Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Please pray for Pablo and Judi Perez

Pablo and Judi Perez

Pablo and Judi formerly served with Leadership Resources International in the discipleship and training of key pastors through a process called Training National Trainers. In 2013 they transitioned to working in Ecuador with United World Mission where they are involved in discipling, starting a new church in Quito, helping other missionaries and churches with their discipleship
and developing a network of churches with that same focus.

Rebuilding Hope Team

Several weeks ago, our family, alongside others from our church, was given opportunity to serve a local family with some home projects.  The tasks included several jobs that our children could be a part of as well and we were thrilled to be able to serve alongside one another as a family.  As the days drew closer, we wondered what exactly it would look like to enter someone else’s home with a willingness to help where needed. It wasn’t without some hesitancy, some hoping, trusting, praying, and questioning of what we would be doing and how exactly will this all go?! But God! God, who knows the beginning from the end, had gone before us and had chosen a group of willing workers to uniquely help and come alongside this family.  Even the children involved with this opportunity were uniquely picked by the Lord to come together to encourage this family and their own children. We were blessed to witness the Lord at work in His people over the next several days. We watched Him increase openness, transparency, our work capacities, and our efforts.  His increase brought His glory to the forefront!  The days were filled with home projects, cleaning, decluttering, yard work, flooring, conversations, meals together, a birthday celebration, rain and sunshine.  The days were filled with His purposes for a greater good for every single one of us involved!  
Our team was called Rebuilding Hope.  
Rebuild: (v) an action; build something again after it has been damaged or destroyed
to restore, to repair, to reassemble
Hope: (v) to desire with expectation of fulfillment
(n) a person or thing that may help or save someone; grounds for believing that something good may happen. 
I’d imagine this family was also met with some hesitancy, some questioning, some hoping that allowing our group into their home, into their lives, would be a good decision.  They willingly made the decision to say yes to the help they were offered, hoping it would lift some of the burden they were experiencing, but they didn’t know for sure. They were hoping!
As we were able to spend those three days together, working alongside one another, eating together, laughing together, praying together, sharing life together, the word hope moved from a verb to a noun.  The Lord graciously allowed the simple work we could do as a group together to fulfill the desire they had for their burden to be lifted.  He graciously allowed us to be a part of rebuilding their hope, and in so doing, He rebuilt ours as well. The Lord’s work, through our hands and feet, became the grounds on which they began to believe something good may happen.  The Lord allowed each of us to behold in new ways those few days, that opening ourselves up to the help of His body produces intangible rebuilding of the soul. The work we did was simply an external means of bringing some order to the chaos of this fallen world.  The Lord is so kind to allow us to be His hands and feet! He is so kind to bring His hands and feet to those who are hurting! Whether we are the ones serving or the ones receiving on any given day, in each situation He is graciously rebuilding hope into all of us.  He is graciously restoring a deeper sense, a great confidence in His promises as we witness Him making all things new around us. He is continually moving us from hoping as a verb to settling us on hope as a noun, the person of hope, Jesus Christ Himself! His redemptive purposes are all around us, what grace that He invites us to partake in His work for His glory and our goo
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph 5:1-2 
…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.   Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Eph 3:17-21

Britt and Megan Steffen

Friday, July 26, 2019

Pray for the Borisuks

The Borisuks

Mark and Charity's goal is to strengthen the local church through Discipleship and Leadership Development. This is accomplished through home Bible studies, translating and publishing resources, and developing a training institute. They partner with the local church by providing training and Biblical resources to church leaders, and equipping them for effective study, righteous living, and accurate teaching of the Word of God. As servants of Christ, we labor humility and joy that the majesty of God may be made known in East Asia.

The Command of One-Anothering

Biblical Counseling, The outworking of the Command of One-Anothering
Much of life within the Body of Christ might be described as “one-anothering”. The New Testament repeatedly calls believers to live in harmony and community by speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), exhorting one another daily (Heb. 3:12-13), edifying one another (Eph. 4:29), and comforting one another (2Thess.4:18). These passages and countless others challenge us to pursue an intentional lifestyle of living like Christ and speaking of the Gospel of grace and truth. This is essentially what it means to be a disciple. This is what it means to be a biblical counselor.

Jesus demonstrated a life-style of a biblical counselor. Truly, He was the Wonderful Counselor (Is. 9:6), he lived the truth perfectly, (which is what speaking the truth in love actually means in Eph. 4:15), choosing to speak only His Father’s words (Jn. 8:28). Therefore, our goal is to encourage and equip his disciples to competently speak God’s truth with everyone, everywhere, everyday, all of the time (Lu.6:40). You may not consider yourself to be called or particularly gifted for a formal ministry in biblical counseling, but if you are saved by the work of Christ, if you are truly a follower of Christ, then you are called to “speak the truth in love” to everyone, everywhere, all of the time.

