Knowing What We Are All About
If you were to ask the average Bethelite, “What is this place all about?” do you think they would know what to answer? Do you think the average church attendee knows what our purpose is and how we intend to fulfill that purpose? My bet is that the majority would not be able to answer either question.
One of our goals is that everyone that calls Bethel their home church would be able to not only answer these questions but also be committed to living out the answers.
What is our purpose? Our purpose is to Love God Passionately and Serve Others Significantly. We believe that this is a good summary of Matthew 28:19-20. This statement is simple and memorable and needs to be on the lips and in the hearts of all who attend. This sums up the task that Jesus gave every church - to make disciples. This is our business, our priority and our focus!
How do we intend to fulfill our purpose? We must be able to articulate this answer clearly. Would you know how to respond? It is one thing to say we have a purpose, but if we don’t understand what loving God passionately and serving others significantly looks like in our lives personally, then we are dead in the water.
We believe that in order to fulfill our purpose we must encourage, challenge and lead people to experience significant growth in three areas. We call this “The Big Picture of Discipleship.” The big picture is more clearly defined by our 3 g’s.
• Growing in Intimacy with God (GG) points to our upward focus, and it characterizes the most important relationship of a disciple. We are committed to ensuring that when people attend various ministries at Bethel, such as our Sunday morning service (in the auditorium), they will be drawn into a more intimate relationship with God. David penned these words in Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” Our desire is to ensure that people from every age and stage of life come away from a Sunday morning worship experience with a deeper understanding of what it means to walk with God.
• Growing in Intimacy with Others (GO) points to our inward focus. For a disciple to grow, the next most important relationship is their relationship with others. God’s desire is to use the Body of Christ to transform, minister and build up each important part. “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”Ephesians 4:16) We must go deeper with each other. Our small groups are one venue that contributes to this aspect of growth. However, we also realize that growing deeper with others may look different for families, teenagers, college students and seniors. We are excited to see these areas of GO strengthened as new initiatives are being developed.
• Growing in acts of Service (GS) - points to our outward focus. When we as Christ-followers are intimate with God and relationally intimate with others, we find ourselves living with our cups full. When people are full, the natural tendency is a desire to serve. Check out Acts 2:41-47 and you will see in verse 45 an attitude, lifestyle, a higher code that was one of their hallmarks - they gave! They saw themselves as a river, not a reservoir, and from this vantage point they powerfully impacted a community, city, nation and world.
So, do you now know what to say if asked “What’s that church you go to all about?” More importantly, are you growing in these three key areas (3g’s) and consequently Loving God Passionately and Serving Others Significantly? As we do, we will radically transform the culture and the world in which God has called us to live.