How Will You Faithfully Respond to the Nudge of the Holy Spirit Today?

by Jonathan Dolan on May 20, 2024

The Ministry Collaborative Podcast is something that inspires and motivates me to participate in Christian Ministry. It’s a conversation led by 1 or 2 of the six pastors or theologians of varying Christian denominations who are the hosts.These hosts invite 1 – 3 people to discuss the predetermined topic each week. Often, the guest(s) are pastors, theologians, professors, deacons, or elders, but other times, the guests have been doctors, local government employees, directors of food pantries, homeless shelters, clothing closets, or other community assistance programs, nurses, teachers, or business owners, all of whom are of varying Christian denominations. The varied guests help reinforce one of the podcast’s central points: ministry is not accomplished only through pastors, deacons, or paid office staff. By virtue of our baptisms, the entire Body of Christ is called in the power of the Holy Spirit to be participants in ministry for the sake of the Good News of Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father.

One of the amazing things I am thankful for is the sheer number of people who volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to accomplish the mission and ministry of the Gospel here at Bethesda. Some people volunteer to be a member of a standing Board or an ad-hoc Committee, sing in the Choir, visit members who are no longer able to come to Worship physically, serve on the Council, volunteer in the food pantry or clothing closet, or prepare and distribute Holy Communion. Whether your volunteer position be in Children's Church, running audio and video for services or one of our other ministries here at Bethesda, thank you for your time, care and talent. Again, I am so grateful that Bethesda is blessed with many wonderful and passionate volunteers! It’s like Bethesda members have been listening to the Ministry Collaborative Podcast for years!

Over the years, Bethesda has seen growth in our membership of families with children. In conversation with the folks who have joined over the past three years, a consistent theme is articulated, which I will paraphrase as follows: “Bethesda doesn’t just talk the talk. Bethesda walks the walk.” In other words, Bethesda does its best
to be faithful to God, faithful to Scripture, and faithful to the neighbor by being a welcoming place for anyone".

Right now, God is offering you an opportunity to be nurtured in your faith by stepping out of your comfort zone and getting involved in a new and exciting way. It doesn’t matter if you have been participating in the life of Bethesda for five months, five years, or 50 years. There is room for you here at the table. There are so many ways your untapped gifts can enrich the ministry you’ve always thought about doing but just hadn’t done.

Yet, like many congregations in the United States, Bethesda’s volunteer core consists of approximately 25% under 50 and 75% above 50. Not only that, but only about 20% of Bethesda members actively volunteer in some capacity at church. Bethesda Lutheran members have a wealth of knowledge about the ministries of this congregation. Even better, Bethesda has many volunteers ready to share their passions lovingly and joyfully with members who are not yet volunteering for the above examples. I hope you prayerfully consider how your gifts would benefit the life of this congregation, the people who receive the gift of your faithful efforts, and the Christ-like example you are setting for those who look up to you.

Nevertheless, I hope each of you reading this article knows that you are loved and valued by God and this Body of Christ. Thank you for being an essential member of this group of God’s beloved children formed in the Christian community. We GATHER to praise God in Worship and fellowship. We GROW to honor God in learning and service. We GO to serve God at work and within our families.

In humble service of the Triune God,
Pastor Jonathan David Dolan

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