Weekly gatherings at the church venue for fellowship, Bible teaching and discussion.
Friday Feed is designed for the whole Bethel church community, and is also open to anyone from other churches (or none) who would like to join us. Download the 2023 Program
7:00 Fellowship & worship.
7:15 Bible teaching, normally in the form of a talk (view talks here). From time to time we have a guest speaker or use video resources.
8:00 Break & supper
8:15 ‘Workshop’ - hands-on exploration of the talk theme, discussions and question time, or a presentation from a missionary or visiting speaker.
Why do we meet in this way, rather than the traditional 'home group' model?
1. To know together the riches of the Word of Christ. (Col. 3:16)
All Christians have both the immense privilege, and the solemn responsibility to immerse themselves in the Word of God:
“We have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-21)
Peter tells us that paying attention to God’s word is vital, especially as we seek to be a people of hope, looking forward to the coming of Jesus and the new creation. He also reminds us that no-one can do this on their own, but needs the power of the Holy Spirit working through others. Not even those who spoke and wrote the words of Scripture were exempt from this - how much less are we!
One 35 minute Sunday sermon within a 75 minute service once a week is not really sufficient if we are to be truly a church that has the word of Christ dwelling in us richly.
2. To be equipped well to serve Christ.
Jesus uses the ministry of the Word to bring his church to a place of maturity:
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)
All of the roles listed here involve the speaking, preaching and teaching of God’s word. But notice that the work of these people is not called ‘the ministry’ - the work of the people (saints) who are taught by these people is the real ‘ministry’. The church is built up not merely by the actions of its leaders, but by the action of all members who have had their minds and hearts renewed and transformed by knowing the Scriptures.
When opportunities to serve and participate in outreach come, while we may be restricted because of time or practical constraints, we should never be so because of lack of equipping or of low confidence in the ability of the Holy Spirit to use us. Spending time in the Scriptures together will cause us to grow as a church in both our maturity in Christ, and our confidence in his Gospel to transform lives and community around us.
3. To grow in love and fellowship.
The first Christians were devoted not only to the Apostles’ teaching, but also to:
… the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42)
True Christian community flows out of hearing the word of God together. The first Christians met together daily because their situation and culture allowed it. They saw the immeasurable value of being part of this new community God was forming. Our different times and culture don’t allow for a daily gathering, but should not excuse us from taking the opportunities that are given, to meet with God’s people, more often than we devote to other things that are much let value. In an age when much individual time is given to pursuits that do not benefit us (how much ‘screen time’ do you spend each week?), Christian fellowship is all the more an urgent need.
The aim of fellowship is not to build an organisation, but to grow in love for our Lord and for those whom we will be together with in the New Creation forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17)