Thursday, January 21, 2010

Touching Base! Part 70

Update on the Elders and Staff Team
(This article can also we found on our website at under the tab called “Blog”)

I wanted to update you on what two key teams have been up to lately at Bethel. As you may know, Bethel operates on the premise that ministry is a team challenge. We go farther and think smarter as a team. Team helps us stay in ”accountable” relationships, and allows us to complement or balance one another, since no one person has the total gift package.

The Elders’ Team

This past Saturday (January 9th) the elders’ team met for a half day (1-5pm) to think, pray and discuss the issue of Bethel’s vision. As a Church we have identified our purpose statement (which answers the “what” question) - Loving God Passionately and Serving Others Significantly. This is rooted in the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19, 20.

We also have developed our 3g’s which help us define and measure success in keeping with the Great Commission (Growing in intimacy with God, Growing in intimacy with others, Growing in acts of service). If you think about it, every church that seeks to honour Christ as the Head, should have a purpose statement that is derived from the Great Commission. They should also seek to develop ministries in keeping with that purpose.

Vision is different. Vision, or as some might call it, “the Kingdom Concept”, answers questions like “What is our greatest opportunity to have an impact on the kingdom?” and “What is it that God has uniquely gifted us for that will extend His Kingdom?” and “What kind of future are we pursuing?”

Three issues that affect vision are resources, context and history. Every church has different resources and capabilities. Many churches are surrounded by unique needs and opportunities. In addition, every Church has a unique history of why it was established in a particular area. You will remember that Bethel was planted in 1874 as a new church on the outskirts of town, to reach people in that area. In the 70’s and 80’s there was a renewed commitment not to move out to suburbia, but to stay in the downtown core.

As your elders, we take seriously our responsibility to identify, with absolute clarity, the vision that God has for Bethel. We want a clear and concise statement so that we can strategically build a ministry with that vision
in sight. We believe that God has a unique work for Bethel. The team will be meeting again on Saturday February 6th for another half-day retreat. We then will be taking the conversation to small groups, leadership teams and other groupings of people in the church. It is our prayerful desire to have a clear and compelling statement identified by June of this year. All are welcome to engage in the process.

Please pray for your elders’ team as we provide important oversight to the Body of Christ.

1 Peter 5:2
Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—
not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be;
not greedy for money, but eager to serve;

Your elders are Roy Chan, Stephen Dickey, Eric Prost, Doug Boyd, Doug Brown, Ewen Mackenzie, Scott Wylie, and Mark Kotchapaw.

The Staff Team
Last Tuesday (January 12th) the staff team (Carmen, Fred, Jamie and myself) got away for a whole day retreat at IAWAH. The staff team is responsible to provide leadership in particular areas of ministry where the purpose and 3g’s are developed. We work under the authority of the elders’ team who are accountable to the congregation. At Bethel we believe that every person is gifted and wired for ministry, so it is not our goal to keep ministry all to ourselves but get as many into the “game” as possible. This is in keeping with Ephesians 4.

We took the first part of the day to discuss how each of us is growing in the 3g’s. We believe that having healthy staff members leads to having healthy ministries. When the leadership is sick, the whole organization can be sick. It is our job as staff to keep each other accountable in our walk with God, in our walk with others and in the development of our skills and resources God has given us.

The second part of our day was spent in looking at various ministries that come under our 3g’s and are ministry initiatives that we share. For example our Winter Fun Day (Feb 21st), Membership Class (March 7th), a volunteer appreciation initiative in April. We also discussed the need for a new secretary once Tara leaves us this spring. This will go to the Personnel Team for them to provide leadership in the hiring process.

We concluded our day with a discussion in general terms of important dates and ministry initiatives from June to December. Before we jumped in our cars and headed back to town we went for a walk in the woods, something that not all of us enjoyed. Guess who doesn’t like walking in the winter wonderland?

As I have said before, for many decades now Bethel is a Church that has been meeting unique needs in the downtown core. Each generation of leadership is responsible to build on much of what the previous generation has started and to understand the current times and to keep in step with the Holy Spirit.

Don’t just pray for the two teams I have mentioned but for the many teams at Bethel. Without Spirit-led teams, we won’t be the Church God wants us to be.


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