What’s going on here? A greeter at the door, a lobby filled with tents and happy people, an energetic church service filled with music, testimonies, positive reports from ChangePoint leaders, and an unusually upbeat message from Teaching Pastor, Dan Jarrell? So many activities were planned that they had only two services. That’s not the ChangePoint I usually see.
Last Sunday, August 29, ChangePoint’s Homecoming Day, was filled with activities for members and the community. A ministry fair, the focus throughout the day, was a huge changer of my opinions of ChangePoint. While one might quarrel with whether churches need to be providing this depth of services in people’s lives, it’s certainly telling. So far, I’ve not seen any Anchorage church go to these lengths to inform their members and the public with regard to the scope of ministries they offer. There were more than a dozen small expo tents, each with four sides, with each side staffed with members supporting that ministry. Divorce, grief, diabetes, Boy Scouts, high school, missions, kinder care, Bible study and many more were represented. I was impressed![img_assist|nid=153029|title=Boy Scouts at ChangePoint Ministry Fair|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=263]
Music Really Worked!
The music was briefer and less boisterous than usual performed by a smiling and engaged ensemble of talented musicians. When “In Christ Alone”, a wonderful tribute to the Christian plan of salvation was sung, Pastor Jarrell, at the conclusion, started singing the refrain from the hymn “My Hope is Built”
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
What a moment![img_assist|nid=153030|title=Pastor Dan Jarrell Preaching|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=131]
State of the Church
Pastor Jarrell’s remarks were somewhat brief and to the point (click here to listen to or download recorded sermon), centering on their recent financial and administrative challenges. He typified 2009-2010 as a rebuilding year. 2010-2011 is a defining year, a year of “turning the corner”. Jarrell introduced ChangePoint’s new lead pastor, Jay Pullins, who is more of an administrative leader. Pullins, a local ex-military figure, offered his vision for the next year. Several other church leaders also gave interesting and useful reports.
Jarrell articulated ChangePoint’s mission and vision as follows:
Life in Christ for every Alaskan and the world beyond.
To train Christ-followers who are:
1. Enjoying God together
2. Being transformed together
3. Demonstrating the heart of Jesus Christ together
He finished by defining three key objectives for the year ahead.
1. Let my people go
2. Love your neighbor
3. Go to the nations
In conclusion, Jarrell noted there were challenges ahead with the sizeable balloon payment on their former ASI site, and in embracing the mission ahead. Their vision embraces using this facility in a way that it is leveraged for the benefit of the orphans, widows, and the poor.
I enjoyed this revisit to ChangePoint and certainly received a better glimpse of the reach of their ministry. Megachurches like ChangePoint do face criticism and challenges as they attempt to better impact their communities. ChangePoint appears to be dedicated to the task of growing Christians. Unfortunately many other megachurches around the U.S. are intent on fleecing the sheep under the guise of growing Christians. ChangePoint’s mission appears to preclude this. They appear to have changed direction. I’ll have to ask Pastor Jarrell to talk about this with me.
Thanks for the great visit ChangePoint! I look forward to monitoring your progress.