Faith Needs Friends

A Message from Ronda


Recently, I met with Nick and Shari Solis, a couple who have been leading in our NextGen ministry for 10+ years. Nick and Shari are transitioning their leadership roles to another Impact TEAM here at Believers. The minute we sat down, I got soggy. You know what I mean, it was all I could do to hold it together. All the memories of doing life, ministry and leadership together flooded my thoughts. As I began to celebrate them, I recalled a conversation I had just had with my oldest son the week prior to the meeting where he said “Mom, when I get married, one of the most important people I want to invite to my wedding is Nick Solis. He’s been so influential in my life and has always been there for me.”

And then I shared a time when my second son who is now 16 was going through a rough patch in his early teen years. He’s usually open with Ray and I but this time, he needed someone else.  I reminded Nick that I pulled him aside on a Wednesday night at 4Real and said “Hey, can you take a few minutes with my kid, he needs you.” With no hesitancy at all, Nick sat with him, listened to his heart, spoke into his situation, and prayed with him. Ray and I are so grateful for the Solis family and their influence that helped shape the continued faith journey our boys are on.

But you know there are more, right? Nick and Shari are two of the many team members that serve in NextGen who know that being RELATIONAL is key to reaching the next generation. Maybe you have had a similar experience. The kind where you are so grateful that someone else saw the beauty and wonder that you see in your child; or your student finally opened up and shared a struggle you had been praying they would for a long time. These leaders are FOR you and FOR your kids! Andy Stanley said in a recent email that “FAITH is best shaped alongside other people. Faith needs friends. “

This is why in Believers Kids Preschool our team creates environments that help Preschoolers know that they are loved. Jesus loves them and wants to be their friend forever.

In Believers Kids Elementary, kids get to learn (alongside their leaders) in large and small group settings what friendship with Jesus looks like. Modeled through personal stories, and interactive activities, they learn how they too can live out their faith by being love to others even when it’s hard! (Games and fun included!)

In 4Real, our student team creates a safe space where teens can discover God, build relationships, and find purpose through large group Bible teaching, worship, and a small group community that focuses on what it means to live out a personal and growing relationship with Jesus every day!

Who wouldn’t want to experience that!

Psalm 78:4b says “…we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

So, if you have kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, friends, bring them! This summer is loaded with lots of opportunities to build connections. Connections lead to relationships that lead to community, and this community, points them to Jesus!

To check out our NextGen move-up schedule, click here.
To register for a 4Real Student Summer Fun Pass Event, click here.

Want to be a part of impacting the lives of the next generation with us? Sign-up here.
We’ll see you on Sunday as we continue our series Unquestioned Answers.

Ronda Parin

The High Dive

The High Dive

After several weeks of cruddy weather, this past weekend finally reached temps that allowed us to head to the pool! We have been part of a small private pool for many summers, and the best way I can describe it would be identical to the pool in the movie “The Sandlot.” We enjoy soaking in the sun, throwing the football around, and floating in our cheap inflatables. However, the best part of our pool (no, it’s not Wendy Peffercorn) is the 10ft high dive!

It is rare nowadays with insurance and stipulations for a pool to have a high dive, but ours does! Throughout the years, I have watched each of my three kiddos go through many stages of comfort with the high dive:


1.         Frozen Fear: This includes staring at others jump off the high dive for HOURS and using self-talk like “How bad could it really be?”, “It’s really not that high…” and “Okay, that kid jumping is WAY younger than me!”.

2.         The Ladder: They have now worked up the confidence to wait in the long line, only to get halfway up the ladder, panic, and climb back down.

3.         Don’t Look Down: After hours of climbing up the ladder and then back down, they have reached the top. They stand with their toes on the board’s edge and inevitably look down. This is the make-or-break part. You can feel the energy in the pool begin to build. With a packed pool that was filled with shouting and laughter just moments ago, you can now only hear the slight sound of someone peeing in the pool! The chant starts very soft at first but begins to build as every voice in unison screams, “Jump, Jump, Jump.” And then….

