Now that the results of the election have been tabulated I have two thoughts about people’s reactions.
The first is that some people are very disappointed by the results. Yesterday one of the verses I read during my quiet time was Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”
The modern day version of guarding our lips is to guard what we write on facebook and Twitter. I saw a lot of posts Tuesday night and yesterday that didn’t seem like people were guarding their lips. I understand feeling disappointed and maybe even uncertain about the future. I have had some of those feelings and that’s why I chose to not write anything publicly for a day. I didn’t want my words to be an over-reaction. I chose to guard my lips because I didn’t want to ruin my life by something I might say.
This principle is true all the time, not just after elections. Think before you speak or write it on facebook.
The second thought is that I have heard some people saying that it must be God’s will that a certain candidate got elected. I believe that God has ordained the roles of authority and that we are to respect those who have been given those roles. However, God has given us free will to choose and in a free country like America we get to use that collective free will to choose our leaders. God allows us to choose the leaders we want and then to deal with the consequences (good or bad) of our choices. It is God’s will that we have roles of authority but He lets us exert our will in picking those who will fill that role.
So what do I do today? Guard my lips whether my candidate won or the other candidate won. Pray for those who are in the roles of authority. Remember I am not following a President, I am following Jesus and He is the one that changes lives for eternity. Our purpose has not changed. We are still here on this earth to point people to Jesus.
Just some thoughts,
We value children! God put Crosspoint in a community full of families who need Jesus. We want to reach every man, woman and child we possibly can. So we have placed a high value on children.
We want parents to feel good about leaving their children in a safe, fun environment so that they can worship and hear about God without any distractions. We want to put children in an environment where they can learn about God on their level.
So we do our best to recruit quality volunteers and train them well. We work hard at creating a fun environment in every children’s room. We work hard at sharing engaging lessons about God. Literally hundreds of man hours are spent every week investing in children at Crosspoint.
Because we place such a high value we strongly encourage parents to take advantage of what is offered for their kids. From just a few weeks old through fifth grade there is a place for your child.
We also believe that what we do during each worship experience is so important we want everyone participating to have as few distractions as possible.
Maybe you are looking for a place to serve at Crosspoint. Kidpoint could be that place. Imagine the difference you could make in the lives of children and their parents every week…differences that will last for eternity.
Jesus modeled the importance of valuing children and we are trying to value them too.
For most people their first experience at church is a Sunday morning. They probably have been invited by some friends, maybe they’ve had some interaction with people from the church and maybe they have had some conversations about Jesus so they decide they will give Sunday a try.
We see Sunday mornings as the front door for most people into the life of the church. So we put a lot of effort into making their experience a great one. More than anything we want them to see Jesus. Nothing else matters if they do not walk away feeling like they were pointed to Him.
Most people walk in with some preconceived ideas that we have to get past so they can get a clear view of Jesus. That’s why we want to make sure they are greeted warmly. If Crosspoint is your church…you are on the Guest Services team. We’re counting on you to be friendly. Every Sunday is someone’s first Sunday so we have to be welcoming every week.
We’re counting on you to wear a name tag every week. If someone doesn’t approach you to give you a name tag…go find them. Everyone wearing a name tag makes everyone feel like they belong and it sure helps with remembering names.
We’re counting on you to be on time. Being late communicates to our guests that they don’t really matter and we don’t take this very seriously. So get up 10 minutes earlier and be here on time. It’s tough to make our guests feel welcome if you’re not even here when they arrive.
We’re counting on you to hang out on the Patio and strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. Go out of your way to get to know someone new every week.
The environment we create every week is very intentional. From our music, to the visuals, to Kidpoint, to Connection Point…it is all created to help someone who is investigating Jesus and His church feel welcome and comfortable.
Lost people matter to God and they matter to us too!
Sunday we wrapped our series, I Have A Friend Who… by talking about homosexuality. It is a tough topic that stirs a lot of different emotions in people. I have to tell you that I learned a great deal as I studied for last week’s message and had to come face to face with some sinful attitudes that I have allowed to be in my heart.
It is always a challenge to communicate effectively in 20-25 minutes about a subject as big as this. So I thought it might be good to summarize the key points I shared on Sunday and in doing so answer a few questions that I have heard this week.
Homosexual behavior is sin. The Bible is very clear that God created sex to happen between a man and a woman within marriage. That’s it. End of story. Crosspoint will always stand for the truth of God’s Word and that includes the truth that homosexual behavior is sin. Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1, I Corinthians 6:9-11.
God’s grace is extended homosexuals. God loves sinners. God loves those whose lives are broken by sin and that includes people who struggle with homosexual behavior. I have not been a very good dispenser of grace to people who struggle with this sin. I have been quick to condemn but not quick to offer grace. That is wrong. Don’t we want to see homosexuals discover God’s forgiveness and a relationship with Jesus Christ? How likely do you think it is that will happen if all they ever hear from us is condemnation? We are going to have to show them that they are loved if we hope to be able to have influence in their lives.
