God often speaks through the company of “lay-priests” (1 Peter 2:5, 9), namely, you, the congregation. On Sunday, November 20, a crucial all-church questionnaire was handed out to everyone present in the worship services. You may get one at the church to return by Sunday, December 4. It is a professionally designed instrument, and is part of the Master Planning team's analysis phase. We are eager for a large representation of members and regular attenders. Please pray and tell us how you believe God is leading us.
Perhaps the most significant part of the questionnaire is the section designed just for BBC. Here is a sampling of what is in that section. I hope this will increase your incentive to fill it out. You will be able to locate your opinion on the continuum: strongly agree ... strongly disagree or no opinion.
- The priority of racial reconciliation warrants the serious attempt to find staff members of different ethnic backgrounds, especially from the African-American community.
- Two different morning worship services—one more traditional and one more contemporary—would be a good solution to the present diversity of musical appreciation at Bethlehem.
- Strengthening our traditional style of worship with musical excellence in a single format for both services is the direction we should go.
- Mingling the contemporary and the traditional in both morning services would be the best way to respond to the diversity of musical appreciation in our congregation.
- Quite apart from any judgment about the way the former pipe organ was terminated, we should now move toward the purchase of some kind of organ for our sanctuary.
- Our needs in worship and music will best be met by a full-time minister of music and worship rather than a part-time music position.
- Paying off our remaining $1.4 million mortgage on the new sanctuary should be aggressively pursued as a high priority so as to eliminate the debt as quickly as possible, rather than moving with the present schedule of about seven more years.
- Bethlehem should continue to send out and financially support every qualified member who senses God’s calling to the mission field.
- Bethlehem should aggressively seek to establish a counseling ministry with professional oversight and involving trained lay counselors.
- Bethlehem should seriously pursue adding a part- or full-time paid staff position for women’s ministries.
- In the next several years a high priority at Bethlehem should be the establishment of a school (K-6, and gradually more) embodying academic excellence, God-centered values, and racial diversity.
- The sound system in the sanctuary is functioning adequately for me to hear comfortably the normal speaking at the pulpit.
We really want to hear from you! Pick up the questionnaire and return it by December 4.