4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints; 6 and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. 7 For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
The previous year has been a year of challenges on a variety of fronts, personally and professionally. I am thankful for the support, love, and partnership of the church with me and my family. The church has demonstrated the love of Christ through prayers, generosity, and partnership.
That is one of the benefits of being a part of a church family. Sometimes you are the one being a blessing to others, and other times you are the one receiving the blessing. I’m including the piece I wrote for the Wallingford News earlier this year with regard to being a part of a church family to share the reasons why it matters, and to encourage you to invite others to be part of the family here in Wallingford.
My hope and vision is that Sunday School, special Bible Studies, fellowships, and ministry opportunities will increase in the coming year. I am also praying that the commitment that many have made to reading through the Word of God will have an impact on the life and ministry of the members and the church. Here are somethings to consider being a part of as they progress:
- Wednesday Night Prayer via SKYPE.
- Sunday School at 9:30 (September – May)
- Bethel Camp Meeting (July 3-9 – Pastor Dave Preaching)
- Vacation Bible School – “THE CAVE”
- Women of Worth Ministry (periodically)
- Ironmen Men’s Ministry (in planning stage)
Borrowing from Paul, I close with this prayer: (Philemon 1.6)
I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.
Points from the Pastor’s Pen
-Dave Bentley, Wallingford Baptist Church
Why does being a part of a church family make a difference?
I love the church. It’s the center of my life and has been since childhood. I grew up in the church. Every time the doors were open I was there. It’s the place where I was led to the knowledge of God, where I learned about the life and death of Jesus Christ, and where I gained the knowledge of salvation and eternal life through faith. It’s where I learned how to pray, how to sing, how to worship, how to love, and how to serve. It is where as a young man I experienced the leading of the Spirit of God directing me to a life of ministry. I met my wife through youth activities in church. We raised our children in the church, and now our grandchildren, too. The church touches every part of my life—in fact you could say it is my life.
People tell me that they are glad that has worked out for me, but it’s not for them. Many claim that they can’t find any relevance in the church to their life. I wonder, however, if people have really explored what is available to them through participation in the life of the church. Here are just a few things that the church offers, and that most people I know can benefit from:
- A family to belong to.
- Wisdom to live by.
- Help in times of need.
- Lessons that impact life.
- Connection with something greater.
- Knowledge of life and eternity.
People spend so much time and effort finding reasons and excuses for not being part of a church family. If only they could invest a portion of that energy in looking for a church to connect with in their life, I am convinced that they would find a place to belong and a mission in which they could participate.
Perhaps First Baptist Church of Wallingford is not the church they would choose. Believe it or not, that is not my purpose. My goal is that people would find a place where they can connect with God and with other believers. On the other hand, perhaps FBCW is exactly that church for you. You will never know until you step out and try. Find the church in your area where you can connect, and commit to attending for a period of time, at least one or two months consistently. I know you will locate a family of God where you will be welcome and where you can connect and serve the living God.
Dave Bentley, Pastor
First Baptist of Wallingford