What are Encounters?

byron

by Byron Straube

[I, Joel Comiskey, would like to present to you, Byron Straube, lead pastor and founder of Bethel International Church in Newark, New Jersey. Pastor Byron and Rosa started Bethel in 2001 from a single cell meeting in their home. The church now has 6000 members, 500 cells, and 20 church plants. When I first did a seminar in the church, I was amazed at God’s miracle in raising up a Spanish speaking cell church in New Jersey that is penetrating the entire city for Jesus. Bethel is connected with the Church of God denomination]

After 10 years of practicing and experiencing encounters, we can define an encounter as an exclusive spiritual retreat for those who have recently accepted Christ into their lives. These men and women benefit greatly from these retreats because they go in with an open mind and heart, ready to meet and understand the miracle of Salvation.

I must admit the signs and miracles that occur during these retreats become living testimonies to those who observe and receive them. Those who have experienced these retreats, have all had a unique experience with the Omnipotent Lord; each person having a different manifestation. These manifestations lead the person to maintain a life of sanctification and holy fear before the Lord on their new path with Christ.

We also practice the concept of taking 3 days for the retreat; we believe the spiritual significance is vital for the results we look for in these new souls. Three days separated with God signifies the death of sin and the resurrection with Jesus to a new life. This is why we begin on a Friday morning and finalize the event on Sunday morning.

When Rehab the Harlot helped the spies escape she gave them a word of caution. She told them to hide in the wilderness for 3 days. Only after three days the soldiers would stop looking for them (Josh. 2:16). Spiritual liberations are powerful; we have witnessed the power these spirits have over the lives they have governed for many years. When the power of God enters, these spirits come out yelling, screeching, and cursing. Even though we understand and recognize that only Christ can give new and abundant life, one of the responsibilities of the church is to free those who are captive; this was an order that Christ gave to Lazarus after he was resurrected: “loose him, and let him go”

This sign is constantly manifested throughout the Encounters.

Encounters are the most powerful strategy that our ministry has in the area of Consolidation. For us, the encounters are not only monthly events, but a crucial development in our vision. One of the most difficult things for most pastos is to get the visitors to come back. We have found that those who have gone through an Encounter keep coming and that the Encounters have made the key difference in their lives. We’ve seen our church grow as a result.

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Pastor Byron Straube

MBI/ Newark NJ

Korean blog (click here)

Portuguese blog (click here)

Translation into Spanish

Que son Los Encuentros

por Byron Straube

[Yo, Joel Comiskey, quisiera presentar a Byron Straube, el fundador y pastoral principal de Bethel Internacional. La iglesia tiene 11 años de ser fundado, 20 Iglesias plantadas, 6000 miembros trabajando con el modelo cellular multi-site, y 500 células]

Los Encuentros en nuestra experiencia de 10 años de practicarlos, son un tipo de retiro exclusivos para personas recien convertidas, las cuales sacan el Mayor provecho porque van con una mente y corazon abierto y bien dispuesto.

Tengo k admitir que las señales, prodigios, milagros y operaciones que suceden en estos retiros son poderosos y se convierten en parte de la vivencia de todos Los que experimentan un Encuentro y contribuyen a mantener la santidad y el temor al Dios Omnipotente que se hace sentir y se manifiesta en diversas formas.

Tambien practicamos el concepto de Los tres dias para el retiro, porque creemos que el significado espiritual es contundente para Los resultados, tres dias separados para Dios marcan la muerte al pecado y la resurreccion del encuentrista a una Vida nueva, asi que comenzamos el viernes por la mañana y finalizamos el domingo por la mañana .

Cuando Rahab la ramera despidio a los espias les dijo k se fueran a la montaña y que permanecieran tres dias y que despues de ese tiempo los que Los buscaban no Los encontrarian Jos 2:16 , las experincias en el area de liberacion son terribles, somos testigos que todos Los espiritus inmundos que Han gobernado esas vidas salen gritando, chillando, maldiciendo y de Muchas maneras, porque aunque sabemos y reconocemos que solo Cristo puede dar vida nueva y abundante una de las responsabilidades de la iglesia es desatar a los cautivos, es fue la orden del Señor despues que resucito a Lazaro: “desatadle Vosotros ” y esta señal de la mision se manifiesta Constantemente en el desarrolo del retiro.

Los Encuentros son la estrategia mas fuerte que nuestro ministerio usa en el area de. Consolidacion, para nosotros los Encuentros no son un evento mas sino son parte crucial en el dessrrollo de nuestra vision, ya que el area mas dificil y ardua dentro de la iglesia es lograr que todos Los que visitan permanezcan y el encuentro marca la diferencia y determina el crecimiento de la Iglesia.

Pastor Byron Straube

MBI/ Newark NJ

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