During this past weekend (Nov 29) we had a mini retreat at Ewen Mackenzie’s home. The purpose of our meeting was to look at how Bethel plans to fulfill Christ’s command of making disciples. Bethel has several great programs, we have many great workers and leaders but it is extremely important that all our efforts go into prioritizing what the church should be doing - making disciples (Matthew 28:19,20). If lives are not being transformed to be more Christ-like, then we seriously need to question what we are doing and how we are doing it.
During the mini retreat we discussed:
- How our own lives have experienced transformation. What have been the factors that have contributed to our growth?
- What a disciple looks like.
- What the process might look like at Bethel regarding a disciple-making ministry.
- How important it is that we execute well. Sometimes we can over-promise but under-deliver. Elephants should be eaten one bite at a time.
- The importance of handling change well. We need to be highly sensitive to how people process change and we need to take time to help people work issues through.
- The value of establishing true authentic community at Bethel. We all agreed that when we looked at our own lives, relationship was a key factor in our growth.
- The importance of not being a “busy” church but a “purpose-directed” church.
We would very much appreciate your prayers as we continue to move along in this process. We have another meeting scheduled this Tuesday (Dec 9) and another retreat scheduled for January 2009. We are committed to leading Bethel into becoming a community where people are transformed by the power of Christ and live contagious lives every day of the week, proclaiming and demonstrating Emmanuel- God is with us!
For the elders’ team,
P.S. Feel free to ask us questions concerning this process. We learn from the dialogue. In the New Year you will have opportunity to contribute to the discussion. Many of you have already.