Bonney Lake Refocuses Ministry for Church Growth

March 26, 2014 | Heidi Baumgartner

Bonney Lake Church had a reputation for being a cold and unfriendly church.

The church leadership team attended a church-growth practicum and teamed up with Washington Conference in the Partners for Growth initiative to grow healthy churches. With a strategy in hand, Bonney Lake Church members prayed about the changes they needed to make.

Bonney Lake started making plans nearly two years ago to invite part-time conference evangelist Jac Colón to present a Bible prophecy seminar. The church decided to spend intentional time in prayer through a 12-week class on prayer and hold a 40 Days of Prayer teleconference with morning and evening times of prayer.

The day arrived for the Bible prophecy seminar to begin on Oct. 4, 2013, and 40 guests attended thanks to handbill invitations and church members inviting their families, friends and neighbors.

Mission in Action

Bill Ellison is a car mechanic and operates a shop from his garage. His neighbors Greg and Felicia Maxwell brought over their vehicle for some work, and Ellison asked if they had received a “Rethink Prophecy” flyer in the mail. They had seen it. “The meetings start tonight,” Ellison said. “You should come.”

Felicia Maxwell remembered going to the Bonney Lake Church last year for a holiday dinner. The Maxwells came the first night and returned throughout the series of meetings. Both Greg and Felicia Maxwell were baptized after her employer agreed to make accommodations to not work on Sabbath. The couple is active in small groups and growing in Jesus.

Culture of Evangelism

The focus on evangelism and hospitality has changed the culture of the church. Attendance grew by 50 percent. Membership is also up, with 30 people joining the congregation in the last two years either by baptism, profession of faith or membership transfer.

“The church’s goal is to create and maintain a culture of evangelism,” says Vince Saunders, Bonney Lake District pastor. “The church is learning to ‘abide in God’s love’ as we experience revival in our church. Evangelism is the focus of our ministries now."