When you’re looking for a church home, there are many factors to consider. Some factors are more important than others and it is important to weight and evaluate those factors carefully. Pastors don’t always get to choose the church they want to be a part of but they go where they believe God is leading them to go. I am doubly blessed as a pastor. Not only has God called me to be a shepherd of Grace Point Church, but I would choose to be a member of Grace Point Church even if I wasn’t one of their pastors (Lord permitting). Here are twelve reasons why:
#1: Grace Point is committed to learning and following the Bible
Grace Point believes that God has revealed Himself and His plan perfectly in the Holy Bible (Psalm 19:1-14). We believe that the Bible is inspired by the perfect God and therefore is perfect; being inerrant and infallible (2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 55:11). We believe that the Bible contains everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2-11).
At Grace Point, the main questions that are asked when considering what we should do in any given situation is not “How have we done this before?” Nor is it “What is the traditional way of doing this?” Nor is it “How do we want to do this?” Nor is it “How will people think of us if we do this?” Nor is it “What do we think will work best?” Rather, the primary questions our church asks are “What does God’s Word direct us to do?” and “How can we be most faithful to Scripture?” When considering material for our classes, Grace Point asks, “Does this material help us understand and apply God’s Word?”
#2: Grace Point is a church that is committed to expository preaching
There are many types and styles of preaching and they are not all created equal. Since the Bible is inspired by God, is perfect, and contains all that is needed for life and godliness and since Jesus is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18), it follows that His Word is what a church should be fed when gathered on the Lord’s Day for worship. Some sermons conceal God’s Word while others expose God’s Word. Some sermons use a passage of Scripture as a mere springboard for the preacher to say what he wants to say. Some sermons start by asking what the perceived needs of the people are. Some sermons start with the preacher asking what he wants to talk about and then he pieces together verses from all over the Bible to say what he wants to say. But in all these instances, the Holy Spirit, the Inspirer of the Bible, is not in the driver’s seat. But with expository preaching, one passage is selected, preached in its context, and the main point of the sermon is the main point of that passage. The preacher sees his job as explaining and applying the passage to exhort the congregation to trust the passage and live in light of it. This is the preaching that Grace Point Church values and strives to attain.
#3: Grace Point is committed to regenerate church membership
Regenerate church membership is the primary Baptist distinctive and a necessity to have a healthy and genuine New Testament church. Regenerate church membership means that the church membership consists only of those who are born again through faith in Jesus Christ. Regenerate church membership takes a great deal of effort on the part of the church through admitting members carefully and practicing church discipline gently. How do we strive for regenerate membership at GPC? The church requires that all potential members attend a membership class to ensure that the basics of the Christian faith and the functioning of our church are understood. Then, a potential member must meet with at least two of the church’s elders to share his salvation testimony, baptism testimony, and prior church experience. Finally, upon the recommendation of the elders, the church membership votes to receive these potential members during a business meeting. Further, our church provides an annual spiritual development assessment to encourage everyone to pray about their commitment to the Lord and to our church. Grace Point Church keeps her membership role up to date and will practice church discipline as the Lord leads with sincerity, gentleness, and the goal of reconciling the erring member to Christ and His church.
#4: Grace Point is a gospel-centered church
Grace Point Church knows that all Scripture points to Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27, 44) from Genesis 1:1-Revelation 22:21. Our sermons, Bible studies, and gatherings will encourage us all to grow in our understanding, appreciation, growth, trust, and emulation of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ—preparing us for the return of Christ. We know that the Bible is not a rule book but rather a revelation of God Himself so we may come to know Him, live with Him, and live for Him.
#5: Grace Point is a church of sincere faith
Grace Point Church is currently experiencing growth and blessing from the Lord. And everyone knows that it is from the Lord. By God’s grace, we haven’t been trusting in ourselves to bring about this growth. We haven’t been seeking the newest church growth trends or fades. We haven’t been trying to play to the perceived needs of our culture. We all know that God has called us to be faithful and leave the results up to Him. And as we see this growth, we give God all the credit, honor, and praise for it. The growth hasn’t come because of the Lead Pastor, or the council of elders, or the diaconate. It has come as a grace from the Lord by the power of the Lord to change lives. Being with Grace Point encourages my faith and I think God will use them to encourage yours as well!
#6: Grace Point is a missional church
Grace Point Church desires to reach their neighbors and those on the other side of the world with the gospel. We’ve recently seen some of our members begin sharing the gospel for the first time. The membership evangelizes more than any other church I’ve served alongside. I am always filled with joy when I hear that even our members in their 90s are still sharing the gospel! In my short tenure here, we’ve had more organized evangelistic outreaches than I can count. Grace Point Church is committed to international mission work as well as local mission work. They are committed to praying, giving, and going on mission. They’ve sent teams to Africa, Malawi, Brazil, Ohio, and Michigan since they’ve constituted in 2016. We are looking forward to new partnerships in Romania, Uganda, and Northern Minnesota. I was greatly humbled when I saw our church listed as the 8th highest giving (per capita) church to the cooperative program (Southern Baptist missional giving efforts) in the state of Kentucky out of the 2,400+ churches that make up the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Because of generosity like that of the members of Grace Point, there are more missionaries in the field, more churches planted, more evangelistic encounters, and more pastors being trained—to the glory of God!
