THE WAY FORWARD
In an earlier Pastor’s Corner I said we have exciting hopes and plans for this year. This week and next I’d like to tell you about some of the things that are causing my heart to leap.
Many of our goals are centered on outreach and discipleship. We have set the prayerful goal of seeing ten people come to faith in Jesus Christ, and embark on a path of discipleship to Jesus, this year. Since we have not seen ten people come to Christ at Bethel in recent memory, this may seem like a big goal. How do we plan to do it?
· The Alpha program is an important first step. I have been warmed to hear from many Bethel members who have taken a leap of faith and have asked a friend to attend Alpha. In this next week we will learn what the final numbers of participants will be.
· Each member of ministry has adopted a prayerful goal to see at least a couple of people come to faith and discipleship through their ministries.
· I will be meeting with all of the ministry leaders who draw significant numbers of people from outside of the church. Together we will strategize as to how their program attendees can be more effectively linked to Christ and to the church.
· We have begun to note church guests who are exploring faith. All guests who fill out a connect card receive a welcome letter, but we are making a concerted effort to make sure our repeat visitors who are exploring faith have someone in Bethel to come alongside them. In this way, no one who is thirsty for God will fall through the cracks but will receive encouragement to take their next steps toward faith and growth.
· We are developing our “discipleship” path that will allow people to identify their next step of growth whether they are not yet believers or are committed, growing Disciples of Christ.
· Pastor Ryan is organizing “house churches” and coaching their leaders. These “small groups on steroids” each have a goal to see nonbelieving friends added to the group.
Of course a major outreach goal is the church plant proposal that is being studied right now. God willing, that will result in fruitful witness beyond what we have ever seen.
Only God’s Spirit can make our plans for outreach succeed. However, God has told us in His Word that He is eager and willing to reward our faithful steps of obedience. As we pray and step out in faith, I believe we will see the lost being found and the found growing in faith. I see a lot of people doing that. That is why I have such hope! --Pastor Tom
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