Service Schedule

Sundays 

Traditional Service 8:00 am

Sunday School 9:15 am (adult and children's options available)

Contemporary Blend 10:30 am (child care available)

Junior Church (K-5th Grade) 10:30 am

BYM Sr (8th thru 12th grade) - 6:00 pm

 

Wednesdays

Choir Practice 6:30 pm

Prayer Meeting 7:30 pm

Kidz Klub (age 4 thru 4th grade) - 6:30 pm

BYM Jr (5th thru 8th grade) - 6:30 pm

Men's and Ladies' Bible Studies - 6:30 pm

Directions

We are located at 155 Reedsville Road, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

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If you need to contact us, please call our office at (570) 739-2241. For office hours, click here.

Wet Cement Theology

 A blog from Jeff Byerly at Bethesda EC Church

The world doesn't need another know-it-all theologian. My goal is simply to search the Scriptures, analyze current theological dicussions, respond to the events of the global, national, and local communities in which I live, and share my life incarnationally in order to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. As I do this please realize that I am wrong from time-to-time and more often than I think. :-) I am also naturally skeptical and often doubt convictions that are held tightly by many others. I invite you to dialogue with me in this same spirit--to explore how Jesus intersects with our world and to keep our sanity as we view this world from his kingdom perspective. 

YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID .... (PART 4)

Posted by Jeff Byerly on Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 2:15 PM

DISCIPLESHIP:

You have heard it said that discipleship is having a specific quiet time, and visiting a small group where you read Scripture, pray, and hold one another accountable … but I tell you that discipleship is following Jesus and living sacrificially for his kingdom everywhere, and yes, this may manifest itself in Scriptural and prayerful exercises in community and in your own private devotions.

When discussing discipleship, it is easy to be drawn into a conversation strictly about the spiritual disciplines that help a believer to mature in Christ. These disciplines are very helpful ways for every Christian to participate in their private study or in gatherings with members of the body. I, myself, am grateful for an early stage of personal study where I memorized many key passages of Scripture, which helped me to navigate the books of the Bible. Today, I am building on several years of studying the genres and nuances of the biblical authors, and seeing the compelling Story that emerges as I view God’s written revelation as a whole. I have received a firm foundation that directs my life decisions and helps me to communicate God’s gracious love.

Yet, I cannot help to think that more was involved in my growth than a mechanical study of God’s Word. In fact, some aspects of my becoming a disciple probably remained dormant due to periods of intense study, where I sought personal growth instead of exploring opportunities to help someone in need, and probably said, “Go in peace, keep warm and be well fed.” I know now that this is not discipleship.

I would never dissuade someone from reading more of the Bible, but sometimes I must ask, “What more do you really need to know to be a disciple?” In other words, I think that most Christians know enough of the Bible to be effective disciples already … it’s not more knowledge that they need, but rather they need to seize the opportunities to live as disciples. This whole idea makes me question, “What is it that we think a disciple is?”

When I watch Jesus working with the Twelve, I don’t see him investing great amounts of time pushing them into a study of the Torah or the Prophets. However, I cannot deny that Jesus, himself, spoke from a vast knowledge of the Old Testament. Yet his approach was not to train his disciples in the written texts, (that was the Pharisaical approach), but rather he moved them into seeing a bigger vision of life.

I am strongly convinced that Christ’s disciples carry a “perspective” to see things uniquely from others. I would say that we possess lenses through which the world transforms into a reality that is beyond our tangible, harsh reality of existence. I do something similar every time that I try to read small print. I reach into my pocket, pull out my “readers” and place them over the ridge of my nose. What is blurry confusion is transformed into clear, precise instruction.

Within this view, the Bible does not become something for me to study, accumulate knowledge, and spew out, but it becomes a way of adjusting the distortions that I see in life into reality. It becomes a perspective, by which to live. It transforms the world around me. I can see the needs of others. I can see the injustices that work evil in the world. It moves me to reach out my hand to help. It enables me to feel the power of God’s view to change things that otherwise I would simply walk past. I move past my limited tendencies, and trust by faith in a bigger vision for living. I change my attitudes, speech, and behaviors to reflect a picture of Christ’s whole kingdom reality. I am transformed into … a disciple!

Don’t stop reading the Bible. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop meeting with accountable, Christian friends. Don’t stop daily reflections in study. But I would simply ask you, “What is new? What are you seeing? Who is God bringing into your life’s intersections? How are you being changed for the kingdom? How are you learning to be a disciple?”

Next week: You have heard it said that church is ...

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