Come join us for a powerful early morning outdoor worship service on Easter Sunday featuring congregational singing, responsive readings, prayer and the Word of God.
Community Easter Sunrise Service Slated for 7 a.m. April 9
Continuing the tradition of bringing the community together in the Gospel, Life Point Baptist Church has announced that the annual Community Easter Sunrise Service will be held at 7 a.m. Easter Sunday, April 9, at the Early Visitors and Events Center in Early, TX.
“The Community Easter Sunrise Service is one of my favorite events all year,” Pastor Leland Acker said. “This is where we get to gather with friends and neighbors, worship together, and truly feel the Lord’s presence as the sun rises on Resurrection Sunday.”
This year’s service will include a few minor changes to the program.
“At Life Point, we’ve come to believe that true worship is participatory, so we’ll be incorporating more group participation into this year’s service. We’ll be adding responsive readings, focusing on congregational hymns, and we will pray together as well.”
As has been the case since 2019, the Community Sunrise Service will be held at the Early Visitors and Events Center at 419 Garmon Drive.
“It’s truly an amazing venue,” Acker said. “We gather at the outdoor stage, and the sun rises to our left as we worship. There are comfortable restrooms inside, and if bad weather breaks out, we can retreat indoors.”
Acker added there is plenty of parking, and the outdoor stage area can be quickly and easily accessed from the parking lot.
For more information on the Community Easter Sunrise Service, visitors can follow the event page on Facebook, or contact Pastor Acker at (325) 200-8531.
“All are welcome,” Acker said. “This event is for the entire community.”
The Power of Responsive Readings
Worship is the process of entering into God’s presence to proclaim His glory. This is something that God expects of each individual, and it is something that each individual will find a blessing in, if they participate in the worship.
Therefore, every element of the worship services at Life Point Baptist Church has a participatory element to it. We don’t put on a worship performance, rather, we worship, and we invite you to worship as well.
This is one reason we resurrected a timeless practice, once common in the early 20th century, but long forgotten… the responsive readings.
If your church still has hymnals, chances are you have noticed pages of scripture printed in both regular and bold face interspersed with the hymns contained in the book. These scriptures are designed to be read in unison by the congregation, with the worship leader reading the regular print, and the congregation joining in the bold print.
The result is not only a powerful exercise of hearing the word of God read in unison, but it also allows the heart of the worshipper to be centered on the Lord. Thus, makes our worship that much more powerful.
Therefore, we have reincorporated responsive readings to our worship, and we invite you to attend and take part. Feel free to come and experience the blessing of a church worshipping together.
Finding Our Voice
One of my favorite cartoons to watch as a kid was the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. For some reason, Lucy thought it would be a good idea to help Charlie Brown overcome his seasonal depression by recruiting him to direct the Christmas play.
Charlie Brown arrives to the set to find chaos. Everyone is basically doing their own thing, and he is having trouble getting the cast to go along with the order of the production. So, to set the mood, and to bring everyone back on the same page, he and Linus go to a Christmas tree lot to select a tree.
The lot, full of beautifully decorated aluminum trees, doesn’t quite have the vibe Charlie Brown was looking for. In fact, the one natural tree that he finds is basically a twig, holding on for dear life. He selects it, and thus today we still refer to it as the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.
When his tree is predictably rejected by the cast (as they had all bought into the commercialization of Christmas), Charlie Brown pines, “Can anyone tell me what Christmas is really all about?” To which Linus responded by telling the Christmas story.
Today, Christianity is in a state of disarray in western civilization. We have involved ourselves in pop-culture, politics, have completely reimagined worship services, and have attempted to capture the culture’s attention by having input on every single political and pop-culture trend that arises.
It’s as if we’ve bought into the post-modern ethic that, to have a voice, you must have a take. If you don’t have a take, you don’t have a voice, and thus you don’t really exist at all.
So, worship teams meet and practice for hours each week, not to pray over the coming service and for God’s Spirit to move (they may include that in their prayers), but rather to plan each intricate detail of the worship performance so that the presentation impresses the congregation, leading them to return next week.