#7: Grace Point is an elder-led church
Many Baptist churches are led by a single pastor, by their deacons, or by their staff. However, the New Testament model is that every local church is led by a council of elders (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). The term elder is used interchangeably in the New Testament with the terms pastor and overseer. When you join Grace Point Church, your soul is shepherded not by one man, but by a council of mature, Christ-like men who are called of God to lead and teach the church in God’s Word. Grace Point currently has four elders. I am one of them, and I have utmost respect for the other three. I trust their spiritual discernment and insight and am grateful to shepherd Grace Point alongside them.
#8: Grace Point is currently experiencing great unity
Unity in a church is a delicate phenomenon that must be guarded carefully. Currently, there is an unusually sweet spirit at Grace Point Church. Everyone is encouraged and on the same page. By the grace of God, we are pulling together to worship God, make disciples for Jesus, and love one another. There is something so precious and refreshing about times of unity like Grace Point is experiencing from the Lord now (Psalm 133). Come and be refreshed with us!
#9: Grace Point is currently experiencing the movement of God in a unique way
Over the last few months, Grace Point has seen around six decisions made to trust Christ for salvation, we’ve received six new members with several others in the process of joining. We’ve had two baptisms with one more in the very near future. We’ve restarted our children’s ministry after the pandemic, had a child dedication, seen our Wednesday night services grow to near sixty in attendance, we’ve brought on staff a Minister of Youth and Administration, we’ve seen near weekly responses to the invitations in our worship services, and we have just voted to pay off our new fellowship hall immediately, so we are debt free. God has been so good to us at Grace Point! He is responsible for all these good things, and we want to praise Him for them!
#10: Grace Point is an exceptionally friendly and welcoming church
I’ve heard from several of our visitors that our church is extremely friendly. When you come in, you will likely be welcomed by several members. You will know that we want you here! Everyone who visits and fills out a connect card receives a Starbucks gift card in the mail to show them they are welcome at our church. One of our newer members said that our church can be described in one word, “home.” One man, who was the only African American man for a few Sundays said, “I know I’m the only black man here, but every time I come, I feel like I’m part of the family.” Whatever your ethnicity or economic situation, you will feel welcome at Grace Point. In our church, you won’t find “cliques” that you cannot join. You will find a family to which you can belong. You will find people who love to laugh together and people who are willing to cry together. I have found that in six months of being with Grace Point, I’ve laughed more than I had laughed in the last five years. At Grace Point, I know I belong. At Grace Point, you will find a place to belong.
#11: Grace Point has been built on a strong heritage of ministering to Henderson County and beyond
Grace Point Church came into existence in 2016 as two historic churches merged to form one new church. Those two churches were Immanuel Baptist Temple (IBT) and Audubon Baptist Church. Both churches came from Henderson’s First Baptist Church. Audubon Baptist Church was planted in 1892, originally at the corner of Letcher and Helm Streets. In 1988, Audubon Baptist moved to Grace Point’s current location on Zion Road. Audubon Baptist planted Hyland Baptist Church and Finley Baptist Church. IBT was planted in 1914 on 2nd Street near downtown Henderson. IBT planted Eastview Baptist Church, Watson Lane Baptist Church, and Lawndale Baptist Church as well as starting the Kathy L. Strange Answer Center located on Second Street. The two churches merged in order to more faithfully and strategically reach people for Christ with the resources God has provided. Merging churches is no easy task. Two churches must be willing to leave behind their identities in order to form a new church. However, such a sacrifice of identity to benefit and further the Kingdom of God speaks volumes about a church. Grace Point Church prioritizes God’s kingdom above personal preference, glory, authority, and identity. Now, Grace Point celebrates and builds upon the heritage of these historic churches while seeking God’s purposes in an unhindered way.
#12: Grace Point worships God well together
Worship is more than singing songs together. Worship is ethics: it’s how you live to show that God is worthy of living for. But the worship that happens together on Lord’s Day mornings should fuel our living for the Lord the rest of the week. It should help us experience the glory of God. The Grace Point Praise Band does an excellent job leading the church in praising God and reminding us of His greatness. When you come, you will feel free to worship God. You will feel free to raise your hands in worship or to cry in worship. I’ve yet to see anyone look bored during our worship services. One of the most soothing experiences I have every week is to look out at Grace Point after a long sermon and see everyone worshiping God sincerely. During the invitation, I see senior ladies, among others, raising their hands in worship. I see members singing heartily with smiles on their faces. I see people who, after an hour and fifteen minutes of Sunday School and another hour and fifteen minutes of worship are still in no hurry to leave. They love God and they love each other. Even at the end of the worship service, they want to keep singing His praises together!
This list could have been so much longer but I hope it has demonstrated why I am so blessed to be a member of Grace Point Church and that it has intrigued you to come and experience God’s grace with us. As the New Year is upon us, would you make it your resolution to visit a Bible teaching church? If you live in Henderson County, please visit Grace Point. If you don’t, please find a church you can visit. If you’re already a member of another faithful church, will you recommit yourself to that church and worship God well with them? May God bless you as you seek Him with His people in 2022!