Last Week at Bethel
Night of Song
We had a wonderful evening where tons of people shared a wide variety of gifts with our church. It was a multi-generational celebrate of Christmas and we are so blessed to be able to share in it together.
Congregational Life’s new helping hands program facilitated rides for many of our people so they could attend that night as well.
We were especially blessed to have a number of our Fusion students come and share a song with us.
A few other things that happend...
Christmas Hymn Sing – Tonight @5:30pm
Join us tonight at our sister church Zion Covenant for another hymn sing. Join us and bring a dessert.
Candlelight Christmas Eve Service – Saturday, Dec. 24th at 4pm
Join us Saturday night and invite your friends for a simple service of carols and scripture reading as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas Morning Worship – Sunday Dec. 25th at 10am
Join us and bring your friends and family Christmas morning for a special celebration and service of worship.
More Thoughts on Intentional Evangelism
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Many of you know I have been attending a monthly meeting with pastors and denominational leadership designed to help pastors plant and grow a culture of Intentional Evangelism in local churches. Last time we met we talked about something called the 2 Degree challenge. The idea is that most churches/pastors spend all of their time and energy attempting to please the people who currently attend the church, and almost no energy, time, and money attempting to reach out to people who don’t know Jesus. No wonder Intentional Evangelism can be so weak at so many churches! The 2-degree challenge encourages churches to, rather than start a new outreach event or program, work to reorient everything we do “2 Degrees” away from meeting our needs and towards reaching others. This doesn’t mean we should stop having events that people at the church enjoy and attend, rather we should ask the question how can we change these events to that the focus is a little more towards reaching people who don’t know Christ.
So rather than making Evangelism/Outreach a committee among the many of our church, or even the first among equals. We would make it the driving force or at least a goal for all of our ministries.
Instead than having committees like, Outreach, CE, Cong Life, Spiritual Care, Properties, ect. They recommend integrating evangelism and outreach into the mission of everything we do.
CE becomes, Children, Youth, and Families Outreach, properties becomes Property Outreach, ect. The idea is if the Great Commission is our Mission, everything we do should be considered as an opportunity for outreach, rather than just giving it away to the outreach committee and letting them handle the Evangelism.
What happens then is when Cong Life makes plans for the year about events or decorations one of their first considerations is “how are we reaching out with this event?”, or “how does this arrangement look to someone who doesn't know Jesus yet?” That way everything that committee does is looked at through the lens of our mission to "go and make disciples."
The more time I spend in this cohort the more it seems that if we are going to reach the next generation for Christ Evangelism can't be the job of a tv preacher, committee, or pastor but must be the work (to varying extents) of every single person that belongs to Bethel. While not everyone has the "gift of evangelism" to the same extent it is something we are all called to.
Very good stuff to be thinking about. Very much like with the vitality pathway I feel we are being led to shift our focus from inside our church to outside when it comes to more and more of what we do.
Pray for Bethel
- Remember to pray for those who are mourning during this season. For many people the holidays can be a tough time and a reminder of loss.
- Pray that God will speak through the results of PULSE.
- Finally pray for me, your Pastor.