A Season for Everything

posted by James Armstrong | Apr 14, 2019

A Season of People

I am very excited about the next season of Bethel.  God is moving Bethel into a “season of people!” Over the last 6 months, the Elders and staff have carefully considered where God is leading our church to continue our mission of making disciples.  We have baptized 140 believers in the last 9 months and have an incredible responsibility to equip and prepare them for a life of being a disciple and serving the Lord.  In Matthew 28, Jesus gave this charge to His disciples and the church, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

To accomplish this mission, the leadership is launching a new vision from the Bethel Elders and paving the way for deepening the faith and ministry of our community.  Our new Discipleship Pathway is an incredible vision for the future of reaching, teaching, and mobilizing followers of Christ.

As I’ve shared with you, we should never get comfortable in what we achieved for God—we are striving forward and trust that Bethel has great days ahead as we move into this new season of discipleship.

A Season of Transition

As each season moves us into our next adventure in Christ, it is also true for myself and my family.  This summer will mark two years here for us.  We’ve accomplished a lot for the Kingdom and while our time serving with you is not nearly long enough, we are sensing a calling to our next assignment and a new ministry opportunity.  We feel led to serve in a role to mobilize Christians to reach and disciple other “nations.”  Discipleship is a heartbeat of ours as we seek to live out Matthew 28 in our own family.  This opportunity will also give us the ability to complete my PhD and open doors to teaching in unique places around the world.

The beauty in this transition is that while Bethel is losing a pastor, you are sending a missionary into the world to further the work of the Gospel!   As you can imagine, this is a leap of faith for us and we are so grateful for your prayers and support as we pursue this next assignment.  We anticipate our last Sunday to be on 23 June which gives plenty of time for transition and prepares Bethel for this next season.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your love, prayers and support so many of you have given our family. From day one, you welcomed us with open arms.  You’ve been patient with me as I transitioned from one chapter of serving in the military to becoming your Senior Pastor carrying the mantel that I graciously received from Pastor Dave Bechtel.  Like any family of believers, you graciously put up with my shortcomings and sacrificed to partner with us in the gospel.  It’s been an incredible privilege and journey to shepherd the people of God.  We hope that our friendship continues as we all seek to pursue God’s will and remain faithful to the calling he has for each of us in representing His Kingdom.

In summary, I am reminded of Paul’s words: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”    (Phil 1.3-6)

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