Christians are called, equipped and commanded to live lives of “One-anothering”. Biblical counseling training is one avenue available for you to learn how you can be more intentional in your efforts to fulfill the Great Commandment, i.e. to Love God and Love People, and the Great Commission, i.e. to make disciple-makers for the glory of God.
Please consider joining our adult Sunday School Class this fall and/or our Fall Weekend Discipleship and Biblical Counseling Classes for specific instruction and encouragement in this area of "One-Anothering".

Kent Kloter

Update on Rebuilding Hope Initiative

Amazing God….Amazing Works

BCC Family,
Where would any of us be without God’s gift of faith--a gift unmerited and undeserved? Scripture would tell us that faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). I also believe faith can be bolstered by seeing God work. Recently a Rebuilding Hope Initiative team (2 families and 2 men) came together to serve and bless a local family that had some needs. Oh, how each of us, when reaching out to help others, enters into the same classroom as those we seek to serve! Amazing God, Amazing works! The following are few of God’s works I was able to observe:

  • The family we served was a perfect fit for our team. We had children the same ages as their children. We had couples the same age as the couple. We had matching occupations. 
  • Barriers were broken down between the team with the family allowing the team to enter their personal space. 
  • Opportunity for discussion concerning the Gospel was opened!
  • The team outreach expanded to include a set of grandparents who joined us for a couple of meals and devotional time.
  • God moved in the hearts of the family we served to ask if they could have the team back for a cookout and some continued interaction.
  • The children on the team were excited to be serving alongside their parents.  They were the natural barrier breakers!
  • The son of the family we served had a birthday during our time with them. We were able to make his birthday memorable--singing happy birthday and having cupcakes together!
  • Finally, I am thankful that God has given our church a desire to reach our surrounding communities with the Gospel through meeting some of the felt needs of our neighbors.

Make plans next year to join an RHI trip, join a Saturday team, and observe our amazing God perform amazing works and be strengthened in your faith.

With Praise,
Mark Herrmann/RHI team member

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Pray for the Beakleys

The Beakleys

The Beakleys have been in South Africa since July 2002. David is the Principal and Academic Dean of Christ Seminary, where he teaches biblical languages, Bible study methods, preaching, and various books of the Bible. He also serves as an elder and pastor of Christ Baptist Church, where he shares in preaching, teaching, and discipling. Carol maintains the home and has many opportunities to teach and disciple women. She has a teen girl Bible study in the home, runs a ladies Bible study during the week, and also holds several discipleship groups involving both teens and married women.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Pray for the Hostetlers

Jill Hostetler
Jill has been working with CEF since 2001. CEF’s three-fold purpose is to Evangelize, Disciple, and Establish children into local Bible-believing churches. Jill’s role is to oversee the development of the Central Illinois chapter of CEF, which includes teaching and training, 5 Day Clubs in the summer, and Good News Clubs during the school year. Jill also helps with the ministries at Camp Good News. Please pray for Jill Hostetler and her family.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Bible Reading and Its Affect on Proclaiming and Preparing

Blake Gerber recently sent this to our care group leaders and I asked him if I could post on the blog. It gives a great picture of how Proclaiming (the 3i's) and Preparing (the 3m's) come together for salvation and growth in Christ.

Pastor Ben

Dear Care Group Leaders,
Last week I included a link to some printable sheets that can be used for reading Scripture with others. These sheets 
are from David Helm's book, One to One Bible Reading. Today, I want to continue the focus on reading Scripture with 
others by sharing with you a 4-part series of short lessons in which Helm explains the What/Why/Who/How of 
one-to-one Bible reading. This is a great series! He shows that one-to-one Bible reading can be done with 
anyone -- Unbelievers, New Believers, and Established Believers. 

As we talk about discipleship at BCC, we often mention the 3M's (Membership, Maturity, Multiplication) and 
one-to-one Bible reading is certainly a means of helping one another mature and multiply, but it is also a 
means of Investing in others, Imparting our lives, and Imploring people to put their trust in the Lord (3I's).
 In the videos Helm shares how one-to-one Bible reading can play an instrumental part in people coming to faith 
in Christ. He also shares an encouraging testimony of how one-to-one Bible reading led to great growth and 
change in the life of a fellow believer.

In addition to the videos there are downloadable docs for each session. They include discussion questions and 
instructions for leading a group through the material. The videos and accompanying docs can be found at  

I've found this to be a great resource and have been encouraged and challenged to pursue reading the Bible
 one-to-one with others. Perhaps you will be too.

May the Lord give us an ever increasing confidence in His Word (Ps 119: 97) as we make disciples for His glory.

