Pastor Bill Martin
At first blush, some people were quite critical, but here we are just a week away from the launch of a new church.
With a “Thumbs Up” from the Truro Daily News, people seem to be warming to the idea.
What little debate there was seemed to centre on the number of churches that already exist in the Truro area. There is no question we have an ample number of buildings and congregations, but that is not the important question in today’s society. The critical question asks if everyone is being reached.
The purpose of Points of Hope Church is to reach people who are not aware of the power of God’s love, perhaps a generation that somehow bypassed a sincere look at what Jesus has to offer.
A quick look at most of the existing churches will reveal a number of empty seats. That is not a condemnation of those churches, but a reflection of our times. Those churches meet a very great need in feeding and nurturing the Christian following.
But what about those who are not following, those who don’t know, and those who have turned away? They are the ones we hope to serve at Points of Hope.
Will this new church look and act like all the other churches? Not at all! If you want to reach people no one else is reaching, you must do something no one else is doing.
Points of Hope will turn things around. First, our place of worship is anything but traditional. Instead of a big building with a steeple, we will gather in cinema one of the Cineplex Theatres at the Truro Power Centre in Millbrook.
Second, we don’t have a church organ. Oh, we have a keyboard alright, but that will be surrounded by other band instruments playing contemporary music in a contemporary way. What does that mean? It means modern Christian songs or modern twists on old Christian songs, in a modern way. Translation – loud.
Third, there may or may not be a sermon. Yes, there is a pastor and he has something to offer, but the reaching, teaching, and preaching should never be reserved for one hour on Sunday. It should be part of life and available through the other 167 hours of each week.
The gathering on Sunday at Points of Hope is reserved for a celebration. It will be an uplifting time to express our real emotional connection to Christ, to give thanks for how He set us free, and what He promises for our lives and our future.
Turning things around is not a new concept. Jesus really turned things around when He started His church. He was clearly a radical thinker, and He proposed radical beliefs, and in terms of the culture of His day, He proposed a radical lifestyle, one that is still radical to this day.
The key ingredient to following Jesus is to turn your life around.
Admit it, there have been times when you felt certain changes might make life a little better, or might make you a slightly better person. Isn’t that why we tend to make New Year’s resolutions? We plan to start the new year with a little tweaking here and a little update there. Sadly, good intentions are seldom fulfilled. It takes a very sincere commitment, a stick-to-it attitude, perhaps even a certain stubbornness.
Maybe it takes a little support group too. That is the purpose of church: people gathering to support each other in their bid to turn their lives around. Some days you are up and lifting those around you, while other days you are the one being lifted. It is a great way to face the ups and downs of life. You see, church is where family gathers to do life together.
Points of Hope might be turning things around, but hopefully in a good way. The first Sunday in the new year seems like the perfect time to start turning things around.
Bill Martin is pastor at Points of Hope. He teaches: The goal of our conversations should not be agreement, but understanding.