Rooted (Part 3)
(This article can also we found on our website at
http://www.bethelkingston.comunder the tab called "Blog")
This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
Our vision at Bethel is to be RESPONDING TO THE HEART OF GOD; TRANSFORMING THE HEART OF THE CITY, THE NATION AND THE WORLD. This past Sunday we talked about unleashing unprecedented amounts of compassion in our city focus. We talked about our desire to establish deep roots in our third “G” focus as a church; Growing in Acts of Service.
If you are part of a small group talk about some of the great Christian ministries that are prayerfully attempting to touch the city.
On Sunday we talked about why this is such an important topic to Bethel.
a. For the sake of our witness
Those who study culture tell us that 50-60% of our culture is cynical towards the church. Cynics aren’t all that influenced by cool music, charismatic speakers or fancy buildings… they’re not all that interested in how attractive our Sunday worship is... what they are interested in whether we are willing to send people to heal their community.
Would you say 50-60% describes the culture in Kingston?
Know any cynics?
b. Because of our history
Many years ago people from this church had a vision: “On May 4, 1874 a group of 25 people gathered in a home to form the 2nd Congregational church to minister to a destitute and unevangelized part of the city.”
On Sunday I said that we are not a Queen’s church or an RMC church or St Lawrence church. We are not a seniors’ church, married couples’ church, or a church for those who like hard pews. Those are extremely narrow definitions. Rather we are a city church that encompasses all the various kinds of people and needs found in the heart of the city.
What are the dangers of defining a church with too narrow a focus (i.e. Bethel is a church for married people)?
How does calling Bethel a church for the city help in our focus?
c. Because of Scripture
We desire to be a Biblically-measured church. We believe biblically-measured churches look up (Growing in intimacy with God), look in (Growing in intimacy with others), and look out (Growing in acts of service).
In Matthew 9:35, 36 we see Jesus doing what he often did in the stories of the New Testament. He had compassion. To have compassion means to have pity, express mercy. The Latin root means “to bear, conscious of others’ distress with the desire to alleviate it”. In other words Jesus was wrecked by what he saw. It disturbed His world, it impacted His soul. The needs around Him touched Him deeply and moved Him to action. The greatest act of compassion was when He willingly went to the cross to bear our burden.
What are the contributing factors in our society that can make us see need yet be unaffected?
What in the past has moved you greatly when it comes to seeing the vulnerable in the city?
How do you determine who to help and who to not help? (Think city focus)
On Sunday we introduced our developing partnership with Salvation Army. We already partner with them with the Bethel Houses. We are now developing that partnership as we desire to deepen our roots in serving the city, particularly in the second poorest area of town.
“In 1666 Sir Isaac Newton observed that in all of art and nature, just three colors exist; red, yellow and blue. All other colors are derived from these three. We know them as primary colors. But amazing things happen when these three colors collide.”( Sweeney, A New Kind of Big, p.19)
When churches partner with organizations we believe incredible things can happen. Amazing colors of ministry can be birthed in the city.
Here are some questions as you think of ways you can serve:
- If you are in a small group how could you join in on the partnership with Salvation Army?
- Possibly your group is already involved with another organization we partner with. What can you do this fall to support that partnership?
- What could you do as an individual?
- How important is growing in acts of service to one’s own personal spiritual growth and health as a small group?
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact firstname.lastname@example.org