Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Touching Base - Part 246

03 Aug 14

This 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 the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.

You may have heard many times that mistakes are the roadway to success and in some senses that is true! But, in the spiritual sense, mistakes can often be debilitating. They cause guilt and shame and, in addition, they can frustrate spiritual growth. But, it does not have to be that way!!! Today’s lesson is based on the life of the Apostle Peter, a clear example of a person who can rise from the ashes and be incredibly used by God.

TEXT: John 21:1-19


Peter’s life was mercurial - it was all over the map: he had incredible spiritual insight and he knew great spiritual truths. But, he also had glaring failures. Possibly your spiritual life is all over the map too.

A] What have been some of your spiritual highs?
B] What are some of the failures that are holding you back?

The great news is that Peter did not stay back. The Peter of the Book of Acts is different from the Peter of the Gospels.


Peter’s life goes through incredible changes - he learns how to be submissive; he is much more consistent; he understands that suffering is part of the path to spiritual victory; he is gentle. It is a radical change.

A] What things would need to change in your life to make you more consistent as a believer?
B] What would be signs that you are on the right path?


For Peter change comes in John 21. It is an incredible text - Jesus reminds Peter of his ‘call’. Jesus reaffirms his appreciation for Peter. Jesus helps Peter understand that he does in fact love Jesus. [“You know I love you!”] And then Jesus gets Peter back into the game. [“Feed My Sheep”!!!] Jesus restores and reconciles Peter.

A] How would John 21 play out in your life?
B] What would the conversation be like?
C] What would Jesus have to do to get you back into the game?

He did it for Peter - he can do it for you!

Lew Worrad
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Touching Base - Part 245

TB 245
Intersection Pt. 2
Will Your Giant Define You or Malign You?

This 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 the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.

Big Idea: When a Moment in Time Becomes a Moment Defined

Question: What can we learn from David as we face our own giants?

Text: 1 Samuel 17

Defining moments are those times in our lives when we come face to face with a truth and as a result, we see something for the first time, or see something in a new way. Defining moments challenge us to change or cause a transformation in our lives. Sometimes it can be a moment that defines an aspect of your life.

What has been a memorable “defining moment” in your life?


We never know when we might in the ‘before’ phase of a divine moment, do we?
We always need to be ready….but what does ‘ready’ look like?

We can be sure that if we know the Lord Jesus and have invited him to be Lord of our lives … that God’s presence is with us.

Prayerfully ask yourself these questions:
• Are you ‘anointed’? Is the Holy Spirit in you?
• Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is in you?
• Do you feel like you are ready to step into a God-defining moment? Why/why not?


As we step into a divine moment…we need to be sure that we have allowed God’s truth to replace the lies of the enemy.
Like David…we need to make sure that we are holding on to what we know is true.
The enemy is very mouthy…he has a lot to say and it’s all lies. We need to allow God’s truth to counter the lies of our giants.

Prayerfully ask yourself these questions:
• Is what you believe about yourself true when held up against God’s word?
• Is what you believe about God founded in scripture?
• Do you believe that everything God says about you in scripture is true?
• What are some of the lies that you might be believing that need to be addressed?
• How confident are you that God is who He said He is?
• As you think about stepping into a defining moment right now… describe how it is more likely to define you or… malign you?
• Think about the amount of lions and bears that you have fought in past experiences. Would you say that it is enough to give you victory from the giant that is facing you now?

It’s so important that we be in community, in the Word, prayerfully engaged, and aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives.

We need to be learning, and growing and healing from each experience in which we find ourselves, so that when the giants come we are full of truth and life, because you and I both know…every new challenge…every new giant… has a scare factor regardless of seasoned in the faith you are.


Click on this link to watch David as he seizes his divine moment:

The Bible Series - Episode 4 - David and Goliath

Divine moments are around us all the time….when we are well equipped we are willing to seize them.
If we are ill-equipped… we often run from them.
And when we don’t realize that we are equipped… we can miss them.
David was well trained….he was prepared because he was practiced…he wasn’t just a boy with a toy slingshot.

It doesn’t mean we don’t get blindsided…it doesn’t mean life doesn’t catch us off guard sometimes and we are suddenly faced with a giant that we didn’t see coming…but when that happens, we need to go back to what we know is true and ask God to help us remove any lies that we believe that might cripple us and prevent us from seizing a divine moment.

Prayerfully ask yourself these questions:

• In what ways do I feel ill-equipped to face my giant?
• How has God equipped me as I face this giant?

