder. We’ll keep these assignments for 3 months, and then rotate the list. So, every Ridgeview member will have an elder or deacon praying specifically for them all the time. And every 3 months, a new leader will be praying for you!

Don’t be surprised if a church leader reaches out to you to find out how you are doing and how they can pray for you or help you. It is our hope that this will help members and church leaders to get to know one another better!

Please keep praying for the elders and deacons as we seek to shepherd the congregation well, with love and humility; for the good of the church and the glory of God.

Note: As always, members are welcomed and encouraged to contact any elder or deacon with their needs. You can find the elder & deacon contact info in the weekly bulletin. Also, each church leader will continue to be responsible to shepherd every member, not only the ones assigned to them each quarter. This plan is an added bit of structure to help us do that better.

The Word of God in 2020

The Word of God in 2020

Word in Season

After the worship gathering on Sunday, we had our annual Members’ Meeting. It was sweet to hear the reports of various ministries and endeavors at Ridgeview. God is at work, and that is an exciting and humbling thing.

I had the privilege of giving a brief Elders’ Report. I shared both the fruit of our time away at the Fall Elder Retreat, and our talks since that time. This year we reaffirmed our unapologetic commitment to the Word of God in every aspect of church life. By God’s grace, in 2020 we will continue to be a church that deeply loves the Word of God; that values expositional preaching and teaching and Bible study and other forms of Word-centered discipleship. We will be a church that seeks to be shaped by God’s Word.

During the report, I read a written response by one of the elders to this commitment we share, and I want to commend it to you if you missed the meeting. John Dockweiler wrote:

Ministry of the Word of God is a means to a compelling end. We are not just about doing endless Bible studies. The Word of God will produce godliness, fruitfulness, and life change through Jesus Christ. We teach the Word of God so that men will be qualified and capable to lead and teach in the churches. We minister the Word of God so that older men will be dignified, temperate, sound in faith, constrained by the Love of Christ and persevering. We minister the Word of God so that older women will disdain idleness and gossip, choosing instead to serve, be reverent, investing in families and teaching young women. Bible study should lead young women to love their husbands, be submissive and teach their children to love God. Being in God’s Word produces young men who exercise self-control, who are purposeful, intentional, and diligent (see Titus 2:1-14).

Overall, it’s my hope and prayer and firm belief that the Word of God will unify us in truth, in love, and in purpose. I believe we will become zealous for good works, eager to give to meet pressing needs, devoted to Christ and one another.

This is going somewhere. This is a compelling vision of godliness, fruitfulness, and real, tangible, life change, to the glory of God.

May God, by his grace, continue his good work in us through his Word; for our good and for God’s Glory.

New Class on Biblical Counseling

New Class on Biblical Counseling


The Ridgeview elders invite you to join us for a 13-week class on Discipleship/Counseling, on Sunday Mornings, 9-10 a.m. (during Sunday School hour) beginning January 12, 2020.

This class is about how to deal with life’s issues and to help others work through difficult things. Topics include: the Sufficiency of Scripture, Comparison of Approaches, Marriage, Child-rearing, Anger, Depression, Sexual Sin, Suffering, and Communication.

In a sense, we are all counselors. Let’s learn how to be good counselors, equipped to provide answers that will help us and the people around us grow into maturity.

The sign-up sheet will be in the Worship Center Lobby this Sunday, or you can sign up online by clicking here (click here).

If you have questions, make sure to talk to Kassy Herbert or Maya Johnson.

New Elder: John Dockweiler

New Elder: John Dockweiler

Announcements Word in Season

We are pleased to announce the appointment of John Dockweiler as an elder of Ridgeview Bible Church. After a process of prayer, a time for congregational input, and a sweeping vote of affirmation from the congregation last Sunday, the existing elders believe that God has led us to John as the one to join the elder team. John has accepted the position.

We will present John to the congregation this Sunday and pray together for him and his ministry. Please be praying for John and the other elders (Jason, Devin, Mike, Rob and Jim) as we seek to humbly lead and lovingly shepherd Ridgeview, for the glory of God and for the good of his people.

John & Ann are longtime members of Ridgeview, and John leads one of the adult Sunday School classes. They ranch east of town, and Ann is a registered nurse. They have one grown son, Cole. You can listen to a sermon by John here [link], and a testimony he shared during a worship gathering earlier this year by clicking here [link].

