My husband and I have been attending North Point Church, the East Sunshine Campus since February shortly after we moved here to Springfield. In just a few short months, we met a lot of loving, giving people. It did not take us long to feel like we were becoming part of a community of like minded people who wanted a relationship with Christ as much as we do. We loved the worship, we loved the sermons, we loved the way that the church encouraged everyone to get involved. My husband grew up in this neighborhood, so we felt like this campus in this neighborhood was the perfect solution to “where God wanted us to attend church”.
Then on June twenty-ninth, everything started to unravel. The Senior Pastor of North Point Church Tommy Sparger admitted to moral failure. He admitted to having a year long affair. I had met Tommy the week before when he visited the North Point East Sunshine Campus. My impression of him was that he seemed humble. I told him that the reason I was there because of him. Then I said no, that wasn’t true, it was because of Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. He nodded and he moved on to speak with someone else.
His sin was not done in isolation. It affected a multitude of people and the situation was difficult for all of us,but we worked to process what had happened. The church body really seemed to try to pull together after that. It was though there was a death in the family, a very significant death. The one thing that we all felt was hope that God would bring us out of this experience, stronger than ever before.
We didn’t realize that not all the dominoes had fallen yet. On August 13th, the church board brought the attendees of the East Sunshine Campus together to let us know that because of financial circumstances beyond our control, the church had to close down the campuses of East Sunshine and Nixa at least temporarily.
Because of this one man, many came to know the Lord, therefore this same man’s sin has affected us too. (Nothing illegal, just poor judgement.)
As it says in John 10:10
The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, (Jesus said) I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
We have to remember that it was SIN that nailed Jesus Christ to the cross that day. Of course, it was not HIS own sin that did it, it was OUR that nailed him there.
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord Romans 6:23
As our church continues to grieve through its time of loss because of the sin of this one individual, I am reminded of how Christ’s disciples felt when he was crucified. Things had not gone as they had planned. The leader was gone, so they backed off from ministry. They hid because they were afraid of what future held.
But God had other plans for them. Christ rose from the dead. He was alive! Death no longer had a hold on him! Fifty days later, God gave them power to turn the entire world right side up with the Power of the Holy Spirit.
Just as God allowed the disciples to retreat to regroup, he has allowed us to retreat to regroup. God wants to give us a New Life and he wants to renew us with the gift of His Holy Spirit. He wants to solidify our faith in him, not in anyone else. He wants us to know that he has a greater work for us to do. God has a new beginning planned for us. He asks us just to do one thing. We need to open ourselves up to where the Holy Spirit is leading us. We need to learn to wait on God to make the next move.