Looking Back with Gratitude, Forward in Joy

October 21, 2020

At the first of the month I had a “trip down memory lane.” I visited the original building where NewPointe began. I came here as a single young pastor to lead the Sugarcreek Free Methodist Church. I found a small but great group of people who were anxious to be all we could be for God and reach this community. We made so many tremendous memories there, and we grew spiritually and numerically and in love for Jesus and each other.

The initial building was built in the early 70s, and then as we outgrew it we added on the second addition from 1989-91. It was a lot of sweat and blood from so many wonderful people. God continued to bless us as we pulled together and we kept growing. Then we added on the final beautiful addition in 1996. God met with us regularly there, and before we knew it we had outgrown that addition as well, and we built at the current Dover location. You are all familiar with how God keeps working! The more we obey, the more we give and serve, the more He does. 

The reason I went back to visit and have another look is because our old building was being torn down. I was able to take a look around before the walls came down. I had memories of many specific people and specific events as I walked around. Someone asked me if I was bothered by it being torn down. No, I was not and am not. I have thought about it though.  

We invested so much work in that building. I can’t even imagine the hours and hours and days, weeks, and months we worked to make it the best we could—and it was completely gone in two days. What does that tell me? Nothing material, no matter how much we love it and work to make it great, will last forever. But that’s nothing to break our hearts. 

We invested far more time, energy, and resources in reaching people in our community and the surrounding areas for Jesus Christ. So many people came to Jesus. Marriages were saved, hearts transformed, lives changed, people called to ministry. A beautiful, lasting building was never the goal. The people who will live forever knowing Jesus was the goal, and that building was a tremendous tool and resource for getting it done. Our memories are wonderful, and the reality is that the people are the Church, and they last forever.  

Both sets of my grandparents had the same make of plaque hanging in their homes. It was a little brown wood sign that said, “Only one life will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” So true. Buildings are wonderful, but their usefulness eventually expires. Our investment in people for Jesus is eternal. 

We can look backward with gratitude and forward in joy. Our mission is the same, and God is with us.