Forty years ago, in 1977, a group of about 40 courageous people from Bethany Bible Church set out to plant a church in the rapidly growing area of North Phoenix. They named it Desert Springs Bible Church.
Recently, I had dinner with some of those early members of DSBC. They shared some amazing stories.
I heard about how they began meeting in a local elementary school to sing, pray and hear from God’s word. Each week they organized groups of chairs, setup tables and hauled in the piano to create space for worship. They also began living out the gospel in tangible ways within the community: participating in blood drives, fundraisers for foster care and neighborhood cleanup projects.
Many of these folks were in their 20s and 30s. They scrimped and saved, even hosted garage sales and bake sales to raise funds. Stepping out in faith they invested their savings, retirement, and kid’s college funds in bonds to be able to purchase the property on Tatum Blvd in 1986. They created a place for worshiping and serving together through a ton of volunteer labor and hard work.
What a powerful impact God has made through these faithful Christ-followers. As we sat together, I saw in the faces of our founding members a sense of pride, satisfaction and joy as they recounted how God has used their faithful service and perseverance. Their stewardship in the ministry God called them to 40 years ago has been used to build His kingdom and equip many to bless and serve. Because of their faithfulness, thousands of lives have been changed.
We started as a tiny group of committed individuals and by God’s grace and faithfulness, now impact thousands of people in North Phoenix and around the world through cross-cultural missions. In fact, three of our current missionaries grew up at DSBC back in the 1980s.
I am one of those who have been directly impacted by DSBC. I came to know the Lord here. This would not have been possible apart from the sacrificial, visionary work of that faithful core that planted DSBC. As we begin our 40th year, I am so excited to continue this amazing legacy alongside every one of you.
Over the coming months, we will focus on three things: celebration, prayer and commitment.
In 2017, we will be celebrating our 40th birthday by looking back on what God has done through the years. During these times of celebration, it is important that we focus on Christ’s faithfulness, grace, love, power and provision. Commemorating our 40th year is not meant as self-congratulation, nor is it a sign that we “have arrived”. It is a moment in time when we will joyfully celebrate God’s work in the life of our church, community and the world.
Our Sunday services on January 8th (9:30 & 11:00AM) will be a celebration of God’s work over the last year and a look forward to the coming year. You won’t want to miss it!
On August 27th (4:00PM) we will host our ‘Beyond 40′ vision night. During this event we will share, discuss and pray for our vision to impact our city, the world and future generations for Christ in the coming years. We will discuss ideas, plans and projects that we believe God is calling us to pursue.
On September 24th (9:30 & 11:00AM) we will have a very special 40th Birthday Party. We’ve got a lot of surprises in store (Spoiler alert: there’s going to be a lot of ‘70s attire).
The night of September 24th , at 4:00PM, our members will gather for a Renewal Service to pray and recommit to living out the mission of Christ for the next 40 years. This is a critical event for all of our members and I believe it will be a pivotal moment in the life of our church.
As a church, we rely totally on Jesus for provision, power and vision. We must be a people of prayer.
From January 15th – February 19th, we will engage in a church-wide study on prayer along with a 40 day prayer guide so that we can pray daily in unity. Learn more at www.dsbc.church/pray.
On January 27th & 28th we will be hosting 40 Hours of Prayer, a time of continuous prayer on our campus. Sign up to pray during specific time slots, as individuals or with your Missional Community.
Our prayer team is always available to pray for you. Email your requests to email@example.com.
In 1977, God used 40 committed Christ followers to plant DSBC, making a huge impact on our community and around the world. Imagine what He will do with 400… even 4,000 of us over the next 40 years as we give our lives completely over to Jesus, entrusting our time, energy and resources to Him and His mission.
If you are not yet a member of DSBC, I encourage you commit to living out the mission, values and vision of DSBC by becoming a covenant member in 2017.
If you are already a member, I’m asking that you renew your commitment as a member in 2017 so that we can start our 41st year refreshed and totally committed to Christ’s mission.
Let us rejoice in what God has done and prayerfully anticipate what He will do in and through us as we seek to love Him and love others. I am so glad to be a part of this church family with you.