- ANNOUNCED & HANDED OUT APRIL 23, 2017 -
In case you missed the announcement and letter in service, please read below...
Bel Air Church
- Worship & Grow -
Dear Bel Air Family,
Exactly seventeen years ago while at a Bel Air Church college retreat, the true trajectory of my life was altered when I decided to follow Jesus wherever He would take me. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that Jesus would one day lead me to be the senior pastor at that same church.
Three years in as the senior pastor, I’ve discovered that my personal journey is part of a bigger journey that intimately connects you and me and every person who has called Bel Air Church their home.
In fact, every life is filled with trajectory altering moments that echo across eternity.
In this marking moment as we conclude our 60th year, I passionately believe that God is igniting something significant for us.
Like a slumbering giant, Bel Air is reawakening to its full potential…
Bel Air Church, I see you awakening to the urgent revival and renewal of every person, neighborhood, and city in a world that is becoming increasingly more fractured.
Bel Air Church, I see you awakening to the urgent need for hospitality, where welcome is a way of life that invites strangers to feel like family in a society filled with lonely people who do not feel welcome anywhere.
Bel Air Church, I see you awakening to the urgent necessity of courage, where sacrifice is a way of life as people experience the vibrancy that only comes from abandoning yourself to Christ to make a difference in a society that is becoming increasingly more fearful.
Bel Air Church, I see you awakening to the urgent need for health, where thriving isn’t just an aspiration but a tangible reality that saturates every relationship and resource among us in a society that is becoming increasingly more broken.
Bel Air Church, I see you awakening to the urgent need for community, where young and old know each other and are known by others in such significant ways that generations are knit together unlike anywhere else in a society that is becoming increasingly more disconnected.
Bel Air Church, I see you awakening to the urgent thrust of impact, where the very fabric and foundation of society is altered as waves of compassion, generosity, grace, truth, and love crash against the broken systems and strongholds of this world in a society that is becoming increasingly more stuck.
However, may I be as honest as I have ever been with my community of church members?
I don’t believe that you are fully awake to how urgent God’s invitation to follow Jesus really is. Church is still being defined among some as a worship service on Sunday where it has become all too easy to merely come and go. Church is still being defined among some by the worship service that they prefer. Church is still being defined among some as a “what’s in it for me?” where it has become all too easy to see church as a vending machine.
We will never grow as a drive-thru church filled with individual customers.
Therefore, it is time to redefine what “going to church” is and to be reminded of how essential it is to gather weekly as the Church: going to church is more than just coming and going. It is about lingering and growing together in worship and community.
In addition to gathering as God’s people to worship God, "going to church" is also about:
- committing yourself to grow and helping others to grow.
- being a people called “church” rather than going to a place called "church."
- regularly being present in a gathered community that is sent out to follow Jesus 24/7, wherever He leads.
Beginning June 11, the structure and content of our Sunday gatherings will be recalibrated to better facilitate this awakening sense of mission. The pastoral team at Bel Air wants to provide more opportunities for you to worship and grow in ways that I pray, will alter the trajectory of your life. My prayer is that every single person that is part of the Bel Air Church family would gather on Sundays to worship AND grow.
I need you to commit to participating in the multi-generational GROW opportunities between our morning services on Sundays or after the 5 p.m. service. We will have opportunities for everyone to grow and to participate in the growth of others. Specifically, this 10 a.m.GROW HOUR will be filled with opportunities to grow in our relationships with God and each other, to grow in biblical knowledge, to grow in serving, and to grow in practices that will transform how you live and love. The bottom line: the goal of this time is to stretch you to GROW!
In order to create space for these multi-generational growth opportunities between services, our two morning worship services will be at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Whether you choose to worship before or after this new 10 a.m. GROW HOUR, my prayer is that you would join me in worshipping and growing every Sunday.
Though Sundays are just one day, it is the greatest opportunity for our community as a whole to grow in following Jesus every day and everywhere with everyone.
Don’t miss what God wants to do in and through you in this season as the renewal of all things begins with you.
Know that it is my humble joy to foster revival and renewal in your life in ways that multiply through you to the people around you.
On the journey with you,
Rev. Dr. Drew Sams