Evangel February, 2012
Over the past 22 years, Evangel has been blessed by the custodial and facility maintenance services of Dan Davenport. With a new employment opportunity that Dan is transitioning into, we express our gratitude for all of the responsibilities that Dan has faithfully fulfilled. Along with helpful hands and a strong back, Dan’s greatest attribute has been the size of his heart. Always willing to go the extra mile for someone in need, Dan has always been an example of compassion for hurting people. Thank you, Dan, for all of your dedicated service to our Evangel family!
We are very happy to welcome Scott and Alyssa Flaten to our Evangel family. Scott joins our pastoral staff as our Worship Pastor. The Flatens have two beautiful daughters, Mira and Ellie. Prior to coming to Bismarck, Scott was the Worship Pastor at First Assembly of God in Fargo. During his years on staff in Fargo, Scott produced two worship CDs of original songs involving singers and musicians from the congregation. In joining our Evangel staff, Pastor Scott will oversee all Evangel music and worship arts ministries. In addition to their interest in music, Alyssa is also a professional photographer.
A number of years ago, Vicki and I decided to put up a fence in our backyard. I thought to myself, “How difficult could it be to put up the fence myself?” I didn’t realize that putting UP a fence meant digging DOWN a bunch of holes. It wasn’t fun!
Digging holes has never been a favorite pastime of mine. Over the years, there have been a number of times I have produced blisters on my hands from digging holes in the earth either to plant a tree, erect fence posts, bury a family pet, or carefully search for an underground sprinkler line. Regardless of the reason, digging holes is difficult work. However, there is an important principle about digging that we must never forget: the higher we want to grow, the deeper we need to dig. Related to our relationship with Jesus, this is “discipleship,” which simply means growing spiritually mature. Yet, for the most part, we think of discipleship more in terms of growing higher and less in terms of digging deeper. Heights are more exhilarating. Heights are where majestic birds take flight. Heights are where dreams are born. On the contrary, holes are dark. Holes are dirty, and holes are where rodents and worms live. Simply put, digging isn’t as fun as flying. Besides, it hurts my delicate hands.
So, what am I talking about? I’m talking about the challenge of spiritual growth. I don’t mean to ruin your day, but the truth is, becoming spiritually mature is more about holes than heights. Real spiritual maturity results more from digging than flying. Real evidence of real spiritual maturity comes from calluses, not feel-good experiences.
What does it mean to “dig” and grow “deeper” in spiritual maturity? This is an important question because anyone can dig a hole, but not everyone digs the hole in the right place, and not everyone digs the hole deep enough. To become spiritually mature, it’s all about digging in the right places and digging deep enough. Of course, we know that we need to dig into the Bible and prayer, but there are many who don’t know where or how to start digging.
For this reason, on Friday evening, March 23, we are going to launch an event called Underground Church (UC). The word “underground” describes exactly what we will be doing. At UC we’re going to give digging lessons. In other words, UC is going to be an all-out discipleship event that will NOT resemble Sunday morning services. First, the teaching is going to be deeper and longer. Second, the prayer and worship will be more personal and intense. And finally, the duration of the event will be from 6:00 PM to midnight (yes, that’s 6 hours!). The night will be broken into three segments that will include three teaching sessions, three prayer and journaling sessions, and three fellowship and food sessions, with a final live worship segment that will conclude the evening. We plan to have UC every three months. Our 2012 theme is “Understanding and Living the Word of God.” On March 23, the focus will be “The Old Testament” with the teaching sessions addressing the theological foundation of the OT, the most revered OT biography, and practical applications in living the truths of the OT. The future UC events will be taught in a similar way; we will teach through the Gospels (June 29), New Testament Letters (September 28), and End Times (December 28).
Yes, digging is more difficult than flying, but remember — it’s in holes that foundations are poured. “A man who built a house, dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built” (Luke 6:48). So, grab your shovel, find some work gloves, and be a part of our digging party!
