Saturday, October 4, 2008

Touching Base! Part 1

For the next several weeks, I will be writing a short update on what I‘m learning as I settle into life here at Bethel. I think it is important that I share some of my insights with you so that we all share the same current reality, and so that you can make comments and add to my growing understanding of the Bethel culture. Please feel free to send me your comments or leave a comment here!

Trust is being restored.
I’m sure that all of us have experienced a relationship where trust was broken, fractured or totally destroyed. As many of you know the restoration process takes time and lots of intentionality. Even then, sometimes trust is hard to recapture. Trust is an essential part of any relationship. It is key to a healthy functioning church. Without it all kinds of complexities emerge…

· we make policies to control rather than to empower

· we harbour deep suspicions of each other (especially leadership)

· we tend to see others through a skewed lens

· we create unhealthy “camps” in the church (the “us/ them” mentality)

· we allow old wounds to fester and as a result nurture an unhealthy spirit

· we use words that at times create walls instead of building bridges

One of the things that I am learning at Bethel is that we are walking through a process of building trust. One of the ways we are attempting to do this is by growing in transparency as leaders. This involves engaging in dialogue on issues, informing the church body on relevant issues, and modeling transparency in our teaching. It also requires a concerted effort by all to deal with the root causes wherever and whenever we see a lack of trust immobilizing the body. We all need to be builders of trust! Bethel is on a great journey and is in a good season. Let’s all realize our part in helping Bethel grow into the purposes God has for her!

Mark Kotchapaw

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