renegadeEx 8:1 (NIV2011) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
America is giving up on the corporate worship. I was Pharaoh in 1500BC, and I tried to stop worship. It didn’t work out so well. (Exodus 5-12)
When Gallup first measured church attendance in 1937, 73% of Americans went to church. That held steady for sixty years. Then the decline began. 2020 was the first year church membership dropped below 50%. 
Then came Covid.
Depending on the survey, somewhere between 33 and 50 percent of regular church goers quit going during Covid. That means they quit both online and in person attendance. 
The majority of Americans seem to be done with organized religion. 
You don’t have any idea how dangerous this is. 
Your God wants worship. Heaven is worship. If you will read the end of your Book, it is all about worship with people “from every tribe and language and people and nation”. Rev 5:9-10. Heaven is all about community, fellowship, love. Hell, and I should know, is all about the individual. It is silent, alone, and empty.
When Moses came to see me, (Exodus 5-7), he said that The LORD wanted His people (my slaves) to go worship Him. Now, they could have done that in their homes. I couldn’t stop that. I didn’t really care if they did, I just wanted free labor. But Moses wanted them to worship together. As a body – something you now call The Church. That I could stop.
So, I did. 
And I paid for it. 
My country was destroyed through 9 plagues. The crops were devastated. Our livestock dead. Our gods worthless. Except for one god.
The last plague Moses threatened if I didn’t let them go worship The LORD was “The Death of the Firstborn.” Moses even said my own son would die. This was a direct threat against me, against my claim to divinity, against the divinity of the House of Pharaoh. I had to say, “No, they cannot go worship.” 
But your God is a jealous God. 
They still got to leave. They plundered us and still left on time. As they went, they destroyed my army and drowned me in the Red Sea. Later they got instructions on how to worship from The LORD on Mt Sinai and built a place to worship called The Tabernacle. Later they built a Temple. One wall still stands. It was all about worship.
They left and my son still died.
When God wants worship, it’s best not to get in His way.
Maybe you think institutional church isn’t even biblical. Well, your God has been insistent on group worship for at least 3500 years. Maybe you think organized religion isn’t biblical. Right. Have you read that other book Moses wrote called Leviticus? That’s a lot of organization. Really boring. And the New Testament, that has more writing about the work of Jesus through His church than it does about the work of Jesus through Jesus. Evidently church is biblical.
The thing I can’t wrap my head around is that I believe I was much more organized as King of Egypt than your God is in organizing His church. I had more control, more consistency, more power over my subjects even. And yet, my Egypt was destroyed by a bunch of slaves and their God—and your church remains and grows. 
What is that word—inconceivable? 
I would even say my Egypt was more perfect than your church. We created great cities and influenced the world. We were consistently cruel and self-promoting, progressive and successful. Your church across the world is a hodgepodge of inconsistent knuckleheads. “Hypocrites in transition” I believe your lead pastor has called the church—and himself. If there is any proof that a divine hand wants your worship, it is His use of ordinary imperfect churches like your own to bring it about. That God would use you is totally amazing. Surely, he had better options. 
But He wants you. Go figure.
The main thing I see, while looking out from my personal Hell, is how like Egypt American Christianity can be. I was happy for the slaves to worship in their homes if they got their weekly work done. You are happy to worship in front of your TV, on your schedule, choosing the best speakers and band, while eating chocolate Pop Tarts and giving a tip online if you feel blessed. I would have been fine with that. Your LORD wasn’t.
God told Moses He wanted the people gathered. They understood that fellowship, community isn’t optional. Your God was willing to kill my livestock, my livelihood, my army, my son to make that happen. There must be something unique about the power of corporate worship.
When the New Testament started, your God gave you a description of what the new church was like in Acts 2:42-47. It included
Devotion to the apostles’ teaching
Breaking of bread – which needed others
Miracles through the Apostles – which needed others
Radical selling and giving to help others
Daily worship (before going to work? Or after?) at the temple and in homes
Your new “largest digital bible study resource in the world,” paid for by AnchorPoint Sign up by clicking here can probably be a huge help in learning more about the apostles’ teaching. It can help you with child raising and family devotions, financial management and bible study methods. But it isn’t corporate worship. Somehow listening to a podcast, as helpful as that is to gain information, isn’t equivalent to the worship that The LORD wanted from my slaves, or the early church.
