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. 

THE WAY OF THE MASTER

Posted by Jeff Byerly on Friday, January 24, 2014 @ 2:28 PM

I was recently in a meeting that had a spirited conversation regarding some aspects of evangelism. What entailed evangelism? What was necessary? Is there always a consistent direction toward a necessary conclusion? Does the same method work for every encounter? Does it involve always closing the deal, or not?

I am always intrigued by those who point to one method to help others come to follow Jesus. Where does that come from? I think we, as Christians, became pragmatically involved with simple methods to train people to help our friends and neighbors understand the bottom line. These methods were derived in the early-mid 1900s to answer the burning question, “How do I get to heaven?” During this time, many people were asking that question. So we boiled it down to a simple presentation that was designed to work for every individual in every occasion. However, today I contend that we do not live in a one-size-fits-all kind of culture. However, many people continue to believe that the Good News can hit the mark ithrough one simple pre-manufactured package.

My title is in fact the title of one such curriculum for evangelism. One of which I am not too fond.  In fact, I hope to use this title to show that the way of the Master is not contained in a formula or a confrontational method. His way is in fact a variety of gentle, but firm methods of encounter which involve listening, exposure, and more questions to explore. This means that Jesus used context and situations and culture while helping someone to discover the reality of his kingdom.

 CASE #1: The Woman at the Well

Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman in the middle of the day by a well. People in this climate generally draw water at cooler times of the day -- in the morning or evening. But here comes a woman who avoids the rest of her people, because she lives a life of shame. So she arrives when no one can gossip about her at the well.

Jesus engages her with a request and moves on to dialogue about his identity … as One who provides fresh, active water from a flowing fountain. Jesus then asks her to summon her husband … to instruct him (in this culture, a married woman learned under the leadership of her husband). She answers that she is currently without a husband. In fact, she has had many and currently lives with a man to whom she is not married. That should end the conversation, for any rabbi and it would also take most evangelicals into a well-mined territory of sin to explore. But not Jesus. He stays the course. Her exposed sin is not the target of his conversation. It is merely part of the context.

The woman is captured … she concludes that Jesus must be a prophet. They continue with a discussion about worship until Jesus’ disciples arrive. Not once in the conversation does Jesus seem to be interested in driving home a pre-determined conclusion. He simply engages her, and draws her curiosity to the point that she must tell others. This woman goes back to town to gather all the people to come hear Jesus.

In this first story, Jesus does not seem to be pre-occupied with how he is going to get this woman to heaven. He does something even greater. He engages her and invites her into a quest, from which she had previously been excluded. Here’s the question that every evangelist wants to ask: "Is she saved?" I don’t think that’s the purpose of Jesus’ encounter. I think we need to ask: Why not?

Jesus wasn’t trying to save people as much as he was inviting them into his kingdom. In this case, I think the woman got it. She was ready to follow Jesus. She was previously far away -- maybe even the person furthest away from that village. So why her? Jesus knew she longed for something better than this life was dealing out. She longed for a fresh, clean, new life – living water. After that day, I venture to belive that she set her foot each day to pursue a new life … to follow the One whom she had met by the well. She certainly would come up short, but she had the vision burning in her heart. I think that shows her embrace of new life (salvation, of the redemptive variety). She would find living water.

So in the coming weeks, I want to look at several other encounters like this one. But be assured of this: There is not another encounter like this one described. It is unique, and so is the way of the Master.

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