The UG is going to Alaska! This summer, a group of young adults from Evangel will fly to Kotzebue, Alaska, a village of about 3,000 people in the northern region of Alaska. Our time in Kotzebue will put us in the Arctic Circle and less than 500 miles from Russia. Kotzebue is a beautiful hub village on the Kotzebue Sound. There are no roads going in or out of the village so all travel is by boat or air. Village life in Alaska is secluded and often filled with alcoholism, sexual abuse, depression, and very little hope of a better future. Pastor Mark Zweifel, a familiar friend of North Dakota, has taken the reigns as District Youth Director in Alaska and is on a mission to reach this “last frontier” in America. He often refers to the villages of Alaska as third-world experiences on the American doorstep. The UG is committed to going and bringing hope and life to people in this beautiful region. We plan to spend our mornings blessing the community through work projects and care packages, the afternoons doing Vacation Bible School for the children in the village, and the evenings with the youth through relational evangelism and youth conference meetings. We covet your prayers as we plan and raise money to make this trip possible. Over 60 young adults attended an informational meeting about UGo: Alaska! We are eager to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us! ~ Pastor Josh
As Junior Bible Quiz comes to an end this year, I want to take some time to say how proud I am of all the kids and volunteers who were involved. We had an outstanding group of kids who returned this year and quite a few new quizzers that already seem like they have been practicing for years. It’s quite a sight to watch these kids recite scripture they have learned throughout JBQ. This year, at least one Evangel A League team and one B League team made it into the top three scoring teams at each match. Evangel also consistently had multiple quizzers who placed in the top five as an Individual High Scorer.
Thank you to all who volunteered and gave of your time to our JBQ program this year. You came on Sunday nights and traveled with us to the meets, and we appreciate that so much. Bobbi Loven did a fantastic job coordinating all the traveling, practices, and all the details that make quizzing work. I also want to “shout out” to Rob Sipes who coordinated the entire JBQ District this year and did a great job! And thank you parents for taking the time to practice with your children. To excel in JBQ, it takes hard work not only at practice but also at home. Your passion for this ministry is appreciated.
On March 10, the B League will end the year with their last quiz meet at Evangel. We are so proud of you B Leaguers! The A League will be competing in the North Dakota State JBQ Festival on March 30-31 in Bismarck. Come show your support for these amazing kids!
~ Pastor Aaron
If you are new to Evangel and have completed Starting Point, we want you to continue the journey of discovery by attending S.H.A.P.E. Finding and fulfilling your unique purpose for life is what S.H.A.P.E. is designed to do. God has shaped you in specific ways, and until you discover your uniqueness, it is hard to find and fulfill your God-given purpose. S.H.A.P.E. will begin on Sunday, April 22 at 11:30 AM or Wednesday, April 25th at 6:30PM in the Northwest Room. S.H.A.P.E. is six weeks of discovery that will help you find your:
S – Spiritual Gifts: A set of special abilities that God has given you to share His love and serve others.
H – Heart: The special passions God has given you so that you can glorify Him on earth.
A – Abilities: The set of talents God gave you when you were born that He desires you to use to make an impact for Him.
P – Personality: The special way God wired you to navigate life and fulfill your unique Kingdom purpose.
E – Experiences: Those parts of your past, both positive and painful, that God intends to use in great ways.
If you have attended Evangel many years but haven’t yet discovered your unique purpose for life, we want to invite you to join us as well. If you plan to attend, sign up online at www.goevangel.org/forms or at the Information Center.
“This year’s winter retreat was amazing. I have never felt so close to my God as I do now!” This quote, and many others like it, belong to Element students who encountered God in a powerful way at this year’s ONEretreat. As students from The Element, Fargo, and Minot converged upon Crystal Springs Bible Camp, we could feel the expectation that God was going to move amongst our students in a big way. Jeff Grenell, Youth Specialties Professor at North Central University, was our speaker for the weekend. He challenged our students to trust God with their personal “story” and take the movement of God in their lives to the next level by committing everything to Him.
While many life-transforming events occurred in our students’ lives, such as healing and the realization of God’s calling, the most rewarding event was watching our students and leaders connect as a family. I feel that this alone is what makes our Element retreats so powerful. Yes, encountering God is the most crucial facet to any retreat, but connecting that encounter with a family of like-minded Believers takes it to an entirely different level. Thank you for supporting our students as The Element Student Ministries continues to grow and praying for us as we continue to reach our city.
~ Pastor Terry
Sunday, March 18 in the sanctuary. Everyone interested in the life and ministry of Evangel is invited to attend. Balloting is reserved for members. Following adjournment, a light dinner will be served in the Fellowship Hall.
Nursery through kindergarten care will be provided.
Missionary Andy Raatz shared about his missions work in Moldova. To hear his update, please see the Current Podcast here.
Missionary Andy Raatz shares about his missions work in Moldova.