Thanks for checking out the brand new ChangePoint Monthly Newsletter & Pastor’s Blog website!
This site has been designed around clear communication and maximum engagement with you, the ChangePoint family.
Here are some things to be aware of as you look around:Pastor's Blog - It is now easier than ever to share our posts on social networking sites like Facebook & Twitter. Look for the Facebook & Twitter icons at the bottom each post - This will be a place for regular posts from staff, elders, deacons, and leaders here at ChangePoint, as well as a place for us to share articles and resources that we come across that we think may be beneficial for you.
- Simple comment forum. We wanted you to be able to comment and interact as easy as possible. If you have questions about a certain post, would like to interact with the author, or just want to post an observation, please do so in the Comment section for each post. The hope is that this will become a place of two-way conversation for our church family.
- Do you use an RSS feed reader? Look for the RSS icon on the blog to stay updated with all of our latest posts. Monthly Newsletter
- The newsletter will be updated on the 1st of each month with new articles, events, resources, stories and highlights. The plan is to use this as a place for you to stay informed about what is happening in your church.
- This will be a place for us to highlight all of the exciting things that God is doing through the ChangePoint family. Will will share life change stories, opportunities to demonstrate the heart of Christ, and other ways that you can be the “light of the world”
- We will also use this as a place to help you get to know staff, elders, and other key leaders here at ChangePoint along with highlighting some of our GREAT volunteers that are embracing their role as ministers of the Gospel!
- The monthly articles from our leaders will be about a variety of topics and we hope that you find them engaging and informative.
Ultimately my hope is that this site will be a resource for you to feel communicated with and connected to your church home!
Look around, read the articles, leave comments, and please feel free to send me a message if you have any questions. Adam Legg
Welcome to the new monthly ChangePoint newsletter. The intent is to help keep you updated on what’s happening in the church family, give you a closer look at some of the people and processes that make our church great, let you know what’s coming, make you aware of some of our most urgent needs, and let you know how you can pray for your church.
What a great time we’ve had at The Table! A special thanks to all those who participated, and especially those who worked so hard to make all of the logistics behind the scenes seem easy! Remember to join us this Thursday night for the last Table meeting of our Activate series. If The Table is something you’d like to see as a periodic family gathering in the future, please give us your feedback. I’m thinking this is a keeper!
Rick Steele (Executive Pastor), Dan Jarrell (Teaching Pastor) and I just spent the weekend at our annual Executive Leadership Team (ELT) retreat at the cabin of one of our elders. This officially kicks off our ministry planning process for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins in September. I couldn’t be more excited about serving with these two men. They are both extremely gracious, humble servant leaders, and I admire them both very much.
One of the most stressful subjects (for me anyway) that we discuss at our retreat each year is how to adjust spending in light of current giving trends. This is my second year on the ELT and, for the second year in a row, we’re faced with lower revenue than expected. Instead of growing in the area of giving to the general budget, our church family seems to be shrinking back. It’s not completely clear why this is the case. Most other signs of spiritual health at ChangePoint are very encouraging. Living within our means is a guiding principle for our elders and staff and this past year that required significant spending cuts and resulted in a curtailed ministry plan. We left several staff positions vacant and tabled advances in men’s ministry, youth ministry, children’s ministry and mission. Gratefully, we did not have to lay off any of our current staff or discontinue support to any of our current missionaries. We are hopeful to avoid deeper cuts this year but that depends upon your generosity. If you are not yet participating financially or have not been participating recently for some reason, your investment is needed immediately! Significant decisions must be made soon and we hope to make them in a way that allows ministry to advance. If ministry has to be curtailed again this year, that involves decisions that are not always easy to reverse.
Despite current financial concerns, we continue to be obedient to God’s calling to demonstrate life in Christ to every Alaskan and the world beyond, making the most of every resource we have. This week, elder Craig Floyd and his wife Sue are attending the Acts 29 Member and Candidate Church Conference in Florida. This conference is at no expense to our church but allows us to pursue whether joining the Acts 29 Network is the right next step in leveraging our resources toward planting churches in Alaska. Please pray for wisdom as we pursue this next leg in our journey. You can read more about Acts 29 at www.acts29network.org
Looking forward to giving you another update next month.
Hello, ChangePoint ministers of the Gospel!
Life in Christ For The Next Generation. Sunday staff, volunteers and deacons wear T-Shirts that read, "1/168... It's not enough!" magnifying the need for families to engage children spiritually at home, beyond the one hour a week they spend here at church.
