Helping the Spiritually Hungry

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I am spiritually hungry. That might be a strange statement coming from a man who has been a follower of Jesus for nearly forty years, pastoring one of the largest churches in a three-state region.

But it is true. I am spiritually hungry, and I suspect you are too. Whether you are a seasoned saint or the gravest sinner. Whether you are someone really in the know about the things of God, or someone who just knows her heart is empty and starving. Whether you are energized by transcendent things, or feeling like a sloth, unable even to move because life has been so difficult.

You and I are spiritually hungry, and I want to be part of a church family that helps people just like you and me. That is why I am so grateful to call Bethel Church my home away from Home, and thankful for Bethel Church’s newly shaped message about what makes it tick. This message captures the essence of the Bethel Church family, and it entices me to want to be a part of it. Here it is:

[quote]Bethel Church is a disciple-making community helping the spiritually hungry experience and proclaim the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.[/quote]

I love it. I am so excited about being part of a church that thinks like that. Those twenty-one words, strung together as they are, not only reveal to me what ought to be the baseline for every church that calls on Jesus Christ—and that is the making of disciples—but also helps me see that life does not need to be an us-versus-them proposition where only the spiritually capable are important. All of us, wherever we find ourselves on the great spectrum of spiritual qualifications, have a place here.

Because we are all hungry for something to transform us.

Because we all wish to experience something powerful.

Because we all want to be swept up into an experience that is so revolutionary that we cannot help but proclaim it.

Because we all want to be caught up in the most remarkable relationship possible.

I really like that Bethel Church is a community. I need that. I am longing to be connected. I need friends. I need people who will love me even though I am an arrogant fool sometimes. I need people who will get in my face, give me a hand, sit and listen to me dream, and let me cry in their presence. I want to be engaged in a real community. Where people are real. Where real-life stuff gets addressed. Where we do not have to pretend.

I really like that Bethel Church is about making disciples. Jesus lays this out as one of the chief responsibilities of the church. If we are not about this then why should we even bother? But developing people to be who God wants them to be is a tremendous calling and opportunity. I am so grateful Bethel Church is in-tune with this command from our King. And I am grateful it will never waver from this.

I really like that Bethel Church wants to help the spiritually hungry experience something. Not just talk about something. Not just long for something. Not just wish for something. But experience something revolutionary in their lives—life-changing power rooted in Jesus Christ. I for one am tired of talk. I am weary of clichés. I am over demagoguery. I want to enter into a genuine transformation within my life, a transformation that causes me to reach higher, love more fully, hope more confidently, and live more humbly. I want to celebrate the freedom God gives me, rather than wallow in condemnation. I want to learn to risk all for the Kingdom of God, and not merely get by. I want to experience the power of Jesus.

And I really like that Bethel Church wants to help me proclaim this life-changing reality to the people that God brings across my pathway. Sitting and soaking is not enough. I want more, and I am thankful to be in a place that values more. I am so grateful that proclaiming the life-changing power of Jesus is about more than a sermon, more than a class, more than a session. It is about living an infectious life, a revolutionized life—the life of a disciple. That is what I want, more than anything.

And, I really like that Bethel Church sees Jesus Christ as the end-all-be-all of our existence. To say it simply, it is all about him! He’s the head of the church. He’s the King of All. He is the Son of the Living God. He is the Savior. He is my Liege.

And He alone revolutionizes my existence, giving me meaning and forgiveness and honor and peace, setting me free from sin’s grip, and shame’s grasp, and letting me soar. In a world full of no end of captivating dramas, none compare to this.

I love that these things and more are the essence of Bethel Church, and I am delighted beyond measure to be a part of it . . . .

With you.

 

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