Historically speaking, discipleship is a term that refers to the way students were taught in Jesus’ day. Jesus had 12 disciples who followed Him everywhere and learned from Him as He interacted with them and others around them. Those disciples were then able to teach others when Jesus ascended to heaven.
In our context, discipleship refers to our relationship with Jesus as more than just knowing Him, but also following Him. Jesus’ instructions to His disciples before He ascended probably summarize this best, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, and look I am with you always to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Discipleship means that our relationship with Jesus is one of continually learning from Him (Bible study), and putting into practice what He has taught us (service to others), as He Himself walks with us (Sunday morning services).
The source of everything that goes on at Bethlehem is the love and mercy God gives through His Word and Sacraments each Sunday morning. God gives us opportunities every day of the week to show our love for Him by loving those around us according to His command. God also gives us opportunities to receive from Him what we cannot earn by our imperfect love and obedience. As we gather to hear God’s Word and receive the Lord’s Supper, our hymns and songs are a heartfelt response to the more important action of God, forgiving, renewing, and strengthening us to grow in love for others and faithfulness to Him.
In our effort to be faithful to God’s intent for the Lord’s Supper we ask that visitors to our services who are not members of another Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregation decline the Lord’s Supper until full communion can be established. This is not a reflection on anyone’s relationship with Christ, but on the Scriptural expectation of a relationship with one another that goes along with sharing the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 10:16-17 and 11:26-27, etc.). While this may seem unusual to many Americans, it is in fact the standard practice of most churches dating back to ancient times.
Please make an appointment with one of our pastors for more information.
Sunday Morning Bible Studies
In between services, God’s people of every age have the opportunity to grow in God’s Word and relationships with one another through a variety of Bible study groups, both small and large. Bible study hour is probably the best way to get to know a congregation since you can meet people and ask questions much more easily than in a worship format. It’s also, of course, a great way to deepen our relationship with God as we discover new truths and new applications to our lives in His Word to us!
Join us at one of the following classes:
- Adult class, studying an overview of the Old Testament. Led by Pastor Reimnitz; meets in the Fellowship Hall
- Men’s Bible Study, studying “The Epistle to the Philippians”, Paul’s personal epistle to the church of Philippi. Meets in Conference Room 2 on the main floor.
- Adult class, studying the book of Deuteronomy. Led by Larry Neugebauer; meets in the Library
- Women’s Bible Study is studying the book, Being Lutheran. Meets in the Conference Room on the main floor.
- Senior Youth (Grade 9-college) is studying “The Book of Twelve”, a study of the shorter prophetic books that are often overlooked, but actually rich in powerful law and gospel of our lives. Led by Pastor Priem; meets in Classroom L04 on the lower level.
- Christ in Our Homes: This class is for parents and grandparents and supports our marriages and our parenting – especially passing the faith on to our children. Christ in Our Homes provides families an opportunity to bond, be in the Word, and to pray for one another. This class’ current study is Luther’s Large Catechism. Meets in the Nursery, main floor off the Fellowship Hall
Weekly Bible Studies
Adult Classes are held each Wednesday evening from 6-7pm
Current study: Martin Luther’s Smalcald Articles. Led by Pastor Priem
The Spring 2017 session of Children’s Midweek is March 1 — April 5, Wednesdays from 6-7pm
Spring and fall modules offer an additional time for children Pre-K through 6th Grade to gather for games, a snack, an age-appropriate Bible study, and FUN!
Small Group Men’s Study
Pastor Priem leads a small group Bible study each Tuesday evening from 7-8 pm.
Adult Instruction Class
Led by our Pastors, this class is offered 2-3 times/year and meets weekly for 10 sessions.
You may attend if you are interested in becoming a member of Bethlehem, learning more about the Lutheran faith, or if you would simply like a refresher in the class.
Small Group Opportunities
Here’s a grab bag of Bible studies and small groups meeting at various times of the week or month. See if there’s a group to meet your interests and needs!
Bethlehem Seasoned Saints
This lively group of Seniors meets monthly for Bible study and a potluck lunch.
Meets the 1st Monday of each month at 9:30 am
Point of Contact: Donna Longhenry
LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League)
Open to all women of the congregation, Bethlehem’s Lutheran Women in Mission actively participates in the mission of Bethlehem and promote the objectives and missions of the LWML. They meet monthly for a bible study, business meeting, and mission planning. Ongoing servant activities include Love in Action, Mite Boxes, Prayer Shawl ministry, Beautiful Savior Auxiliary, and special collections for mission projects.
Meets the 4th Saturday of each month at 9am
Point of contact: Betsy Sanders, LWML President
Quilting Small Group
The Bethlehem Star Quilters makes a quilt for each infant baptized at Bethlehem, provides large quilts to Lutheran World Relief, and gives quilts to local hospitals and clinics. If you don’t quilt, this is a great place to learn! There are things you can do such as tie a quilt, cut out squares, or stitch squares together.
Meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month from 2-4 pm
Point of contact: Mary Wills
The Jubilee Choir is an adult traditional choral choir. We always welcome more voices! If you love to sing, the Jubilee Choir is an excellent way to serve our Lord. Rehearsals are Monday evenings at 7pm from September through May.
Point of Contact: Connie Schade
If you enjoy contemporary Christian music and can practice once a week, you are invited to sing with our Praise Team! Join at any time. Practices are Thursdays from 6:30–7:30 pm from August/September through May.
Point of contact: Carl Reque
This group gathers 2-3 times a year to offer music during special worship services. All men are welcome!
A small group Bible study is meeting each Sunday evening during youth Confirmation class (5-7pm) in the downstairs Common area. This is a family study for the sake of fostering community at Bethlehem with the desire of coming to our Savior’s Word. Children are certainly welcome; in fact many of them are playing together weekly!
If you desire to further study God’s Word, are available on Sunday evenings and looking for community at Bethlehem, please consider joining us. Or if you have a friend who’s unfamiliar with Christianity, perhaps this could be a gentle environment in which to introduce him/her to God’s Word.
This class only meets when youth confirmation classes meet.
Contact Us if you are interested in one or more of the additional opportunities:
- Christian Book Club: Participants choose a book, then gather to discuss.
- God’s Financial Principals: Learn how to manage money guided by the Scriptures. God’s Financial Principles is a 10-week, eye-opening, and valuable financial Bible study. Topics include “Getting Out of Debt”, “Spending”, “Saving and Investing”, “Budgeting”, and more.
- Marriage Enrichment: Based on “Experiencing God’s Dream for Your Marriage”, this topical series by Chip Ingram examines God’s design for marriage, with practical instruction to help you make your marriage what God desires it to be.