Don't Go to Church!

On Sunday, November 23, our Sunday morning service will not be at Bethlehem downtown. We will have one service at Bethel College at 10:00 AM. The Church Building will be closed.

Why? It is the Sunday before Thanksgiving and we want to gather in one service all together to say with all our might how thankful we are to God for his goodness. Some of us have had an excruciating year and need to thank God for the pain and the strength to endure and for the preciousness of his nearness that we know more deeply today than we ever would have without these hard times. And some of us have had one of the happiest and most fruitful years of our lives, and we need to thank him for his tenderness and lavish generosity.

As a church we must say and sing our thanks for more people being baptized and more people connecting on Wednesday nights and more people being touched for missions and more people coming to worship and more money being given to ministry this year than ever in the history of the church. We want to thank him for two new pastoral staff members, Chuck Steddom and Sam Crabtree. We want to thank him for a team of 18 elders who are filled with love for the church and each other and are men of prayer and humble passion for spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples. I love these guys and pray thankfully for them by name every day.

But our joy will be fullest only if we can extend it to those who do not yet share it because they don’t know Christ or belong to his people. So we want to have room for them in our service with all of us. So we have to be in a bigger room than we have. The Great Hall at Bethel will hold about 1,800. There will be room for 500 guests.

We will take care of the kids up through three years old. Over sixty of you signed up last week to help with children and parking and set-up and take-down. So my thanks are already flowing. Then I got a phone call tonight from an excited college student who wanted to say that her friend said yes, she will come on the 23rd. God is moving.

Please ask God to show you whom to invite and to give you wisdom and courage to show your love to them and bring them: family, friends, colleagues, classmates, neighbors, strangers, anybody. Tell them the music will be great, and tell them your pastor is going to talk about

Why God Cannot Be Served
But Loves to Serve

I will do my best to make the good news plain for believer and unbeliever, especially from the stunning word of Jesus: “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). We will have a card and a free pen for everybody and will ask all—not just guests—to fill out the card with prayer requests and other things that will give them a chance to ask for follow-up of various kinds. You will be glad you invited them.

Pray earnestly that the word will run and be glorified (2 Thessalonians 3:1), and that many will come to faith in Jesus. As Jesus said, “Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

Bethel is about 15 minutes north of the church via I-35W. Here’s a word map: from 35W go east on County Road E2 to Old Snelling. Turn right and go to the Bethel entrance about a quarter of a mile on the left. Turn in to the left and park at your first right. Walk to the Great Hall. Guides and greeters and children’s workers will be there to help you.

Thankful and preparing to thank God with you,

Pastor John

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org