State of the Church

Worship Service for January 9, 2022

ANNOUNCEMENTS

On January 30th, MDG Flooring of Medina will be replacing the carpet on the stage and in the office behind the stage with a new flooring material. Toward that end, the Trustees are encouraging anyone who is able to remain after worship today to help quickly clear those two areas. Then a group of guys will take up the old carpet.

I want to thank those of you who have given to the cause of live-streaming our worship services. Funds came in last month and we were able to purchase what I hoped would work as a camera. Unfortunately, the camera did not work out for us and I had to return it. I have since learned that the camera we need is going to cost about $1,500 of which we are about $700 shy. If you would like to see our church begin to live-stream our worship services, and would like to make a special offering for that purpose, please mark your check, ‘live-stream.’

CALL TO WORSHIP

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord; praise His name.
Each day proclaim the good news that He saves.
Publish His glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things He does.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround Him; strength and beauty fill His sanctuary.
O nations of the world, recognize the Lord;
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
Give to the Lord the glory He deserves!
Bring your offering and come into His courts.
Worship the Lord in all His holy splendor.

Psalm 96:1-9a

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Luther, Martin

A mighty Fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.
A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed,
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
We tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure,
For, lo, his doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours,
Through Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also.
The body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever.

A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.
A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.
A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.
A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.

© Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

Jesus Your Name

Chapman, Morris/Cloninger, Claire

Jesus, Your name is power.
Jesus, Your name is might.
Jesus, Your name will break ev’ry stronghold.
Jesus, Your name is life.

Jesus, Your name is healing.
Jesus, Your name gives sight.
Jesus, Your name will free ev’ry captive.
Jesus, Your name is life.

Jesus, Your name is holy.
Jesus, Your name brings light.
Jesus, Your name above ev’ry other.
Jesus, Your name is life.
Jesus, Your name is life.
Jesus, Your name is life.

©1990 Maranatha Praise, Inc./Word Music,Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Dear Lord, our God, we offer You thanks for another opportunity to come together in Your name to sing a new song, to proclaim Your goodness, to praise You for providing our salvation by the offering of Your Son and our Savior Jesus the Christ. His name means everything to us. And because it does, we have come into Your courts with an offering of substance and an offering of ourselves. Accept our offering for the sake of Christ, amen.

OFFERING

If you would like to send your offering through the mail, our mailing address is:

CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215

OFFERING/PRAYER SONG

He is Our Peace

Groves, Kandela

He is our peace
Who has broken down ev’ry wall.
He is our peace, He is our peace.
He is our peace
Who has broken down ev’ry wall.
He is our peace, He is our peace.

Cast all your cares on Him,
For He cares for you,
He is our peace, He is our peace.
Cast all your cares on Him,
For He cares for you,
He is our peace, He is our peace.

He is our peace
Who has broken down ev’ry wall.
He is our peace, He is our peace.

He is our peace
Who has broken down ev’ry wall.
He is our peace, He is our peace.

©1975 Maranatha! Music (admin. by The Copyright Co.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
answer me, for I need your help.
Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
You are my God.
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
for I am calling on you constantly.
Give me happiness, O Lord,
for I give myself to you.
O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord;
hear my urgent cry.
I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble,
and you will answer me.
Teach me your ways, O Lord,
that I may live according to your truth!
Grant me purity of heart,
so that I may honor you.
With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to your name forever, for your love for me is very great.
You have rescued me from the depths of death.

Psalm 86 – A Prayer of David.

SCRIPTURE

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
Then He asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build My church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

Matthew 16:13-18

He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from Him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through Him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by His Spirit.

Ephesians 2:17-22

MESSAGE

State of the Church

Randy K’Meyer

A pastor was caught stealing in the church by a member of the church. The Pastor said, “Blessed are those who see and don’t talk.”
And the church member replied, “For they shall receive their fair share.”

You might say that church was in trouble.