It probably isn’t sufficient in and of itself for you either. 
Is your church messed up? Sure. They all are. The members are messed up. The leadership is messed up. Masks, no masks, different political views, a band out of tune, a pastor that goes on so long you wonder if he knows how to land the plane. But God calls messed up people to worship Him together. He will kill for it. He knows you need each other. Probably now that you so often disagree with each other, you need each other more than ever. 
Don’t follow my example. There’s hell to pay.
This Sunday—the final plague, the Death of the Firstborn, AND the Ministry Fair with food. I hope you can join us.
3 Ways to Attend Church
1. In person inside (please bring a mask) or outside (please bring a chair) – also on 101.5 FM in the parking lot. Lord willing this week the weather will be better.
2. On 2. Facebook Livestream
3. On 3. YouTube Livestream 
Hate gets a bad rap.
God hates.
Recently, I read that “you will never turn from a sin you don’t hate.”
Have you ever had one of those sins that just stayed with you? You wanted to end it, but it just hung around like the puppy we bought last year. It’s familiar. It’s tenacious. It drools. It’s even a bit, dare I say it, likeable?
You’ll never turn from a sin you don’t hate. Here are some sins God hates.
Proverbs 6:16 There are six things that the LORD hates, even seven that are disgusting to him: 17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, 18 a mind devising wicked plans, feet that are quick to do wrong, 19 a dishonest witness spitting out lies, and a person who spreads conflict among relatives. (GW) 
Does God really hate? I looked up the Hebrew word translated “hate” in Proverbs 6:16. It means… hate. The word translated “disgusting” means “detestable, an abomination.” God really hates sin. 
We should too.
Sanctification is a fancy word meaning “to become holy or set apart.” Positionally, that happens in an instant. When we come to God in belief, we are freed from our sin, set apart by God and sealed by Him. Ephesians 1.
But practically, sanctification isn’t so sudden. Author Jen Wilkin calls the process “a slog.” Sin can be so annoyingly likeable.
Back in my Youth Director days, I had a 4-step chart to help put signposts on our slog toward sanctification. Progress, when you see it, can be encouraging. See if this helps.
We begin our spiritual journey after salvation living a life of unconscious disobedience. Once the Holy Spirit brings an issue to us, we become consciously disobedient. Rather than change immediately, we tend to stay there a while. Sin can be so annoyingly likeable. 
Over time as we yield to the Spirit, we begin to hate the behavior. Now the real work begins. Conscious obedience is the difficult step. It is so easy to slide back. Here is when we need to pray to hate the sin as God hates the sin. Developing a hatred of what God hates will decimate a temptation. 
Finally, we wake up one morning and realize it has been months since that sin really tempted us. A new lifestyle is developing. We are living in the Spirit in a state of unconscious obedience. And then…
Then the Spirit shows us something else we like, something else He hates. And there we go again. 
And over time we become more and more like Christ. Hating what He hates, loving what He loves. 
CS Lewis put it this way, 
“Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have His way, come to share in the life of Christ. If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always existed and always will exist. Christ is the Son of God. If we share in this kind of life, we also shall be sons of God. We shall love the Father as He does, and the Holy Ghost will arise in us. He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has — by what I call "good infection." Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”
And now a theological question. Do you ever wonder why, if God really is all-powerful, your life and our world is as messed up as it is? From the simple questions like, Why is the line I choose at Costco always the slowest? to Why did I have to lose my job? to Why was my car stolen (duh, you live in Albuquerque), to Why did I have to lose _________? We will take a stab at addressing this sticky issue on Sunday as Moses and Israel witness the power of God while at the same time living a life of slavery and suffering. On the surface it makes no sense, but there is meaning under the surface.
BTW, don’t forget to sign up for the largest digital bible study resource in the world. We are paying for it for you! Sign up by clicking here. I hope it is a help for you and your family,
1. In person inside or outside (please bring a chair) – also on 101.5 FM in the parking lot.
2. On 2. Facebook Livestream
3. On 3. Faithlifetv Livestream
4. On 4. YouTube Livestream 



