(This follows on from the last blog. If you have not read that it might be helpful to get the context.)
The last thing that I’ll mention about my time at Bethel is the place that the church gives in its culture to encouragement and in particular to encouraging each other, and the likes of me who are just passing through, to follow the prophetic direction and purpose of God in their lives. It would take a whole book to unpack this and several are already available, written by Bethel authors, so if you want to know more, get one of those, but here is the basic outline. God speaks to us because he wishes to communicate His love and purpose to us and the rest of Creation. His words carry the authority and effectiveness of Heaven’s realm into our realm so they are not to be taken lightly. The very best thing for us to do with our lives is to agree with God’s assessment of the overall situation and line ourselves up with His desires for us, because we are designed by Him in such a way as to make that a perfect combination. The process of doing that is helped incredibly by the love, encouragement and strength that the body of Christ can bring to each other.
The theory is great but the environment required to turn it into a reality takes effort to achieve and sustain. The leadership and church members at Bethel have recognised that and decided that they think it important enough to put a priority on it.
As I said at the outset of these thoughts, these are simply my own reflections. They are not offered as an exhaustive or definitive list of Bethel’s qualities. Was I impressed? Yes. Do I want to move there? No. Would I love to see more of what I saw there represented more fully in Worcester? Certainly. Is it possible? I believe so. Would it benefit the growth of God’s Kingdom here? Undoubtedly.
Thanks for reading my thoughts.