Ten years ago this month I moved my family from Tallahassee, Florida to NW Indiana to become the principal at my high school alma mater. I have been asked many times over the years why I would move from Florida to Indiana ....and during the first year my response was often "good question."
Over the past nine years, however, the answer to that question has always been "Bethel". This wasn't the initial reason for the move (at least in our minds), but it has become clear that this is what God had in mind all along.
Upon moving back to Indiana my wife and I determined that we were going to search diligently for a church. But when we attended Bethel the first Sunday night we were here, that was it. After that, we never went anywhere else.
The first year of our time at Bethel was spent being fed by great preaching and getting to know the church; during that time the Lord began to confirm for us things that we had always desired in a church but had never quite experienced, primarily the focus on the centrality of Jesus Christ and expository preaching.
At the end of our first year I was given the great privilege to come on staff at Bethel in a part-time role. Three months later I moved into a full-time role and have been a part of the staff now for nine years. There is much I could write about my time as a pastor at Bethel, but perhaps I can summarize by saying that I consider serving at Bethel as one of the greatest privileges of my life.
Over the last ten years the Lord has blessed my family tremendously through the ministry of Bethel Church. Once again, much that could be written, but let me just mention four of these blessings:
1) Wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who love me, my family, and most importantly Jesus Christ.
2) Great lay leaders who have faithfully cared for us spiritually, physically, and financially.
3) The best church staff, anywhere, period. This includes a Senior Pastor who faithfully preaches the Word and leads with integrity.
4) A great children's ministry that has faithfully ministered to my children and helped to lead all four of my children to Christ.
Father, thank you for a decade at Bethel, and another two or three would be great as well!