Balloon Fiesta! I hope the wind blows the balloons by our property again. I don’t think the operators like it, and no one listens to the sermon, but still, it is cool! It was fun when we were all meeting inside. If they come by when we are outside, it will be a zoo.

Here are a few more fun dates to get on your calendar for the rest of 2021…

christopherOctober 10: We are planning another baptism service. If you want to know more about baptism, check out the video on the AnchorPoint channel on RightNow Media. If you have not signed up for your free RightNow Media account, click here. If you want to be baptized, let me know! 280-7307 or .

October 17: Our plan is to have a Ministry Fair with tables set up outside containing information, people to answer your questions, and sign-up lists. Our assumption is that with Balloon Fiesta over, the bad weekend weather should have passed as well. Of course, we will have food after the service to bribe you to stick around. Compassion International will also have a table with a bunch of their virtual reality goggles and training so that you can see what things are like in their world.

November 7: That is our target date for our Annual Meeting (and eating). This year it should mostly be approving the budget and information about upcoming improvements we are looking to implement from the Church Assessment.

Oct 10-Oct 31: Christmas Shoeboxes—Operation Christmas Child.

Nov 14-Dec 5: Walk to the Manger. Our chance to celebrate Christmas by giving to needy families at CareNet.

christmasDec 24: We are thinking of doing Christmas Eve Services like last year. This would mean two services at 4 & 6pm, with outside seating around firepits and inside seating for us wimps who hate the cold. Last year it was a necessity due to Covid, but we liked it enough to do again. New tradition?

Dec 26: No Service. Because Christmas Eve is on a Friday night, we are giving our staff and volunteers Christmas Sunday off. Go bless another church or watch online, just don’t like them more than us!  

This week we are—and by we, I mean all of us, from birth on up—in Exodus 3-4, when God calls Moses.

And Moses basically says, “Sorry God, No.”

Sometimes Moses reminds me of why I need to work on my lawnmower this winter. The blade spins but nothing is cutting.

I hope you can join us Sunday for one of my favorite God conversations—one of the most relatable and helpful conversations in all the Bible.



4 Ways to Attend Church

  1. In person inside or outside (please bring a chair) – also on 101.5 FM in the parking lot.
  2. On Facebook Livestream
  3. On Faithlifetv Livestream
  4. On YouTube Livestream


renegadeCongratulations--this week is our five-year anniversary of being AP! No huge celebration is planned, as we have other stuff coming down the pike, but that is still pretty cool. Meanwhile…

According to the innerweb, a renegade is: a noun: a person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles. Adjective: having treacherously changed allegiance.

I think Moses was a renegade.

  • He was born the son of Jewish slaves.
  • He left slavery to be raised an Egyptian. OK, he didn’t have much choice there. But then...
  • He killed an Egyptian who was beating a Jewish slave. This made him a traitor to Egypt and a fugitive from both his Jewish roots and Egyptian upbringing. People are weird when it comes to befriending murderers. But later, through this same Moses…
  • The Jewish slaves were freed, and
  • The Egyptian people were plundered, their army destroyed.

There you have it. Moses was a renegade.

Here are some other unique things about Moses:

  • He handled snakes Ex 4:1-5, which made me think he was from the tribe of Slytherin. But the Bible says he was from the tribe of Levi.
  • He was afraid of following God Ex 3-4, yet he hung out with Ex 24:15-18, and was buried by God Dt 34:5-6.
  • He was afraid of public speaking Ex 4:10, which isn’t abnormal, unless you are the one chosen by God to be His spokesman. Then it’s terrifying.
  • He either had the best workout program known to man, or mysteriously good genes Dt 34:7. Fit at 120? That’s not bad. But having to wait until you were 80 to fulfill God’s calling on your life, that would be tough.

