Tag Archives: church

FINDING YOUR WAY

My dog hates my crutches. Not that he knows what they are, but something about me walking around with these strange shiny sticks has him freaked out.

I really noticed it today when I tried to let him into the house. He was on the patio, looking through the glass door with that wistful dog-look of longing. Satchel is a house dog and a social animal, so time along outside is a pure drag for him. Yet when I, feeling pity for the dog, hobbled to the door to let him in, he refused to enter. Tail wagging furiously, he simply could not bring himself to walk past my crutches.

Life’s better for Satchel inside the house, so I made it my mission to find a way to let him in. I scooted around behind the door and fairly easily coaxed him over the threshold at that point. I helped him find his way in.

In my last blog I wrote that life is more enjoyable and makes more sense when there is a purpose, like a destination or reason for a Sunday afternoon drive. At Bethany Church, our purpose is “to make Christ Jesus known in our communities and beyond.” How we do that becomes our mission.

In a way, we are like my crippled self inviting the reluctant dog into the house: I have my own limitations right now, my own flaws and scars, and I could not pick him up or force him in. I had to adjust my way of doing things so he could find his own way in.  front-doors

Isn’t that a little how it is when we relate to the spiritually lost? We want them to know the better life of following Christ, but there are obstacles that hold them back. They might not know their own need, or they might have had a bad experience with the church, or they may be angry at God for a hardship they’ve suffered. Our role is to help them find their way into a relationship with God. We can’t make it happen, and we can’t be upset with them for keeping their distance. They don’t know yet what it would mean to yield to Christ Jesus.

So that’s our mission. We’re here to help others to Jesus. At Bethany Church, we’re stating our mission this way: “Helping neighbors, friends and family to find their way into the grace and truth of Jesus Christ and follow him together.”

Keep in mind that it is God’s will to save. 1 Timothy 2:4-5 reminds us that God “wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Jesus Christ.

Neither you nor I can save anyone. I’m not sure we can even “lead them to Christ”, at least not in any forceful way. But we can invite. We can explain. We can listen. We can share, we can testify, we can model. We can adjust our way of doing things so we are less in the way of God’s grace. We do all we can to help our neighbors, friends and family to find their way into a relationship with God by faith in Jesus. And when they come, we’ll follow Jesus together.

Back here at home, Satchel is much happier in the house, but he’ll be much happier when these terrifying crutches are gone. I’ll be happier too!

Brian Wiebe-Lead Pastor 

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Making a Lasting Impact—It’s Simple.

I’ve been at Bethany for 3 ½ years and I love it here.  I love the incredible pastoral staff I get to work with.  I love the students that I minister to.  I love the volunteers I work with week in and week out in Jr. High and in High school.  I love the people in this church who make up our community of believers.

So the question is why.  Why do I love them?  What makes me care?

The answer is just as simple as the question.  Because of the relationships I have.

I have some great memories with different people here at Bethany.  Most of them are with students and volunteer staff with the youth, but there is one instance at Bethany that I’ve cherished and that I’d like to highlight.

My first week at Bethany was 3 weeks before I was hired.  I went to the first service because I was going to another church at 11am because for the first time in my entire life, I didn’t have a church family.  That morning I was really nervous.  I was also trying to be inconspicuous.  I didn’t want anyone to treat me differently because I was a candidate for the youth pastor position.  I wanted to see what the church was like as someone who just walked in.  And I’ll never forget what happened.  I was sitting near the back of the church and the lady in front of me talked to me.  And she didn’t stop talking to me.  She asked me questions about who I was, where I was from, and even told me that there was another service at a later time that probably had music that I would like a little more.  She then invited me to sit by her.

Before I came to Bethany, I went to 4-5 churches that I had heard great things about and only at two of them did someone actually talk to me. But Bev talked to me.  She instantly cared.  Now she’s on my prayer team and prays for me consistently.

Bev McDannald didn’t really do anything that was out of the ordinary.  Or maybe she did.  And maybe the fact that talking to someone who is new at our church is something that should be changed.  Make it a point to talk to people who are new, even if it makes you feel a little uncomfortable.

VBS is quickly approaching and greeters are needed.  All that’s being asked is that we talk to people and care about them. Then we talk to them again the next night when they drop off their kids.  Then on Sunday, June 17th when they come for the kids singing during service, they’ll know someone and you can talk to them again.  For me, it made all the difference.  I’m confident that it will also make a lasting impact on someone who doesn’t have a church and doesn’t know Jesus at all.  But people are needed.  Be the Bev McDannald who ends up in a blog years down the road because you cared enough to talk to someone.

Thanks Bev.  I appreciate you.

Jason Kinzel

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