Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Work is Almost Finished!

Dennis and Lynda McBride
This last weekend Pastoral Candidate, Dennis McBride and his lovely wife, Lynda, were here to officially candidate.  They had been here twice before and were well received.  Dennis and Lynda are well qualified and have extensive pastoral ministry experience.  He is a graduate of The Master's Seminary and was on staff at Grace Community Church for many years.

We had our annual Thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday evening followed by a question and answer time for the McBrides.  Then on Sunday Dennis taught the adult Sunday School class and then preached in both the morning and evening services.  After the evening service the congregation voted to extend to him the "call" to become the new pastor of Bethany Bible Church.  Dennis and Lynda have accepted and are already making preparations for their move to Lake Havasu.  They are hoping to be here in January but it might take a little longer due to the holidays.  So once they come and Dennis is installed as pastor, we will make our way back to the Pacific Northwest to be reassigned by the mission.

Right now we are with Stephan and Neeley (our son-in-law and daughter) in the Sacramento area for thanksgiving week and will return to Lake Havasu on Saturday.  Once we return we have to move out of the RV Park as our space had been previously rented to incoming snowbirds.  We will be parking at Stan and Stephanie Broder's house on their RV pad.  We will remain here until we depart once the McBrides arrive.

We have learned so much here at BBC. Over the past years few years we have been to many struggling churches and have noticed some patterns which have led to their current state. I also discovered that BBC had fallen into some of these same patterns. I have been documenting what I have observed and have begun to write about them. This might even turn out to be a book some day. I have already prepared a document concerning those patterns and have highlighted my observations in a leadership class which I am teaching to the men of BBC now.

We are very excited for Bethany Bible Church as is the congregation.  It is apparent and so very encouraging to see the Lord at work in this once nearly dead church.  All but three members are now involved in a weekly Bible study.  Attendance is up and new people have come and stayed. Giving is up and has met budget for a new pastor for the past two months.  The people are really getting involved and taking ownership of their church.  Please continue to pray for BBC as well as our move.  Also pray for our new assignment wherever that may be.

Friday, November 11, 2011

How blessed it is to see the Lord working in the hearts of the people!

This last Sunday evening (November 6th) we had another business meeting to consider four constitutional changes.  At the previous meeting six weeks earlier, we presented 12 changes and none of them passed.  We figured that some of the members were overwhelmed.  So, we presented four crucial changes and the deacons met with every member individually and thoroughly explained each one.  Last Sunday when the vote was taken, all four unanimously passed.  It was thrilling to see the unity in this once very fractured group of people.

Since these four changes were passed we can now go forward with the pastoral search process.  The church has asked Dennis McBride to come as an official candidate.  He and his wife, Lynda, will be here on the weekend of November 19th and 20th.  They have been here twice before and they are very well liked.  There will be a vote on the evening of the 20th to call him as their new pastor.  I expect that he will be extended a call and he has already said that he  could be here the first week of January.  So we should be heading back to the Northwest in January.  Please keep this church in prayer!