Children's Ministry has adopted the new name Family Ministry, celebrating a shift in focus to now include teaching, encouragement and challenge for parents and all of those who influence faith formation in children. Spiritual leadership is needed at all stages of childhood from cradle to college, and Family Ministry seeks to partner with families to help make growing up in Jesus intentional, fun, and full of vision as we all walk with children in both their everyday abiding in Christ and the important milestones of faith.
- Baby blessing/parent dedication/child dedication
- Leading your child to faith
- First Bible
- Preteen Passage
- Commitment to Purity
- High School Graduation
- College as Missions
Family Ministry will continue the outstanding programs for children on Sundays and during the week, adding new equipping experiences for parents like the Parent Summit, hosting and encouraging ceremonies around the list of milestones mentioned above, creating an online school of discipleship, and writing resource and curriculum reviews.
We are excited to see what God does through this shift in focus!
Family Ministry hopes to impact all ministries of the church, as everyone connected to the church is connected to a family! Think about it, we're all part of a family of some kind: Broken, Single-Parent, Traditional, Extended, "Alaska" family... many of these relational bonds standing stronger than blood relationships. All ChangePoint family members are "influencers," able to minister in a role of spiritual leadership in the many circles of influence that they are a part of -- especially the home.
A practical first step for Family Ministry was our Parent Summit in September, 2011. Over 100 participants were in attendance. This two-hour interactive teaching seminar is for all who influence faith formation in children and desire to learn core scriptural truths about family, parenting, and discipleship while receive encouragement on how to apply these truths practically in the home.
We invite all members of the ChangePoint family to join us for our second Parent Summit, February 25th, 9:30-11:30. Registration is open online (www.changepointalaska.com).
We are the ministers of the Gospel, and we are the Church; Family Ministry needs you to encourage and challenge families and influencers forward in their commission to lead, disciple, and pursue God for their families, homes and circles of influence.
Join us in prayer as we seek the Lord for what it means to be a church that truly celebrates and equips families to respond to the commands of Deuteronomy 6: 4-9:
For over a year now, Children's Ministry at ChangePoint has wrestled with some big questions regarding the role of the church and the role of the family in the mission,
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Today, if you’re in need or in a crisis and you contact Care Network, the person answering the phone says,” Hi, this is Hope, how can I help you?”
Hope Bauman is our new Care Coordinator. Hope comes from Nebraska (I call it “flat land”) and she and her husband Chad came to Alaska a few years ago for an adventure. I’m always amazed when people come all the way to Alaska with no job lined up. That sense of adventure is what makes Alaska a great place to live and work. Hope just finished completed her Associates of applied science in Professional Photography at Colorado Mountain College and they moved up to Alaska.
As I was writing a job description for the position of Care Coordinator I imagined a seasoned veteran with years of experience filling this vital role of coordinating all the different needs that come across our plate. I pictured this person with a deep sense of discernment and compassion that could only come with someone who’s been around a long time with a track record of years of ministry experience. I wanted this person to instinctively instill hope the moment they interacted with someone in need.
Chad & Hope Bauman
she informed me that she needed to have 3 weeks off (if she was hired) so Chad and her could fly to India and visit a young girl they adopted through Compassion International. They we’re fly there on their own dime to personally invest in the life of this beautiful young lady. I asked myself, “Do I need a season veteran or do I need someone who’s life and passion for people demonstrates the heart of Jesus Christ by the way they live it out?”
I hired Hope and she’s been a great fit for our team. She love’s people well and has lots of energy to help provide care and compassion to those in need. She’s got a passion to see the ChangePoint family make a positive impact in our city and state by providing demonstrating the heart of Jesus to our church family, our neighbors and our city.
We really do have Hope!
Pastor, Care Network
After meeting Hope and interviewing her for the position she clearly demonstrated a heart for people. During the interview,
I want a FUN church!
This statement was recently uttered out loud in our home. Perhaps, it warrants being dismissed as the juvenile rantings of a spoiled child. But, actually, I am the one who made the statement. I know, I know, church isn’t supposed to be fun. But, then again, maybe church should be the place that I experience fun and laughter on a whole new level. After all, life is hard and I need a church family that reminds me that in Christ, I can “laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25. If the church is actually one big family called together to live In Christ as the people we were created to be, we should be able to look at the future and laugh with the knowledge that God has us! Imagine a place where each one shows up uniquely designed with a bag of gifts and the confidence in Christ to use them. Our church would be full of all kinds of things that we don’t expect to see at church. The church should be a place of artistic expression, diversity of thought, outrageous creativity, great debate, wild passion, colorful personalities, and…..wouldn’t that be fun?