Member Vote Next Sunday

Member Vote Next Sunday


As we have announced for the last two Sundays, next Sunday (October 6, 2019), immediately following the Worship Gathering, we will have a brief Members’ Meeting to vote on whether to add John Dockweiler to the elder team. If you’re a Ridgeview member please plan to be here to be a part of this important decision. But if you can’t make it, there is still a way that you can vote. You can submit your vote via email.

The official voting question will be as follows and you can cut and paste this into an email:

Full name:_______________

Are you a member of Ridgeview Bible Church?

Yes___  No___  Unsure___

Will you affirm God’s leading through the elders in regards to John Dockweiler becoming an elder of Ridgeview Bible Church?



For your vote to count, please email this to by Sunday morning, October 6, 2019.

Spirit of Truth Media and Notes

Spirit of Truth Media and Notes

Word in Season

I am so thankful for The Spirit of Truth Conference last month. It was a rich time of learning, coupled with great fellowship and wonderful worship. If you missed it, you really missed out. However, all is not lost! We have made all of the audio files available. Including these talks (click on the title to listen):

We are also making Sam Parker’s notes available (click here to download) in case you missed some of the references or want a guide to go along with Sam’s talk.

Also, coming soon, we plan to publish articles answering the Q & A Panel questions. Those will begin to roll out tomorrow morning. Check back tomorrow for Burt Newman’s take on the several questions related to predestination and the Holy Spirit.

An Open Letter to Those Leaving the Church

An Open Letter to Those Leaving the Church

Word in Season

In just a few weeks, many people will leave Ridgeview Bible Church; many who will never again be a part of this church. We face this every year, and it is a bittersweet reality for sure. But it is also the nature of Ridgeview. Along with all the wonderful benefits and joys of being a “college church”, there is a sad side too; the time when we say “goodbye” to many who have been a part of the church for 4 years or more.

The following is an open letter to all who have been a part of Ridgeview and are leaving in May or sometime this Summer. It’s a parting pastoral shot, as it were, and my aim is to encourage you in your next chapter. So here we go:

Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

So the time has come for you to move on. It’s a new chapter in your life, and we are excited for you – excited for what God has next in your journey. Thank you for sharing your time here with us. Thank you for being a part and plugging in and serving others. Thank you for catching the vision to be both a Paul and a Timothy – seeking discipleship for yourself while also seeking to disciple others. We’re grateful for your work here, and trust that God will continue bringing fruit from it long after you have gone.

You might not know this, but when you arrived in Chadron 4 years ago (or 5 or 6 🙂 ) the elders prayed hard and often for you. We prayed that during your short time here you would grow in your understanding of, and confidence in, the gospel. We prayed that you would grow in your walk with Jesus. We prayed that you would come to see church as more than a Sunday thing, but a 24/7 family. We prayed that you wouldn’t let college destroy your faith. We prayed. And here you are, at the other end of this chapter. We hope that your time here has been good for your soul, and good in a lasting way for your life.

If we could say one final thing – one last attempt to encourage you – it would be this: be determined and intentional about finding a new church in your new city or town. Find a church that loves the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, loves God’s people and God’s mission and is centered on God’s Word. Don’t compromise on those essentials.

Having said that, keep in mind that churches look different in different places. I don’t think you should search for a church that looks just like Ridgeview. You need a church that looks like the Bride of Christ. And, by God’s grace, she is beautiful wherever she is found. And while there are no perfect churches, there are many healthy ones. So find a local church that loves God, loves his people and loves his Word.

When you do find a church like that, go all-in. Don’t be afraid to dive right in the deep end. Don’t merely go to church; be the church. We get it – sometimes it is hard to re-engage. But just do it. Roll up your sleeves and get involved. Look hard for a Paul and find a Timothy or two. Serve the body of Christ right away.

Even if you weren’t very involved here, get involved there. No Christian is called to stay on the periphery of church life. We’re all called to be the church.

If you need anything from us, please don’t hesitate to call. But we hope that you won’t need us for very long. And that is not because we don’t love you – it is because we do. We love you enough that we want to see you in a new local church, with new pastors and new brothers and sisters in Christ who will be there for you when you need help.

Thank you for your time at Ridgeview. May you leave here set on making much of the name of Jesus everywhere that you go.