And it might be said that the average church in America is in trouble. In 1937 when the first Gallop poll was taken, 73% of Americans attended church. That number remained about 70% until it began to steadily decline in 1999; until in 2018, that percentage had dropped to 50%. That 20 percentage point drop in 18 years is due to the fact that more and more younger people are reporting they have no religious affiliation. The newest figures for 2021 indicate it has slipped another 3% however; we can safely assume that is due primarily to the pandemic. 1

Last January, the average church in America was experiencing a 60% drop in average worship attendance from pre-pandemic levels. 2 That means that, on average, 4 out of 10 people, continued with in-person worship. It remains to be seen how much, if any, that has changed in the last 12 months.

We could, if we wished, spend the next 30 minutes lamenting the current state of the church in America. But I do not wish to lament. I want to say there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic at CrossPointe as we embark on another year of ministry in Chippewa Lake.

For one, although the average church saw that 60% decline in worship attendance, CrossPointe has only experienced a 43% decline due to the pandemic! In other words, instead of 4 in 10, 6 in 10 of our folks have come back. And that is a reason to celebrate!!

Will we recover when all of this is over? I tell you the truth; I don’t believe that we will lose even one person. As I look over the list of people we haven’t seen in a while, I am confident that all of them have great faith in Christ and that when they feel safe to return they will be back among us.

In fact, I can’t wait until the day when we can announce that we are going to have a great re-gathering day when the entire CrossPointe flock will come home to roost; not unlike the swallows returning to Capistrano, or the buzzards returning to Hinckley. That day will be a great day of rejoicing and I can’t wait until it gets here!

Want some more good news?

Usually, worship attendance is directly tied to giving patterns. When attendance is up, so is giving; and visa-versa. The unexpected, but beautiful thing is that didn’t hold true at CrossPointe. Whereas attendance is down 43%, giving is actually up slightly!

How do we account for that? Just because many of our folks have not been able to attend live worship doesn’t mean that they aren’t committed to the Lord. They have remained faithful in this regard by sending their offerings through the mail. Some have even increased their giving through this difficult time. And the same could be said of many of you.

This indicates your commitment, dedication, and loyalty to the Church of Jesus. You know how very important it is that His Church continues to not only survive but thrive; especially in times like these. And so, the state of the church concerning our financial picture is very positive!

What about our ongoing ministries? Truth be told, we are not running at 100% efficiency. There are some ministries on hold due to COVID concerns: As you know we have not been Gathering to Scatter into the community to help folks as we love to do. And although 4 people have been trained in Stephen Ministry, we do not feel it is wise at this time to ask them to go into the homes of people they do not know; for their own safety as well as the safety of that other person.

But on the bright side, Sunday morning worship will continue.

My Disciple Bible Study will resume this Thursday as we begin to delve into the New Testament.

Chuck Lemmon continues to hold his Recovery group online on Friday nights.

Annie Dean and Gale Arthur are ready to launch another version of Grief Share on Tuesday, January 18th here at the church.

Our once-a-month Friday Community Meal continues to be served drive-up style.

Our partnership with the Lions Club remains strong and we look forward to supporting Chippy’s Back on February 19th.

Our Church Leaders continue to meet. This includes our church staff which includes yours truly, my wife, Gail and Annie Dean, and Chuck Lemmon. We normally meet once a week to talk about anything church-related. We supply information to the Trustees and Leadership Team so that they will be better able to accomplish their tasks.

Our Trustees, who have the responsibility to maintain and improve our building and grounds, met this past Tuesday. I would like to present them to you now: Jerry Barnes, Jack Gerber, Stephanie Kinney, Frank Noble, and Bill Richardson. And our staff, Annie, Chuck, Gail and I are also part of the Trustees.

Our Leadership Team, which has the responsibility to oversee our mission and ministry will meet this Tuesday. And I would like to present them to you now: Jim and Gale Arthur, Heidi Cantlin, Robyn Gerber, Phil Strauss, Brad and April Winter and of course, our church staff; Annie, Chuck, Gail and I.

Our Pastoral Succession is on hold; not due to COVID, but due to my postponed retirement (we’ll talk about that shortly). And I would like to present them to you now. In addition to our Leadership Team being part of that group, we have Alan Robbins, who chairs the team, Stephanie Kinney, Ron Thomas, and Sandy Barnes.

As it concerns my retirement, at the last Leadership Team meeting on November 21, I told them that if they felt it was in the best interest of the church, I would be willing to continue as pastor through 2022 if they would be willing to allow me more than four Sundays a year off to travel, now that two of my children and their families have moved out of state and Gail’s two boys live in Florida and New York. Then I left the room so that they could freely discuss this possibility. When they called me back in, they informed me that they would be willing to allow me to have “up to” 15 Sundays off a year. I told them that was very generous and that I would not be taking that many.

We will fill our pulpit with a mix of our own people who feel the call to preach and guest speakers. And I will allocate the necessary amount from my salary to pay for pulpit supply.

I also want to let you know that our Leadership Team decided a few months back to require me to give our Leaders and Pastoral Succession Team six months’ notice prior to my retirement.

Because of the excellent work of the Succession Team, the church is in a good position to secure a new pastor when that time comes. As of now, it is their intention to hire an Interim Pastor. Interims have been specially trained to help churches through the process of pastoral change. They spend 12 to up to 24 months in that regard before the hiring of the permanent replacement.

I hope and pray that this decision will give continued leadership stability during these uncertain times.

Then there’s your role at CrossPointe.

For all of you play a vital role in making CrossPointe everything it could be and should be.

The church is made up of all those who have put their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. In chapter 1 of Ephesians Paul writes,

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure (4-5).

Then later he writes,

You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself. We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.

Ephesians 2:19-20a

Your participation in the life of the church is critical to the church’s future health.

And one area that I would like to highlight is something I introduced last Easter: Each One Reach One.

I asked you to think of some folks who you personally know who need Christ as part of their lives. I asked you to write down their names and began to pray for them; that God would open their hearts to the possibility of giving their lives to Him, such that when you invite them to attend church with you, or better yet, you share with them the good news that Jesus gave His life that they might believe, they would respond in kind. And I set a goal of accomplishing this mission by this coming Easter. So there’s still time to pray for them.

And I am counting on the fact that by the time Easter rolls around on April 17th there would be no reason whatsoever to not invite others to attend worship with us. And will you please pray for me that I will deliver a God-inspired message
that will reach people with the love of Christ.

This is our highest calling as Christ-followers!

Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit” (Matthew 20:19).

The brilliant William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, from 1942 to 1944, once said, “The Church is the only institution that exists for those who are not yet its members.” 3

I don’t see how we could go wrong for we have the greatest news anyone could hear: The God who created the universe loves them so much and can’t wait to forgive us and make is one with Him.

Our church is well-placed to accomplish our mission in 2022 because Jesus is Lord of the Church. He originated it, designed it, is building it, and He empowers it! We have everything we need to continue His ministry in this place because the ministry belongs to Him! His name is power, might, and will break every stronghold, His name is life!

“Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself.”

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.”

We are guaranteed victory because A Mighty Fortress is our God!

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle!

PRAYER IN RESPONSE TO THE MESSAGE

[I encourage you to pray as you feel led by the Spirit of God].

CLOSING SONG

Let It Be Said of Us

Fry, Steve

Let it be said of us that the Lord was our passion,
That with gladness we bore
Every cross we were given.
That we fought the good fight, that we finished the course.
Knowing within us the power of the risen Lord.

Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song,
By mercy made holy, by the Spirit made strong.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song,
‘Til the likeness of Jesus be through us made known.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song.

Let it be said of us: we were marked by forgiveness,
We were known by our love, and delighted in meekness.
We were ruled by His peace heeding unity’s call;
Joined as one body that Christ would be seen by all.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song,
By mercy made holy, by the Spirit made strong.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song,
‘Til the likeness of Jesus be through us made known.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song.

Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song,
By mercy made holy, by the Spirit made strong.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song,
‘Til the likeness of Jesus be through us made known.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song.

©1994 and this arr. ©1997 Maranatha! Music and Word Music (a div. of Word Music)
CCLI License No. 1843349

BENEDICTION

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

1 U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time
By Jeffrey M. Jones
https://news.gallup.com/poll/341963/church-membership-falls-below-majority-first-time.aspx

2 Church Decline and Recovery During COVID-19
By Enoch Hill
October 28, 2021
https://churchleaders.com/voices/exchange/408841-church-attendance-decline-recovery-covid.html

3 Salt for Sermons
http://saltforsermons.org.uk/category/church-growth/

Randy K'Meyer

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