Many people want the best for the church. More specifically, most or all of you reading this want the best for Bethel Baptist church. But often, we don’t know how to get from “here to there.” We see some churches who seem to be growing so fast they can’t keep up. We know of other churches who are being forced to lay off staff, shut down ministries, and even close their doors. What gives?
It is a multi-faceted answer, but the bottom line is – we must put God’s will for us over our own. This will involve prayer and reading the Word to seek out His will. This will involve faith and courage to follow His will, even when it hurts or causes things to change from what we are used to. This will involve a total surrender to God and His will not only for our church, but for each of our individual lives.
As we continue to seek His will for our church, I am encouraged that He is revealing more and more of it to us. Our Missions Committee and Vision Committee will play a large part in the future direction of our church. God is using the men and women in these two groups, along with the deacons and the staff. We are starting to see the compass point to where He is leading us, and that results in one excited pastor (and hopefully you’re excited too!).
But here’s the thing – we are the church. Not just the staff – not just the committees – but all of us, collectively, together, are the church. Matthew 16:18 reads, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my CHURCH, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” For Bethel to be what it is called to be, for us to do what, go where, and reach whom we are supposed to do, go, and reach, we need all of the church to be on board.
Maybe some of you would say, “That’s great, but how?” I know we can’t all be laborers in a foreign country, or teachers, or musicians, or help put up the Walk Through Bethlehem set. But the fact that God has you reading this article tells me that He has you walking around on this planet for a purpose – and it is HIS purpose.
I’m excited that we’re going to begin a series on the Spiritual Gifts in March. It is my hope and prayer that each member of Bethel will begin realizing the spiritual gifts that God has planted within each of us, and that as we do so, our passion, desire, and willingness to serve Him where He has called us to serve will explode. That through this series and through the working of the Holy Spirit, we will realize that we each have been given specific and wonderful gifts in which to serve the Body of Christ and our Savior together.
If you’re looking to attend Bethel, check out the link at the top of the page entitled, “Thinking of Visiting.” We’d love to have you!