Bettendorf, and Bettendorf Christian Church, were special to us. Kris and I got to take a long walk along the mighty Mississippi Saturday late morning and it seemed everyone walking or riding by said “Have a great day!” We felt we were amongst friends. I don’t know where to begin… so…
I have to tell you I was motivated by the number of the young adults and high school students in the very front row — and they were paying attention — and they kept me on my toes. I’m praying for Bryan and Hannah in their ministry to these young people. (Send ’em our way, we’d love to have them at North Park.)
BCC illustrates the priesthood of all believers — there are so many folks involved in leadership and ministry one knows right away there is shared leadership. We loved getting to meet and share time with Alex and Jill Cobb — worship and leadership ministers. Alex did an MDiv at TEDS just after I left and is now completing his DMin up this way so we hope to see them again. (And we got to go to Whitey’s, the famous ice cream place.) And the Worship team, led by Shane Sikkema (and Kelly), was outstanding … the songs are still ringing in our ears. They sang some songs from Desperation (I’d never heard of them) and we really liked the songs.
Speaking of priesthood of believers, we were impressed with BCC’s quiet missional life, including youth raking leaves, which we witnessed first hand, and their Second Saturday ministry of service to the community. Folks, let me emphasize that this is one of the biggest shifts in evangelical churches in this generation — and I’m grateful for how many Christians are at work in communities serving quietly.
It seems more and more blog readers and book readers come to visit churches, and it was special to meet a number of folks. I don’t know how to say this but it means lots to Kris and me to meet such folks — and we are honored by the efforts.
One more thing: BCC is truly intergenerational. I met the former senior minister, retired ministers, senior citizens who were more than contented with an upbeat and contemporary worship style — along with lots of small kids and young parents and folks … all across the generational spectrum. BCC has a future – if you live in the area and are looking for a church, I recommend BCC where you will find folks who love God and love others.
One more other thing: I’m convinced one of the most untapped sources of evangelical theology and ministry today is the Restoration Movement, sometimes called the Stone-Campbell Movement, and known to others as the Christian Church and the Churches of Christ. My experience confirms to me time and time again that these folks are quietly at work in the USA in gospel work.