I have been most encouraged these days with the many comments from a number of individuals about how well things seem to be going at Bethel, and how there seems to be a sense of excitement, anticipation and energy. I hear comments about all the new families and individuals who are attending or about how people are stepping up to help out, or even about how the “friendliness factor” is on the rise here at the church. I think many people are humbly grateful for the many positive things that are happening at Bethel.
To what can we attribute this? God’s blessing and energizing is, first and foremost, the reason. Secondly, God is using people to work His purposes in and through Bethel. As people who have an honest heart to serve Christ step up to the plate, the upside is going to be incredible blessing for the church. Paul makes exactly this point when he says in Ephesians 4:16:
“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.”
I think another reason for increased health is that we have been able to identify what our “business” is (making disciples) and we have engaged in a healthy process of prayerfully figuring out how we are going to go about doing that. Remember the 3G’s?
That having been said, without putting a fly in the soup or raining on the parade, I think we must be increasingly concerned about the priority of touching a needy world that does not know Christ. If it is true that Bethel is growing toward greater health, it should manifest itself by us becoming a church which touches, ministers, intervenes, cares, and comes alongside people who need Christ. In other words, our increased health should make us a bigger blessing to the community around us who are secularists, agnostics, atheists, Muslims, Hindus, and just plain “religious”. Our health should challenge the many that have a low view of the Church and of Jesus Christ. Our health should spill over and transform a needy world.
If our increased health does not result in cultural transformation, if our light does not shine brighter as a result, then what kind of Church health are we experiencing? What kind of condition are we truly in?
Always interested in your response.