Friday, August 28, 2009

Touching Base! Part 51

Are You Ready? Important Things to Know!

Two Services. With the return of our college and university students, we will be going back to two services on Sunday, September 6th.

Small Groups. This fall it is our desire to see three to four new small groups birthed at Bethel. We have established a team who is overseeing and helping develop this extremely important ministry. Choosing to go deeper with a few can happen in a number of contexts. We encourage you to go deeper and experience community. Our team overseeing this ministry consists of Fred Grendel, Steve Dickey, Doug Boyd and Mark Kotchapaw. Feel free to contact me about this ministry at

Re-Launching our Adopt-a-Student Program. With almost 300 students attending Bethel, we desire to help as many of them as possible connect into community. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer of the church if you are interested in adopting a student this Fall. Details about this ministry will be available in the coming weeks. Contact Fred Grendel for more information,

Figuring Things Out. On Sunday, September 13th at both of our morning services we will be talking about our purpose and three priority areas as a church. We desire that all who attend Bethel understand how we are organized, what key commitments need to be made by all and why we do the things we do.

Ministry Fair. Also on Sunday, September the 13th, remember to pop into the gym between services for the annual Bethel Ministry Fair. Learn what goes on at Bethel (and in the community), how we can help you and how you can help us!

Together. On Sunday, September 13th from 4-6pm, all ministry workers at Bethel along with their spouses are invited to attend this two-hour event. We want to encourage our workers, help them connect with the many others involved in ministry at Bethel, communicate and contribute to all our teams being healthy as we move into our Fall ministry season. Please put this event on your calendar and plan to attend. Contact any of the staff for more information about this event.

Connecting. On September 27th at 4pm, we will be having a one-hour session for new people at Bethel Church who want to find out more about who we are, our purpose and how they can fit in. Following that at 5pm will be a potluck open to everyone at the church. Potlucks are great ways to connect with long-timers at Bethel as well as newbies. A sign-up board will be available in the next several weeks.

Believing is Seeing. On Sunday, October 4th, Dr. Craig Evans, a leading apologist, will be speaking at Bethel to wrap up our three-week Sunday series on Faith and Doubt. He will be speaking on the origins of the Bible. In the evening, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. he, along with another apologist, will be hosting a three-hour Q-and-A along with presenting on some key issues pertinent to our faith. We encourage you not to miss out on this event. It is designed to help Christ followers articulate their faith and to assist seekers as they investigate faith issues.

In addition, if you are the parent of a child or teenager you need to be in contact with the appropriate leader to be informed of events and ministries happening this fall. Our Director of Family Ministries (for nursery up to grade 6) is Jamie. You can contact her at Fred is our Youth Director (for grades 7-12) and he can be contacted at


Touching Base! Part 50

Practising Healthy Community

What’s wrong with this picture? Person A walks up to person B and begins to engage in conversation. In the conversation person A expresses some concerns about person’s B area of responsibility. They talk for a while about the situation and then it becomes clear that person A is not necessarily expressing his concerns but rather represents other individuals and their concerns about person B. Person A is really just the bearer of news.

Do you see what is wrong with this picture? I think there are several things -

A. Instead of the concerned person(s) going directly to person B they send their messenger. While this can be appropriate in some cases, often this illustrates a bigger problem where people don’t deal with issues face-to-face but rather talk to everyone but the right person. When this happens often resolution is replaced by issues going unresolved and being allowed to fester.

B. People miss out on an opportunity to engage. When we don’t go face-to-face with the person with which we may have a concern, the missed opportunity to engage can result in not getting clear understanding of the person’s position, not appreciating their style of leadership and not having the opportunity to build relationship. Problems, challenges, or concerns between two mature individuals can be great opportunities to grow a relationship and seek God together on the resolution.

C. We develop an unhealthy culture where people do not take responsibility for what they say. If people think they can say things without ever having to speak to the key person involved then we can in some ways create an irresponsible culture. They say that “loose lips sink ships”. When we feel we can just talk about so-and-so but never go face-to-face, the tendency is to sink ships!

D. The messenger can misrepresent the person(s) they are representing. Whether intentionally or not, sometimes things can get exaggerated, taken out of context or twisted to fit someone else’s agenda. Like, “Did you hear about the 12 pound pike I caught last week?” (when actually, it was only 7 pounds)

At Bethel, healthy community is important. Because it is important, you can be guaranteed that the enemy will try to inject dysfunction into our body. Let’s be sure to stand on guard, watch the gates and contribute to a healthy vibrant community. You can do that by encouraging people to go face-to-face with people. Encourage people to speak up and out to the right person.