“I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!” (Ephesians 1:18-19, The Message Bible)

Jamie Stinson
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Touching Base - Part 244


This 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 the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.

This week we started our new series and talked about Jacob’s great awakening. This TB is a tool to encourage you to pray for Bethel, that just like Jacob, many others would find Bethel to be a place where they awaken and respond to the heart of God.

Big Idea: When A Moment In Time Becomes A Moment Defined!

Question: What did that big moment for Jacob look like?

Text: Genesis 28:10-22

1. He built an altar, a place he will never forget (v.18a)

By building an altar he was stating that he wanted to memorialize the event. Perhaps this had been a place he passed through a thousand times, but on this occasion it was different. He memorializes it because he encounters God.

Prayer Point:
Pray that God would use the ministries of Bethel to be experiences that would build great memories into people’s lives, memories of God doing a great work. Memories of an awakening!

2. He poured oil on the altar, the place he first worshipped (v.18b)

From the beginning God put into the awareness of His people that they were to offer to Him in worship something that was part of themselves, something that they had produced with their own labor or purchased with the money that they had earned by their labor. Whatever they offered to Him, it was never to be second best (Malachi 1:7–8), nor was it to be something without cost or concern—convenient and easy to give. The stone pillar didn’t cost him anything, the oil did.

This place that Jacob is in may have been used as early as the 4th millennium B.C. by Canaanites in the area. Archaeological excavations at Chalcolithic levels (i.e., between the Stone Age and the Bronze Age) indicate that pagan worship of the Canaanite deity El took place on top of the hill at that early period. As a proper noun, El refers to a god in the pantheons of the Canaanite world.

What is amazing about this picture of worship is that here is a thief (check out Jacob’s criminal record) worshiping the one true God in a place that has a history of pagan worship.

Realize that God can reach anyone whenever, however and WHEREVER!

Prayer Point:
Pray that Bethel Church would be a place of genuine worship. On any given Sunday or at any small group or place of ministry people come worshipping the various gods of culture. We want all our ministries to direct people to the one true God.

Hebrews 1:1-4
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”

3. He called the place Bethel, a place of great intimacy (v.19)

El refers to a god in the pantheons of the Canaanite world. El is the most common biblical word for God. The name Bethel, means “house of El (god),” BETH-EL. El is combined with other adjectives to describe the numerous attributes of God; for example, God Most High (Gn 14:18–24), the seeing God (Gn 16:13), the jealous God (Ex 20:5), the forgiving God (Neh 9:17), and the gracious God (Neh 9:31).

I love this point. Our own church name says it all. We want our ministries to be a place where believers experience deep intimacy with God.

Prayer Point:
Pray that Bethel Church would be a place God uses to draw people close to himself. This was the first time that Jacob experienced God beyond just being raised in a God fearing home. It was now his faith, his experience, his personal journey. God was real. God was “ in the house!”

4. He made a vow, a place of great commitment (v.20-22)

Note that vow making and tithing were two steps by Jacob that indicated his heart was surrendered. Was he “fixed”, had he arrived, was he now good to be a shining example of spiritual maturity? Definitely not, but his journey had begun and his faith roots were starting to grow deep into the soil of his heart. God had not thrown him into the “microwave” of instant spiritual growth, but into the “crock-pot” of growth step by step, little by little.

Prayer Point:
Pray that Bethel would be able to provide the correct resources to help people grow spiritually. No one experiences “microwave” spiritually. We are all in the “crock- pot” of spirituality and need to be intentional about our growth, taking hold of opportunities to grow. We also need a nurturing community that is filled with grace and truth to be the right kind of place for people to grow.

May God use Bethel and all the churches and various ministries in Kingston to be places and spaces where people experience a great awakening!

When A Moment In Time Becomes A Moment Defined!

Mark Kotchapaw

If interested in joining or starting a small group contact

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Touching Base - Part 243

TB 243
The Body – PART 17
All In!
13 July 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.

Great teams are “All In”! I cannot imagine that anyone would disagree with this statement. We have all probably worked on teams where someone was not “All In”! As a result, the performance of that team is in jeopardy and the attitudes of the other team members are probably greatly challenged.

Today we conclude our study in the book of 1 Corinthians with the big idea, Great Teams Are All In!

Note several aspects of what being “All In” looks like as Paul concludes this REALLY long book.