And feel free to visit us from time to time. We will miss you.

In Christ,

Pastor Mike, for the Ridgeview Elder Team

You’re Invited to the Spirit of Truth Conference

You’re Invited to the Spirit of Truth Conference


Dear Christians in the Chadron Area,

We are really looking forward to hosting the conference that begins tomorrow night. It is free and we invite all who are interested to participate. You can expect bible-saturated teaching and wonderful worship. If you don’t attend Ridgeview, we would welcome you to come to the Friday night and Saturday night meetings. We will make the Sunday morning sessions available for download after the conference. That way you can worship with your church family, and still take in all of the conference.

Since October of last year, a group of very dedicated Bible teachers has met weekly, studying the Scriptures, working through deep truths in God’s Word, praying together and planning – all for this weekend. We believe that God will use this time to edify his people and glorify Christ. We titled the event The Spirit of Truth Conference because we will focus all of the teaching on the work of the Spirit.

The aim of the conference is summed up in this sentence: We want to educate, edify, equip and motivate God’s people by focusing on the Work of God’s Spirit as we can see his Work in God’s Word. Every word of that statement is intentional, but that final clause is crucial – we’re not simply weighing in on contemporary views. Instead, we are seeking to know what God’s Word teaches in these matters.

Things kick off at 6:30 PM tomorrow, March 22. The doors will open at 6 so you can come early for a bit of fellowship. At 6:30, we’ll begin with an interactive discussion on the Work of the Holy Spirit in a Person. We’ll do this either in small groups or in one plenary group, depending on the number of participants. Then we will enjoy a time of corporate worship, led by the Ridgeview Worship Team. After that, we’ll hear a sermon on Ephesians 5:18, and what it means to be filled with the Spirit. Then more worship, and we’ll end the evening in prayer.

On Saturday, March 23 at 6:30 PM, we will again enjoy interactive discussion, but this time on the Work of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Then we will come together for sweet corporate worship, followed by a brief sermon to wrap up that theme, focusing on the unity the Spirit brings to the church. Following that, we will have a panel Q & A time. You will be able to text in your questions for the panelists to answer. So bring your tough questions to the second night!

On Sunday morning, March 24, at 9 AM, we will have another plenary meeting, and the theme of this meeting will be the Controversial Works of the Holy Spirit (i.e., the works of the Spirit about which Christians struggle to find agreement); specifically prophecy, tongues, and healings. While these are controversial subjects, you won’t find the tone of this meeting to be controversial at all. We are looking forward to joyfully digging into God’s Word together, led by Samuel Parker, for our edification and encouragement.

Finally, at 10:30 AM, we will begin our worship gathering. During the service, Scott Langemeier will preach from Acts 1:8, showing how the Spirit empowers the church to go on mission for the glory of Christ.

We’ll cap it all off with a church-wide fellowship meal.

We’re trusting God for a wonderful weekend together. I hope you will be a part of it as much as possible. Also, please pray fervently that God would be honored by all that happens this weekend.

For the glory of Christ,

Pastor Mike Johnson


P.S., Complimentary child-care will be available during all scheduled meetings.

How to Study the Bible, Part 2

How to Study the Bible, Part 2

Word in Season

My wife and I experienced the ultimate long-distance dating relationship. We literally lived 7,000 miles apart. To communicate, we wrote letters. It was great; nothing brightened my day more than finding a letter in my mailbox. I devoured every word of those letters. I’d like to think she did the same with my letters, but she isn’t as sentimental as I am. 🙂

Imagine that I took a passage from one of her letters and asked what’s the meaning of this passage to me? For example, she might have said, “This week, it is very warm here. Everything is melting and I think it is the first sign of spring. Oh, how I love spring!”

I could say, Hmm, to me that means that winter is cold and uncaring and without hope. It is symbolic of death and evil. Spring is symbolic of life – of all that is good. To me, this means that good people love spring and hate winter.

That obviously would entirely miss the point of what she actually said. She was expressing her opinions and anticipation of the coming spring, not using the seasons as an allegory for good and evil or a judgment on people who favor a particular season. The words in her letter don’t take on a new or different or special meaning to me – one that is disconnected from her original intent. She said something and meant something and that is how I should understand her words.

Our job isn’t to decide what a passage means to us. Our job is to discover and grasp what the writer actually meant.