Fun has been a bedrock in our home. I am not sure we set out to be fun parents but we quickly learned that in the context of a fun home, the things that we really wanted our kids to grab onto and hold for a lifetime seemed to be a whole lot easier to grab. As we looked out the windows at a world that is harsh we wanted our home to be that one place where no matter what storms were brewing, our children would want to run home and just be there with us.
Our greatest devotionals or brilliant lectures on the finer points of doctrine have produced very little life change (make that no life change) in and of themselves. Our family memories, stories and willingness to show up in their culture has meant the world to each of them. We built trust and friendship and fostered great conversations about God, cried buckets together and celebrated each other as we dropped the façade of diligent, perfect parent and….had fun and laughed together. Then and only then did our challenges, life lessons, and devotional readings make their way into the hearts of our children.
Actually, there is something powerful about laughter. There are two types of laughter referred to in the Bible, one is the laughter of mockery and the other is a laughter that is the involuntary expression of joy. It’s the second form of laughter that I am talking about. Because you can tell me all day long that you are living in the joy of Jesus but your laughter gives proof to your words. It’s that laughter in spite of the tears that somehow can give us the courage to just take the next step. Laughter can lift our eyes and somehow make the next day seem possible. In our home, it’s the laughter that proves Jesus is enough. It’s an honest expression of hope because you can’t hide it or stop it.
The act of laughing has some side benefits as well. Did you know that you can’t burst into laughter and feel anxiety at the same moment? Laughter requires a level of relaxation. It also requires the temporary loss of control. It forces your body into a surrendered posture, if even for a moment. Laughter causes us to drop our guards. When we laugh with someone we step onto common ground.
Let’s admit that life change in the church does not occur from learning doctrine alone. It doesn’t occur from following a dynamic list of best church practices alone. Life change happens when I participate with the family of God as a family member. It happens in the context of real life and real brotherly and sisterly love for each other. All the rest of the “church stuff” is a mere outpouring of time with the family. So, following the logic, isn’t it just good strategy to create an environment where people want to hang out and be who they are, together?
The church has undervalued the gift of laughter as a whole for decades. We have forgotten what it even feels like to have fun at times.
I try to imaging conducting our home without fun. “Hey kids, when we gather at the table use your best manners as a sign of honor. Please see your need and let’s spend the time focusing on how lucky you are to be a part of this home.” How much priority would they place on being at the dinner table when they are finally old enough to choose? I don’t see my four kids in any hurry to pull up a chair if the table were only a place of instruction either. They need the good food but they also need each other’s stories of the day. They need a dad who makes one pancake out of a quarter cup of salt. They need a game of catch phrase, boys against the girls, that will determine who does the dishes that week. They need to be woken up at 11pm on a school night because the snow looks perfect for sledding.
I long for a little unpredictable fun and uncontrollable laughter……….in my church.
In his book Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God Joshua Harris writes, “Today we live in an increasingly fragmented world. That mind-set has influenced the way we approach our relationship with God. Faith is a solo pursuit. These days, experts describe America as a nation of ‘believers’ but not ‘belongers… ’” Harris calls many American Christians “church daters” who go to church only for what the church can do for them, if they go to church at all. They are independent, avoid getting too involved with others, little attention to God’s larger purpose for their lives and tend to be critical of those who take their church family more seriously. They say they “love Jesus but not the church?”
How can we love Jesus and not love what Jesus loves most? How can we honor Jesus and criticize or simply use what he gave his life to establish? The church is the bride of Jesus Christ. It is his family and the means through which he chose to tell the world of his love and to demonstrate his grace. To be part of the church is to belong to something immense, something that began before any of us were conceived and will continue long after we go to the grave. It is the only transcendent reality in our lives. God is rescuing people, planting them in his kingdom and progressively transforming their lives as they choose to belong to the church.
Belonging is about trusting Jesus to use the church in your life and to use you in the life of the church as he shapes us all into his likeness and presents us all together to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that we might be holy without blemish (Eph. 5:25f NIV). We cannot enjoy that wonder until and unless we commit to each other. At ChangePoint, we want you to be committed to your church family and not just dating it from time to time. It’s important for you and for us because the best of what Jesus has for us, he has for us together. If you haven’t done so already, I challenge you to pick up, read, sign, and turn in the ChangePoint family covenant. Join us in the calling of God and get ready to enjoy the blessing Jesus promises to his bride.
For the love of Jesus,
Welcome to the brand new ChangePoint Pastor's Blog!
This is where we will post articles, resources and other info from our Pastors and leaders!
An exciting new addition with this move is the Monthly Newsletter tab! This will be updated with great information for the ChangePoint family each month.
Check back often as this site is still in development.