Growth in New Directions
By TR Robertson
When Adam Bloch began his ministry at Ridgeview Christian Church in 2013, the congregation had just gone through a tough year. Ridgeview’s longtime minister had retired, 13 church members had passed away, and morale was low. A hiring committee member told Bloch, “We can be a good place for someone to get a few years of ministry experience before they go somewhere else.”
“Being in my first full-time ministry,” Bloch said, “I’m not sure if I provided any stability for a while, but after a few years Ridgeview started to grow.”
Most of the growth, Bloch said, has been in young families and college students. “We set out to purposefully attract young families, with the idea that families with children attract families with children.”
Bloch’s wife is an experienced children’s minister. They expanded the junior worship program to a full-service program and changed its location from the dark church basement to the church gym.
Bloch credits a new youth minister with leading the subsequent charge to completely redo the children’s areas.
“The junior worship was moved back to the basement, but only after walls were demolished, space was opened up, new drywall went in, and all of the children’s classrooms received fresh coats of paint with bright colors and murals,” he said. “The nursery has been updated, then moved, and then moved again.”
Ridgeview also benefitted from a major highway project. The city bought and demolished about 40 neighborhood properties adjacent to the church property and turned them into a new highway extension that connected Ridgeview Road to Interstate 44. As part of that project, the city bought the church’s parking lot property, and a new lot was built on a different side of the church building. As a result, the new highway extension delivers travelers directly to a new major retailer across from the church . . . and to the entrance to the new church parking lot.
The congregation has undergone a capital campaign to reconfigure the building. The front of the building—including a new foyer and fellowship space—will now face the parking lot and the incoming traffic. In anticipation of future growth, they’ve also converted the old gym into a larger multipurpose worship space.
“God has blessed Ridgeview Christian Church with a good location, with growth, and with energy,” according to the RCC website. “We are excited for what God has in store and don’t want any of our facilities to stand in the way of more people calling on the name of the Lord.”
TR Robertson is a freelance writer living in Columbia, Missouri.