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hope for churches in stress


In six years, Bethlehem Community Fellowship (BCF) grew from a dozen to nearly ninety people. When asked about this remarkable story of growth and transformation, Pastor Jim Weick responded, "We invested in relationships.”

Among the church’s original small group was a young man in his early twenties, the youngest person in the congregation. Jim knew that if the church had any hope of growth, Josh’s contribution would be vital.

Jim was intentional about investing in Josh. He spent considerable time with Josh, building a strong bond and mentoring relationship. Jim encouraged Josh to remain an active part of BCF and to use his musical gifts in worship.

Through the hospitality of Jim and his wife, Josh began to invite friends to times together at the Weick’s home. A group of young men gathered weekly for a year and a half. These "open home" get-togethers grew to a gathering of 40 to 50 young adults, many of whom began to attend BCF.

Within two years, the church began to grow. The older people embraced the increasing numbers of young adults. BCF became a place where people, young and old, felt free to share their joys and struggles with one another.

This faith community is now flourishing through accountability and mutual investment. Reflecting on the transformation, Pastor Jim shared, “We don’t do church together, we do life together” (Acts 2:42-47).

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