Focus & Unity

posted by James Armstrong | Apr 29, 2019


That single word probably brings to mind many images and concepts.  Someone once said that “One is the loneliest number.”  Unless of course you are using it with singular purpose.  Then it is a number of Focus.  It speaks to unity. Scripture uses the term in a couple of important ways:

“For just as the body is ONE and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are ONE body, so it is with Christ. For in ONE Spirit we were all baptized into ONE body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of ONE Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
Jesus tells us “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17.11)

We decided on the name “One” for our next vision because it represents the heart of who we are at Bethel.  We have 3 locations, but we are ONE church.  We provide a host of ministries and activities inside and outside the church, but we all have ONE mission and that is to Make Disciples!  This has always been our legacy and mission as a church and this hasn’t changed.  In fact, this Vision renews our commitment to GROW (God Lover; Relationship Builder; Obedient Follower; World Changer) and to the words Jesus Himself gave us: “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." (Matt 28.19-20). The bigger we get as a church and the more our culture changes, the more we must recognize the need to always find ways to be effective in discipling every generation. 

ONE:  One Church.  One Mission.  Our Pathway.

To fulfill this mission faithfully, we want to make discipleship accessible and help our church invite others on the journey with us.  If you ask the average person how do they make disciples, you would probably get a different answer from a lot of people. So, we are introducing Our Discipleship Pathway. A pathway provides clarity and a process.  Kind of like road signs along the highway that tell you where you are and where you need to go next.

The Pathway is simply Bethel’s plan to make disciples by providing a starting point and six steps that can help guide anyone to be more like Jesus. In this model, your personal pathway began when a disciple invited you to follow and invested in you. From there, you proceed along The Pathway through the remaining six steps, and continue around The Pathway as you grow into a more mature disciple. Not everyone at Bethel begins at step 1 – many of you will be further along in The Pathway, where you’ll need to recognize what your next step will be. The steps of the Discipleship Pathway include: 

1. Wholeheartedly and regularly engage in worship gatherings. 
2. Complete Rooted to learn, experience, and embrace discipleship. 
3. Commit to community and live out the spiritual disciplines of a disciple together. 
4. Intentionally pursue Core training and Equip opportunities. 
5. Discover and use your gifts to serve in the church, locally and globally. 
6. Be personally involved in helping others on their discipleship journey.

As a church, with the help of the Holy Spirit, it is our responsibility to move people along a path of discipleship which leads them to GROW towards maturity in Christ and reproduces more disciples. We believe God works through ordinary people to bring transformation and life to both our neighborhoods and to the nations. 

In our sermon series entitled The Pathway, we answer the question, “what does it mean to be the Church on mission?”  We know that the church is not simply a building we go to; it is the people of God gathered to worship and serve in biblical community as followers of Christ, while proclaiming the Gospel to the world. The church exists to be a receiving and sending community.  Jesus’ final commission for His disciples is that we do the work of making more disciples.  In this series, we’ll explore Bethel’s Pathway to make disciples and how we can be faithful to our church’s mission. Our greatest desire is to invite others into a saving relationship with Jesus and see their life transformed by the Holy Spirit as they walk in obedience to Him.  We are to seek after the lost as ones who are sent on mission in our neighborhoods, at work, in our community and around the world. The result is that we are to multiply ourselves as we invite people to follow Jesus. Join us as we further the Kingdom and fulfill our destiny!

See you on the Pathway,
Pastor James

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