By: Jamie Brace | Category: Other | Issue: May 2009
Haven Chappuis takes advantage of personal study time at Camp KidsJam.
A partner gave us his story, “I have visited many churches in my life trying to find a place I belonged. They were fine churches; I just never felt at home. I don’t own a tie, and I listen to rock-n-roll in my car, so the sound of the organ, while beautiful, never inspired me. I’d hear the words of the minister and long to have it mean something to me. Six days a week this is what my world looks like, then I would go in to church and feel it was disconnected from the world I lived in. So when I tried Cedar Point it was not what I expected.”
This person is not much different from any other person in our community. Whether their story involves a bad experience that left them wounded, tragedy that left them questioning, or they are just uncertain how to do this church thing, many people just stay home on Sundays. “God has something He wants to do in the lives of everyone, and He has a message that is relevant for all. Cedar Point works hard to create relevance, be authentic, and provide opportunities to experience God,” said Pastor Rick.
Cedar Point’s goal is to make use of Jesus’ teaching model by using what is familiar in our culture to engage the hearts of those that attend. The environment is casual, relaxed, like you were visiting someone in their own home. They play contemporary music – you might even think you are at a concert. Rick moves around the crowd talking and preaching, creating dialogue among the attendees.
The people at Cedar Point want authenticity, and the church wants to be known as a place where real life is talked about with real people. “If we had to be a ‘perfect church’ none of us could attend, especially me,” Pastor Rick said with a grin. He goes on to explain that everyone has moments where they are at their best and moments when they struggle; at the end of the day, they know they need Jesus just as much as the next guy.
Janie Jano with her daughters during their monthly family worship during Kidzlife.
“I love Oklahoma and plan on giving my life to the place I grew up. I want to be part of a church that makes a difference in the place where I live,” Pastor Rick said passionately. “I want Cedar Point to be a rock in our community. I spent 17 years serving at a church in New Mexico, and I know that stability builds really strong churches. God has given me the desire to create that, here in the community that has my heart, my roots, my past and now my future.”
The ministries at Cedar Point subscribe to the same practices. Each age group has their own bells and whistles, strategies and culture, all with the goal of bringing people closer to Christ.
Cedar Point has just finished an expansion project. The growth has exceeded their expectations, and they have two Sunday services at 9:17 a.m. and 11:02 a.m. Why those crazy times? “Because we are not a church like you’d expect,” Jamie Brace, a member of the volunteer staff, said with a smile and a wink.
If you are one of those that think church is irrelevant, lame, uninspiring, or that Jesus is just not your thing, come try us, and relax – church might not be as bad as you think.