Pizza with Noël by Lake of the Isles

Last Thursday Noël and I bought a half-price Great American Pizza, picked up some Dr. Diablo, spread our blanket at the northeast end of Lake of the Isles, and made a decision.

In fact, we made several decisions. We worked through our vacation plans, for example. This year on July 23 we will head east to visit my grandmother Mohn in Philadelphia. Noël and I will attend the 1984 Association of Church Mission Committees North American Conference in Washington. Hopefully we can see Jim Backlin and some other friends in Maryland. Then we will go to South Carolina to be with my dad for a week. Then on to Georgia to be with Noël’s folks. On August 18 I will officiate at the wedding of Mike Rowe and Pamela Henry. Then we’ll be heading home the last week of August.

The pizza was too big to finish. We packed it up for school lunches. Then we talked about missions at Bethlehem. Yes, we should probably have over some of these new recruits. So we set a date.

But the major decision we made has to do with “The 20:20 Vision.” Acts 20:20 has given the BBC staff a vision for a network of inter-related home cell groups. The verse says Paul taught “in public and from house to house.” Steve Roy is the coordinator of “The 20:20 Vision” of home cell groups. He will train the leaders and shepherd the shepherds of these groups.

Noël and I discussed what we should do in “The 20:20 Vision.” We are convinced that over the long haul “The 20:20 Vision” is essential to evangelism and nurture and leadership-building. The question was: How shall we be a part of it? How shall we support Steve? How shall we motivate gifted leaders in the church?

Our decision: We will take Steve’s leadership training course offered weekly, 7:30-9:30 on Thursdays, June 14 - July 19 and we will lead a 20:20 group in our home from September through May. Our hope is that it will be an outreach in our neighborhood and that several people we know will be converted and folded into the life and ministry of Bethlehem.

We urge other couples to buy a pizza and spread a blanket by the Lake of the Isles and pray about what really counts in life.

Pastor John with Noël

P.S. Steve will be back from vacation June 13. If you want to be in on the first series of leadership training (June 14 - July 19) just let the office know and be at Steve’s home at 7:30, June 14. The alternate session goes from July 26 to August 30. Issues to be discussed will include spiritual leadership, goals and functioning of home cell groups, group dynamics, stages of cell group life and group leadership skills. Taking the training does not commit you to lead. But it is a prerequisite for the 20:20 leaders.

Full author john piper

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

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