This is week 2 with Dave. If you didn’t read last week, here is more on Dave or skip down to the final portion of the interview.
Dave Veldhorst is the pastor of Bethel OPC in Oostburg, WI. Dave grew up atBethel under the ministry of Don Stanton and Jim Bosgraf. He also has missionary experience with MTW in Japan for two years and Thailand for several years. Dave was called to pastor Bethel in 2013. He and his wife, Jan, have been married 32 years and have 5 children who are serving the Lord.
Here are Dave’s responses to our final 3 questions….
Question: What is a great idea or practice you learned from someone outside the Reformed world (something you learned in pre-Reformed days that you still do or something you’ve picked up from those outside the Reformed world) Doesn’t have to be you personally, could be church practice.
Dave: I have always grown up and received all theological training within the Reformed camp. I think what I have learned from others who served with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in Thailand was just the expectation that God can do great things and that the Spirit will provide what we need in outreach and evangelism. This has led me to pray much more for the work of the Spirit and asking the Spirit to do what the Spirit loves to do in outreach (give more courage, fix the eyes of the heart on Christ rather than the circumstances, give more consolation, remind me of what I know in the Word). Being more Spirit dependent has been a tremendous blessing received from outside the Reformed camp
Question: What is a great idea or practice you learned from someone within the Reformed world?
Dave: I have grown to have tremendous confidence in the ordinary means of grace being used by God to change lives. Am growing in confidence that unbelievers or skeptics sitting in worship on any given Sunday can and will be changed simply by the Spirit working through the preaching and teaching and singing of the Word of God.
Question: What is the most “successful” outreach thing you’ve done or what has most contributed to your “success?” —not necessarily you personally, could be something you’ve implemented in church life or a collective church practice or approach.
Dave: I am not sure I have done anything that would be described as successful or noteworthy. I do know I have tried to model servant leadership with honest transparency of my own weaknesses and need of the gospel. I saw that modeled for me in Japan through our team leader Rev Dan Iverson. That style of leadership created a culture within our church planting team where there was humility but also courageous risk taking for the sake of Christ. I have been pleased when God, in his good pleasure, has used some growth in my life to then surround me with godly men and women who embrace that same way of living the Christian life. So rather than having a successful “outreach event” what we have seen God do is create a culture within our church where the knowledge and experience of God’s grace is real and there is a hunger to see more people added to the fellowship and those who already know Christ desiring to grow in maturity. So the formation of a gospel transformed community of believers has been far more effective at both evangelism and discipleship than any particular methodology, program, or event.