(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.
This TB is an update on some of what is happening at Bethel. By keeping people informed of what is happening, we believe that good information can result in getting good feedback on many of the things that Bethel is up to these days.
This fall we kicked off the season with our third annual Together Again event. This event saw about fifty 50 of our workers and leaders gather for a night of food, connecting and teaching on vision. We ended the evening with various ministry leaders giving updates in their areas before breaking up into prayer groups. There is some great leadership development happening at Bethel these days. Much of it happens in the context of one-on-one relationships. This November, we will be bringing together all of our ministry leaders and small group leaders for another time of prayer, training and networking.
God has been good to Bethel in that we have built some very strong teams at every level of the church. Church is not about one person but about teams of people coming together to help walk out the vision God has given us as a community. While we still have some slots to fill, we have been deeply impressed and are extremely grateful for all those who are pitching in. Teams are key as we seek to bless the city, nation and world.
One of the issues the elders will be working on this fall is doing a S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the church with our staff. Our goal is to identify some key objectives to work towards over the next 3-5 years. While it is important to do 12-month planning, it is also important to look beyond that to where God might be leading us. Once we have had that conversation with the staff, we plan on taking the conversation to a broader audience for some good and much-needed input.
“Falling into” ministry
There are some things you do in leadership that you plan for, anticipate and move toward. There are other things that just happen, that you “fall into”. Actually God orchestrates events and leads us to go places we did not expect - one of the ministries that has evolved over time has been in ministering to people who have been “roughed up” in the local church. Bethel is no exception. Because we are fallen leaders and followers, we don’t always treat people as we should. I know I have not always displayed the fruit of the Spirit in all of my leadership. That being said, it seems that God has been bringing to us some individuals and families that are recovering from being wounded. Pray for Bethel that we would be part of the restorative process God wants to use in peoples’ lives.
This year has seen us kick off the fall with 14 small groups. We believe that community life that happens in small groups is crucial to the overall health of the church. We have a great leadership team in place and are excited with where we can go with this ministry.
As you heard back on September 18th in our Rooted series, partnerships are key at Bethel. It is when we partner with other Christian ministries in town that we can be at our best as a church. Our developing partnership with Salvation Army and Ellel Ministries are key in helping us love the city as God wants us to.
In a city church, we have many different demographics that make up the body. At Bethel, students (RMC, St Lawrence and Queen’s) are part of our identity. We are so grateful for the passion they bring, the questions they raise, the ministry heart they come with, and the leadership they provide. Our Adopt-a-Student program has gotten off to a good start this fall: for the first time an Adopt-a-Student potluck was held to help families meet their student, and 80 people attended. Also Soup-and-a-Bun was kicked off this year, providing a light meal on Sunday nights once a month just before the student-run Praise and Power service.
If you haven’t heard about our international focus this year, then be sure to pick up a brochure on the back table. this coming February and March, we are providing two missions trip opportunities to our international focus country of Honduras. Missions have always been a big part of Bethel and will remain so.
We have several new people and families at Bethel this fall. We don’t view new people as customers but rather as workers that God is bringing to us to help get the job done. Customers belong in a mall, not a church. On October 23rd we will be hosting our Newcomers’ Lunch after the second service in the Upper Room. If you know new people at Bethel be sure to direct them to read more about this event in the bulletin. Connecting is so important, and this luncheon can really accelerate that process.
In order to be part of a healthy church it takes work, prayer and humility. Let me encourage you to:
a. Guard your relationships in the body of Christ. When stuff happens, don’t bury it or gossip about it but “Matthew 18” it. Relational health is so important to being a vibrant church.Once again let me say what an honour it is to serve Bethel with so many excellent leaders and team members. God will do great things, and is doing great things. We are hungry to keep in step with His Spirit.
b. Diligently seek God. It is not up to us or your parents or mentor to make you grow. The bottom line is that we are all responsible to seek God and make sure we are doing those things that nurture our walk with God.
c. Be a person who is prayerfully engaged. What has been so helpful in this area for me is not just praying with others but seeing my 24/7 as an opportunity to pray as God brings needs to my mind. Pray for Bethel, its leadership and ministries. Without God’s grace we are sunk!
d. Continue to see the whole gospel as the priority of Bethel. While we do want to meet physical and emotional needs of our community, we do realize that the most important need that has an eternal dimension to it as we address the spiritual needs of people. We are into good deeds in order to point people to the great deed that God did for us.
e. Build your life on the Word of God. We want to be a church that is biblically measured. That means you and me understanding God’s incredible letter and letting it transform our lives by the Holy Spirit. We are absolutely committed to the objective truth of God’s word.
Got a question? Got some advice you want to give? Talk to me! Love to hear from you.
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact firstname.lastname@example.org