The church's lead pastor, Chris Hankins, had left his job as middle school pastor at our home church right as our oldest had moved up to middle school, so we had only heard good things about him from friends who had older children. He had done a great job of discipling the students and training them to serve. We saw several other familiar faces too.
|Mission Valley Cinemas -Adjacent to the Ethiopian Restaurant|
Our younger children enjoyed their classes that met in the front of movie theater, and our middle school son, LOVED simply studying a Bible passage with a small group of other students! The BBQ pork loin sandwiches were awesome too, and the kids got to bounce around right after eating! (Good thing they didn't eat too much!)
A few weeks later, we went to Starting Point again to hear Chris's sermon about demons. (Something that I've always wondered why nobody ever talked about because we really do need to know what we're up against -and that the battle is won!) It was great, and I loved that he came out of the shoot admitting that he was no expert and that he didn't know what he was talking about other than what the Bible says. (Maybe, that's why nobody teaches about demons!) I love his humility!
After that service, Chris hunted us down and made a coffee date with William & me. It was strange to feel wanted -reminding us of things that had been missing. It was funny to feel like we were being courted.
We had a nice "date" with Chris at Panera. He wanted to get to know us and have an opportunity to get to know him a bit. We were able to share our concerns about student ministries, and we left feeling that he understood us, and he gets it. (I actually think he got it years before we did!) He shared the vision of Starting Point: REACH people with the love of Jesus, TRAIN people to follow Jesus, SEND people out to reach others, and grow 30 churches in 15 years!
The first church launches in Apex in February, and our friends have boarded that ship!
We went back a 3rd time and now, a 4th time. Tomorrow will be out 5th and 6th times as we check out the preview service for the new Apex church. (Apex Middle School 5 pm! Come on!) Starting points seems to be the place to go where we are all comfortable. If visiting new churches is "church shopping," we're taking Starting Point into the dressing room to try it on.
The next step is connecting with more people as we continue to pray about where God wants us and how he wants us to serve -preferably using some gifts!
I am excited to see what God does next!
Luke 10:2 (NIV)
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.