Bethel Church exists to help people know and follow Jesus
Below you will find our core values that guide us in fulfilling our mission
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We study the Word of God and apply it to our lives in order to be transformed from the inside out, becoming more and more like Jesus. We believe that the God who created the universe has made himself known in human history through his son, Jesus. "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) God's activity in our world before, during and after the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus has all been preserved for us in the pages of the Scriptures, commonly known as the Bible.
Prayer is all about drawing closer to God, not simply asking him for things. Prayer is a delight, not a duty. We often end our prayers with "in Jesus' name, amen". "In Jesus' name" is simply a declaration that only through Jesus (in his name) can we talk to the Father (prayer). "Amen" simply means "so be it" - a declaration that we trust God, regardless of the outcome of our prayers. We believe that private prayer, corporate prayer, praying for one another are all life-giving practices for followers of Jesus.
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" (Matthew 22:27-39) The Bible also teaches, "whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen." (1 John 4:20) As we experience more of God's love and grace, the outcome is a greater love for him, and a greater love for our neighbors, especially those we have sharp disagreements with. Our love for one another and our community is the definitive test of our love for God. We love Vashon Island.
Before Jesus ascended to Heaven after his resurrection, he told his original followers this: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ." Every Christian is called to live in such a way that their daily life reflects the way Jesus lived. While no Christian is perfect, if someone followed a Christian around for a week, they should be able to experience the patterns and practices of Jesus. This is how we make disciples. We don't just tell people how they ought to live, we humbly model how to follow Jesus through the use of our words, time and resources.
All throughout the Bible, we see teachings on the importance of being honest and authentic with ourselves and our faith community. Followers of Jesus are to "encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness." (Hebrews 3:12) Christians are also called to "confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." Our desire is to build a community in which we can both encourage one another and confess our failures and needs to one another regularly so we can experience forgiveness, healing and hope together.
We believe that every follower of Jesus has been given various gifts, abilities and talents for service in God's Kingdom. Those in leadership should always serve others humbly with a desire to see them thrive in life and ministry. Our leaders aim to equip, empower and support our church family for joyful ministry and service. We do this through our public teaching, life group ministry and one on one discipleship. We believe in equipping and encouraging the next generation, so we are always encouraged when we see our children and youth serving in various ways in our church and community.
It is essential to the Christian faith to live at peace with God, other Christians, our families, our friends, our neighbors and the world beyond. Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9) The Apostle Paul said, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18) Peacemaking is hard work. It involves difficult conversations, lots of prayer and extending grace and forgiveness. We do not think ignoring conflict is healthy, and we strive to address conflict directly when it arises. We believe Jesus calls us to go directly to someone when they've hurt or offended us, and to not share the offense with others until we've done all we can to make peace. If we do seek wisdom from others, we want to ensure those people are committed to peacemaking, not tolerating gossip, slander or further division.
Jesus taught that when we reach the end of our lives, he will say, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" (Matthew 25:40) Jesus also challenged his followers by saying "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." Followers of Christ are to leverage their resources, whether big or small, to help those in need. Jesus lived with those on the margins of society, and he calls us to serve the poor. There are many ways we can do this, but each of us must prayerfully consider how God is asking us to care for the "least of these" in our community and around the world.