(This article can also we found on our website
at http://www.bethelkingston.com under the tab called "Blog")
This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
I wanted to provide a brief update regarding what the elders’ team is up to at Bethel these days. At Bethel, we believe that leadership matters. It is not our desire to manage or just maintain, but to continue to lay tracks and develop vision so that Bethel can continue to grow, mature and develop key ministries in keeping with that developing vision. Neither is it our goal to be the busiest Church in town or to offer every possible program. Our desire is to see the body empowered and released to be the Church 24/7. I would encourage you to take some time and give us your input on some of the issues raised in this Touching Base.
Transitioning our meetings
If you have ever sat on the board of any kind of organization, then you know that details can bog down teams and get them stuck in the muck-and-mire of administrative detail. As a church leadership team under Doug Boyd’s leadership and now Steve Dickey’s, we have been successfully shifting our agendas to what we believe are more elder-like matters that must be addressed. Bethel currently has some very strong teams operating and that allows the elders’ team to focus in on key issues essential to Bethel’s current health and future development.
We have laid out several months’ worth of meetings to look at key issues. The following is a list of those themes:
- Sept 28th - The elders’ team met at my place and, along with an invited guest, discussed issues related to personal growth in the Christian life (the Big Fat Theological Term is “sanctification”). We spent two hours discussing the kinds of issues people have difficulty gaining victory over. We looked at a number of causes - unforgiveness, unrepentance, generational patterns, and the demonic, that can sabotage the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. We will be bringing this discussion to the Bethel services on December 5th.
- Oct 12th – The theme of our meeting was to discuss our emerging list of values at Bethel. Values are not doctrinal statements, but statements that help us understand how we do ministry and the kind of culture we are attempting to develop. We all agreed that values that are biblically-rooted can help steer the church in building positive Christ-honouring relationships, both inside and outside the gathered church. These values are Team, Excellence, Authenticity, Relevance and Solidarity. If you attended the “Together Again” event then you are already familiar with these values.
- Nov. (date TBD) - Our theme for this meeting is “the Marks of a Disciple”. We believe that the description of the kind of disciple we are attempting to develop is essential. We want , and need, to know if our ministries are helping shape Christ-like people. Our five marks are:
- Heart for God ( Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
- Biblically-Measured (everything by the Book)
- Prayerfully Engaged
- Relationally Whole (family-centered, friendships, teams etc)
- Committed to the whole Gospel (physical and spiritual)
- Bill Duffy will also be joining us that night to talk about the pastoral care ministry at Bethel. Bill is on staff and helps us with visitation and connecting new people into Bethel. We are very encouraged with how many are participating in small groups this fall. We have approximately 130 adults in small groups, and this number does not include the many students who attend Bethel and participate in groups on campus.
- Dec. 14th - The elders’ team will be discussing how we can more effectively nurture mentoring at Bethel. We have often seen the incredible value of one-on-one relationships in the body of Christ. What makes this a challenge is that we cannot “program” mentoring. It must happen through relationships, and from the grass-roots on up. We will also be discussing our next BHAG (Big Harry Audacious Goal) for the church. We believe that God is preparing us to corporately take on an initiative in the downtown core that will help us not just declare the Gospel, but also demonstrate the Gospel in good works. This is a major initiative that is currently in process and will gain more traction at this December elders’ meeting.
- January (½ day retreat) - The elders have started taking a half day each January to work through vision issues. Our retreat agenda is not set but as you can see from the meeting agendas, we will have lots to choose from for our discussion.
- Finally, as an elders’ team we are going to be reading together Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero (the staff is reading this as well). This is a great book that looks at how Christians grow and change and what some of the road-blocks to change are.
While this is tentative, we are planning on introducing our vision in February 2011. We are grateful to the many of you who have participated in the various forums at Bethel to help clarify our emerging vision.
How can you help?
Please pray for each of our elders and their spouses. They are all busy people - Steve and Donna Dickey, Ewen and Sharon Mackenzie, Scott and Simone Wylie, Roy and Meredith Chan, Eric and Mary Prost, Ron and Tooty Dickey, Doug and Maureen Brown and Mark and Rhonda Kotchapaw.
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact firstname.lastname@example.org