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Everyone Starts Somewhere

Everything in life has a starting point - including faith.

You had a starting point.  Romance has a starting point.  Relationships have a starting point.  Careers have a starting point.  Parenting has a starting point.  Do you want to build a house?  It has a starting point.

Faith has a starting point, as well.  Your faith, whatever it is, had a starting point.

For most of us, our faith journey had a starting point when we were little.  Whether it was our parents, our priest, or our pastor, someone was there to help us launch faith.

It could have been at a camp, a church, a mosque or a synagogue.  It could have been through VBS, Awanas, Child Evangelism Fellowship.  You were handed building blocks by someone, somewhere and your faith journey began.

Others didn't have any help starting out.  They cobbled their faith together based on experience, disappointments, joys, etc.

As a child, when we were taught that God is good, He punishes evil and rewards good, and that He answers prayer, we accepted it as true.  It became our framework with little to no questions asked.

But then something happens.  We get older.  The starting point of our childlike faith takes a hit.  For many of us, to some extent, our childhood faith doesn't stand up well to the rigors of adult life and challenges.  The stories, concepts, truths that we were taught sometimes fall apart.

It becomes, "God is good" but there's a lot of bad things that go on in the world.  What do we do with that?

I know you're supposed to punish evil and reward good, but it seems that there's a lot of evil that gets rewarded and not so much those things that are good.

I heard that you answer prayer, yet You didn't answer my prayer.

Sometimes, our childhood faith that started off so fresh, so real and so passionate gets chipped away to the point that it doesn't exist at all.

Many people are HOPING to reignite the faith that they left a long, long time ago.  Not because they wanted to abandon it.  Rather, it seemed to be less and less relevant as time passed and adult challenges of life pressed in.

For others, the concept of faith in God is a brand new idea.

What if a person had never heard the childhood Bible stories and is now an adult?  Where would we start?  What if we'd never gone to church?  Where would we start?

At Branches, we understand that there are a wide range of faith journeys represented in the building on any given Sunday.

Because we're "building a church we can bring our friends to" and because we want to help people take that next forward moving step in their journey to or with Jesus, we've decided to offer people an opportunity to attend an 8-week series called Starting Point.

It's for those who need to hit the "restart" button.  It's also for those who don't know anything and simply want to take a closer look at who God is, what the big deal is about Jesus, and what to do with the "big book."

Currently, four people - all with very different experiences with faith, very different personalities, and very different life journeys are completing the latest Starting Point series.  Sandra Barrett has been their host.

Two had responded to the Holy Spirit's tug on their heart during the last baptism.  Spur of the moment, they gave their life to Christ and went public with their new-found faith by getting baptized.

Two had been invited to church - one catholic, the other Lutheran - as twelve year old girls.  Due to the challenges of life, they fell away in their early adult years.

All four found themselves at Branches this last year in the hopes that God would reveal Himself to them.  The transformation that has and is taking place in their lives is undeniable.

They're benefiting from the opportunity to belong while they figure out their beliefs and before it's determined to what degree any behaviors need to adjust.

If you have doubts about your new-found faith, have all kinds of questions, want to be heard and aren't in to pat answers, Starting Point is for you.

If you need to hit the "restart" button and take an adult look at the childhood concepts you were taught, Starting Point is for you.

If you want an opportunity to better understand the heart and mind of those who are "just looking" and are willing to humbly listen and learn, Starting Point is for your, too.

Guaranteed, you will hear new things, challenging things, and refreshing things.

Believing that Jesus is the answer to our every need, we want to do whatever we can to help people move forward in their faith.

On June 2nd, people will have an opportunity to go public with their faith through baptism.  Two weeks later, we'll launch our next Starting Point series on June 16.

If you're interested, please sign up at the Info Kiosk.