A NEW JOURNEY HAS BEGUN
After two years of effort, Bethel’s Church Renewal Lab Team has completed its work. The only thing left to do is celebrate (which our team will do when we meet with the other CRL teams in June to share what God has accomplished in each of our churches). Though the team’s work is done, the journey toward health and growth has just begun.
Here are just some of the Church Renewal Lab outcomes that will continue to shape our church for years to come:
· Six people have been baptized at Bethel so far this church year, and we are expecting still more people to be received as members by evangelism. This is a greater number than any year in known memory. There is no doubt that these baptisms are directly related to what we learned at Church Renewal Lab meetings about connecting people with the Gospel and the church.
· We took the Reveal Survey, to assess our church’s health. It humbled us in many ways, but set us on a path of improvement—as sober self-reflection often will do. As a result of this survey we made at least 25 specific goals that have been guiding us in our church year.
· As pastors, elders and deacons we laid aside the devotional books that we often used to read from at the start of our meetings. Instead we spent the past year telling one another our personal stories of faith. (We shared many of these stories with the congregation in our Bethel Informed newsletter.) It has been a growing experience.
· Our week of 24-7 prayer came about because the “Lab” encouraged us to have quarterly prayer events. We did these events, but as we sought the Lord’s will, we began to dream a dream for prayer that was bigger than any of us could have imagined. The dream was a full week of uninterrupted prayer that turned out to be a wonderful blessing for Bethel church. We believe we will see much fruit flow into our church’s life from this outpouring of prayer.
· We adopted a “discipleship path.” In the new year we will introduce this pathway to the congregation. It involves three practices: Communion, Community, and Calling. Communion is about walking with Christ. Community is about serving in the church, and Calling is about loving God and neighbour in the world. We think the simple strategy of encouraging these three practices will help us all to see a clear direction for growth in Christ.
I believe the Church Renewal Lab has been a tool the Holy Spirit has used to move us along Christ’s path. I am looking forward to the continuing journey with you. –Pastor Tom
Come here for news on what is happening in Bethel Church from our Pastors.