The Next Forty Years
We are celebrating our 40th anniversary as a church this weekend. Forty is a pretty significant number in the Bible, and I believe our 40th could signal something very significant for us.
Moses spend 40 years in exile before being called to lead the people of Israel.
The Israelites wandered for 40 years before they entered the Promised Land.
Jesus fasted for 40 days before starting His ministry
After His Resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days with His disciples before ascending to heaven.
So, in the Bible, a period of 40 years, or days, often preceded a fresh, new moving of God. My prayer is that this will be Bethel’s story.
In the case of churches, good things don’t automatically follow after their 40- year mark. Many congregations tend toward a predictable growth path. Like people, they will go through the stages of infancy, adolescence, adulthood, and old age.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. God is always prepared to pour out His Spirit on those who are responsive to Him, and who are committed to obey what He says. If we go into the future with faith and forethought—trusting God and following His lead—there is no reason to believe Bethel won’t celebrate another 40 years of ministry and another after that.
God has given us a wonderful first 40 years as a church. I believe He is inviting us to join Him in a renewed journey of faith, with fresh surprises and blessing in store. –Pastor Tom
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