Pastors sit in front of their keyboards, not to pray over the scriptures and write the weekly message, but rather to come up with a blog post that will garner attention and go viral. (The irony is not lost on me).
Congregants plan their activities based on what brings them fulfillment and advances their cause, and involvement in the church or worship attendance is not always high on that priority list.
Then there’s the publications, the media, the movies, and the outreach efforts.
It’s all so crazy and hectic, and everyone is busy doing their own thing. Then, Charlie Brown enters from stage left and says, “Can anybody really tell me what it’s all about?”
And that question demands an answer, because despite all the activity by modern Christianity, the number of Christians in America, at least as a percentage of the population, is declining. Furthermore, the percentage of adults who regularly attend church is declining. To make matters worse, there is not a single county in North America that is seeing an increase in church attendance.
There are megachurches and church plants that arise and grow, but these are anecdotal, and not indicative of overall trends.
One trend is emerging, however, and that is the busier the church gets, the more it declines.
Now this is not the fault of those promoting contemporary worship, neither is it the fault of the traditionalists. It is the result of a loss of the central message of the church. That is the only logical explanation of the decline of the church in the prosperous West while the church experiences rapid growth in the East, where persecution runs rampant.
The only explanation for the decline of the church in the West while the East grows under rampant persecution is that the East has believed a Gospel that they are willing to die for, while the West barely knows what that Gospel is.
Disagree? If so, ask your average self-identifying Christian what the Gospel is. Odds are, they either won’t be able to tell you, or will give a generic answer about “the good news” or “the story of Jesus.” Both of which are partially correct.
However, the Gospel is clearly defined in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 as “How Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Jesus Christ died for our sins. His death cleared the debt we owed for sin, because in His death, Christ endured the wrath of God on our behalf (Isaiah 53, Romans 5, among others). This is truly a powerful message, because in this message we can wipe away all of our tears, and feel cleansed of all guilt, shame and regret. This is the great reset button one can push in life. To simply trust what Jesus did on the cross.
Not only did Christ clear our guilt and sin-debt on the cross, but He rose from the dead, conquering death, and opening the gates of Heaven, bringing eternal life to all who believe. It is because of the resurrection of Jesus that we have a confident expectation (hope) that we will go to Heaven when we die, and not only that, but we’ll be reunited with our loved ones there.
That message of redemption and eternal hope is what powers believers in the third world to sing praises to God as they are slaughtered for merely mentioning the name of Jesus. That message of redemption is what brings dying hospice patients hope when they realize that their time on earth is nearly done. That message of redemption is likely what powered Dr. King’s “Mountaintop Speech,” as he predicted his death while expressing joy and hope for the future of our nation.
And we believe, at Life Point Baptist Church, that if we are to see a revival in our culture, if we are to see the rapid spread of Christianity in the Western world today, then it will be sparked by the rapid spread of that Gospel. If the church is to find its voice and be relevant again, it will not be because the ministerial staff is up to date on the latest in entertainment or cultural trends. It will be because the staff, and the church, is centered on that Gospel.
Once the church is centered on the Gospel, worship styles, campus design and location, and audio visual tools become irrelevant. The church will see a revival.
So, enjoy your contemporary service, or your traditional service, but center it on the Gospel, and find your voice.
Celebrate Advent with Us
Beginning Sunday, Nov. 27, Life Point will begin celebrating the season of Advent, which is the celebration of the arrival of Christ. This celebration will feature special services, messages about the arrival of Jesus Christ, times of fellowship, and special music.
What is Advent?
The word “advent” denotes the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. For centuries, the Christian churches have celebrated the birth of Christ as the season of “Advent.” We celebrate His birth, His arrival, and thus His Gospel during this time, as we also look forward to His return.
What makes Advent different from Christmas?
Advent is different from Christmas as the season predates the Christmas holiday. The roots of Advent are in the Christian church and its traditions. The roots of Christmas are largely secular, being integrated into Christian tradition in later centuries.
What should I expect at Life Point’s services this Advent?
