26 Jan 14
(You can find a recording of this sermon here.)
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.
If you attend Bethel Church then you need to read this. Why? We believe that every person that attends Bethel needs to be “in the know”, aware of what is happening. That way you can know where to jump in, how you can prayerfully support the ministry and you can see the progress (and sometimes the lack of progress) we are making as we move forward into the emerging vision. Being part of Bethel means caring about the vision, and contributing to make it happen. My prayer is that this brief update will do just that!
SPIRITUAL LIFE SURVEY
As you now know, 178 willing participants (we did not have to hold anyone at gunpoint to do this) filled out the survey. We are now in the process of interpreting the data. How is this happening?
1. The Elders’ team has met and has begun to review the feedback and compile a list of observations.
2. The staff team met this past week and reviewed the feedback, adding to the elders’ observations.
3. A team of people from Bethel are in the process of being recruited to do a 2-hour round table as we review the feedback. If you would like to be on this team please contact me at email@example.com
Once we have assessed the feedback, we will begin the process of asking ourselves two key questions, “ Now what?” and “So what?” The data will be used to shape our ministries, identify new priorities, and evaluate existing ministries. There is no sacred stone at Bethel that cannot be turned over and examined. Please pray for this process.
You can download and see the full survey reports by going to the Admin Page on the Bethel website.
The elders continue to meet monthly for the purpose of prayer and strategic planning that is addressing the emerging vision at Bethel. One of our key objectives this year has been to drill down deep in the area of understanding discipleship. We have done this through watching video segments at several of our Fall meetings, discussing discipleship, praying into this issue and conducting the Spiritual Life Survey at Bethel. At our January meeting we were thrilled to be able to review the data from the survey and talk about how discipleship is unfolding at Bethel, road blocks and key areas to address. Often when assessing if a church is successful, leaders fall back on the three b’s- Bucks, Bodies and Buildings. While all three are necessary they can serve as faulty means to identify if a church is really making disciples. We are delighted that as a leadership team we can see more deeply into the true health of the church.
We also have been addressing our own issues of spiritual growth. We as a team have filled out the Tracking Spiritual Growth tool and at various meetings take time to discuss our own progress as disciples.
One issue percolating at Bethel Church is the issue of a staff hire. As many of you know, Bethel needs to hire to address issues of current growth and envisioned growth. We have enlisted the skillset of Brian Marchant who has been working with us (elders) to put together a comprehensive job description. This position comes out of our Vision Pathway (see back of this document) and our S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) exercise. Once we have finalized the job description we will be going to the congregating for their input and approval to post and hire. Ideally we would love to have someone in place by August 1, 2014.
This year we are engaging in our second prayer focus leading up to Easter. It starts on Sunday, March 2nd and will culminate with a Seder meal on the eve of Good Friday. Last year we called our prayer focus Move, this year we are going with the theme of Breathe, based on Acts 17:28, “For in Him we live and move, and have our being,” Our life is in God and we so desire for Him to Breathe His life into our city, nation and world! Join us. More details to come.
THINKING ABOUT WHAT MATTERS
The colorful picture below is what we call the Vision Pathway (click on it if you'd like to see a larger version). You will note our vision statement at the center, which is based on Matthew 28:19,20. You will also note four key words that surround our vision. They answer key questions.
Strategy: How are we organized? These are the key directions that we want our people to grow in. Each ministry can be seen as facilitating one or all three of these directions.
Mission: What is important? Our mission succinctly states the simplicity of all that we are trying to do.
Marks: What does a disciple look like? These are broad statements that capture what we believe is at the heart of a disciple.
Values: What does relational integrity look like in this organization? Values help define our culture and clarify what we value in relationships.
Vision: Where are we going?
Why is it important that you know this? You need to know what matters at Bethel. There are lots of things to talk about in the church, lots that can get churches sidelined and tripped up. We want to stay focused, strategic, on our knees and moving into all God has for us.
Pray for your church and feel free to ask questions. Your insight and observations matter.
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact firstname.lastname@example.org