4.         The Leap: With fists clenched and knees bent, they take one last deep breath and push off the board. The pool erupts with cheers as the first-time jumper descends and their feet hit the water. Immediately the cheers turn to muffled soundwaves as they reach the bottom of the pool…silence. They push back up towards the surface. As they break through, gasping for air, you hear the thunderous applause from the excited crowd!

Mission accomplished!

It’s been a long time since I have feared the high dive. As I watched kids and adults doing flips, cannon balls and dives into the pool, it hit me. Some circumstances in my life currently have me in the “frozen fear” stage. I don’t even want to entertain the idea that it might be time to unpack my feelings or deal with a relationship I need to mend, set boundaries around, or cut off. Getting to the “ladder” stage is daunting right now!

Where are you today? In your current season of life, what stage of the dive are you living in? I have been resting in Psalms 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Can we all agree that today we will make one healthy goal that gets us closer to the next stage? When those healthy goals become habits, we’ll soon find ourselves ready to jump right into the water without fear because we have seen the evidence of God repeatedly working in our lives. Take some time to be alone with God today. Just sit and listen. He will show up.


Looking For Hope

A Message from Heather

I have been wrestling with what to share in this week’s Outlet article. I’ve had something pressing on my heart, but for some reason have been resistant to share it. Then, a couple days ago, I heard author Rebekah Lyons say, “Transparency is sharing where you’ve been, vulnerability is sharing where you are.”
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A Lasting First Impression

Hey everybody,

If you have been following the Made for Monday’s Podcast recently, you will know that Bonnie and I have been working to prepare our little apartment (mother-in-law suite) for the short-term rental market. We started the work at the end of March and just this week finished up the final details to put it out there. The amount of work that it has taken has been surprising. We had to get everything right with the space, of course. We have painted and cleaned. We’ve purchased furniture and supplies like towels, washcloths, and a coffee pot. We even did some pressure washing and landscaping around the entrance to the apartment. All of that work to make a good impression on the guests staying there. All of the work was necessary because we know that if a guest has a great experience, they will give us a great review which will encourage others to book the space.

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The Price Is Right

Hey everybody,

I’ve always thought it would be amazing to be on The Price is Right and hear: “Jamey Stuart, c’mon down, you’re the next contestant on the Price is Right!” And not long after that hearing him say, “A Neeewwww Caaarrrr!”

Winning a new car, what could be better?

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A Church Potluck

Hey everybody,

I’m not 100% sure about this, but I think the last time I attended a church potluck was when Bonnie and I left for France as missionaries…back in 1998!! I think it’s past time to bring it back, don’t you?  Read More

How He Loves Us

Hello to all Outlet readers!

As we jump into the topic for today, I want to ask a few questions to get us started. When you think of God, what do you picture? Is it someone that delights in or is disappointed in you? What do you think God feels toward you when you haven’t been praying or reading the Bible as much as you’d like or are stuck in some sin? When you’re doing “the right thing,” do you ever think that God loves you more than when you’re not? Before continuing to read, please take a few moments to pause and think through your responses. Read More

What’s Next?

Hey everybody,

Easter weekend at Believers was amazing! Our Good Friday service was incredible. The night of worship and communion was so extraordinarily beautiful. The time of reflection, prayer and communion was powerful and the Lord’s presence was certainly felt. I know of at least two people who came to faith in Jesus on Good Friday. That makes Good Friday pretty GREAT! Read More

A Groovy Easter

Hey everybody,

When was the last time you learned something new? If we’re all being transparent here, thanks to the mindless hours I spend scrolling on my phone – through what seems like an infinite number of reels – I feel like I learn something new almost every day. This question is probably easy for most of us to answer because of the amount of content – social media, podcasts, TV, etc. – that we consume on a regular basis.  Read More

Have You Decided?

Hey everybody,

It’s hard to believe, but the first quarter of the New Year is coming to a close. Can you believe it? 25% of 2023 is already behind us! It wasn’t that long ago that we were making decisions about what we wanted this year to look like, or stated more accurately, making decisions about what WE wanted to be like this year. Three months in is a good time to ask yourself, “How am I doing with following through on my decisions?”

So. How are you doing?
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