Can you relate to Moses?

I’ve handled snakes, but never really loved it. And I have the worst workout program known to man. Still, I can relate to Moses. Maybe you can too.

Have you ever been afraid to follow God, while wanting to hang out with Him at the same time? Can you relate to doing stupid things (not murder I hope), and feeling isolated, unwanted, dismissed? Have you ever felt that your chance to be a renegade and make a difference was over, that life and God had passed you by? If so, then you can relate to the life of Moses.

But mostly, Moses was a renegade. 1500 years later, the writer to the Hebrews wrote:

Heb 11:24 (NIV2011) By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

I hope you can join us Sunday for our 5-week study of Moses, the Renegade. We want to see him who is invisible. Starting this week, our children’s ministry will be on the same study as the adults, so you will get to grill them over lunch. Hopefully you will know more than them after Sunday, so they can be amazed at your brilliance at the same time. Don’t forget, we have questions in the bulletin to help you.

rnm-fall-bulletin-01ALSO: Christian Netflix? This Sunday, at 9am, you should get an invite to RightNow Media in your inbox. This is the largest digital Bible study resource in the world, with over 20,000 studies and videos available. You can also listen to them through an app on your phone or in the car. Look for the email this Sunday.

If for some reason you don’t get the email, text the code ANCHORPOINT to the number 49775 to receive a text with the “invite link” to sign up for your free RightNow Media Account.

It’s our prayer that our Sunday morning services being on the same topic for adults and students; that having Bible study resources available at home and on the phone, will help make renegades out of us all. Renegades who have changed our allegiance from selfishness to sacrifice, from sin to sanctification.

I hope you can join us Sunday, inside, outside, or online!








4 Ways to Attend Church

  1. In person inside or outside (please bring a chair) – also on 101.5 FM in the parking lot
  2. On Facebook Livestream
  3. On Faithlifetv Livestream
  4. On YouTube Livestream






black-catYes, in my twisted view all cats are bad. But by CAT I am referring to the Congregational Assessment Tool which our church family took earlier this year. When I suggested to the elder board that I would like the church to do a congregational assessment, I was apprehensive. It’s a bit like going to the doctor. You don’t feel quite right and want to get to the bottom of what is wrong. At the same time, it’s easy to think, “I’ll just wait a few more days and see if this goes away.” You are apprehensive. But then you go.

And then you get the results.

The assessment was necessary. It has been hard to know who we are and where we are going coming out of Covid. Besides that, we have Pastor Reinaldo retiring at the end of December, our volunteer youth leaders leaving, and (unknown at the time) our children’s director moving along with nine other families. From my standpoint, the last 18 months felt like I was driving back roads to Oregon, and halfway there someone took my map and GPS. Our destination of being a gospel-centered family impacting our community with the hope of Jesus remained the same, but the map was out of date, new construction was everywhere, and even the fellow-drivers were changing.

As a result, we did the CAT assessment through NL Moore & Associates, recommended by the Evangelical Free Churches. Last Monday, September 13, they met with our staff and elders for two hours to take us through the 29-page results. They prepared a one-page Executive Summary for the congregation that should be attached to the end of this blog.

Please understand, this data isn’t the end. It is some clarity to help us move forward. Our staff and elders are now scheduling our next meeting to discuss action steps that may be needed.

Here is my summary of the summary – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

picture3The Good: There is a lot good in the assessment. At the beginning, Ann (she even gave herself the title “CAT lady”) took us through “The Energy-Satisfaction Map.” It had a square divided up in to for quadrants (Did you ever play four-square as a kid? Like that). The Top Left area was labeled High Energy/Low Satisfaction. Top Right was High Energy/High Satisfaction. Bottom Left was low Energy/Low Satisfaction. Bottom Right was Low Energy/High Satisfaction. Where did we land?

In High Energy/High Satisfaction. Win!

