RENEWAL AT BETHEL
We have embarked on a journey of renewal. I anticipate that Bethel Church will see some wonderful and unexpected things happening in the next two years that will be a cause for celebration. The “journey” we have started is called The Church Renewal Lab. It is program offered locally by Calvin Seminary. Six churches in total are taking part in it.
For several days last week, I and the other pastors and key leaders met with Church Renewal Lab director, Keith Doornbos to discuss strategies for growing the vitality of our churches. Keith is an exceptionally qualified guide. He served two churches in his pastoral career. Both were struggling when he began his work, but that changed quickly. They began to grow in depth of discipleship, and many, many people came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Both churches had increased by multiple hundreds of members by the time he left.
The design of The Church Renewal Lab is simple: Nine members of our church, representing various key areas of ministry at Bethel, form our churches “dream” team. These team members will attend a Saturday seminar six times in the course of two years, after Keith has spent a few days with the pastors. (This past Saturday was the first such seminar.) Then we will meet together monthly to discuss how the Holy Spirit may be leading our church to apply the renewal principles in our context.
In November you will be invited to a “Fresh Wind” prayer service to pray for renewal, because, of course, true renewal always starts with prayer. After that, other opportunities will be given for you to connect with the renewal journey. The Council will be in constant contact with the Bethel Renewal Team, and will meet with the program’s director, Keith, at our next Leaders retreat in March.
God is already doing a work of renewal in Bethel, and I believe that He intends to use The Church Renewal Lab to further His work. He is amazing, and I believe He has amazing things in store for us. Let’s pray accordingly! --Pastor Tom
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