1. Great teams are “All In” when it comes to their financial resources (v.1-4):

Read the first four verses and answer the following questions:
• What is the pattern for giving?
• What is the expectation of how much?
• Where do you see integrity in the process?
• Why Jerusalem?-Check out Romans 15:26

Notice that Paul is not talking about “tithing” here , but a special collection for the poor. (NOTE:Tithing as a legal requirement had passed away with the Old Covenant and been replaced by the greater challenge of “giving” in the New Testament)

• Why is our money the hardest thing to separate with?
• How do you know when you are being generous?

Note the context of this appeal of Paul. He has just talked about how all of us are poor in one way or another:

• Spiritual Poverty - 15:3-4- Our sinful state makes us spiritually poor before God, lacking the resources to make ourselves right with God. Check out 2 Cor. 8:9

• Physical Poverty - 15:42-44- What is it about our current physical state that demonstrates we are “poor”?

This is an important point for us who are not materially poor because when we reach out to those who are materially poor, there is no room for thinking that we are reaching down to them (or we have it all together) as we help them out. We all are poor in many ways and need help. We all have experienced poverty.

2. Great teams are “All In” when it comes to the resource called “time” (v.5-8):

Read these verses and note how Paul wants to spend time with these folks:
• What is the opposite of just a “passing visit”? – see v.7b

This is a pattern we often see in Paul. Note the following text:

“Even though we had some standing as Christ’s apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else. We weren't aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did. 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8 (MSG)

• Talk about how time is a gift we can give.
• Who needs the gift of your time these days?
• Why is it hard to give?

People will more likely remember that you gave them some of your time, versus what you said to them. This gift of time is a huge blessing when it is given.

• What might giving people the gift of your time look like in your small group, on a Sunday am?

3. Great teams are “All In” when it comes to their courage (v.9-13):

Do you see the courage of Paul in v9?
Paul understood that there was a cost to being “all in” and all there. This is the “labour” part we talked about last week. It says something about Paul’s perception of his ministry, that the presence of opposition was a sign to him of the viability of his labour and reason for pressing on, not running away (cf. Acts 19:30–31).

Note the courage of Timothy (v.10-11).
What was the possible emotion that Timothy was experiencing when thinking about ministering to the Corinthians?
What is the emotion you experience in those difficult assignments? Anxiety, anger, frustration?

Apollos also knew of the challenge of Corinth.
V.12 - Perhaps Apollos did not want to add fuel to the fire of the Corinthian party spirit and to their playing of favorites. Remember 1 Cor. 1:12?
Then notice v.13 and how the corrective words of Paul to Corinth demonstrate this was not an easy place. In many ways the opposite was what described Corinth.

Some may have prayed, “Oh God send me anywhere - even Moose Jaw - but not Corinth!”

• What are the circumstances that can drain your courage?
• Are you a courageous team member?

Note Paul was a mentor to Timothy. I wonder if he sometimes had to say to Tim, “Don’t let your fear get the best of you.”
Note Paul with Apollos - I wonder if he had to encourage Apollos to press in.

I think we need people around us who can, essentially, say, “ Muster up the courage and take this next assignment, press in on this next part of the vision, hunker down and get at this next part of the project.” Without that “Paul”, we might not have the courage.

• Who is your Paul?

4. Great teams are All In when it comes to their attitude – humility (v.14-18):

Read through this and note how Stephanas and his household ministered to the saints. It is believed that because of the names of Fortunatus and Achaicus that they were probably household slaves.

What makes this really interesting is that the mention of Stephanas’ household suggests that he was a man of considerable means. The Good News that Paul preached was for all people, but it often required the greatest sacrifices of the socially better-off, since they had more to give and the most to lose in honour, power, and social position by converting to a new minority religion. While Paul drew on the benefits of the social structures of his day, he would not allow those structures to dictate the structure of relationships in the new “ekklÄ“sia”.

I would like to meet Stephanas - as a new convert he was unadulterated by the arrogance of some in Corinth, not soiled yet by the establishment, just wearing his WWJD bracelet and doing it.

Final Greetings (v.19-24):

Note Paul’s love for this Church, which had done so much to hurt him:
- the passing on of greetings (v.19-21)
- the desire to protect the church. Note his desire to protect the body with the statement in v.22. This a passionate warning, probably aimed at false teachers who were not “all in”, whom he believed to be already present in the congregation (cf. 2 Cor. 11:3–4).
- the words of blessing (v.23, 24)

Paul loved the Body!

This week, why not pray into the four characteristics of teams that are “All In”! Bethel values and needs teams of people that are “All In”!

Mark Kotchapaw
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact