To be used on Sunday, December 29 by individuals, families and groups since we are not having a church service on that date.
Welcome to the Home Worship Experience of 2019! We are so thankful for every person who engages in ministry and serves on a team here at The Point Church. First, our hope is that you have had a wonderful Christmas season and are looking forward with great joy to a new year and a new decade of 2020, can you believe that? Wherever you are, you may be driving around, you may be returning gifts, you may be sitting around the breakfast table or at a coffee shop with some friends or your small group. But say this word out loud, “stretch”. Come on, say it again, louder “stretch”. In 2020 God desires you and me to stretch out our capacity to trust beyond what we believe we’re capable of, regardless of where we’ve been or where we currently are. God wants us to expose our doubts, our hangups, and our hurts to him in order to bring about promise, growth, and vision.
In the Gospel of Mark, chapter three, Jesus walked into a church and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Two specific things Jesus said to this man, first, in verse three Jesus told him to stand up. Now, not just stand up in the midst of the crowd, but in front of everyone. Can you imagine what it must’ve been like to be crippled in the first century and then to have the command to stand up in front of everyone to show your hurt, to show and expose what that was for everyone? Well, in 2020 each of us will have an opportunity to stand. Too many people in the church today, overall, are just sitting, maybe even hiding in the back. Statistics are now telling us that many people stopped going to church altogether in the last 10 years. Church participation has dropped dramatically. As a result, there are now fewer people willing to stand, stand and share their stories of faith.
Fewer people willing to stand and get involved in the community, being engaged on teams, fewer people having the confidence to stand and simply say, “Jesus is the center of my life”. Well, the year 2020 starts a new decade, not just a new year, and we have to be willing to stand and move toward the vision. Without vision, we just wander around aimlessly. As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us in Proverbs that without vision people perish or they cast off for strength, they don’t know where they’re going. We have to be willing to stand and share our faith with others. Those we work with, our neighbors, and even the toughest of those, our family. It’s been said that the number one problem in America today, it’s not abuse, it’s not an addiction, gun control or even the political mess we’re in. No, the number one problem in America is the lack of courage to stand for what is truth.
This next year, the leadership team here at The Point is challenging for you to stand. Get on a team, participate and engage in ways that possibly you never have that can really make a difference. In the entire month of January at The Point will be about vision. Vision enables you to know what’s next. Vision forces us to ask a huge question, “what would it take?” Well, during January we will ask that question every week in our teaching series along with what is vision. How do you know what your vision is? What happens if you don’t have a vision personally, corporately? What will it take for you to really change and achieve your vision in 2020? What would it take? Then on Sunday, January the 26th, the last Sunday of the month, the leadership team will be sharing together the vision for 2020, the entire year at The Point. This is a Sunday that you just can’t miss.
Secondly, back in Mark 3:5, Jesus told the man to stretch out his hand. Jesus said, “first stand up”. Second, “stretch out your hand, not your good hand, show me what you’re struggling with.” As soon as he stretched his hand out, it was healed, he was restored. It happened as he stretched.
We are asking each of you, all of us as a church, in 2020, beginning now, beginning today, during this Home Worship Experience to pray and to stretch. When I was in the Air Force, I joined in 1979 practically right out of school, in Rescue Operations. I could only accomplish certain physical exercises, In order to become what they wanted to me to become, they needed to increase my capacity, my physical capacity. Within 12 weeks, I almost doubled the number of pushups, doubled the number of pull-ups and doubled the swim length that I was capable of doing from when I joined.
Listen, 2020 is the year to stop making excuses and start asking, “what will it take?” Stop saying what we can’t do and instead stretch when we don’t think we can. Stop looking in the mirror and seeing what you’re not and make the stretch in your faith and start believing in who you are in Christ Jesus. As a church, friends, this is our time to increase our capacity. Friends, this is our time to stand and stretch. We’re going to stretch in small groups. We’re going to stretch and building serve teams, not just within our church but in our community. We’re going to stretch in our growth. We’re going to stretch in prayer like never before.
And speaking of stretching and prayer, let me give you just a sneak peek at a portion of what the vision for 2020 will look like. We’re making a primary theme for 2020 here at The Point, “Pray First.”
As a way to introduce the vision of Pray First, we will have 21 Days of Prayer, beginning on January 12th. We will publish a 21 Day Guide for prayer and then come together corporately on the last three Wednesdays of January at 6:00 AM. Yep, you heard me right, 6:00 AM in the morning to Pray First and do that corporately on Wednesdays in the month of January. We will conclude the 21 Days of Prayer with a huge night of worship and celebration on Friday night, January the 31st, which is also a part of our 2020 vision, and you’ll hear more about that on the 26th. You will hear Pray First throughout the year as we all stretch together believing God for the promise and vision he has set before us. Then again in late August, we will have another 21 Days of Prayer as we corporately continue to seek him, stand and stretch. This is a phenomenal moment for us as we turn the corner into a new decade.
God has spoken to the leadership team and given clear vision like never before on where he wants to lead us here at The Point, but we all, you and I, have to stand and stretch. We have to believe for more than we’ve ever believed. As we move into January let me close this Home Worship Experience with a huge and compelling ask. Please, please try and be present every Sunday in January as we talk about vision and we ask that most important question, “What Will It Take” together? Make sure you are here. Mark your calendars right now. Go into your phones, wherever it is and mark right now as you’re sitting, as you’re listening, January 26 be there as we give the 2020 vision for The Point Church. My prayer, our prayer, the leadership’s prayer, “Jesus give us the faith to stand up, stretch like never before and make 2020 our best year ever.” We’re believing you for that.
We believe in you. God bless you. Thank you for all that you have done and all that you are willing to do. Let’s stand and stretch together as Jesus calls us forward. Amen. God bless.