Love the Church.

This Sunday I’ll go to a new church for the first time in 2 years.

I thought, for a moment this week, about driving back to CrossPointe again. But then I reminded myself that I am called to be here, not there. And my heart broke.

When I think about CrossPointe, a lot of things flash through my mind.

The music is some of the best I’ve ever experienced. Paul leads the worship team with excellence.
The teaching is always first-rate. Even when Brad [who is a gifted speaker] is gone, the rest of the elders are just exceedingly talented.
The community is absolutely caring. Everyone is supportive and encouraging and I always felt well-loved.
The emphasis on missions is great. There are lots of missionaries we support and local ministries we’re involved in.
The youth ministry is very Biblical and wonderful. As a youth ministry major I’ve heard and seen a lot. Will just does a great job with the youth.
The leaders run the church with authenticity, integrity, wisdom, and prayerfulness.
The training that is often offered is some of the most centered and balanced you’ll ever receive. From parenting to how to lead Bible studies, it’s always good and applicable.

But the reason why it’s been so hard to leave CrossPointe is none of those things. It is this:

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

-Ephesians 2.19-22

I love CrossPointe because CrossPointe loves Jesus.

The music is excellent because Paul’s heart has been captured by the Lord and the worship team seeks to lead us to sing songs about God and what He’s done.
The teaching is first-rate because it’s Biblical, and because the pastors seek to exalt Jesus every single time they teach.
The community loves because they know they have first been loved by God when they were dead in sin.
The emphasis is on missions because Jesus is our only hope and the only hope for the nations.
The youth ministry is wonderful because Will and the other leaders seek to constantly show kids the truth of the gospel.
The leaders run the church well because they are serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
The training is balanced and wise because it’s always grounded in the work of Christ for us.

I will remember all these things for the rest of my life. I believe that wherever I go I will view CrossPointe as home. I know that I will always have dear, dear friends because of CrossPointe. I know that I will look back on these two years with the greatest joy. But as I look back to my time at CrossPointe, I look back and I will see above all else the majesty and beauty of Jesus.

There was this moment on my last Sunday where I opened my eyes during worship and saw my sweet friend Laura Susan raising her hands and worshipping. She was singing on stage and as she sung her face was absolutely radiant with joy. It was the kind of joy you can’t fake, the kind of joy that comes when you are meditating on something so wonderful. It floored me completely and I just cried. I cried because I was sad about leaving, but more than that I cried because in that moment I could see that Jesus was more lovely to Laura Susan than anything else.

Jesus is so good, so faithful, so wonderful that He woos the hearts of broken sinners to Himself. Think about it – He redeems us from the pit when we least deserve it. He gives life to dead and dying hearts. And in that, He becomes the sweetest and deepest joy of our lives. We no longer live for ourselves, but for Him.
This truth has become closer to my heart because I have spent 2 years with people who know and understand that joy as well, and seek to constantly remind each other of Jesus.

CrossPointe is only lovely and dear because Jesus is lovely and dear. And I am thankful for the privilege of seeing and savoring Jesus with these people for two years. So if you’re reading this and somehow you were part of this small local body, thank you. Thank you for pointing me to Jesus, for loving Him and loving me, for being the closest thing to the church in the Bible that I’ve ever seen. Thank you for not trying to make CrossPointe the best church it can be, but instead trying to exalt Jesus with grace-driven effort. I love Him more because of all of you. Thank you.

——

My last Sunday was also the last Sunday of a great friend, David. He and I went to college together and ended up in Georgia near each other. He was the first friendly face I saw after I moved, and I still remember him looking at me that first Sunday I came to CrossPointe and saying “This is a great church.”

I know that I love Jesus more because I have been friends with David. I could write a whole post about his impact on my life, but I won’t. Instead I encourage you to check out his blog and pray for the work God is going to do in Brazil through his ministry.

And lastly, give your heart to a local body. As much as I’ve gushed about CrossPointe, it isn’t a perfect church. It’s full of broken sinners and isn’t heaven and has problems like every church. But it is Jesus’ bride, and He loves her. Love her just as well.

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