What is the Secret to Bethel Church's Influence?

What is the Secret to Bethel Church’s Influence?

Steve posted this wisdom-filled blog on the 12 cultures taught in an online leadership course through Global Legacy. He was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books. In this blog, he shares about the influence of Bethel Church and the cultures of LDP 1:

What is the Secret to Bethel Church’s Influence?

I am on staff at Bethel Church, Redding. It is a church of 7,000 people, has a ministry school of 2,000 students, and its influence around the world is significant through its music, traveling speakers, books, and diverse ministries. 

What is the secret to Bethel’s growing influence? I believe it is its culture. Many come for the miracles or revival atmosphere, but what they often find is a culture (core values, priorities, and mindsets). 

I have the privilege of co-leading Bethel’s Global Legacy’s online curriculum called the Leader Development Program (LDP). LDP1 takes twelve key cultures and teaches one month on each. It is powerful. Registration is now open for the 2016 session. You can find out more about this and about LDP2 by clicking below. It is ideal for those who cannot come to Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, but would like to be influenced by what is happening at Bethel. 

Here are my abbreviated notes of the 12 cultures of LDP 1:

1. The Goodness of God Culture

  • God is in a good mood.
  • Hearing and believing good news is “God’s Plan A” to get into the Kingdom and advance in it (Romans 2:4, Galations 3:1-5, Romans 10:15).
  • God’s glory is seen in His goodness (Exodus 33:19).
  • Testimonies are the major contributor to this culture (Revelation 19:10).

2. Joy and Hope Culture

  • These are a fruit of believing truth instead of lies (John 8:31-32, Romans 15:13).
  • My personal hopelessness is a bigger enemy instead of the devil.
  • Childlikeness and laughter are “good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22) and are part of a healthy wineskin for leaders (Ephesians 5:18).

3. Honor Culture

  • Life flows through honor (Exodus 20:12).
  • Honor accurately acknowledges who people are in our lives (Matthew 10:40-42).
  • Leaders create a safe place where leaders are empowered, not controlled (Isaiah 54:10). The essence of love is safety (shalom) and connection. 
  • Honor addresses wrongs in the lives of others from the perspective of love, prophetic eyes, and training for future influence, rather than punishment.

4. Salvation Culture

  • Evangelism and discipleship is foundational to Kingdom advancement (Matthew 28:18-20).
  • Five core values of evangelism: Love, honor, presence, power, and joy.
  • It is fueled by conversion testimonies (Acts 26:15-19) and emphasize water baptism.
  • Salvation (sozo) is the healing of the whole person.

5. Risk and Faith Culture

  • As newborn babes in Christ, we GROW into maturity (I Peter 2:1-3). This implies that we risk failure with each higher thing we do in God. 
  • “Success is moving from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill. Those who succeed most will fail most. 
  • The Bible is full of risk-takers (i.e. Hebrews 11). Faith can be spelled R-I-S-K.

6. Prophetic Culture

  • Prophecy is to be the most desired “gift” (I Corinthians 12:7-10, I Corinthians 14:1). 
  • The gift of prophecy is primarily to strengthen, encourage and comfort (I Corinthians 14:3), and it calls out the gold in people (Judges 6:12).
  • A prophetic culture is an extremely enouraging environment. Prophetic people cause life to manifest by the words they speak (Exodus 37:4-10). 

7. Valuing His Presence/Worship Culture

  • David got a hold of something before his time and was declared “the man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22).
  • We are first worshippers that minister to the Lord (Deuteronomy 10:8).
  • Presence is to be valued above principles (Exodus 33:15).

8. Grace and Empowerment Culture

  • Grace is the empowerment to do God’s will and to live in victory (Romans 5:17). It is released through true biblical humility and high-level beliefs in others. 
  • “Grace leaders” give hope to people and turn the dysfunctional into mighty men and women (I Samuel 22:1-2, 2 Samuel 23:8-38).
  • Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. 
  • There is much grace available to us in areas of life where there are effects of sin (curses) present (Romans 5:20).

9. Generosity Culture

  • It opens heaven’s door of abundance on earth (2 Corinthians 9:6-12).
  • It is a major key for us to see provision in any area of our lives (Luke 6:36-38).
  • Generosity is not just about money.
  • Leaders “visionate” people to give and manage money powerfully for 1) rewards, 2) Kingdom advancement, 3) the release of true spiritual riches, (Luke 16:11).

10. Releasing the Supernatural Culture

  • The Book of Acts demonstrates the normal Christian life.
  • We are called to bring encounters, so we need encounters. We receive encounters by faith, not by feelings. 
  • We can bring encounters to others in whatever areas we have faith for (John 7:37-39), and of which we relentlessly pursue the full manifestation. 

11. Revelation and the Word Culture

  • Abide in the Word to know truth and to be set free (John 8:31-32).
  • Hunger for the Bible (Matthew 5:6).
  • Overflow with scripture in conversation, teaching, and prophetic ministry (Jeremiah 20:9).
  • Interpret scripture through the finished work of the cross (2 Corinthians 3:6).
  • Live by “rhema” words (Matthew 4:4).

12. Family

  • Value heart connections in relationships.
  • Identify where you might be in the relationships illustrated in Luke 15’s Parable of the Wonderful Father (Prodigal Son): Pre-Inheritance (not asking for more); Running (avoiding intimacy); Revelation (either comes through hunger or pain); Returning Home (post revelation-pursuing relationships; Elder Brother (orphan spirit, performance attitude, self-hatred and critical spirit); or A Son at Home (rest, favor, heart connections).
  • Learn how to become a “son.” It is key for effective fathering.