- a casual atmosphere
- friendly people who’ll help you find your way around
- music that glorifies God
- powerful dramas
- high-impact media presentations
- life-changing Bible studies
- messages relevant to your daily life that you matter to God – and to RBC
Raymond Baptist Church is growing in the community and is attracting new members for four key reasons:
First, at Raymond Baptist Church the message is that life in Christ is personally transformational; accepting Christ as one’s personal savior and the change that brings about in a person is our main message. Christ’s gift of salvation for a hurting world is clear at Raymond Baptist, and there are more hurting people than we realize around us, especially in the Raymond area — people hungry for a decent standard of living but also hungry for a life with deeper meaning.
Second, Raymond Baptist reads the Bible deeply and fully, both in worship and corporate study and personally at home. The Bible is still the most exciting, amazing, living story ever told. The Bible does have the power to move minds, not toward itself but toward God, the power to teach discernment, the power to provide the glue that holds Christian bodies together. People searching for faith or trying to go deeper into faith flounder without some sense of how to read the Bible and some daily connection with it. Anyone who has ever read the Psalms repeatedly over the years knows that they speak freshly with each reading.
Third, we practice the priesthood of all believers primarily through Small Group Bible Study discussions held in individual homes on various nights of the week. Our Small Group Ministry is a powerful way to integrate people into the church. If someone is in trouble, has a gift for teaching, or has a question, the whole church knows quickly and is able to rally support, and they, in turn, rally to support others; relationships are formed and strengthened and then people may find their way into membership and into ministry and then into community outreach.
Members at Raymond Baptist Church are active everywhere, from drama to audio visual to missionary support. This participation frees the pastor to lead, preach and teach, drawing on his education and his primary skills. Pastor Kevin McBride’s education and background as an aerospace engineer allow him to bring many resources into his sermons to reach a broad range of people. In his messages, you will see a good balance between the heart and the head. In many churches, the pastor is the sole caretaker of the congregation, the only one who knows and ministers to the suffering in the congregation. As long as this continues, a church cannot grow larger than the body that the pastor can take care of, so church growth is static and people tend to die off or leave as fast as new ones arrive. Raymond Baptist is growing because everyone is involved in caring, teaching and evangelism.
Fourth, the congregation at Raymond Baptist Church meets, accepts and supports people exactly where they are at the moment they walk through the door. Moreover, various ministries exist for people of all ages to provide more connection with people throughout the week – from our Teen Ministry to Women’s Ministry to multiple Sunday morning studies to weekly small group gatherings. On Sunday morning it’s not uncommon to see a racial mixture, bikers, policemen, school teachers and other professional people, a lot of families with children as well as couples and singles of all ages. Some people dress up, many don’t. Some participate in singing; some just sit or stand and listen. Some may proclaim “Amen” while others are reserved. In short, a visitor is apt to immediately connect with someone with whom he/she can identify.
The church has a huge, welcoming foyer with lots of information on its missionaries and opportunities for involvement in ministries. Guests stop at the “Welcome Desk” for a gift (CD of worship, other information, a Raymond Baptist Church cookbook, pen, magnet for the refrigerator, etc.) Visitors’ parking spaces out front and lots of greeters make visitors feel welcome. But the welcome is not just “friendly.” Raymond Baptist Church reaches out to tangibly love and support a vastly varied congregation as well as the community. The weekly prayer list printed in the bulletin creates an intimate sense of the church as a caring family.
The sanctuary and worship service are plain and straightforward. Since the church has long been interested in drama, our new building was designed with a stage that is easily adaptable to plays and a variety of worship styles. Sometimes the pastor shows a brief video. Front screen projection displays words to the worship songs so you don’t have to use a hymnbook, and the sound system makes it possible to hear very well no matter where you sit. The worship style is primarily contemporary with guitar, keyboard, drums, and singers, and most Sundays offer one or two traditional hymns. The sermon is always based on Scripture and always expanded into life-lessons; the message is less about examining what’s wrong with the world and with others, and more about examining what is going on in one’s heart and how that translates into living out one’s faith in the world.
At Raymond Baptist Church, there is absolutely no pressure to join or contribute. Visitors are asked not to contribute when the plate is passed since “financial contribution is part of regular attendance, and guests are not expected to participate.” Special offerings for missions, building fund, deacon’s fund, and shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse at Christmas and other collections are optional as well.