J-Term

It is that season again where we start thinking about a new year, a new opportunity before us to Pursue Jesus. At Riverwood, we want to come alongside you and help launch you into a year where we Grow Together in Christ. There are areas in all our lives where we get stuck. We have tried to identify some of those areas and offer short-term courses and studies that will help us get a jump start on healthy growth in 2019. The short-term courses are J-Term, and we are challenging you to lean into a year of being transformed.


By the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2 ESV


The heartbeat of the gospel message is that in Christ we have new life. J-Term is a celebration of newness, an invitation to embrace the resurrected life of Christ. Here is your invitation to grow in your spiritual, emotional, physical and relational health and get ready for a year of growth.


Course descriptions and additional information is available below. Please note that materials needed for courses will need to be purchased by the participant unless otherwise noted.


Register here for courses and child care.

Sundays beginning January 6


Financial Peace University

  • 11:15 am | Led by Dave and Beth Wright/Reubin and Robin Close
  • A nine-lesson, money management class created by Dave Ramsey. Walk through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future and much more. 
  • Interested but not sure you want to commit? Attend the preview class on Sunday, January 6. Nine week course begins January 13. 
  • Cost is $119. Purchase materials here.


The Kindness Challenge

  • 11:15 am | Led by Nick and Marjie Billock/Jon and Hannah Young
  • For six weeks attendees will learn about and experience the transformational power of kindness. You will learn the ways you are negative without realizing it, how targeted kindness will transform your marriage and how to be kind when you really don’t feel like it. Are you up for the challenge?
  • Materials that will be provided:  30-Day Kindness Challenge: Small Group Study Participant's Guide.  Cost is $20 per couple.


Designing Your Life

  • 6:00 pm | Led by Ryan Smith
  • Explore who God made you to be, what he wants you to do with your life and how to get there. Maybe you’re a young person trying to decide where to begin/what to do. Maybe you’re in the middle of your career and you’re wondering if/how to make a change. Or maybe you’re nearing retirement and trying to decide what’s next. Regardless of your stage in life, if you’d like to get more out of your current life - or redesign a whole new life - this course is for you. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work as together we LEARN and APPLY new tools to help us in the life design process. 
  • Materials Needed: Designing Your Life by Bill Nurnett and Dave Evans. 


Emotionally Healthy Relationships

  • 6:00 pm | Led by Pastor Jeff and Alison Haynes
  • Emotional health, Christian maturity and healthy relationships are inseparably linked. We will look at the keys to personal and spiritual growth that can happen only through addressing unhealthy roots in our lives. We will look at the spiritual renovation that can happen only through God’s transforming grace. We will lay the foundation of becoming holistically healthy in our lives and relationships. 
  • Any needed materials will be provided during the course.


How to Study Your Bible

  • 6:00 pm | Led by Pastor Jon Ashley
  • One of the most important skills you can develop as a follower of Jesus is how to study your Bible. The Bible is our source for understanding who Jesus is and how to live life his way. But at times the Bible isn’t always clear or easy to understand. In this course, we’ll walk through a method of studying the Bible that will help you make sense of what it is saying and help you connect God’s word to your life. You’ll walk away with a practical set of skills and resources that you can easily use in any study context. Additionally, we’ll talk about how to be a student of the word in personal and group contexts. This class is open to anyone who wants to grow in their grasp of God’s word.  
  • Any needed materials will be provided during the course. Optional book resource: How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth by Gordon D. Fee. 


Tuesdays beginning January 8

Child care is available for children 5th grade and younger.


God Space: How to have Spiritual Conversation Naturally

  • 6:30 pm | Led by Olivia Noland
  • This class is for people who want to improve the quantity and quality of their spiritual conversations with unbelievers in natural and doable ways. We will use Doug Pollock’s book God Space and Scripture, as a guide for conversation.
  • Materials Needed: God Space by Doug Pollock.


Kiss Me Like You Mean It

  • 6:30 pm | Led by Pastor Cole and Joyce Tawney/Nick and Marjie Billock
  • Dive into the area of marital passion. For many the passion of their marriage has waned over time. Without passion between a wife and husband, there are implications that affect many areas of our daily lives and, yes, even marital intimacy. This course will include conversations about theology from the Song of Solomon as well as real and honest dialogue about a topic that can bring so much frustration and struggle as two lives become one.
  • Materials Needed: Kiss Me Like You Mean It by Dr. David Clarke


The Basics

  • 6:30 pm | Led by Josh Miller
  • Are you curious about the basics of the Christian faith or are you interested in a refresher on the foundations of Christianity? This class is an adaptation of the 8th Grade Basic Training course that has been modified for J-term. The Basics is designed to be instructional in Christian theology and practical in Christian lifestyle and will cover the essentials of the Bible, theology, Jesus Christ, the gospel, prayer and the church. Participants will think critically, gain confidence and be challenged to confirm or reconfirm their faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Any needed materials will be provided during the course.

Wednesdays  beginning January 9

Child care is available for children 5th grade and younger.


Christianity in a Post Truth World

  • 6:30 pm | Led by Pastor Jeff Haynes
  • Explore the slippery slope of the truth towards personal preference. We will look at philosophies and paradigm shifts that have led us to this point and how to respond with a soundly biblical worldview and perspective. We will learn not only how to find the truth but also how to accept and embrace it.
  • Any needed materials will be provided during the course.


Parenting Beyond Your Capacity

  • 6:30 pm | Led by Ted and Sandy McKown
  • Because being a parent can be overwhelming, this course will provide the ability to learn skills beyond what you believe capable. Topics include inviting others to invest in your children, creating a nurturing environment and building a sense of purpose in your kids.
  • Materials Needed: Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family to a Wider Community by Carey Nieuwhof and Reggie Joiner.


The Gospel and Race

  • 6:30 pm | Led by Pastor Jon Ashley and Pastor Lon Snyder
  • The history of Christianity and the challenge of racial tensions has been mixed. Today, evangelicals want to see an end to racial strife and tension, and many take actions toward that end. However, those efforts often do more to perpetuate racial tension and division than they do to tear it down. In this course, we will discuss the realities of racial tension today, trace the history of evangelical theology and racial tensions and discuss the implications of the gospel on how we think and act toward racial reconciliation.
  • Materials Needed: Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith.


Thursdays beginning January 10

Child care is available for children 5th grand and younger.


A Biblical Perspective on the Book How Not To Die

  • 6:30 pm | Led by Pastor Jeff Haynes
  • Balance physical health with biblical health. We will look at “offering our bodies as living sacrifices holy and please to God” through the lens of Dr. Michael Greger’s viral book How Not to Die and work to apply the important points of the book to a biblical world perspective.
  • Materials needed: How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger.


Instruments int he Redeemer's Hand

  • 6:30 pm | Led by Norm and Patricia Biltz
  • Explore how God can use each of us – all the parts of his body – as instruments of growth for all. God uses people, even those in need of growth themselves, as instruments of change in others.
  • Materials needed: Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand by Paul David Tripp.


When Helping Hurts

  • 6:30 pm | Led by Pastor Lon Snyder and Beth Grootegoed
  • Explore how to help the poor without hurting them. The book When Helping Hurts offers a different framework for thinking through poverty and its alleviation. Rather than simply defining it as a lack of material things, this course will address the root of the issues: broken relationships with God, self, others and the rest of creation.
  • Materials needed: When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert.



Register here for courses and for child care.