Crosspoint’s first year a good one

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 24, 2007

NATCHEZ — What started as a group of 11 people meeting in a house in April 2006 has grown to a congregation of approximately 60 with a vision to reach the community in approximately a year.

Crosspoint Church, a non-denominational church loosely affiliated with the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), celebrated its one-year anniversary Oct. 14, and planting pastors Del and Renae Loy are excited about the future.

Even though the Miss-Lou is located in the part of the country known for having a concentration of churches, Del Loy said he felt led to plant another one here because there is still a need for more.

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“This idea that we have a church glut in the area is a myth,” he said.

“I sat down with the yellow pages listings of all the churches in the area, and after I did the math, I found that if every church was filled to capacity on Sundays there would still be people who weren’t going to church.”

Though the church began meeting in a house, they are now meeting in the Highland Health Club — where, among other things, they use the pool for baptisms — on Sundays.

“We called the 11 who were meeting with us in the house the ‘launch team,” Del said. “We sent out a mailing to 14,000 addresses in the area, and we held our first public service at Highland in October of 2006.”

The philosophy of the church is simple, Del said.

“We want to be the hands, feet and voice for Jesus in the community and beyond,” he said.

The church’s worship service is largely what sets it apart, Del said.

“It’s very casual, very contemporary,” he said. “I preach in jeans. But other than that, it’s a typical evangelical service, with prayer, singing, teaching.”

The reason the church decided to go in the contemporary direction was because they wanted to be a church for the unchurched, Del said.

“They don’t like the old, traditional setting,” he said.

“Whether rightly or wrongly, they feel they will be judged there.”

“We’re trying to make people disciples of Jesus Christ, but we are coming down to their level instead of them coming up to ours,” he said. “People from outside the church sometimes don’t understand ‘church language.’”

Another goal of the church is to be very family-oriented, Renea said.

“Families today need a lot of support,” she said.

“Because a lot of the kids who come from unchurched families don’t know about the Bible, we’ve tried to find a way to apply biblical teaching to things southern kids might identify with, like football.”

Since about 40 percent of Crosspoint Church does not come from a traditional church background, Del said he has begun teaching the basics of the faith to the congregation.

“We try to major on the majors,” Renea said.

Del agreed, and said, “Our focus is not to get caught up in all the trappings of church.”