Every church has its assets. Yet if you go to their website or read their bulletins you’d think every church were the most welcoming, dynamic, Spirit-filled, outreach-focused, band of disciples God ever assembled. Of course no church is all of that. But the good news is that each church does has assets, physical ones (their building, endowments, nature around the physical structure, gifted people) and spiritual ones (compassion, outreach, small groups, Sunday School, seniors). And if churches can find the confidence and the honesty to tell new people who they really are I think churches would be surprised by the positive response.
So after being at Bethany for a year I was asked to share a brief description of our assets. Here is what I put together:
Bethany Children’s Choir (JAM) is a part of our Wednesday after-school program. Children in Grades Primary – 6 meet once a week for a time of snack, singing, crafts, stories, and games in the gym. The Children’s Choir participates in worship about 8 times per year.
SKILLS (Spirited Kids Interested in Learning Life Skills) is for all youth in grades 5 & 6, they meet every Sunday Evening from 6:00pm – 7:30pm. This is an opportunity for youth in grades 5 and 6 to gather to build community, develop life skills, play games and learn about God and the Christian faith.
Youth Group, for young people in grades 7 to 12 meet Sunday Evenings from 7:30pm – 9:00pm. This is an opportunity for youth in Junior and Senior High School to gather in a safe and faithful community of peers to deepen their faith through discussion, games and activities, as well as community outreach projects.
Just Older Youth (JOY) Lunch Club is a seniors group that meets for lunch and community time once a month, October through May. There is a small fee for lunch. The organizers of the JOY Lunch Club arrange for a guest speaker on a topic of interest at each luncheon. Everyone is welcome.
The Bethany Choir is a 30 voice choir that sings and leads worship weekly at the Sunday morning service from September to June. The repertoire that the choir presents is eclectic in scope including a variety of musical styles spanning many time periods and also including a variety of world music. The choir is open to all interested singers regardless of musical experience.
The Bethany Handbell Choir is an ensemble that rings English style handbells and participate in worship approximately 8 times per year including special services during Christmas and Easter. The ability to read music is helpful but not absolutely necessary.
The Muffin Club is one of Bethany’s most popular and long-running small groups. This lay-led Bible study group meets every second Sunday at 8:30 a.m. from October to June (and breaks for the summer) over coffee, tea and muffins. Muffin Club members select passages from the Bible, devotional books or other study resources and lead sessions. In this way, all grow in faith, walk with God and understand more about the Word as well as our role in the world around us.