A WONDERFUL CHALLENGE
Something unprecedented has been happening in the last weeks. Since Easter, five people have filled out Connect Cards indicating that they have made a renewed commitment to Christ. I have personally met three other people who are new Christians or who are exploring the faith. The staff was able to tell me about several others they know of in this category, bringing the total up to thirteen or fourteen. This “survey sample” suggests there are many people at Bethel right now who are considering the claims of Christ.
My first reaction to this news is to say: “Thank you, Lord.” Jesus wants His Gospel to go forth and for the lost to be found. We are told that one sign of the early church’s vibrancy was that “…the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). May we see many added to His Church through Bethel!
My second reaction to this news is to recognize that we have a challenge on our hands. The presence of so many people who are new or not-yet Christians is a big responsibility. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” That means we need to support those who are looking to Bethel to help them drawn near to God.
I remember something Jim Kennedy, the author of Evangelism Explosion, once wrote. He said that a church that is vibrant with outreach faces the same challenge as a church whose baby nursery is bursting at the seams. It is an exciting time in the church’s life, but it will take a lot of people to care for those little ones.
New Christians similarly need lots of care, because they are at a fragile place in their spiritual lives. They will need the support of a lot of people.
So we have a challenge. But it is a wonderful challenge. If I had pick a problem to have in the church, I would choose this one. The Church Renewal Labs Team is actively exploring ways to address our wonderful problem. We will all have to pull together to make it work.--Pastor Tom
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