Expect scripture readings from Isaiah, Matthew and Luke. Expect traditional Christmas hymns. Expect a time of peace. Expect to be encouraged by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Life Point Baptist Church
599 Sunrise Dr./PO Box 3134
Early, TX 76803
Sunday School 10 a.m.
Sunday Worship 11 a.m.
Through Evidence and Testimony, Jesus Demonstrates that He is the Christ
The Real Jesus Christ
What do Christians believe, and what does the church stand for?
In this day of social media strife, international turmoil, and 24-hour cable news, Christian pundits, personalities and pastors seem to be offering opinions on everything from the latest Congressional scandal to college football realignment. Hundreds of Christian Web sites exist, promoting family values, wholesome entertainment, and conservative politics. In all of this noise, is the central message of Christianity being lost? What is that message?
Our new sermon series, “The Real Jesus Christ,” aims to correct this error by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded by John the Apostle. Furthermore, it is our aim to call all Christians, as well as our sister churches and Christian organizations to return to the Gospel. Through this, we hope to see our country experience a revival.
Catch up with us by listening to the first part here, and the second part here.
National Day of Prayer Observance Set For Noon-1pm May 5 at Depot Center Plaza in Brownwood
The Annual Brown County National Day of Prayer Observance has been set for Noon-1 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at the Margaret and Stuart Coleman Plaza at the Depot Center, 600 E. Depot Street in Brownwood, TX. The event will feature a meet-and-greet from Noon-12:15, a community prayer service from 12:15-12:45, and individual prayer groups from 12:45 until finished. The community prayer service will feature prayers for rain, our local community, our state and our nation led by local community leaders. For more information, contact Leland Acker at (325) 200-8531.
Community Easter Sunrise Service Set
The annual Community Easter Sunrise Service will be held at 7 am Easter Sunday, April 17, at the Early Visitors and Events Center at 419 Garmon Drive in Early. The event will feature congregational hymns, special musical presentations, scripture reading and a special message from Leland Acker, pastor of Life Point Baptist Church of Early, TX.
The Community Easter Sunrise Service has been a staple in Brown County since it was first held in 2012. It provides an opportunity for local residents to experience the hope of a new day, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the sun rises over the outdoor pavilion.
Everyone is invited to attend. For more information, call Leland Acker at (325) 200-8531, check out the event on Facebook at https://fb.me/e/2WMmJ2fZf, or contact Life Point online at www.PointToLife.net.
3 Things to Remember During VBS This Year
Life Point will break tradition this year when we hold VBS for six consecutive Wednesday nights, as opposed to holding it every night for one week. The plan is to foster Spiritual growth as a family by giving parents and children a week to consider the lessons learned and by providing resources to help.
This year’s theme verse is Jeremiah 29:13, which says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
That verse falls right behind the often quoted Jeremiah 29:11, which says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
These two verses coupled together remind us that God is continually working in our lives to bring us into His presence. Everything that happens in our lives happens for that purpose.
With that in mind, let’s remember the following:
1. God is real. It might seem overly basic to make such a declaration on a church’s blog, but the simple truth is that God exists beyond our understanding and imaginations. Our belief does not define Him, rather He defines our belief. True science, research and archaeology proves His existence and truth. Scripture reveals it.
2. God loves. Not only does God exist, but He gave His only Begotten Son to redeem us from sin and death. Not only did God give His Son for our Salvation, but He made sure we knew about it by revealing it in the Bible. Not only did He reveal it in the Bible, but He uses the events of our lives to reveal His presence and draw us into His truth.
3. The Bible builds faith. The search for truth, and the desire for understanding doesn’t end when you come to know the Lord as your Savior. There are still tough questions to be answered.
Questions such as why God permitted the existence of evil, why a certain tragedy happened in our life, what our purpose is. While a pastor or mentor may be able to give you an academic answer to these questions, the truth is that you will not find peace until you understand how it all fits into God’s nature.
That’s where routine Bible study really helps. As Job said, “I have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” Job didn’t say he saw God because God showed up and spoke to him. He said he saw God because of the experience he had with God. Our experience with God comes through reading the Bible.
We are going to have fun this summer, and we are going to grow in our faith. Come see us. VBS, Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. at Life Point Baptist Church.