Top 10 Posts for 2010

The Pastoral Team of Bethel Baptist hope that God used these small efforts on our blog to aid your spiritual growth this past year. Here are the top 10 posts of 2010:

10. The Power of Music

9. Using Facebook for Ministry

8. Pastor Appreciation Day

7. Couples Retreat Video

6. Song Favorites at Bethel

5. A Family Goal That Dad Can Keep

4. He Shall Wipe Away All Tears

3. When I Don’t Feel Like Going to Church

2. What Did You Learn at Church Today?

1. Preparing Your Family for Sunday

Finishing the Year Right

Well, Christmas is over. No doubt, by now, some Christmas toys have broke. You may have already returned a few gifts and you’re wondering when you’re going to take down the Christmas tree.New Year’s is just a few days away. In the middle of days off, the holidays and putting away Christmas decorations I want to give a few thoughts on finishing 2010 the right way.

  1. Spend some time reflecting on the blessings of 2010. Praise God for provisions, personal spiritual growth, family, friendships, Jesus.
  2. Spend some time reflecting on the failures of 2010. At times this can be painful. Don’t meditate on the failures as some sort of penance, but rather to understand why those failures came about. Was it a character flaw, a communication failure, selfishness?
  3. Don’t wait until January 1 to start reading your Bible. Continue reading

Baptist Distinctives: 2 Offices & Saved, Baptized Church Membership

Well, the final two Baptist distinctives of our series are: two offices and a saved, baptized church membership.

Two Offices: pastor & deacon

The Bible mandates two offices within the local church — pastor and deacon.

There are three different words used in the New Testament for the office of pastor: elder (1 Tim. 5:19), bishop (1 Tim. 3:1), and overseer (Acts 20:28). Each of these terms when studied in their context are referring to the same office, not separate, unique offices. Deacons are first described in Acts 6 and their qualifications are listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Saved, Baptized Church Membership

To me, Continue reading

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5 Ways to Make Your Adult Bible Fellowship Fail

Make sure your ABF become inward-focused and never grows. Don’t invite guests from the Sunday morning service to your ABF. Focus only on meeting the current attenders needs. Certainly, don’t expand your Facebook circle of friends to people you’ve recently met at church. Pack your personal schedule so full there’s no time to invest in casual relationships.

Don’t allow guests to feel a part of the ABF. Become exclusive. Tell inside jokes or swap stories that will make them smile uneasily. This will help communicate that only if “we deem you a part of our ABF will we let you know the inside information.” Allow guests to sit by themselves, giving the obligatory head nod as you walk by them. Continue reading

Baptist Distinctives: Two Ordinances…Church & State

Are all churches equal? What makes one church distinct from another? The answer is the doctrinal beliefs that are taught and espoused are what distinguish us from other churches.

Traditionally there are eight distinctives that Baptists (and baptistic churches) have historically held. The next three in the series are…

Two Ordinances: Believer’s Baptism & Lord’s Supper

An ordinance is custom or practice that is symbolic or representative of something actual. Some denominations would call these sacraments. We choose to call them ordinances. The term sacrament is a means by which grace is confirmed either visibly or invisibly. No grace is given to those who participate in these ordinances, but rather we obey them out of simple obedience to the Scriptures and love for Jesus. Continue reading

Par is Not Perfection: Born to LIVE as well as Die

At the Christmas season we often hear the phrase “Born to Die.”  While this is certainly an accurate statement there are other glorious gospel truths that complete the story.  Christ was also born to live for us. Let’s consider three gospel thoughts  (original by Dave Harvey):  par is not perfection, perfection for us, and the divine swap. Continue reading