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Relationships and church Programs

There is a question that has been tossed around (carefully) by our pastoral staff for many conversations. It has various forms in which it is discussed but in its most basic form it comes out in a question like this, “Why is it so much easier to constantly tinker with programs and why is it more difficult to stay on course to invest in relationships.” This is nothing new, I know. Churches constantly feel this tension. I get worried that one day we won’t feel the tension any more because the whole ministry is so program-driven.

Even in the writing of this I know that you may wonder, “What is the difference? People are about programs and programs have people, right?” (more…)

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Praying for the Philippines

We are really blessed as a church to have a team of folks travel to the Philippines and minister. I have heard some of these reports and it feels almost surreal as they talk about what they saw and experienced. It reminds me of Jesus words to the disciples when He said, “Blessed are the eyes which have seen the things you have seen.”

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I think I am most thrilled that it was team of single young adults that went on the trip. This is such and awesome age to be impacted with the needs of the world. We need to pray that the impact of this ministry experience does not just get filed away. I have been burdened to get back to our prayer focus for missions. Let’s make the Philippines our emphasis for prayer this week. Pray for Mike and Lisa Redick with their team of Student Movement for Christ International volunteers and for much follow-up from the summer. Pray for our missionaries Tim and Laura Berrey as they minister with their family training national pastor’s.

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Praying for our teens

This last Sunday was such a great day that it seems like those type days are hard to repeat. Even in the middle of summer the whole Sunday felt very upbeat and encouraging. Practically I just mean that I had several very good and substantive conversations around what God was doing in folks lives as they shared with me. The singing and responsiveness of folks in the services was refreshing. I especially enjoyed singing “Jesus, Your Name.”

I thought the testimonies from our teens last Sunday night really were genuine and from their hearts. My heart was especially uplifted by the response at the end of teens, parents, then older folks in the church coming forward to pray and support the next generation. I wanted to include the quote that I used last Sunday evening. (more…)

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Praying for Pakistan

We have been away from our Prayercast videos for a couple weeks so this week we feature Pakistan. This country has been in the news every day here recently with the killing of Osama bin Laden. What do you know about Pakistan?

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Just a quick little testimony…I remember a few years ago I became very burdened about Pakistan. A country that I knew virtually nothing about. I began to pray for the country and then met a Pakistani man who also happened to be a Christian! We went to eat at a local Indian restaurant a couple of times and I became a more informed person in praying for this needy country. You can find additional information here about Pakistan to pray in a more informed way. I wonder what God could do if we just pray about these places and God’s opens our eyes to all kinds of possibilities and open doors we had not known before.

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Check These Out

There are some neat things coming here soon at Bethel with regards to social media. Some folks have been diligent working to bring updates to the ministry in the world of technology. Along that line I am providing some links today from other sites of inspiring, informational, and some just plain cool and funny stuff to check out.

From a missionary that I follow via his blog here is an excellent post that caught my eye. The title that caught my attention is “Take Four Missions Trips for Fifty Bucks.” (more…)

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Praying Together

This last Sunday evening I put the challenge before us to pray intensely for God’s work in our church. More specifically we were challenged that this kind of praying involves passionate prayer for people.

I challenged our church family to fast and pray over the lunch our the next three Wednesday’s which would take us into our revival meetings. I can say that this last Wednesday (more…)

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What is happening while you sleep?

The first time that question really bothered me was when we landed in New Delhi, India several years ago. When we exited the plane excitement coursed through me and the flight weariness was shaken waiting to experience a country I had only seen on a map. When we walked outside, I was astounded. I do mean astounded. I did not think I was all that sheltered in my life but in a definite way I found myself feeling so small.

In the wee hours of the morning there in India, were scores of people milling about some without any real purpose. There were people asleep on sidewalks amidst noise filling the air. When we boarded a small stuffy bus to be taken to the domestic airport, (more…)

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Praying for Japan

While we pray for nations of the world, now would be the appropriate time to pray for Japan. This video has now appeared on several websites and I include it here for you. One blog suggested the use of this video with the following prayer by Pastor John Piper from his blog.

I would suggest you watch the video with your family and then use the prayer here. (more…)

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Praying for Nepal

What country in the world is such a vivid reminder of Psalm 19:1 than Nepal? “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.” Mount Everest stands like a majestic postcard over this country that is in great need of the Gospel. Here is a link with some additional information on this country as you pray together with your family this week.

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Have You Made the Connection?

I am reading a very interesting book right now called Radical. The author, David Platt, became the pastor of a very large mega-church while he was still a young man. He entered what most people would say was a very successful life but he became very dissatisfied.

The more he pastored in that environment and studied his Bible he became uneasy that what the Bible called success was different from what we call success. He felt that his current church may very well have been misrepresenting biblical truth that Jesus taught. (more…)

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