Today’s blog post comes from Colby Berean Church Youth & Worship Pastor Ben Phillips.
Check out Colby Berean Church’s website: Go to CBC website
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Check out the Berean Fellowship of Churches’ website: Go to BFC website
The last four years have been an incredible encouragement for my wife and I as we are just beginning our adult lives and careers. About eight years ago I began to feel a call from to work in youth and worship ministry. I began to take the steps I felt I would need to achieve the goal God was directing me towards. Little did I know exactly what God was going to do, but I soon found out!
After graduating high school I went off to a Christian college expecting to complete a degree in whatever area would allow me to become a youth and/or worship pastor. About a month into my time there I became sick and had to leave the school and come home. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but looking back at it now I am so glad that God intervened in my life in order to bring it to the place it is now.
When I came back home and had recovered from my illness, I was asked if I would be willing to direct the youth group at Haxtun Berean Bible Church. The bitterness I had at that point caused me to question whether it was even worth it for me to do anything of the sort, but God used people around me to encourage me and I accepted the chance to work with the youth in Haxtun Colorado. Over the next two years I worked in the ministry at the church, making connections with some other youth pastors and leaders from other Berean churches in the district.
In the midst of those two years I moved up to Chappell Nebraska where I had gotten a job. Each week I would make the trip down to Haxtun for youth group, often bringing many kids from Chappell along to make new connections and grow in a different environment. Not long after moving up to Chappell, the church in Haxtun started a ministry at the restaurant where I worked, bringing in between 30 and 40 people each Sunday night for a Bible study. Through the connections made at this study an opportunity came up for a group of us to plant a Berean Church in Chappell. Not knowing exactly what God had planned, I jumped on board and said I would love to be part of the leadership team of this plant. About a month later I and my father in law became licensed as pastors through the Berean Fellowship of Churches.
A lot of people may not think much of getting licensed, but it was a big deal for two uneducated and unqualified men to become licensed as pastors. May God bless our church leaders who saw that we had a desire to serve God fully and that through our weakness God had the greatest potential to do great work. God truly was working in ways I never could have imagined or expected!
As we began working on this church plant, one of the biggest concerns we had was whether or not we would be able to remain committed when both pastors were working full time outside of the church. We didn’t have the money to support any kind of salary for someone to give more time to the church, and we knew that if the church got neglected then it would quickly fall apart. One of the most amazing things happened just as we were becoming concerned. The Berean Fellowship of Churches, through its National Church Planting Team, saw our need and came in with money for this tiny church plant in a tiny town. Where others may have seen insignificant chance for a giant church, the BFC saw incredible potential for many to be saved. Because of that attitude and approach to ministry, I was hired on at Solid Rock Bible Church in Chappell Nebraska as the Outreach Pastor.
Over the next two years I was given the opportunity to lead worship, teach and work with youth, preach sermons to the congregation, baptize new believers, share the gospel of Christ with many, and through it all, I see now how much God grew me. While there at the church plant, I became well connected with many pastors from the district of the BFC network. These connections came as such an encouragement, and I can’t see any other way that these could have been made outside of this network. God uses the Berean Fellowship of Churches to help us make the connections we need to continue strong in the ministry God has given us.
As a church in the Berean Fellowship of Churches, we received information of many things they had going on, such as Pastor’s Conferences, Leadership Forums, Worship Conferences, National Conventions, mission trips, other church plants, and many more things that are always going on! All of these things have impacted me greatly, helping me grow and make more and more connections in Youth, Worship, Adult, and Church ministry. I look forward to each event knowing that I get to come together with many others who are serving God in the same way that I am striving to!
Over the last few months I received some calls from the Colby Berean Church in Colby Kansas, as they were looking for a new Youth and Worship Pastor. I thought to myself, “Could God really be bringing me to the ministry I felt called to so many years ago?” And the answer to my question was yes! God used connections made through the Berean Fellowship of Churches to bring me to Colby Kansas to do His work with the church here! Not only did He bless me with this opportunity, but because the church in Chappell no longer had my salary to pay each month they were able to purchase a building using a loan provided by the BFC!
The Berean Fellowship of Churches has really been used by God for incredible things in my life. I thank Him for the blessing that this group of churches has been for me. Because of their faithfulness and focus on serving God, I have been able to be a part of God’s amazing work around me. I look forward with hope, excitement, and joy to the next opportunity that God brings through the BFC for me to grow closer to Him.