Friday, January 2, 2015

Touching Base - Part 259

Bethel Update – 04 Jan 15

"Responding to the heart of God; transforming the city, the nation and the world."

Welcome to the New Year!

Here is a brief update from me (Mark Kotchapaw), from the way I see things at Bethel these days. Please always feel free to ask questions, pursue clarification and provide input. We listen to all input and are shaped by the many wise voices with which God has blessed Bethel. This update focuses solely on our city focus.

The Staff Team

I am grateful for teams at Bethel. One of those teams is the staff team. We meet weekly on Wednesdays from 8:30-10:30. Our agendas focus in on our own leadership development, administrative issues and prayer. This past fall we started taking the first meeting of each month and committing half of that meeting to prayer.
And while the staff plays a key role at Bethel, we would be nowhere (try finding that on a map) without the incredible volunteers that work with our staff to help flesh out the vision.

Elders’ Team

This team’s primary focus this year is discipleship. Specifically we are looking at the processes and systems that go in to supporting our vision at Bethel. When you show up at emergency at a hospital, processes and systems are extremely important. Without a well-thought-out P&S people can die. Likewise without a well-thought-out P&S in the context of the local church, people get neglected and vision gets shelved.

We are also deeply grateful for the Deacons’ team. Because they do their job well, this allows us to focus on areas that are in line with our Biblical mandate as elders.


There are many facets to our prayer ministry at Bethel. Let me highlight two of them in this report:

• Restore

Two years ago we began a prayer focus, starting 6 weeks before Easter. The first year we called the prayer focus Move. The second year, we called it Breathe. This initiative, which involves praying each Sunday from 4-5pm, was designed with the intent of encouraging more people to get involved in prayer and to remove some of the stigma associated with prayer. The weekly attendance last year ranged from 40-60 people. This year we are calling the prayer focus Restore and building it on the book of Nehemiah. In addition, for the first time, this year we will tie in the morning message with the prayer time in the afternoon.

• Redemption Reel

This program has been developed by the Bethel prayer counseling ministry. This five-week course helps participants identify their story and then figure out where they need God to bring healing and how to experience that healing. This is a video- and workbook-based curriculum that we have produced. This past fall a hand-selected group of eight people walked through the curriculum. We are now in the process of editing the material, reshooting some video and then we will officially launch this small group as part of our core small group track in the spring of 2015.

• City Partnerships

We have a number of partnerships that enable us to have a stronger reach into the city.

• Bethel House Ministry (Salvation Army)

Sandy Sheahan, who has lead this ministry since its start-up (2007), will be stepping down in 2015. The two houses next door serve as excellent transitional housing for men seeking to overcome addictions. Please pray for Sandy’s replacement.

• Ellel

Our partnership with Ellel continues to develop. Bethel sponsored a city-wide breakfast on November 18th for city-wide pastors and leaders. This was to help launch the School of Discipleship starting this month. Twenty eight were in attendance. We are partnering with the Salvation Army and Ellel in this initiative.

• Ravi Zacharias

This past fall, Bethel was able to play a key role in the city wide Ravi Zacharias event. We had 2600 people show up on the Oct 2 event at the K-Rock Centre. The following we had 170 people from the business community attend the luncheon. This was a great example of churches and businesses coming together to do something for the Kingdom of God.

• Camp IAWAH

I have been privileged to serve on the board at IAWAH over the last five years. My participation on the board has strengthened our partnership with this camp. Furthermore, Ken Vissers, the General Director of Camp IAWAH, sits on the Bethel Elders’ board. I am looking forward to seeing how we can continue to develop this partnership.

Final thoughts

Here are some questions that I have been asking myself these days as we go forward with our city focus.
- With so many great resources in the Bethel Body, how can we use them to best bless the city?
- How can we initiate some new ministries for the city without burning out some of our greatest workers?
- What does the next step look like in drilling down deeper with some of our key partnerships in the city?
- How will we integrate all we do in the gathered and scattered church to facilitate the greater priority of making disciples?
- What are some of our next steps in taking Bethel to a deeper place in the area of our commitment to prayer?
- What does it look like to hold fast to orthodoxy yet do so in a posture of grace?
- How can I guard my time to be a reflective leader in the city when the pace of ministry feels so fast at times?
- What is the role which Bethel plays in bringing greater church health to the city of Kingston?

Thanks for being an extremely supportive Church. I seek to serve you in this leadership capacity with excellence in 2015. Thanks for your trust, words of wisdom, counsel and prayers.

If interested in joining or starting a small group contact

(FYI - Here is an outline of what I do)
Primary Responsibilities
• Oversees all ministry implementation through staff and key volunteer leadership
• Develops and guides the church wide teaching ministry
• Directs the staff in leadership and skill development.
• Leads in the development and implementation of the vision, mission, values, strategy and marks of a disciple
• Supervises the revamping of the missions program at Bethel
• Establishes teaching themes for the worship services
• Oversees all city, nation and world partnerships.
• Guides the process of developing the discipleship track
• Directs the leadership development strategies and initiatives
• Establishes a new pastoral care ministry at Bethel.
• Partners with other city leaders in developing a healthy culture of leadership
• Oversees the development of the church calendar
Other Responsibilities
• Pastoral care and visitation
• Counseling
• Administration

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