In the same way that we would welcome someone who is struggling with any other sin into our church, homes and lives we need to be willing to welcome those who struggle with homosexual behavior. That does not mean that we should ever compromise the truth or pretend that we think sin is ok. We need to teach the truth, but it needs to be taught in love. Our goal is to bring healing to their lives.
We seem to be so quick to judge the sins of others while we continue in our own sins. The sin of homosexual behavior is no worse in the eyes of God than any other sin. The Bible indicates that all sexual sin has greater consequences in our lives and the lives of others than other sins, but all sin breaks the heart of God.
So, for me the bottom line is that the church must stand for the truth. Homosexual behavior is sin. We must also stand for the grace of God. His grace is sufficient for all sin! C. S. Lewis said, “We’re all either helping people toward God or away from him.” I want to be someone who helps people, including homosexuals, toward God.
I spent the morning with our Action 365 team sprucing up some of the landscape at Mariner High School. Almost 20 Crosspointers were there serving simply because we care about the people in our community.
Before Crosspoint even started we were out serving our community and we’ve never stopped. We believe that if we are going to have influence in our culture it starts with earning the right to be heard and that happens when we serve. For too long the church in America went off and did its own thing and really ignored the communities we live in. When we started Crosspoint we decided that would not be true of us.
So, we’ve been picking up trash after football games, passing out water bottles, serving with Habitat for Humanity, providing free events for our community, doing landscape work, providing breakfasts for teachers and most recently working in our Adopted Neighborhoods.
I am convinced that the day we stop serving is the day we stop having influence. I don’t ever want to see that happen.
This morning’s team was great, but I have to share with you that lately it has seemed like we struggle to get people to be willing to go serve. That bothers me! I fear we are getting too comfortable on our new campus and we are letting our lives get so full that we don’t think we have time to serve others. That cannot happen. Serving people is at the root of who Jesus calls us to be as His followers.
If Crosspoint is your church then we expect you to serve our community. I realize that doesn’t mean you will be at every project…I certainly am not able to do that. It does mean that you will be part of what we’re doing as often as you can or you will be finding your own places to serve people in our community.
I want to say thanks to those who serve regularly! To those who haven’t been, let’s make a fresh commitment to serving!
None of us was created to try to do life by ourselves. It was God’s intention that we would be connected in relationship with other people. That is one of the reasons God created the church.
At Crosspoint one of our core values is the importance of connecting with other Christ followers in community. We have built Crosspoint around Life Groups. We desire and even expect that everyone who calls Crosspoint their church will be a part of a Life Group. That is why we offer groups that meet on nearly every day of the week, at various locations, to study a variety of topics. We are striving to make sure there is a group for everyone.
We believe Life Groups are the primary way that people are cared for when they are hurting. It is their Life Group that will rally around them and give them the support and love they need. Quite honestly, if you choose not to get connected to a Life Group, I can almost promise you that you may not feel cared for when you experience a life struggle.
Community and being connected are at the very core of who we are at Crosspoint. Later in August we will begin sharing the line up of groups for the Fall. I hope you will decide to join one and be connected. I am confident that you will be so glad that you did.
Here’s my first in a series of post about what really matters at Crosspoint.
Our mission is to connect people to Jesus. Jesus sends His followers into the world to make disciples…to help other people become followers of Jesus. It is so easy for us to get so busy with life or so busy with church that we lose sight of this primary mission. God is counting on me and He is counting on you to point people around us to Jesus.
As our church has grown and we’ve moved into our own building it would be very easy to get comfortable and be satisfied with the people we’ve already reached. We CANNOT let that happen. Reaching people with the message of Jesus has to continue to drive everything we do.
Everyone at Crosspoint should regularly look at their life and asking, “Who am I investing in? Who am I building relationships with so that I can point them to Jesus?”
Relationship building takes time and energy. That is one of the reason we work really hard at not over-programming at Crosspoint. We don’t want people to be so busy at church that they don’t have time to invest in the lives of people who don’t come to church.
One of the most rewarding things I do… is the investments I am making in people outside Crosspoint who need to get to know Jesus. Who are those people in your life? Do you pray for them daily?
After you have invested in their lives we want to partner with you. We want you to invite them to Crosspoint where we can help you in the process of pointing them to Jesus.
I want to experience many more days like we did in May when watched 33 people publicly declare their faith in Jesus by being baptized. That will only happen as every one of us invest in people and invite them to Crosspoint.
Will you join me in pursuing our mission? Will you join me by investing and inviting?
I hope so…in fact I am counting on it.