There were other high points. Our leadership is clearly loved and trusted. The comments at the end were extremely gracious. 92% of those who responded said they experience the presence of God in their lives. That puts us in the top 3% of churches surveyed. Another area that gives me great comfort was the flexibility scale. Our church is willing to make changes, that was a HUGE help during Covid, and will continue to be as we move forward. Most importantly you guys nailed the “Theological Perspective Index.” Our church clearly believes that the Bible is the literal Word of God without error, and that converting people to Christ is the first step in creating a better society. These are areas we want to keep seeing in our windshield.

OH – quick side note while we are talking about The Good. I believe this Sunday will be good! I hope you can come for our last One Hit Wonder sermon. Over 30 women will be at their retreat, so we will have a more intimate service, and I’m excited about the content.

Meanwhile, there is still…

The Bad: The thing about the bad is that it can be the most helpful in helping us get a clear map for the future. Although we are in the High Energy/High Satisfaction quadrant, we are not as far in as we would like; certainly not far enough to sit back for the ride. If you think of that 4-square diagram, we were just a bit up and right from the center. They call that the “Transition Zone.” The question is, “transition to where?”

The top four priorities on the Assessment Summary (see “Top Priorities” on the Executive Assessment Summary below) were a huge help. God has been gracious, already leading us to address some of these priorities since the survey went out. Just this year we…

  • Hired Joshua H. as Youth Director. It’s great to have you on the team Joshua! And, this week they are working with Friends Feeding Friends after church to help with our ABQ homeless.
  • Hired Aden S. (starting in October) for a new part-time position of Family Pastor. This isn’t a simple replacement of Rhonda as Children’s Director. Aden will be working at helping families disciple their children at home—both families that attend AP in person, and those who only connect online. He will also be working with Joshua.
  • Hired Jon P. to oversee audio, video, and digital church under the supervision of Mark Smith. We wanted to make certain our digital presence is as dependable as possible, and to make it more interactive.
  • Purchased RightNow Media for everyone in the church. More information coming September 26
  • Started
">The Care Portal. If you have not signed up, this is a great way to reach out. It links us with the CYFD to help out families that could lose their children without our assistance.
  • Planned to start teaching the same subject to the adults in the adult worship service as the children are getting in Kids Church, to help parents give follow-up devotions at home. That should start next week, September 26 with a 5-week series on the life of Moses.
  • We are working on starting micro-discipleship groups, and Reinaldo hopes to teach a History of Christianity series in January, followed by other adult education classes. We are also planning a Ministry Fair in October to give you a chance to learn more about our ministries, to sign up for a ministry or ministry training.
  • These things are a start, and the assessment made it clear God has been leading us where we need to go. Even so, there is much we need to do. That’s OK. We have a map again. Thank you so much for helping us out with this assessment.

    I’m excited about what God has done, how He got us through so much Covid, how He kept us on the right road this year, and where He is leading us. If you have time, you can read through the Executive Summary below. But their summary has no cat pictures. Speaking of which, let’s not forget

    The Ugly:







    Poor cat. It makes me wonder about the owner.

    OK, Executive Summary below. Hope to see you Sunday in person or online!





    Congregational Assessment Results

    NL Moore & Associates and HC!C recently administered the Congregational Assessment Tool in your church. Your average adult Sunday attendance is 135, and 101, or 74 percent of your average adult attendance, responded to the invitation to participate. A complete readout of the Vital Signs Report was delivered to your church leadership. An Executive Summary of those results is offered here.

    In more than 25 years of assessment, we have learned the general health and vitality of a congregation can be discerned by measuring its overall satisfaction (think: fulfilled contentment) and energy (think: force of engagement).


    On the whole, I am satisfied with how things are in our church.


    Clearly Agree

    On the fence

    Clearly Disagree





    It seems to me that we are just going through the motions of church activity. There isn’t much excitement about it.