The Bible is no different. The writers meant something when they penned it. Our job isn’t to decide what a passage means to us. Our job is to discover and grasp what the writer actually meant. Ultimately, since the Bible is inspired, we are trying to determine what God means by any given passage.

So how do we do that? Last week, Kristen Huls walked us through the first step: observation (click here to read that post). The question answered by observation is what does the text say? She made 10 observations about Hebrews 3:12-14. Among those, she observed that: 1) this passage was written to Christians. 2) The writer sees unbelief as a real and urgent danger for Christians. And 3) that verse 14 serves as a supporting reason for the concern in the passage.

Interpretation: What the text means.

Our next task is to grasp what the text means. We call this interpretation, and the main task in interpretation is to carefully consider our observations so that we can understand 1) how all the parts fit together, see 2) the logic of the argument, and identify 3) the main idea. So let’s do that, still using Hebrews 3:12-14 as an example.

From the observations, I can tell that this passage is a warning to Christians that evil unbelief poses a significant threat. So the occasion of this passage, which we can discern directly from this passage (but also from the wider context) is the danger that unbelief poses to Christians. A Christian can become hardened [to God] through the “deceitfulness of sin”.  And the writer urges action in response to this danger (v.12a and 13), and then he gives a supporting reason for urgently taking action (v.14).

Action: The action the author urges is to “take care”. And then, in verse 13, he gets specific as to what that care looks like: exhort one another every day. Thus (and this is when we get interpretive), we can see that carefully and urgently exhorting one another every day is a way to guard against the danger of unbelief.

Supporting Reason: Then he gives a supporting reason (and we know it is a supporting reason because of Kristen’s 9th observation – the word for) in verse 14: for we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As Kristen also observed, this functions like an if/then statement. The if part is: if we hold our original confidence firm to the end. And the then part is: we have come to share in Christ.

That clearly implies that if we stop holding our original confidence before the end then we have not (at the present time) come to share in Christ. So the way we demonstrate a genuine share in Christ now is perseverance in our original confidence (the gospel) to the end. That really makes the danger of unbelief apparent!

So let’s put those pieces together and state the main idea of Hebrews 3:12-14. Because of the real and present danger that unbelief poses to Christians, the writer of Hebrews urges Christians to exhort one another every day in order to help each other continue holding on to our original confidence, and thereby show that we have truly shared in Christ.

So clearly, we can see here that a means of Christian perseverance is Christian exhortation. Wow!

In the next post, we will answer the final question: how do I respond? Stay tuned!

Resolve to Read the Bible in 2019

Resolve to Read the Bible in 2019

Word in Season

It is impossible to overstate the importance of reading the Bible. The Bible is a gift from God to us. And through his Word we learn what God is like, what we are like, the meaning and purpose behind everything, and the one true hope we can have in this life and forever. The Word of God is the primary means that God uses to communicate to his people. In the Bible we have the very words of God!

That’s a pretty amazing book on your shelf (or app on your phone)! No wonder the Psalmist described God’s Word as sweet like the honeycomb and more precious than gemstones. You know how he came to value the Word like that? The same way you and I will come to see God’s Word as precious; and that is NOT by leaving one’s Bible on the shelf!

So why not resolve to read the Bible in 2019? I think there are two big obstacles many Christians face when approaching the Bible. First, the Bible is a big book and it can be hard to know where to begin. And second, where do you keep reading in the Bible – what do you read next – say, when you finish one book of the Bible? Those two obstacles are exactly why a Bible reading plan can be so helpful. The reader can simply follow along each day, reading the assigned readings. It is a fantastic habit to form!

The plan I favor is called the 5 Day Reading PlanI like this one because it 1) works through the Bible chronologically, 2) has daily readings in the New and Old Testaments, and 3) is only 5 days a week. I can use the other two days to read other passages in the Bible or catch up if I missed a day during the week. For me, it is the easiest plan to stick with all year long.

As the New Year approaches and you’re thinking about the adjustments you want to make in your life in 2019, consider resolving to read the Bible. If you have never read the Bible cover to cover, you will find this a hugely rewarding endeavor. But even if you have read it many times, the Word is precious beyond measure. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I sure wish I didn’t spend all that time reading the Bible last year.” 🙂

Download the plan here: