If you ask a friend what they were doing last week they would tell you they were on Spring Break. While that may be true, if you ask a student from the youth group they would tell you they were at Spring Fling.
Last Monday and Tuesday was our annual Spring Fling retreat for the students. Every year our students pack up their sleeping bags, bathing suits and Bibles and head over to Camp Gilead in Polk City for a brief trip of water skiing, trampoline bouncing, cards playing fun. Not only are they playing in the lake and making new friends, but hearing great messages from guest speakers.
This year our speaker was none other than Monty and Kim’s youngest son Jacob Davis. Our theme this year was Friend Zone and Jake did a great job leading our students in discussion and teaching them about meaningful friendships that are rooted in Christ. The first night Jake spoke on the importance of having a foundational friendship with Jesus and what that looks like. From there he guided the students in what it looks like to be a good friend to others and how to choose fruitful friendships in your own life. We looked at different friendships in scripture such as Joshua and Caleb, Naomi and Ruth, David and Jonathan and the paralyzed man who was lowered in through the roof by his friends.
We felt as if Friend Zone was a practical and important topic for our middle and high school students who are daily faced with peer pressure from other people and are trying to figure out who their “friends” are.
It was great to see our students branching out and becoming friends with others within our youth group as well. Our four family groups helped facilitate these friendships and discussions during the retreat and also made for a great “team” aspect during our rec time led by Bryan and Rachel Brown.
When the students weren’t in session with Jake or playing out at rec they were enjoying the lake at Camp Gilead. Our students had a great time swimming in the lake and bouncing on the inflatable water trampoline that is out there. Dr. Phil Abbott as usual, was generous to come out to the retreat with his boat to let our students ski and tube. They had a fantastic time!
Also, our students were fed extremely well during our Spring Fling retreat. Every year Mary Reese and Barbara Weeks (and this year their sister, Donna Hertel) prepare delicious meals for our students and leaders. You know you’re eating a good meal when Mrs. Mary pulls back the foil on her classic and scrumptious mac and cheese!
Overall we are very excited coming back from Spring Fling. We hope that you would join us in praying daily for our students for guidance upon them when it comes to meeting people, sharing the gospel and building lifelong, Christ-centered friendships.
In the past 11 years of being The Rock Community Church we have found ourselves in a variety of different places. Just in case you need a refresher, let me walk you through our journey as The Rock.
In 2004 The Rock was the newest church plant in Lakeland. We opened up our doors to families, but not your typical glass double doors you'd find at the front of a church, but the door of a cute house on Lake Hollingsworth Rd. The home of our pastors Monty and Kim Davis. On Wednesdays, youth would worship in their backyard and families would pack into the living room. It was intimate and our beginnings.
Not too long later, Gentry Morrison Funeral Home on Bartow Rd became our new temporary home. It was an interesting concept, worshipping the One who gives us life in a place where people mourn of the death of loved ones. It worked for us though.
March 2006 was the birth of a huge answered prayer for our church. We moved into Little Rock! To be able to have our own building, a sign by the road and everything was a giant blessing from God. We thrived and grew in Little Rock for several years, hosting our church services on Sunday morning, youth and children's on Wednesday night and several Sunday school classes and Bible studies. During our time in Little Rock we also acquired the Annex, which I suppose will forever be dubbed as the Annex. We weren't done growing yet though...
On March 6, 2011 we held our very first service in Big Rock, where we still worship today. Constructing the beautiful building we hold our worship services in every week was yet another answered prayer from the Lord. However, exciting things keep happening within the life of The Rock Community Church.
Not too long ago, we began praying for new facilities, feeling as if we needed to expand our campus. Let me tell you guys, the Lord's provision for us is insane. Knowing we started out in a backyard and funeral home (of all places) and now have acquired Sam's along with all the other facilities on our campus goes to show how GREAT God is.
The owner of Sam's was wanting to retire and decided to close his shop. With his closing he decided to sell it to The Rock and is extremely excited to see how we use his old space for our church body.
Now owning the entire strip where Sam's was previously located, was a cause for celebration and thanks be to God. On January 31st we held our "Breaking Fast" pancake breakfast to honor the new facility space and to reflect on our past 21 Days of Prayer. We had a great number of people come to dine on pancakes (specially made by the Men's Ministry) and to fellowship with one another. Our very own Dick Brimer led a discussion on our closing of the 21 Days of Prayer and led us all in a special prayer for what is to come for our new building.
As for the future of our new space, nothing has been set in stone just yet. A team will be assembled to brainstorm and pray over ideas of what we feel the Lord is leading us to fill that space with. As for now, we believe the space will provide a perfect spot for fellowship and worship for our families and children. Please join us in prayer on what specifically God is calling for us to put in there.
What a wild ride it has been! From our humble beginnings to our newest addition it truly is amazing to see how blessed The Rock is. God is good and we can't wait to see all the work He does through this new building.
To stay updated on construction and ideas for our new space keep checking back on our blog. We will be writing updates as they happen!