Please Pray For the Peltons

The Peltons-Brandon, Mandy, Caleb, Benjamin, Annabelle

Brandon and Mandy partner with Chicago churches and intentionally come alongside and disciple 20-somethings as they transition to life and work in the city. This critical season, believed by many to be the "defining decade," brings great opportunities and challenges for young adults. They aim to help these 20-somethings submit all areas of life to the lordship of Christ and discover and participate in His mission to the world.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Proclaiming Christ in our Neighborhoods

Part of our church's purpose statement is to "proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord." Read below for how BCCer, Lauren Yoder, has been trusting God to apply this to her life:
"We are doing the 'Read the Bible in a Year.' We always have neighbor kids over to swim or jump on the trampoline.  At 7pm, my alarm reminder goes off, so whoever is over hears me say, 'Time to read the Bible!' At first, the neighbor kids would ask what we were reading, and I would explain that we are reading the Bible in a year, and so we read a little every night, and they were more than welcome to read with us.  Now I just say 'time to read,' and they come on in.  So we all sit in the living room and pass around the phone app Bible, and read it and talk about what it means.  We have had adults and kids join us, and some of the kids came to Vacation Bible Camp as well!  We also got two of the kids a Bible storybook, so it is easier for them to understand.  Pray for their hearts and that I can explain things to them in a way they understand.  Also, pray that we can love them and their families more, and show Christ to them."

Praise God for this story! Pray for our church as we endeavor to invest, impart, and implore.*
Pastor Ben
*1) Invest 
We involve ourselves in the lives of those around us who do not know Jesus, so we look for opportunities to be introduced to new relationships with unbelieving neighbors, co-workers, and others in their community.
2) Impart 
We deepen these relationships by giving sacrificially of our lives in order to care for those who do not know Christ.
3) Implore
Along the way, we exhort our friends and acquaintances to place their faith in Christ alone. We do this by being equipped to do all of the above with theologically strong and question-based strategies to share the gospel.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Believer’s Relationship to the Local Church

I recently had the chance to interact with some counselees challenging them to become more a part of their local church. In doing so I built a brief document consisting of Scripture passages with my observations/interpretations drawn out of them and then an application section at the end. The document focuses on 2 areas, Service and Membership. Hopefully you find it as encouraging and challenging as I did in my study of it. =)

·         Romans 12:4-8
o   Every believer has specific gifts to contribute to their local body (v.4)
o   Every believer is part of their local body (v.5)
o   Every believer has unique gifts to contribute to their local body (v.6a)
o   Every believer is called to use their gifts to the utmost for the benefit of the body (v.6b-8)
·         1 Corinthians 12:4-27
o   There are people with different giftings in the church (v.4-5)
o   God the Holy Spirit is who gives and empowers each gifting (v.6)
o   God intends for the giftings to each be used for the common good of the church (v.7)
o   There are many different types of giftings in the church (v.8-10)
o   God the Holy Spirit determines who gets what gifting (v.11)
o   All the members of the church separately make up the church together as a whole (v.12-14)
o   All the members should expect to have different functions (v.15-17)
o   God has designed the church to have different members with different functions (v.17-20)
o   Each member should value the others (v.21-24)
o   The members of the church are there to help and care for each other (v.25-27)
·         Acts 2:42
o   There are unique aspects of the Christian life that can only be done fully in the context of the church
·         Colossians 3:16
o   One of the purposes of a believers church attendance is for the admonishing of other believers
·         Hebrews 10:24-25
o   Another of the purposes of a believers church attendance is for the encouraging of other believers to grow all the more in their love for God, others, and actions
·         Every believer should seek to determine what part they might play in benefitting and growing their local church
·         Every believer should serve in at least 1 if not more areas of their local church
·         Every believer should come to church with the intentional goal of building into and encouraging their other fellow believers
·         Every believer should seek to come to church regularly to be able to participate in serving others

·         Hebrew 13:17
o   Membership is the means by which church leaders know who to keep watch over
·         1 Peter 5:1-5
o   Membership is the means by which church leaders know who is part of their flock (v.2-3)
o   Membership is the means by which members of the flock know who they are to be subject to (v.5)
·         Acts 20:28-30
o   Memberships helps the elders indentify who is truly part of Christ’s church and thus who they are to oversee
o   Membership follows the processes of being saved and then baptized (v.39-41)
·         Acts 2:37-47
o   The early church models the keeping of numbers of who was part of the church (v.41 & 47)
·         Romans 16:3-15
o   Paul gives a model of knowing all those in a church by name
·         1 Timothy 5:9-16
o   The early church models keeping lists of those to be cared for (v.9, 11, & 16)
·         Matthew 18:15-17
o   Church discipline can only occur if there is a clear demarcation of those in and out (v.17)
·         1 Corinthians 5:1-12
o   There is special accountability for those claiming to be part of the church (v.12)
·         The term “membership” comes a great deal from the previous section recognizing service within the church can only truly happen after someone has been recognized as part of the church
·         Every believer should seek to become a member of their local church
·         Every believer should delight to be identified with Christ and His bride, the church, publically
·         Every believer should help those in church leadership with their oversight by gladly taking part in membership processes to help be identified as someone to be shepherded
·         Every believer should welcome the encouragement and accountability membership brings
·         Every believer should delight in the chance to better serve in a local church by being identified as a part of it

May we each continue to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" as we serve His bride well!


*photo taken from: