Rob and Beth Worthington – Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hamlin, NY
Revitalization – God’s Plan for Struggling Churches
God’s hand of leading is perfectly clear in hindsight. As we looked back one year to the possibility of transferring to Florida to minister, God quickly turned our direction back to New York State. It was virtually instantaneously! A week and a half after we were ready to sign a rental agreement in Florida, we were living in Hilton, NY! I don’t believe any of that was a mistake. God turned us away from Hilton until His timing was right.
As of March 1st of last year, we began our ministry at Emmanuel Baptist Church. For the first month we sat back and watched as ministry took place before us. Many questions were raised regarding our coming to the church. It was a time of questions and answers by me, Missionary Care Director Tim Weeks and BCP President Steve Little. During these times, we felt, firsthand, the wisdom of the BCP plan to use other established local churches to come alongside of us as we dealt with difficulties that came up, as well as encourage and hold us accountable to the plan.
We were able to establish a core group, which has changed a little over time. We held a revitalization weekend last June which has set the tone for ministry here. We have tried to enact what was asked of us by BCP leadership, sometimes with a little prodding! But in watching God’s hand at work, we have seen several couples come into the membership of the church as we begin moving forward.
Three of the men in the church and five of the women are going through their leadership journey. This means that advanced discipleship is taking place, and we are looking forward to how God will use these individuals in church ministry going forward.
This past couple of weeks, we have been emphasizing evangelism. Six of us went to another Baptist church for an Evangelism Explosion Workshop. It was a good time to learn a specific method of witnessing to people. Also, several weeks ago we started The Way Of The Master training in Sunday School. It will be a time to learn another method of witnessing. We hope as the members learn these different methods they will be added to their tool belts of evangelism.
God has been good throughout the past year as we have followed His leading. In this revitalization project, we are trusting God as He leads us to new opportunities in these communities to sow the seed of the Gospel. Please pray for us in this endeavor!