Archive for September, 2011

West Park Church of Christ

Posted in Church Visits on September 28, 2011 by Waypoint Church Partners

author: Dave Hileman, Executive Director

Yesterday I was able to attend a service at West Park Church of Christ in Portsmouth on my way to share one of the VEF programs, Converge, with a growing church, Towne South, near Elizabeth City, NC.

West Park is a vibrant congregation who have grown and grown while wedged into a tiny sliver of property in the midst of the city. What struck me the most this Sunday morning was the passion as he preached and the diligent preparation that went before he ever began to speak that was evident in Keith Lewis’ sermon. You know immediately that this man is steeped in his text and delivers a complex message with hardly a glance at his notes in a most engaging manner. West Park has creatively addressed their property issues several times over the years and evolved their worship services but what drives their growth, in my opinion, is the focus on and and the clear proclamation of the Word of God.

West Park was also instrumental as a partner with the VEF in the forming of Celebration Christian Church.

If you are ever in the area West Park would be a great place to share in a worship service. Check them out at

Raising Leaders – Raising Questions

Posted in Fusion Groups, General Advice on September 21, 2011 by Waypoint Church Partners
How do you wrestle with the changes in culture?  What do you do when the successful leaders around you are doing a thing one way and you have always been led to believe that it should not be done that way?
Recently, I have had the privilege of being in Fusion Groups where the participants have been discussing just a variety of things that seem to be “sacred cows” in some of our churches and maybe need to be examined.
Some of the topics were:  Should the preacher know the amount a member is giving?  That question generated a spirited debate in a couple of our groups.  Some said definitely not, it may influence how the preacher ministers to that person.  Others felt that if the giving level changed it indicated a spiritual problem that the minister should be aware of.  Others maintained that those who don’t contribute shouldn’t have undue influence in the decisions of the church.
Another was: Do you baptize a person you don’t know anything about when they first come down the aisle? Or to ask the question another way:  What is required for a person to become a member?  The answers were not the same in every group and within the groups there were differences that were discussed.
I think this is one of the beautiful things about the Restoration Movement.  There is unity in the essential elements of our Faith but room for interpretation in areas of opinion.  Perhaps you would like to join the discussion, just give me a call and I’ll try to hook you up with one of our groups.  If there is not a group in your area, I’ll help get one started.

The Janitor

Posted in Church Planting, General Advice, Outside Article Reference on September 20, 2011 by Waypoint Church Partners

guest author: Matt Hafer,
church planter of Catalyst Christian Church in Morgantown, WV
read more from his blog here:

I was on WAJR radio this past Thursday talking about our Feed The Meter Saturday event (it was unreal by the way) and towards the end of the interview I was asked this question..

“So I read on your website that you want to make Jesus famous? Isn’t he already?”

I responded by saying, yes, but which Jesus? The Jesus that tells people to picket Iraq war veteran’s funerals? The Jesus that inspires people to murder muslims? The Jesus that says everyone should be rich?

No, I think it is the Jesus who is about love and acceptance and the Jesus who wants to use us to change the world in a good way by following him and living what he taught.

The truth is the more this church is happening, the more I notice that I feel like a CEO. I approve what colors and slogans go on our marketing, I tell people what our mission and vision is all day long, I hire and fire people (hope to never have to do the second part) and I am the figurehead of this revolution that is taking off in Morgantown.

But I am not a CEO. I am a minister (or Pastor if you like that better). I am here to both lead and SERVE.

Look at how Jesus thought about his ministry

Matthew 20:26-28

26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

You catch that? Jesus, the KING of KINGS, not just any old king, but the creme of the crop, said that he didn’t come here to be served, he came here to SERVE.

He wouldn’t be just organizing service projects in Morgantown, he would be feeding the meters with his people, he would be passing out prom dresses to girls who can’t afford one, he would be the servant, not the one constantly being served.

The truth is, if I want to lead Catalyst Church, I have to live much more like a Janitor and less like the CEO.

Here are some ways.

The CEO shows success by how nice his possessions are, Jesus was homeless (Luke 9:58)

The CEO tells you how much better “life” will be if you invest in his venture, Jesus told us if you follow him, you must 1st die (Luke 9:23)

The CEO is always trying to make money for him, Jesus told a guy to give it all to the poor (Luke 12:33)

The CEO wants to be on the cover for Forbes Magazine, Jesus often hid his identity (Mark 1:40-45)

You can go on and on.

If you will excuse me, I think there is a mop and a bucket somewhere that needs my attention.


Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2011 by Waypoint Church Partners

author:Rachel Price, Director of Media

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Every Story Has a Beginning

Posted in Church Planting, Church Visits, Prayer Request, Thank You on September 12, 2011 by Waypoint Church Partners

author: Dave Hileman, Executive Director

261 people gathered for the first public worship service at Discovery Christian Church in Bristol at the YMCA on Sunday, September 11. While the excitement of the day was clear, “it seems like Christmas morning,”  the preparations and prayers underway since early Spring were evident in how well everything went and especially how comfortable both staff and volunteers were with the myriad of tasks needed for an excellent opening day (and beyond!).

The Y is just a couple of blocks from State Street in the heart of downtown Bristol and has great parking. And once you left your car, you were greeted at the door, inside, at the top of the stairs (or elevator) and again entering the worship area. Good signs and smiling faces directed people to the right places: check in for children’s area or the nursery, a hot cup of coffee or the Connection Point. The band did a very good job, graphics were sharp and the room was buzzing as more and more chairs had to be set up as the worship service began. Tony Marr did a masterful job with the beginning of a series on Acts, Every Story has a Beginning, the continuing of God’s story; he tied it all into our stories as well.

As of September 11, 2011 in Bristol there is an exciting new place to encounter Jesus, grow in faith and service and touch the lives of many people in the area living far from God.

Please join them some Sunday at 10. For directions and information check out Discovery’s web site at: or on Facebook at

More Pictures:


Posted in Book Review on September 8, 2011 by Waypoint Church Partners

author: Harry Gill, Director of Church Relations

I started this book with an incredible amount of dis-interest. I thought that I was a story teller and there was nothing this woman could tell me about storytelling. Annette Simmons has taken the “story” and dissected it in forty ways to Sunday. (There’s an expression for you.) She explains the power of telling a story in about every situation you could ever imagine. She shows how a story can bond the speaker with whatever group is the audience. She also tells about the perils of abusing the “story” technic.

All of us could use the pointers that she shares to make the message we hope to convey more vivid in the minds of those to whom we preach. Remember some of the most important messages that Jesus taught, He taught in parables.

This is an important book for those who wish to make their preaching more memorable and their stories more effective. I give this book a four and one half hazelnut latte salute.