    Clearly Agree

    On the fence

    Clearly Disagree




    With regard to satisfaction, 58 percent of congregants are clearly satisfied with things in the church, meaning they agreed or strongly agreed with that question. Another 40 percent are on the fence, meaning they tended to agree or tended to disagree. What happens next in the life of the church will likely determine which side of the fence they fall on to. Two percent are clearly dissatisfied, meaning they disagreed or strongly disagreed. Ideally, we hope 70 percent of the congregation will clearly agree, and the average church may anticipate three to four percent of its congregants are dissatisfied at any given time.

    The overall energy question is negatively worded, meaning we want participants to disagree. Thirty-seven percent of congregants disagreed with the question and are energized by their participation at the church. Eight percent are not finding their experience to be energizing, and another 56 percent are on the fence. As stated above, what happens next in the life of the church will likely influence how those on the fence will feel moving forward. With a negatively worded question we hope to see at least 50 percent of the congregation energized, and we normalize the “agree” responses (those who are not energized) up to 13 – 15 percent.


    Much at AnchorPoint is going well, but congregants can envision a more vibrant and engaged church than their current experience. If plotted onto a “map,” AnchorPoint is located in what is known as the Transition Zone. What happens next often determines the engagement and contentment of congregations in this zone. Excellence and consistency in the weekend worship experience is an important area for continued attention as well as creating pathways for people to connect into and within ministries of the church will help it to feel more vibrant.


    Where would this congregation like additional energy placed to expand or improve its ministries?

    1. Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our church.
    2. Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.
    3. Develop ministries that work toward healing those broken by life circumstances.
    4. Strengthen the process by which members are called and equipped for ministry and leadership.


    The top shared priorities of a congregation are part of what distinguishes it from the other churches in its community. Generally, age groups in churches will agree on two or three priorities, but AnchorPoint shares four priorities across all age groups (under 35 years, 35 to 64, and 65+). This internal unity around priorities is excellent and a great strength  to build upon! Attenders want to grow the church, provide for the needs of those who are hurting both inside and outside the walls of the church and clarify pathways that strengthen and equip attendees for ministry and service.


    AnchorPoint Church is a theologically conservative congregation with a high view of Scripture and very low internal diversity in its theological perspective. With regard to flexibility, AnchorPoint is flexible, which means it is able to make adjustments when needed. This is a great strength! Important Note: A direct correlation exists between the flexibility of a congregation and its ability to achieve its stated priorities. Continued flexibility, not in biblical or theological essentials, but in the practical implementation of ministry will enhance AnchorPoint’s potential to impact its community for the Kingdom.


    Where did we find islands of strength to highlight at your church?


    I experience the presence of God in my life.


    Clearly Agree

    On the fence

    Clearly Disagree






    The leaders of our church show a genuine concern to know what people are thinking when decisions need to be made.


    Clearly Agree

    On the fence

    Clearly Disagree






    The personal spiritual vitality of congregants is in the 97th percentile of the 2,400 churches in the database, which is excellent. While personal spiritual vitality does not correlate to organizational health, it does measure the degree to which individuals believe their faith is central to their lives rather than peripheral or episodic. Additionally, AnchorPoint congregants highly value the good work the elders are doing.


    Where did we find opportunities to improve and further develop in your church?


    The music at our church is outstanding in quality and appropriate in style to our congregation.


    Clearly Agree

    On the fence

    Clearly disagree






    The whole spirit in our congregation makes people want to get as involved as possible.


    Clearly Agree

    On the fence

    Clearly Disagree






    Our church prepares our attenders for ministry by helping them discern their gifts.


    Clearly Agree

    On the fence

    Clearly Disagree





    Moving forward, ensuring music is done with excellence is a key way this church can continue to maximize its impact. Congregants need the invitation and guidance of pastors to find their purpose and use it so they become engaged within the church body and the community. This is a real opportunity to improve the overall experience for those who call this their church home. There is a huge opportunity to help people understand their gifts and the pathways for them to make their unique ministry contribution. What a tremendous potential to explore and tap into!


    AnchorPoint Church has much potential yet to be realized. Equipping congregants and connecting them to opportunities will help them to feel a satisfying sense of purpose. The results of these changes could be tremendous. By God’s grace, even better days are ahead!