BETHEL IS AT THE CENTER OF SOMETHING BIG
I attended a very exciting meeting this week. It was a meeting of the Home Missions Committee of Classis Alberta North. (I happen to chair this committee of our regional body of Christian Reformed churches).
What made the meeting exciting is that we discussed Bethel’s plans for a possible Fort Saskatchewan church plant and the strong indications our church has given that we plan to go ahead with it. Bethel’s willingness to step out and start a new church has been a real source of encouragement to the Home Missions Team. I am sure that it will come as great inspiration for all of the churches in our area when we reveal the progress of our discussions at our upcoming March meeting.
In the past, I did not spend a lot of time thinking about the neighboring Christian Reformed Churches near where I lived and served. I didn’t want to get mired in the cumbersome procedures that church government sometimes entails. I tended to focus on my own church and the multi-denomination fellowship of evangelical churches in my city.
So, I was quite surprised, shortly after arriving at Bethel Church, to sense that the Lord was leading me to love and invest in the nearby denominational churches. In the course of loving these sister churches, I have come to appreciate them more. I am also becoming more and more confident that God can do good things among us as we work together.
That is why I was so excited at the recent Home Missions meeting I attended. Good things are happening. One of those things is that our classis has committed itself to planting many new churches. They budget annually for this and many churches are even taking extra collections to support the effort. How thrilling that Bethel Church is at the very center of this hopeful new wind that is blowing in our region!
In March we will ask our classis to formally agree to be our financial partner in our church plant endeavor. By taking this step, classis will pave the way for us to vote on the church plant proposal, come June, with full confidence that any action we take will be fully supported by the other Christian Reformed churches in our region. –Pastor Tom
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